The other day I fell in love.
With 25 people.
I’d sent a brief pre-session questionnaire to the 25 senior managers enrolled in my 5-day seminar. Their responses were so honest, open and vulnerable that I fell in love with each of them.
Then I met them.
I fell in love again. With all of them. They were appreciative, cooperative, and supportive of me and each other. The five days flew by. We had an acknowledgment circle at the end. Tears flowed as they shared their appreciation, respect and affection toward each other. Even some of the men choked up.
It made me think of how our openness to falling in love — even non-romantic love — affects our dating, and ultimately our life.
The capacity for falling in love stems from a willingness to open your heart, to let others in. But after having fallen for someone romantically and had your heart broken, many people close their heart. They don’t want to be hurt. So they live their life in fear and never experience the connection from opening your heart to another.
I understand this philosophy because I used to share it. I was cold and aloof, rarely letting anyone get close. Because when I’d let people get close, I’d be disappointed and hurt.
Disappointment still happens. Pain still happens. Heartbreak still happens.
But I can’t now imagine life without an open heart. The connectedness you have with people is a feeling of no other.
Some would say that is wearing your heart on your sleeve. When you “fall in love” with someone (feel fondness and affection toward someone) you barely know you are only falling for who you think they are. Which is true. But if someone shares things you know are from their core — not what they think will make them look good — it is hard to not feel connectedness to them.
So while I caution daters to go slow, I also think you have to open your heart. Which is not to say you go head-over-heels for someone on a first date. But just be open to connecting and protect the part that needs to know someone better before surrendering your whole heart.
If you need practice opening your heart, hang out with small children and dogs. You will quickly see how easy it is to fall in love.
If you’d like more information on what you need to get back into dating, order your autographed copy of Date or Wait: Are You Ready for Mr. Great?