Hey. I get it. We are continually saturated by this idea that everyone has a "soul mate." Or the idea that every single one of us is living a grand narrative that will eventually manifest the ever-longed for "love of one's life." From music, movies, books, even the comments from family and friends, there's this ever-present idea that if your love "story" isn't working out the way you thought it would, then somehow your life is incomplete or that you are missing the most important piece of a good life.

Obviously, having someone you adore with whom to share your life is an amazing gift. Humans are social creatures and we all long for that sense of warmth and tenderness that *can* be a part of a romantic relationship. However, I want you to know that right now--wherever you are--you can still be living that love story.

A downside about the idea that someone somewhere is your perfect fit and you are incomplete with them, is that you start to feel that you're not really living fully until you meet them. Then, when you do meet someone, there's this subconscious pressure to somehow hope that they fit, or even that you can make them fit, this perfect pattern so that you can have a love story of your own and get on about the business of life. But as you and I both know, that inevitably doesn't work.

Eventually, even the loveliest people will fail you. You, even at YOUR loveliest, will fail them. It's just one of the fun things about being human. We're imperfect. Very often, after a few years of a relationship, some can begin to feel disillusioned because their perfect "love story" isn't perfect anymore. They may give up too quickly. Or, it may in fact be a toxic relationship that does, maybe, need to come to an end. Either way, if we don't address the root causes, we will play out the same patterns and paradigms that we've been living for all of these years. My suggestion? Get you right first. Create a love story of your own.

Am I suggesting you have a relationship with yourself? Actually, yes. This idea that we are half-people until we meet the "one" or whatever has been incorrect, in my experience. Focus on become a whole-person. Not a half. You, yourself, are already whole, my dear...or at least...you can be. In fact, I believe that in order to best operate in a relationship this is a very necessary first step. I've lived it. Maybe you have, as well.

So, creating your own love story...what does that mean? It means developing a healthy relationship with yourself. Doing the deep work of what it takes for you to take care of yourself and address the deep issues with which you're struggling with and perhaps always have. Love yourself. That doesn't mean indulge yourself, although there's a time for that. But that means something completely different. I mean, LOVE yourself. Like you would, well...someone you loved.

Create a world that you love. Nourish your friendships. Learn something new. Finish the degree or engage in an activity you love but always find a reason not to do. There's much romance in the world for you to experience. Being in Paris is itself, romantic. Lovingly preparing a meal for yourself can be a type of romance with life. Caring for yourself in the way you get ready for the day or engage with the people in your life is its own kind of love.

I hope whether you are currently in a relationship or hope to be in one soon that you find the love you seek. I promise you this, though. When you take the time to create your own love story, by loving yourself and your own life as it is now, when a partner does come along, you'll be much better prepared to love them fully. Two whole people can love each much better than those waiting for someone to complete them.

Life and love are already fraught with challenges. If you're already in a relationship, the advice is the same. You may have to re-establish some new routines and boundaries, but it's worth the time. Let's do our best to heal and be the best we can for another person--even before we meet them.

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