Many of us have known someone for whom love seemed to come naturally. Although they faced challenges along the way, it appeared as if they effortlessly fell into relationships. In contrast, some of us struggle to find any kind of meaningful connection, going years without a companion.

Having struggled in this area of my own life at times, I have spent many years seeking to understand why love comes easily for some and not for others. The question that often arises in my mind is, ‘What, if anything, can we do as individuals to increase our chances of finding that special someone with whom we can co-create a meaningful and deeply fulfilling relationship?

Driven by my innate curiosity, I strive to understand the various influences in people’s lives—their personal circumstances and the societies in which they live—that may prevent them from finding love. What attributes make others more receptive to love? And what is it about certain couples that radiate a seemingly magical quality, giving the impression that they are, in some way, predestined to be together?

I have on many occasions heard people say, ‘If it's meant to be, it will happen.' At times, I encounter couples and feel that they are truly meant to be together. However, I don't believe this is an absolute rule. Not every couple is destined to be together, but this doesn't mean that those who have struggled to find love, or are still searching for someone special, aren't meant to find it.

The remainder of this chapter delves into the various influences that determine our chances of finding that special someone and sustaining a meaningful, loving connection.

Diverse Paths to Love and Companionship

I believe that some people are simply fortunate in having a natural receptivity to love and the capacity to love in return. They encounter someone with whom they resonate deeply, someone who possesses a similar capacity for love. In these instances, I can sense how each partner resonates with, supports, and nourishes the other. I often wish that everyone who desires a loving companion could be this fortunate.

However, not everyone who is fortunate enough to find such a companion remains lucky forever. In some cases, couples spend years together before tragedy strikes. I recently came across a poignant example in an article about a Palestinian journalist and his wife. They shared a deep connection, often finishing each other's sentences. Tragically, the journalist was killed in an Israeli air strike, as described by his wife. Another example is Paul and Linda McCartney. Known for their deep and lasting love, they reportedly spent only five days apart during their entire marriage, until Linda tragically died of cancer.

Experiencing profound love at any point in our lives is truly a gift. We can never be certain how long we'll have the opportunity to share this connection. Rather than taking it for granted, it's important for us to appreciate every moment we spend with this person, being grateful for each passing day.

I've heard a quote that says, ‘You are the only one that you will never lose or leave.' Ultimately, we all face the loss of those we love. A notable example is President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, who shared a deeply loving connection and were married for 77 years. Sadly, as I began writing this article, Rosalynn passed away, marking the end of a remarkable partnership that stood as a testament to enduring love.

I have heard numerous accounts of people who married their high school or college sweethearts, raised a family, and remain together after many years. Some of us will partner with an individual and stay together for a long time. However, not everyone follows this path in relationships. Many partner with multiple individuals along the way.

I've grown significantly, having gone through enormous change since my late teens and twenties. Looking back, I'm not sure I could have chosen a partner who would have grown alongside me. The women I've been with initially mirrored my emotional wounds, but over time, they reflected my healing and growth. These relationships have become increasingly nurturing.

Many of us grew up with various models of how relationships are supposed to work, influenced by family, friends, community, romance novels, movies, and sitcoms. We often hold on to this idealized belief that we'll find someone special, fall in love, and stay together 'til death do us part.' However, when reality doesn't align with these expectations, we may blame ourselves, feeling as if we've done something wrong. This can lead to a sense of shame and feelings of having failed, as if we are somehow responsible or simply inadequate.

Many of us have yearned for a companion and a deeply loving connection, yet have found ourselves spending considerable time, or even much of our lives, alone. Our hearts have ached for someone, but our love was not reciprocated, or things just didn't work out. It's challenging enough to endure the profound sense of aloneness. As we look around, seeing so many people in relationships, it invariably intensifies our feeling of isolation. This often leads us to believe that we are unlovable or defective, and that we are to blame, which only compounds our suffering.

When we deny our hurts and vulnerabilities, we create blind spots that leave us susceptible to harmful individuals and relational dynamics. Yes, the unmet needs for love and companionship can be deeply painful, and for some, the hurt can be especially devastating. Nevertheless, it's vital to practice self-compassion. Begin by acknowledging your authentic feelings – the loneliness, heartache, or anything else you're experiencing. Breathe gently and deeply, feeling these emotions fully whenever they arise. Sometimes, you might sit with closed eyes, immersed in these feelings. It's also important for you to continue to breathe softly and deeply as you go about your day, allowing these emotions to be present.

As you continue to breathe into these feelings over time, you may experience a presence or emanation flowing from within. It is from this internal source that you derive nurturance and strength. As you tap into this inner strength, you'll find yourself becoming less dependent on others, cultivating a growing sense of self-sufficiency and resilience.

Resonance and the Lack Thereof

Do you feel in sync with the people in your community or culture? Are you on a similar wavelength, or do you struggle to find individuals with whom you truly resonate?

Finding someone special can be a lot more challenging when you're living among people or within a culture where you feel out of sync. Conversely, the likelihood of finding companionship increases when you're among people with whom you resonate. Remember, it only takes one. Even if you don't feel a strong resonance with the local population, continue to seek out those individuals with whom you do resonate.

Physical Appearance

While physical attractiveness can offer certain advantages in the dating world, it's a factor with complex implications. Many people aspire to date those who are conventionally handsome or beautiful, which can lead to both wanted and unwanted attention. Those who are considered more physically attractive often receive more responses on dating apps.

However, relying solely on looks has its limitations. Physical beauty, as we all know, fades over time. This can be particularly poignant for women who, as they enter their thirties and forties, often express feeling ‘invisible.'

It's also important to acknowledge that many physically attractive individuals remain chronically single. Conversely, there are countless people who may not fit conventional standards of attractiveness but have found loving companions and formed long-term relationships. This suggests that, while physical appearance plays a role, it is not the sole determinant of relationship success.

Emotional Wounding

The emotional wounds that many of us carry have an enormous impact on our adult relationships. These wounds, often resulting from parental neglect, abuse, and other traumatic events, leave deep and lasting imprints on us. As we grow from adolescence into adults, we often find ourselves attracted to and drawing people who, in some ways, mirror our emotional wounding. This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as ‘repetition compulsion,' compels us to engage with people and in relationships that, in many ways, are a reenactment of past traumas.

Many of us, at some point in our lives, endure profound hurt in relationships, often struggling with the aftermath of narcissistic abuse or enduring a shattering breakup. Sadly, we don't completely heal from these deep emotional scars. The pain, grief, sadness, and other unprocessed emotions become trapped within us. This entrapment leads to a numbing or deadening effect, creating barriers, which, to varying extents, impair our ability to both give and receive love.

By learning to work constructively with the emotions that arise in response to these painful reenactments and incorporating the most effective therapeutic interventions, we heal the deeply wounded parts of ourselves. This process facilitates the transformation that enables us to attract healthier companions into our lives and co-create more meaningful and deeply fulfilling relationships.

Attachment Styles and Their Impact on Our Relationships

Attachment styles, formed early in life, significantly influence how we engage with others in relationships. Those with secure attachment styles often find it easier to establish and maintain long-term relationships. They typically feel comfortable with intimacy and are adept at forming stable, healthy connections.

Conversely, those of us with anxious attachment styles may find ourselves trapped in a distressing cycle. We often gravitate towards partners with an avoidant attachment style, who are emotionally unavailable and unable to fully give or receive love. This pattern, characterized by a constant pursuit of unfulfilling relationships, can persist for many years, leading to a series of painful reenactments.

It's essential for us to recognize that these attachment wounds are deeply entrenched and often stem from early life experiences. Healing them requires conscious effort on our part and, in many cases, therapeutic intervention. This process involves understanding our attachment style, recognizing the harmful patterns, and learning new ways of relating that facilitate healthier, more fulfilling relationships. Only by addressing these underlying issues can we free ourselves from these destructive cycles and move towards more secure and satisfying partnerships.

Culture and Social Interaction

In some cultures, particularly in many urban areas of the United States, there's a noticeable lack of support or encouragement for people to come together in meaningful ways. The way we live and interact—or rather, don't interact—significantly affects our ability to form relationships. People often don't engage with those around them and spend less time in communal settings with friends and family. This reduction in social opportunities reduces our chances of meeting and getting to know potential partners.

Urban Lifestyle and Isolation

The lifestyle in many American cities exacerbates this issue. Our reliance on cars for transportation means we are less likely to have casual encounters that walking through community spaces might provide. As a result, we can easily find ourselves isolated, almost as if we are islands unto ourselves, not being part of vibrant, interactive communities. This isolation makes it increasingly more challenging for us to meet and get to know suitable partners, severely limiting our opportunities to form meaningful connections.

In contrast, in other parts of the United States and in countries around the world, the social dynamics are markedly different. People are often more open, friendly, and engaging. For instance, in countries like India and Sri Lanka, there is a much stronger emphasis on forming partnerships. Relationships are taken more seriously, and people are more open and upfront about their intent to find a partner, often with the goal of marriage. Moreover, friendships in these cultures tend to be closer and more interconnected.

Overreliance on Dating Apps

Dating apps have helped so many people find love and now around 40 percent of couples are now meeting through these platforms. So many people who never would have connected otherwise have met through these apps. Yet, our overreliance on swiping and messaging, along with the convenience of these apps, while initially appealing, has also stunted our interpersonal growth. We're not developing crucial social skills, which in turn hinders our ability to engage meaningfully with those we encounter in our daily lives.

It’s essential for us to be actively engaging with the people in our immediate surroundings. This involves fully immersing ourselves in the present, being part of local events and initiating conversations with people we come across. By interacting with others in a variety of settings, we not only improve our interpersonal skills but also enhance our prospects of meeting someone special.

Keeping Yourself Open to Possibility

Some individuals find the prospect of meeting through dating apps unsettling, preferring more traditional encounters. Conversely, there are those who feel completely guarded against the idea of meeting someone organically in public settings.

When it comes to dating, however, the method of meeting is less significant than the fact that two people have met. What truly matters is the connection that develops from that meeting. Therefore, it's essential for us to remain open to all possibilities. Embracing a whole world of possibilities of meeting people, whether through digital platforms or in everyday life, broadens our opportunities to find someone with whom we can build a meaningful relationship. Keeping an open mind and heart to the varied ways of encountering potential partners can lead to unexpected and fulfilling connections.

Love Across Borders: Navigating Diverse Cultural Differences in How People Connect

Soon after moving to New York City, I started seeing a woman from Syria, but she broke it off because I wouldn't convert to Islam. After taking some months to grieve, I thought to myself, “I really do want to be in a serious relationship.” I then decided to approach or engage with at least two women a day until that happened. I would talk with women I encountered while commuting by subway, spending time in parks, in supermarkets, at classes, or wherever I found myself. This went on for a few years.

There were many instances where I got into animated conversations with women I met in these random locations. It was obvious that there was mutual enjoyment in the interaction.

I wasn't attached to any particular kind of relationship. Some I found myself attracted to, but I would have been content with a platonic friendship with any of these women.

We would exchange contact information, but in most instances, I never saw or heard from them again. Or maybe we would exchange a few text messages, and then it would drop off. The lack of response was incredibly disheartening, and I started to assume that I wasn't the kind of man that women are attracted to.

At one point, I went to Ohio to do an internship for a few months. Within a week, I met someone and fell into a relationship. A few years later, I had a strong intuitive sense that I needed to go to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan women that I encountered in various places and situations often made eye contact, smiled, and engaged me in conversation. Some invited me to their homes to meet their families. I made lots of friends through these connections. I've been in two serious relationships over the years with women that I met in Sri Lanka.

The difference in my experience between New York City and Sri Lanka was striking. In my attempts to connect with women in New York City, I often encountered barriers that made it extraordinarily difficult to form meaningful connections.

Conversely, Sri Lankans tend to have an openness and receptivity. They would often reach out to me afterward and respond if I messaged or called. They were open to meeting again. As we continued to message, call, and meet in person, the connections grew.

In order for connections to be made, we need to engage with one another. We then need to respond to one another.

I often tell people to keep themselves open to those around them: make eye contact, smile, engage in conversation. If the interaction feels good and you relate to this person, then continue the conversation. If you're still feeling good about the interaction, then exchange contact information. Message or call that person afterward, or if they reach out to you, then respond to their call or text. Meet again in some neutral public setting.

When we're open to meeting, talk with one another, exchange contact information, message or call, and meet again and continue to do so, we form meaningful connections with one another.

Continually Strive to Be Your Best Self

Many of us go through life waiting for someone else to come along and fill the void within us, hoping they will make us feel complete. However, this approach can often lead to unfulfilled expectations and a sense of dependency. Rather than setting ourselves up for disappointment, it's much more empowering for us to commit to walking our own path and being our best selves. This means being fully engaged, exploring what we feel passionate about, and understanding what matters most to us.

By focusing on our own personal growth and fulfillment, we naturally become more attractive to the kind of person who is ideal for us. This doesn't just mean physical attractiveness, but being attractive in terms of our unique personality, passions, and approach to life. It's about becoming the most authentic version of our self who aligns with the values and qualities we desire in a partner.

Many of us go through life waiting for someone else to come along and fill the void within us, hoping they will make us feel complete. However, this approach can often lead to unfulfilled expectations and a sense of dependency. Rather than setting ourselves up for disappointment, it's much more empowering for us to commit to walking our own path and being our best selves. This means being fully engaged, exploring what we feel passionate about, and understanding what matters most to us.

Instead of focusing on finding the love of your life, put your focus on living the life you love. When you embrace the person you're meant to be and engage in activities that you're meant to do, you're more likely to find yourself in the right places at the right times. This alignment increases the chances of attracting the kind of person who is genuinely best for you. It's about creating a life that not only fulfills you but also makes you a magnet for the kind of relationship that is enriching and meaningful.

Showing Up with Integrity

In today’s dating world, flakiness has become an all-too-common phenomenon. Not returning calls, blowing off dates, and even ghosting are behaviors that, sadly, many have come to expect. This lack of reliability, accountability and commitment can be incredibly damaging to the emotional well-being of those on the receiving end. It breeds cynicism and leaves a lingering hurt in the hearts of those who have been treated carelessly. Engaging in such behavior towards others undermines the basis of mutual respect and trust necessary in any meaningful relationship. And if that's the way you go around treating others, you do not in any way deserve the love of another person.

However, it’s crucial to remember that when we're being a flake, we’re not just impacting others; we're compromising our own integrity. Deep down, there’s an awareness that we're causing harm to those we flake on. It’s important to pause and consider how we would feel if the roles were reversed. Stop and ask yourself, “How would I feel if someone treated me in the same way?”

Therefore, it is essential to strive to live from a place of integrity in our interactions. This means being consistent and reliable in our actions and words. Make a commitment to follow through on your words with actions. It’s about recognizing that everyone has feelings that can be hurt and showing consideration and compassion in all our interactions, regardless of whether the person is someone we see as a potential partner. Living with integrity sets a foundation for healthier and more meaningful relationships.

Willingness to Be Vulnerable

Many of us carry the scars of past hurts, and the prospect of opening ourselves up to someone new carries the inherent risk of getting hurt again. Love, by its nature, requires us to take risks and be vulnerable. And there will be times when we feel hurt, but as we heal and grow stronger, the pain diminishes in intensity.

By embracing our losses, learning to work constructively with our emotions and making use of the most effective therapeutic interventions, we can not only heal the deep emotional wounds, but transform the suffering of loss in a way that increases our capacity to love and be loved.

It's important to exercise caution and move forward carefully, yet it’s equally important to remain open to the possibilities that new relationships bring. Embracing vulnerability, while being mindful of our past experiences, allows us to be receptive to the next person we encounter along the path with a stronger, more resilient heart.

Approaching and Being Approached

Traditionally, men have been expected to initiate romantic interactions. However, many now find themselves hesitant to approach women, partly due to changing social norms and the fear of overstepping boundaries. As a result, men are increasingly turning to dating apps to minimize the risk of painful rejection.

On the other hand, women, often preferring not to initiate, sometimes express frustration when men do not approach them. This situation creates a cycle of uncertainty for both men and women on how to proceed. For a more balanced and equal dynamic, it is important for women to feel empowered to take a more active role and be open to engaging.

For men and women to step into each other's shoes and trade roles could be tremendously beneficial. If women were to approach more often, they might develop greater empathy and appreciation for the effort and vulnerability involved when men take the initiative. Adopting this proactive approach is also far more empowering than simply waiting for men to make the first move. Conversely, if men experienced being approached by women, they could gain a better understanding of what it feels like, and in turn, approach others with greater respect and sensitivity.

In some cultures, such as among Native Americans, in Brazil, and other parts of the world, people are more relaxed about expressing their interest in one another, and women take a more active role in initiating. By relaxing and communicating openly, and recognizing that curiosity, the desire for connection, and the wish to partner up are normal and natural, we can create a more understanding and comfortable environment for romantic interactions to unfold.

Opposite Gender Friendships

There's a way in which we tend to live in our bubbles, spending too much time with people who look, think, feel, and talk like us. This often happens when men hang out exclusively with their guy friends, and women stick to their circle of girlfriends. As a result, many men lack the feminine influence, and women, the masculine element, that opposite-gender friends can provide, leading to a gross imbalance. In so many ways, the absence of opposite-gender friendships reinforces the gender gap between men and women.

I have enormous love and fondness for my women friends and have found that forming opposite-gender friendships builds bridges, facilitating a greater understanding between men and women. Through our shared networks of friends, we're also more likely to find a compatible partner. Moreover, there's the possibility that what starts as a friendship may evolve into a more intimate relationship.

Issues of jealousy can arise in some instances. But I find that opposite-gender friendships alleviate some of the strain on intimate relationships, as you're not solely dependent on your romantic partner for all your intellectual, emotional and interpersonal needs.

The Journey from Disconnection to Intimacy

As I listen to dating and relationship podcasts, I often sense a lack of depth in understanding of the complexities of human connections. Our society tends to operate at a superficial level, addressing symptoms rather than exploring root causes.

Distracting or numbing ourselves to our authentic emotional responses, leads to a profound disconnect between our intellect, our body, and our emotions. Living in such a disembodied state, we are unable to access the deep emotional wounds and the underlying source of the issues many of us struggle with. This disconnection from ourselves makes it nearly impossible to form deep and meaningful attachments with others.

A significant challenge in finding a loving companion is that many of us carry deep emotional wounds, creating enormous barriers to intimacy. This results in a profound numbing and a lack of awareness, leading to a disconnect from our authentic selves.

The foundation of healthy and loving relationships begins with us. Healing brings about a more intimate connection with our inner selves. As we grow in self-awareness and sensitivity, our capacity for self-love and acceptance increases. Our intuition becomes sharper, and we feel a stronger connection to our authentic core. This personal growth allows us to experience deeper levels of intimacy, not just with potential partners, but also with family and friends. Ultimately, the journey toward healing ourselves enhances our ability to form meaningful and intimate relationships.

The Next Step Along Your Healing Journey

I spent years training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors (medicine men) among the Kiowa Tribe. Horace passed on portions of his own healing gifts and then guided me through the vision quest, a traditional Native American healing practice that involves fasting alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water. Since that time, I have gone through many vision quests. During the vision quest I have on many occasions felt an extraordinarily powerful presence, healing and transforming the traumas held within my body. I also received additional gifts that have enabled me to facilitate healing within the bodies and minds of others.

In the individual healing sessions that I facilitate, I place great emphasis on teaching each person the meditation practices that will enable them to work constructively with their own emotional responses. Working with these practices awakens the innate healing intelligence residing within one's own body and mind.

During these sessions, I also act as a conduit, allowing an extraordinarily powerful presence to work through me, facilitating the healing of deep emotional wounds resulting from previous relationships and other traumas. Many people I have worked with have healed and let go of their unhealthy attachments to individuals and relationships that are not serving them. Consequently, many have attracted companions into their lives with whom they have been able to co-create more meaningful and deeply fulfilling relationships.

Feeling heartbroken? Overwhelmed with sadness and grief? If you're ready to heal, let go, move on, and attract love into your life, schedule your free twenty-minute heart mending strategy session now. This initial session is not the actual healing process, but a valuable opportunity for you to share your individual concerns and challenges. Together, we'll devise a path forward, exploring workable solutions for you to implement on your healing journey. Click here to schedule your free challenge resolution – heart healing session.

©Copyright 2023 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved.

When you’re ready, I have 3 ways I can help you to heal your heartache and attract more love into your life and cocreate more meaningful and deeply fulfilling relationships.
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