Updated: February 11th 2021
This may shock you (coming from me), but in this article I will help you find your dream lover, just waiting to have the perfect life long affair, beginning today in real life!
But first, I want to ask a question and share a little story …
Have you ever thought you knew something, only to have a life event make you realise you didn’t?
The first happened to me when I was hit by a car.
Before this, I thought I knew that cars could hurt people. It wasn’t until one hit me, however, that it came to me that I hadn’t understood this at all.
Before this, cars were just sound and vision to me; a bit like watching a movie or watching TV. After my minor accident, I began to start ‘feeling’ the cars around me in the street. A new sensation had dawned in me, causing my whole body, not just my mind, to become aware I had to watch out.
I recently had a similar experience with the story of Narcissus falling in love with his own reflection. A moment where I experienced a personal redemption from my own narcissism.
There were a few events that led up to this breakthrough I want to share with you today. How in the space of only one week my own experience of myself and my life completely changed.
Narcissism nowadays tends to describe a self-centred person, which in reality has nothing to do with loving oneself.
As the Greek myth explains, Narcissus was not in love with his true self, but a reflection of himself. Far from being ‘self-centred’, Narcissus was totally unbalanced, gazing at what he thought was his ‘perfect lover’ (in reality his own reflection) in a pond. Not centred in himself, Narcissus is pictured gazing hopelessly at his shallow reflection in the outside world.
Longing for this perfect lover doesn’t only apply to people with narcissistic tendencies. Just like Echo in this same myth, people with codependent tendencies also long for their ‘perfect lover’, just as tragically, but in different ways.
Someone with narcissistic tendencies searches for completion in the praise and admiration they can win from others for their own achievements: personal worth and glory they see reflected in the eyes of their admirers. The codependent, on the other hand, seeks their true ‘soul mate’ (who will know all of the codependent’s secret hopes, dreams and fears) but will often feel that this love lies locked behind the defensive walls of an aloof (and perhaps narcissistic) partner. Rather than looking for admiration, the codependent instead searches for the key to the ‘dark well’ their true love (who continues to reject them) has locked his or her heart inside—at last freeing all the love and sympathy they are sure they will find inside.
Many of us have a little narcissism and codependence within us. We vacillate between looking for our perfection in an admirer’s eyes or someone who will sympathise with us.
Both of these ideas of finding true love are as equally flawed and dangerous as each other. As repeated attempts at finding ‘true love’ in these ways fail, the wonderful life we dreamed of for ourselves begins to slide. At this stage, both the narcissist and codependent will begin resorting to fantasy.
This is the pain of the human condition – We cannot forget the love we crave, but the ways we search for it hurt ourselves along with the people around us, causing chaos, destruction and emotional pain.
If the ways I have just described don’t work, how will we ever find our dream lover?
The truth is there is only one person who will truly love and care for you in the way that you secretly crave. I am not talking about a divine or religious identity. Your perfect lover is a real life, living and breathing human being I want to introduce you to right now . . .
I hope this isn’t too disappointing, but the rock-solid truth is that only you can be your own perfect lover.
Perhaps you are thinking now, “Oh yeah, loving myself and all that New Age rubbish, I have heard all that before.” or “Hey I have worked for years at loving myself, but it’s not the same as what my heart really craves.” Or perhaps you may even think this idea sacrilegious?
If so, keep your mind open for just a moment (minds work better that way!) and give this idea half a chance.
Because what I have described so far was only part of what hit me last year, and these ideas I am sharing are experiential, which—like getting hit by a car—means to genuinely understand you must experience.
If you truly want to experience self-love and all that goes with it, you cannot just parrot self-affirmations; instead, you will need to do some things that may even scare you at first.
Before I get to that, I want you to imagine—right now—exactly how your dream lover might care for you. Even if you are married or in a relationship, give yourself permission to do this and be as detailed as possible. Remember the dreams you once had about your ideal love, the actors and perhaps songs that once evoked a picture of this person in your mind.
Maybe you imagined someone who would take care of you by cooking and making a lovely home for you? Or someone who would support you emotionally and financially while you went back to school and changed your occupation? Or maybe you imagined a person who would give you the life you always wanted? A person sympathetic to your emotional pain, who understands you only made the mistakes you have because you were hurting, afraid, or misunderstood?
Or maybe you imagined someone who would carry you off to live in the neighbourhood or country where you always felt that you belong?
Whatever your fantasy, once you are ready, please stop and write down some notes about the following points and give yourself the gift of a lifetime;
1. The character traits this person displays (such as beauty, strength, or honesty).
2. The ways they would care for you and protect you if they walked into your life as your perfect lover right now.
Make sure that you make notes about this before you continue.
This should become a checklist of the most important things you will ever give yourself in life.
Most of us have been brought up to believe that loving ourselves will make us egotistical or conceited, and this has caused us to deny ourselves the most important gift we have to give . . . the chance to be our own perfect lover.
I learned this the hard way over one Christmas and New Year. With a house full of kids (and their friends) on summer holidays here in Australia, I lost my direction and inner courage to continue giving myself the things I really needed in life. The first and most important being a quiet place for me to work to support my family.
I work from home, and at this time, my daughter and I shared her large bedroom (as my office), which worked fine when she was at school. It is a big beautiful room, and she also had a desk and an art table in it for her use. With the kids home from school, however, it just wasn’t working.
So I went into hiding moving my computer into a corner of our much smaller bedroom. Without seeing the ‘loveless’ choices I was making for myself, my anxiety and fear began to grow.
My story is very relevant to what I hope to share with you today because this journey I am recommending is not comfortable. Courage is the number one thing you will need to be your own perfect lover.
When I look back at the problems I faced the 3 previous summers; needing a quiet space to work during the summer holidays should have been apparent sooner. Unfortunately, this took all my ‘bad old patterns’ coming back, such as putting demands on my family/trying to please them to get them to feel for me/challenging their feelings for me/blame and anger/and even now and then me seeking attention and recognition elsewhere.
I am ashamed to say it finally took me having a severe anxiety meltdown, before the fact that I had to sort things out for myself became clear.
Once I thought this through and decided I better start treating myself better, no one in my family really helped me (Steve had been overwhelmed with his own workload), but no one argued or got in my way.
What had happened was no one else’s fault. The real reason I hadn’t seen the problem sooner was that it involved me doing some things that were new.
This was why it had previously been so hard for me to see what was needed. To face my fear and believe in myself enough to start looking after myself better.
First I told my in-laws, that as soon as we arrived to visit them for 3 weeks on our yearly summer vacation—before I could do anything else—I needed to find a room to rent (with internet) for me to work in without being interrupted for the duration of our visit.
While they scratched their heads asking how much that might cost and saying they didn’t know how I would find something like that, I was already out looking at the notice board in the local launderette and calling a number I had found there.
I was scared inside about this new thing I was claiming the right to organise for myself, but after my anxiety meltdown, the idea of my own office had, in my mind’s eye, become a life rope back to sanity.
Because I had never done anything like this when visiting my in-laws, no one really understood or believed it would actually happen. However, being my own perfect lover meant I didn’t need their support, permission or help. Even though I felt nervous and scared that someone might try and talk me out of it or judge me for giving myself so much time and attention, I went ahead and just did it.
In less than 48 hours after arriving in Melbourne, and with a little help from Steve, I found myself sitting in a beautiful upstairs room—with trees outside—smelling the flowers I had bought for myself.
The room I found to sublet comprised the whole upstairs of a beautiful two-story house and had total peace, with the fastest internet connection I have ever encountered.
And that room didn’t just feel like heaven – in a way, I believe it actually was.
Does God want us to take care of ourselves?
This is not selfish, because back home while I forgot to love myself, guess what started to happen?
I started believing the love and support I needed was outside of myself and became dissatisfied with how my family was treating me. I became anxious and hard to live with. Once I saw the light, however (after my fall) and became my own perfect lover, I could see that what I had organized for myself was not only good for me but 100% better for my family.
Because loving yourself does not make you egotistical and self-centred, but less demanding and much easier to be around.
Please go back now and look at that list you made. The truth is that no one will give you any of those things if you don’t start giving them to yourself.
Are there ways you want to live your life differently? Maybe it is time you start taking responsibility for organising those changes, without demanding too much from anyone else!
Do you long for a lover who is honest, hardworking and sincere? This message is that you need to trust yourself and start working on those traits in your own character.
Will that be easy? No.
Will you get to where you want to be overnight? No.
Will you always get the life you dreamed of or what you want? No.
Instead, you will have to make the most loving choices for yourself from what is currently available. That may sometimes mean needing to choose to be by yourself or spend some quiet time contemplating nature, or even going hungry if the food available is not a loving choice for yourself.
Will other people help you? Not if you make your needs optional or ask permission for what you need. We all need support from others, but you need to keep your requests simple and direct and be ready to accept a “no” if the person you ask can’t help you.
Will it be worth the fear and discomfort you will feel when leaving your comfort zone? Undoubtedly!
Being your own perfect lover means working to give yourself what you need, regardless of what anyone else thinks. It means finding the courage to claim the freedom to live your life the way that you need to while demanding as little as possible (particularly emotionally) from anyone else.
Because self-worth is experiencing and giving yourself love, not just talking or thinking about it.
My story doesn’t finish here, because once finding my dream lover, I discovered . . .
Because if I am to be my own dream lover, what could be more valuable to me than myself?
For the first time in my life, I experienced that what was inside of my chest was worth more than all of the gold or riches in the world, and at this same moment I suddenly saw and experienced two things; The first was a realisation that what Narcissus longed for was not his reflection in the cold water, but rather to feel his self worth inside his own warm and living chest.
It was like I was Narcissus- I felt the cold hard reflection disappear and my real self come alive, and my heart expand with joy discovering the warmth, love and reality of cherishing and valuing myself.
Narcissus’ shame was not to love himself but to foolishly look for that love anywhere but inside of himself.
The next thing I felt was all of the anxious memories that had too often defined my life, begin falling away like old petals.
This was no daydream or wishful thinking, and I will tell you exactly why . . .
Because true love is a verb.
Giving yourself the things that your heart truly longs for (like the quiet office I had given myself) is not wishful . . . instead, it is about doing!
At first, you will say; “But I can’t afford the life that I want,” or, “My partner won’t let me do that,” or if you are more honest perhaps, “But I feel nervous because this is all new and I am afraid.”
It takes courage and strength to love yourself. Giving yourself a new and kinder life than what you had in the past may be more challenging at first than you realize . . . but if you don’t have the courage to learn to love and respect yourself, who else will?
Loving yourself is also challenging because it means giving up all your old bad habits. The junk food, drugs and stimulants you rely on to feel better about denying yourself the life you truly want to be living.
Or stepping out of your addiction to fantasy; soap operas, pornography, romance novels, music, movies, magazines, computer games or TV. Or maybe your reliance on blame? Or always feeling you need things from others (that you won’t even give yourself) because you don’t have the courage to step out of your comfort zone—take some risks—and start taking the steps necessary to create the life that would express who you really are.
You can cringe and beat yourself up about your bad habits if you want, but I am telling you now that you will never get rid of them until you replace them with something new and filled with more self-love.
For instance, if you are a drinker and try and give that up without first finding some new pastimes—which you enjoy—and start giving yourself more love, what do you think will happen?
From experience, I can tell you it will only be a matter of time before you are back drinking. Even though it creates stress and anxiety for yourself it is what has come to feel natural to relieve your stress and anxiety!
I want to be straight with you right now and let you know the things I recommend in my ebooks will not bring this kind of heaven into your life. My ebooks offer new ideas of how to live a life of self-respect, replacing some of the old habits and responses that are no longer working for you (or perhaps never did) with better ones.
What will bring heaven into your life is finding the courage to form new habits of loving and supporting yourself as you want to be loved—and becoming your own dream lover!
If you are truly working at change, these new ideas will feel strange and scary at first, and some may indeed be challenging, but most of the time it will only be because these ideas and suggestions will be new.
For instance, if you have never made an online purchase, purchased an ebook, or read a self-help book . . . even deciding to get started on this may be something that feels foreign and a bit scary, and that fear is completely normal.
But if you are to grow as a person, and move towards a better life full of love, avoiding the anxiety trying new things causes. Saying “Don’t worry just be happy” is never going to cut it.
I have written 7 ebooks now, back from the Looking Glass (now in its 11th edition)—the first—shares how I turned around a marriage filled with humiliation and emotional abuse. While I was working through the steps I offer, however, a lot of the time I was so scared that I felt like throwing up!
And that’s the catch. If your new ideas are not putting you far enough out of your comfort zone to feel some anxiety, you are probably not genuinely growing. What you are doing to improve your situation is probably not going to work.
Just like they say with physical exercise—no pain, no gain!
Whoever would have guessed that truly loving yourself would require so much strength and determination!
Here’s to you experiencing your own self-worth, and learning what it means to be your own perfect lover.
PS. If you want something unique and meaningful to give yourself, please check out The Little Book of Empathy Love and Friendship. Presented in the easy to read magazine style; it outlines the basics of being lovingly accepted in your home and community.
It’s a great choice as a gift for you, your partner, or for a teenage child needing emotional support.
Another good choice as a gift idea for yourself or a teenager is our audio Lovable me.