By David Steel

Believe it or not, finding the love of your life is completely possible. But if you don’t believe this, stop reading here, because the most important principle for success in anything is “What you believe you can achieve.”

Here are the five steps you can take to finally find lasting love:

Step One: Allow yourself to be single

Sounds paradoxical, but if you want to find “The One” you must not be involved with people that aren’t a good fit for you. Staying available (and single) can be hard, but necessary for finding the love of your life. Let your motto be “‘I’d rather be single than settle!”

Step Two: Get ready

Wanting a relationship is not the same as being ready for one. Handle any unfinished business that might sabotage your future relationship- legal, financial, emotional baggage, kid issues, problems with your former partners, school or job demands, etc. It would be a tragedy to finally find your soul mate, only to have the relationship bomb because you weren’t ready.

Step Three: Identify your deal-breakers

You have non-negotiable relationship deal-breakers or “requirements.” What are they? Vow not to get involved with anyone that doesn’t meet all of them. This is serious, bottom-line stuff, not your “wish list.” After more than 20 years of researching, practicing, teaching, writing, coaching, and training Conscious Dating and Radical Dating, in my experience most singles have somewhere between 8 and 12.

Step Four: Follow these Four Steps of Conscious Dating

Step 1: Scouting; find compatible people to meet on the internet, through friends, etc.

Step 2: Sorting; assess chemistry and quickly determine if someone you meet has potential.

Step 3: Screening; collect enough data to identify any possible relationship deal-breakers.

Step 4: Testing; date a few times and compare the reality with the data.

Implement these four steps as long as it takes to find the love of your life (don’t worry, it will happen faster than you think).

Step Five: Practice Radical Dating

While “Conscious Dating” is dating with clarity of awareness and intention and will result in finding a great relationship, “Radical Dating” is for those brave souls who want more than “great,” they want to live their life to the fullest and have an extraordinary relationship beyond their wildest dreams; what I call a “Radical Marriage.” Radical Dating requires a fierce commitment to getting 100% of what you want for your life and not settling even a little bit. This “radical” attitude scares many singles because they believe that 100% isn’t realistic or possible, so they settle, which is self-fulfilling. But you never really let go of what you wanted when you settle, so don’t set yourself up for another mediocre, failed relationship. Seek and you will find what you seek; and if you don’t, you won’t, it’s that simple. This means saying “No” when you meet great potential partners who you find attractive but are not the whole package for you, which can be really, really hard (believe me, I know). Remember, “‘I’d rather be single than settle!”

Bonus Step: Get support

Don’t do this alone. Dating can be scary and isolating. Get a coach and lean on your friends and family for support to stay on track.

This is the most important relationship and journey of your life. Finding the love of your life requires developing yourself and your life so that you’re ready to find and experience lasting love and truly live “happily ever after.” 

Be proactive and go after what you want instead of waiting for it to come to you or hoping it will just “happen.” Now, go for it!

David Steele, MA. LMFT is the founder of Relationship Coaching Institute and author of the ground-breaking book for singles Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life That You Love and co-author with his wife Darlene of Radical Marriage: Your Relationship as Your Greatest Adventure.

Meetopolis has partnered with Relationship Coaching Institute (RCI) to provide high-quality, credible relationship and dating information and support to Meetopolis members. RCI pioneered relationship coaching for singles and is the first and largest relationship coach training organization. RCI founder David Steele is the author of Conscious Dating and Radical Marriage, and we are thrilled to share his ground-breaking strategies for finding lasting love and featuring RCI-trained relationship and dating coaches available to support Meetopolis members.