“Will I ever find love?” is a question I get asked every day from people you would never in a million years guess they’d have any issue finding¬†true love. These are people who have built incredible lives for themselves. They’re¬†successful, have amazing friendships, and are ready to find the kind of love that makes all the heartbreak of the past seem worth it, instead of validating their fears on a daily basis.

With permission of the other party, I am including personal text messages of mine in this post because I will stop at nothing to help. I know this feeling of hopelessness all too well.

Whether you’re asking yourself “will I ever find love?” or “will I ever find love again?” feeling out of the loop is never fun. You go on social media and it’s always another happy family photo, an engagement announcement, romantic trip, baby announcement, your ex appearing¬†to be a better person with a better person or another wedding that populates your feed (or if you’re stalking, your recent search list).

How did love seem to forget about you?  

Why does everyone else, who isn’t even a fraction as deserving and aware, get the happy ending that you want more than anything?

And because you’ve built a great life for yourself and have your sh*t together, it’s even more baffling.

Deep down, you know you’re a catch but you can only subscribe to that belief for so long before you start to question your worth, the point of life, and surrender to your solitude.

You then begin to doubt your own standards. Friends and family tell you that you’re too picky. Maybe you are, but you’d rather be alone than settle. Everything around you seems to affirm the impossibility of finding a loving relationship with an emotionally available partner who you actually connect with and are attracted to.

There isn’t some magic formula or answer to “will I ever find love?” For me, it took shifting my mindset and identifying the mistakes I was making more than it ever took implementing any kind of rule or technique. I didn’t feel like true love should have to come at the expense of my self-love.

No one wants to have to play games and withhold their own emotional abundance to momentarily attract it in a partner just because they are consciously limiting the supply.

I initially wanted to make this list about how to find love but then I remembered…

You could be fishing with the most expensive, top-of-the-line fishing equipment known to man and no matter how incredible the equipment is and how skilled you are at fishing…

If you’re trying to fish in a puddle, you’re never going to find anything other than bacteria and filth – No matter how much you believe that your skill and fine equipment will attract a whale. Whales don’t reside in puddles and puddles are so shallow, they don’t require fishing equipment.

It’s time to figure out why you’re in the puddle and get you back out to the coast.

¬†If you’re wondering “will I ever find love?” here are the 3 mistakes holding you back:

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Knowing how to be happy again after a breakup or a loss of any kind is tough enough. Being cheated on turns happiness into something you feel like you can’t trust, will always have to question, and will never be able to experience again on any kind of carefree or pure level.

After a betrayal, you don’t want to know how to be happy again. Happiness now equals a kind of anxiety that is so crippling and investigation-igniting, you avoid it while also yearning for it. You wish you could feel it the way you did before everything fell apart. The things that should make you happy, now bring out the worst in you. You don’t know how to be happy again and you’ve surrendered to the belief that you never will be. All you want to do is die.

There’s no set definition of what cheating means and it doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships. Although I write from female perpective, everyone cheats – men and women. I’ve cheated before in many different ways in my life and I’ve been cheated on – In romantic relationships, friendships, business relationships, and in school.

Everyone is different. We all have our own personal definition of cheating and its levels of severity.

Years ago, I dated a guy who I was so in love with but never felt like I fully “had” if that makes sense. One night, I didn’t hear from him and my gut just knew. When I asked him the next day if he had cheated on me, he said yes. He broke down and¬†apologized¬†profusely. At that moment, my entire world was turned upside down and destroyed. I didn’t know how to be happy again. I was in emotional shock.

I had no idea who I was anymore and no idea who I had been dating. I felt so ashamed, unwanted, rejected and ugly, but I was paralyzed in the love I had for him and couldn’t imagine not being together. It was almost as if finding this out and hearing how sorry he was made me even more of a cling-on. I had been played for a fool though. I was such an idiot for still wanting¬†him.

So, instead of flushing and moving on, I started to take the worst kind of inventory. I went over every moment, every second, every time where he went out and didn’t text or call. I thought about all the times that I was busy with school and he made other plans. My mind was racing. I needed to slow down and digest what was happening.

After only 2 days of not talking, he called. “I need to see you. Please.” When I met up with him, he looked like a shell of the man I knew. And in a way it made me¬†feel better that he looked so terrible. We sat down and he said everything that I ever wanted to hear. He opened up in ways that he never had before. I was shocked.

He promised me that it would be different this time, that it would never happen again and he even explained to me what led him to cheat РMULTIPLE TIMES. 

There was a part of my 21-year-old heart that was relieved to know I wasn’t crazy and that my gut had connected the dots correctly.

There was also a part of me that respected his honesty. He could have easily said that he had just cheated that one time. That’s all I knew about or suspected.

But then there was this part of me that shattered. It hurt too much to acknowledge. This was the part of me that had been shot down. I under-the-rug brushed that part and promised myself that I’d get to it later once things calmed down.

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Learning how to control your emotions is the most valuable skill you could ever acquire. In the past, it always felt like a “get rich quick” scam to me. The idea of it sounded too good to be true and I knew better.¬†I wasn’t interested in having to forfeit my truth and withhold how I felt just to “win.” This was not a game, this was my life and I wanted to live it authentically. The right people would understand me and where I was coming from.

So, I kept inflating the narcissistic life raft I was on by justifying my emotional reactions, delusional internal dialogue, and convincing myself that my emotions had no control over me.

Continuing to end up abandoned, used, humiliated, rejected, and misunderstood started to poke holes in that raft. Over time, it disenchanted the dysfunction that I kept labeling as authenticity.

There is nothing authentic about allowing anyone or anything to hold you hostage. There’s nothing liberating or sexy or cool about allowing your emotions to control you to the point of acting in ways that devalue and disempower you. The most authentic thing you can do is identify and act on your hunger to be free and experience better¬†– A better quality of life, better standards, better people, better relationships, and better results.¬†

The times that we feel the most emotionally powerless are the times we will try to convince ourselves that we have the most control.

I couldn’t control the kind of men I was attracted to. If they looked a certain way, that was it. I was immediately blind to red flags, pink flags, and internal ugliness because I was so superficially based. I valued everything that didn’t matter. And because I had no control over my emotions, I had no control over my life.

I always stress the importance of thinking of yourself as a business. You are the C.E.O of Y.O.U. If you automatically bend over every time one of your employees comes into your office, how are you supposed to even hear your employees with your head to the ground, let alone run a successful company that attracts the kind of clientele and investments you deserve? How are you supposed to be taken seriously? How are you supposed to command respect from your employees if you can’t respect yourself and act in accordance with your position as CEO? If you don’t believe it, they’ll never see it.

Your emotions are your employees. The boss of any successful company knows how to manage his/her employees to work for them and the good of the company РNot allow the employees to work over the boss and bankrupt the business.

Your employees will do their job effectively if they feel acknowledged, understood, validated, and directed in an empowering and positive way.¬†Contradiction is the root of all misery and ignorance – ¬†You can’t be so powerless that you allow your employees to run your business but also view yourself as powerful enough to be referred to as a CEO.

There are a lot of CEOs in this world. Some put “CEO” in their online dating profile when in reality, all they have is an idea for a business and not one employee, deal closed, or dollar made. Others are more legit. Allowing your emotions to control you is as reckless and embarrassing as claiming you are the CEO of a company that only exists in the fantasy land of your delusion.

If you are controlled by your emotions, other people will always be able to manipulate and control the state of those emotions.

Knowing how to control your emotions will introduce you to a life you never knew you could call your own. Today, I have the kind of power, confidence, and luck¬†I never thought was possible because I have control over my emotions. I’ve put them in their place as the employees that they are. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have bad days, feel insecure, or that I disrespect or try to micromanage my emotions at all.

It means that I acknowledge and respect the fact that they work for me. I no longer work for them. And if I want them to keep working for and not against me, I have to honor, manage and domesticate them when they get triggered. This is what successful CEOs do.

Because of this ability, I’m no longer attracted to or compatible with people who try to reaction monger. People who get their kicks off of controlling my emotional weather so they can get a cheap ego stroke no longer turn me on. These people hate themselves and are in a state of such pain ignited by such insecurity, they have to go around making everyone else feel as small as they do. If someone in my life tries to control me and my emotional state, they are out. I stay away. Also, I don’t care to control anyone else. I don’t want to gossip, make anyone¬†jealous, or cause any drama. Because my emotions are no longer out of my control, I don’t need validation from anyone but myself. It’s the definition of freedom.

Here’s how to control your emotions and reclaim your freedom…

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A toxic relationship is the most annoying relationship to be in and not for the obvious reasons you’re thinking.

Determining whether a relationship is toxic is or not pretty easy and straightforward.

As long as it’s not our relationship that’s under the scope.

“Being emotionally invested in a toxic relationship” should be an alternative definition of blindness.¬†Your gut knows something isn’t right, but it’s no match for the level to which the force of your head, heart, libido, and limerence will prosecute and turn a blind eye to that instinct of yours at every.single.turn.

I remember years ago, being in the most toxic relationsh*ts and friendsh*ts. I’d be so grateful just to get a little dirt from them on the doormat I had become. What was so incredible though, was that I could spot, identify, and analyze toxic relationships that friends and family were in from a mile away. My toxic relationship radar was unmatched – As long as I wasn’t IN the relationsh*t. If I was in it, that radar was replaced with an insatiable hunger for crumbs – Crumbs from the loaf that was always promised but never existed.

The most difficult and annoying thing about a toxic relationship is that as long as you suffer from low self esteem and need¬†validation like you do oxygen… These codependent relationsh*ts will always bring out the hopeless addict in you and the hopeful, exploitative addict in your partner.

Toxic relationships are highly addictive if you lack confidence, standards, and self love.

The dirty shoes become addicted to using the dutiful doormat and the doormat becomes addicted to the dirty shoes for a sense of feeling needed, significant, and alive.

Addiction is extremely hard to kick. I’ve been an addict – not to drugs or alcohol, but to dysfunction, unavailability, the self-limiting story I chose to subscribe to that was crafted from a painful childhood and everything else that my abandonment issues ignited. Having to go No Contact with your happiness source, no matter how unhealthy, dangerous, and sabotaging it is, is hard. Change is hard.

If you’re addicted to a certain dynamic, self-limiting belief, person, relationship or substance, it’s really HARD. It’s hard to wake up one morning, have an epiphany and not only say “That’s it! I’m done! It’s trash day and I’ve got a lot to take out,” but have the courage to actually follow through and ACT on that realization.

Flushing the sh*t in our emotional and relational toilets should be just as non-negotiable as flushing the crap in our literal ones. Yet, the struggle is a little too weird to acknowledge and a little too real to gain the courage needed to act on behalf of a self that we don’t believe is good enough.

Bottom line: The only reason I ever put up with a toxic relationship for more than a hot minute – from family, friends, and lovers, was because it mirrored the toxicity of the one I had with myself.

I figured if I could de-toxify my relationsh*t, then the one I had myself would be detoxed by association.

I did not write this post to insult your intelligence by defining the obvious symptoms of what a toxic relationship is. I wrote it to unplug the triggers that are dimming your instinct right now.

I wrote it to initiate the courage you were born with to finally flush the crap in your relational toilet, once and for all.

Here are 10 Signs of a Toxic Relationship…

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