You could say that my decision to start looking for love was essentially a self-love exercise.
I might have not seen it this way when I first started, but at the end of the year I dedicated to finding the One, I looked back and realized that in the process of searching for the love of another, I actually succeeded in loving myself.
We all have to start somewhere. Probably in the place which hurts the most. In my case, I had been alone for six years, and my loneliness had become oppressive. I started having nightmares about how I would die alone and I often experienced irrational panic attacks. But one day I decided that I’d had enough. I wouldn’t let my fears rule my life. I would do something about or I would die trying!
And so I came up with the idea of The Love Project: a year I would spend employing project management techniques to find love! As a project manager in the advertising industry, it came naturally to me to approach love in an analytical fashion. I set up a timeline, objectives, I conducted a thorough research, I worked on identifying ‘counter-productive’ behaviour and negative patterns, I created a set of ‘personal mantras’ by which I negotiated my way around dating, I worked on best practice behaviour and by the end of the year 2013 I met someone. And we are now engaged to be married!
It sounds pretty easy when laid down in project management terms, but in fact it wasn’t. It was an emotional roller coaster. With every step I took, I discovered more flaws in my behavior. I discovered that I had a tendency for attention-seeking, a certain affinity to being clingy. I discovered that I had very low standards in men that I was always picking up the crumbs instead of demanding more. I had to be extremely gentle, patient and accepting of myself to work through my painful discoveries. I had to forgive my parents and their ‘imperfect’ relationship for setting up the low standards that I lived my love life by and then I had to work on forging a new vision for myself.
Towards the end of The Love Project I was a different person. I had become so self-loving and confident that I even decided to leave a career I didn’t love. I am now a writer and have never been happier.
Of course, love is a boat that flows on a strange river and with every new day I lean new ways to navigate it. But as long as the love I have for myself is strong, I know I’ll have enough love in me for the wonderful man in my life and I’ll be able to achieve all the wonderful possibilities that I now know I am capable of!
Iulia is now in the final editing stages of her memoir The Love Project, which will be published later this year.
Thanks for the support and love 🙂 Your REglam Team xx
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