As William Shakespeare once penned, "The course of true love never did run smooth." Since the dawn of humankind, men and women have explored the exhilarating highs and devastating lows of falling in love, staying committed, and the agonizing ordeal of unrequited love. One of the greatest obstacles most of us face is attracting love in the first place especially after having a broken heart, of opening ourselves up in a way that appeals to and allows us to connect with potential soul mates.
Ask any relationship expert and they will tell you that the #1 key to being successful in dating and love is confidence. Confidence isn't just the way you carry and present yourself to others, it's the way you value yourself as an individual. Confidence and self-respect go hand-in-hand, and in order to exude the kind of healthy energy that attracts the right partners it's crucial that you take care of all the aspects of your life that contribute to your inner and outer allure.
So where does this mystical confidence begin? How can some people just seem to glide through life enjoying the kind of fairy tale romances most of us only dream of? For starters, it's all about how they think of themselves.
1. Start from within.
No one is perfect, not even seemingly perfect people. We all have our flaws and weaknesses, both inherited and acquired through tough life lessons. And it can take a lifetime to sift through personal baggage and work towards positive change. But guess what? That's what truly confident people do!
People who are successful in their relationships--both professional and personal--are not afraid to confront their faults, forgive themselves, and strive to be the best possible versions of themselves. By acknowledging where there's room for improvement, and committing yourself to meeting the necessary goals, you're immediately making the affirmation that you are worth the effort, allowing others to think the same.
2. Assess your life.
Confidence largely comes from feeling good about your life, and the choices you're making. Whether it's the pursuit of a talent or career you're passionate about or maintaining a healthy diet and fitness regimen, confidence means actively embracing your life and, more importantly, curating it to fit your own needs and interests.
We've all encountered those men and women who seem to lose themselves in relationships, taking on whatever qualities their partner desires and often forgetting their own personal attributes that make them special. Attracting the right people means making a life for yourself that you can be proud to inhabit, regardless of whether you're single or in a relationship. The right partners are the ones who will cherish your independence and individuality, and will continue to want to be a part of the life you've made for yourself.
3. Get a handle on your insecurities.
There are few things in love as unattractive as insecurity, often exercised as habitual mistrust and jealousy. Insecurity not only destroys your partner's respect, but diminishes your own self-worth. Being confident doesn't mean you don't have moments of self-doubt or pangs of jealousy, it means you're able to evaluate where those emotions stem from, and have an honest dialogue with yourself about how to work through them.
It's only human to compare yourself to others from time to time but remember that there's only one 'you.' No one can take your place. As you build up your confidence by embracing all the unique nuances--physical and personal--that you make you attractive, you will find yourself worrying less and less about competing with others. And best of all, you won't have to!
4. Draw your boundaries--and stick to them.
Confidence comes from sticking to your personal "do's" and "don'ts" of what you'll tolerate in regards to how you're treated by others. When you make it known how you expect to be treated in a romantic relationship and stand firm in that stance, your partner has no choice but to respect that or leave.
Writer and therapist Savannah Grey pens, "I have learned that my self-esteem is like the gold in Fort Knox. It is extremely valuable and mine to protect. No one, regardless of their issues, has any right to try to sneak out a few bars, so that their own pile gets a little larger at the expense of mine."
5. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable.
There's a difference between weakness and vulnerability, though people often confuse the two. And believe it or not, confident people are not afraid to be vulnerable with those they care about. Healthy relationships depend on mutual honesty and openness, and one of the greatest comforts of being in a romantic partnership is knowing you can trust the other person with your rawest emotions.
Don't be afraid to stand in your truth and state what you're feeling, when you feel it. Whether it's pain or joy or all the many emotions in between, by expressing yourself with sincerity and a sound mind you are not only reinforcing the person you are, but earning the respect and admiration of the one you love.
To this end, Ben Altman, founder of Charisma On Command, writes: "When you’re truly confident in yourself, you can open yourself up emotionally. You’re willing to be honest all the time without worrying about judgment or rejection, because you’re comfortable enough in yourself, flaws and all."
6. Remember that confidence is only half the battle.
You may be thinking "Well, why did I just read this article then?" but bear with it for a minute. Bestselling author and dating coach Matthew Hussey writes, "Confidence tells us I can do this” whereas competence says, “I know how to do this.” Hussey continues, "In dating, this means knowing how to strike up a conversation (or flirt) with strangers, talk about ourselves in an interesting way on a date, or let a new love interest know that something they did bothered us (without seeming high-maintenance). These things aren’t about having self-belief or self-confidence; they are about knowing how."
The point is, all the feigned confidence in the world won't attract, let alone sustain, a romantic dating relationship if you don't put in the daily self-work that keeps the confidence coming from a place of genuine honesty and yes, absolute competency.
Always remember that you are worth the best kind of love, the kind that enriches your soul and makes your life all the more wonderful because of it. Energy attracts energy, and by nurturing your own self-love you will most certainly attract it from the outside as well.