Q: I don’t remember what being in love feels like. I have been single for years and try to date people online, but there is no spark. I feel like my heart has turned into a stone and that maybe I am incapable of love. The last time I felt something was when I was 19, but not even sure that was love. Should I just give up?
Ans: Spark and love are two separate experiences. People often connect the two and when the spark dies they say love does too. What you experienced when you were 19 felt intense because it was your first romantic experience. You also had raging hormones that amplified your physical sensations and emotions.
You are right, you will not experience that again, but you will experience something a little more subtle, once you open up to feeling. Dating people is not enough. You need to be vulnerable with them and also leave room for disappointment, if you want to start feeling once more. Are you able to feel joy, happiness at all? Do you manage to feel sadness and anger? Often when we spend a lot of time suppressing or distracting ourselves from negative feelings, we tend to lose the good ones in the process too.
It’s time to reclaim them! Start with a daily diary of your emotions and notice what you feel throughout the day. Write down all the emotions that pop up and notice what sensations run in your body when you feel them. Interestingly the negative ones are the easiest one to identify. We feel heat when angry and a lump in the throat or a knot in the stomach when we are sad. Note all of them down and just observe them while you experience them.
Emotions last only 90 seconds. Count. When you go on dates, talk about the exercise and what you have noticed. This will make you very vulnerable and your dates much more attuned to you. You will increase the chances of falling in love by heaps by using this strategy. Even feeling and accepting rejection and fear will help you fall in love.
The writer is an Intimacy and Relationship Coach, Founder of The Intimacy Curator, an organisation promoting self-discovery through emotional and sexual well-being (www.theintimacycurator.com). (Have a query? Send it on email@example.com)