Steps to Falling in Love
- Admit you can't fall in love. Love is the solution to the problem of loneliness, but very few people admit that they are lonely, Rabbi Shmuley says. Admit that the reason you want to fall in love is that you don't want to be alone. If you value love as a necessity rather than a luxury, then you will have realistic expectations.
- Get help. Talk to a friend, family member, counselor or spiritual leader and confide in them that you have lost the ability to love freely, openly and fully. Telling someone else you have a problem makes the problem real and helps lift some of the burden off of yourself.
- Heal the love wounds. Make amends with the former and present lovers you may have hurt in the past. Going back and accepting that you may have hurt people allows you to accept responsibility for your past and helps you to regain the humility you need to fall in love in the future.
- Take your love pulse. How loving are you? If you are dating and wondering why you can't fall in love but you don't treat other people in your life kindly, that is part of the problem. You cannot love specifically if you don't also love generally, Rabbi Shmuley says.
- Call a moratorium on dating. Before you jump back into the fray, take a short break, Rabbi Shmuley says. Stop dating entirely for a month or two and separate yourself from intimate emotional and physical contact with the opposite sex until you hunger for passion and intimacy again. Once you begin to date again, stick to a two-date rule so you make sure to give everyone a fair chance.
- Increase your possibilities. Start dating people you wouldn't otherwise want to date. Stop looking for the "best" and open yourself up to the "good enough."
- Commit first, fall in love later. Sometimes after three or four dates you need to commit and say you will be exclusive to this person, Rabbi Shmuley says. Then love starts to come. Commitment often brings out your best qualities.
- Avoid meaningless sex. Casual sex numbs the heart and dulls the body, he says. Don't think that you are going to feel closer by having sex. Because sex involves and absorbs our strongest impulses, it actually can leave us in a state of confusion that can create more problems than it solves.
- Let go of people who are wasting your time. Stop dating those who are an utter waste of time, such as people who have a fear of commitment, he says.
- Recapture your mental virginity. Wipe your mind clean of the ghosts of past lovers, he says. Don't compare your current date with previous dates. Each person is unique and should be appreciated for his or her own special qualities.
- Go deeper. Replace superficial activities that will add to your depth, then share that depth with the person you are dating, Rabbi Shmuley says. Start having deeper conversations on dates, which will make you more interested and more interesting.
- Become a love missionary. The more you spread love, the more you will find love, Rabbi Shmuley says. Think about your friends who are lonely. The more you try to help others find love in their lives, the more you will increase the love in the world, and the more it will come into your own life.
"To love specifically, you need to love generally. To love one person, you need to really love all people. This is the holistic approach to love—you can't fall in love if you are not practicing overall love."