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Do you want to know how to be successful dating or how to find happiness with a soulmate? We make it too complicated. There are really only two rules.

Love yourself.

Chase no one.

It sounds far too simple, and you might be trying to figure out how this is supposed to work. Or maybe you’re wondering how someone so decidedly single could postulate this particular theory with any level of credibility. Point taken. So noted. Moving on.

This is how it works.

Love yourself.

When we love ourselves, a few magical things happen that change the game. First of all, self-love encompasses a whole set of characteristics like confidence, feeling comfortable in our own skin, and full body positivity. We feel good about ourselves, and it shows. It’s in the way we dress and the way we walk. It lights up our smiles and shows up in our eye contact with others. It’s not subtle. It’s like wearing power lightly and feeling good in it.

These qualities typically mean that we practice better self-care and understand our value as individuals. We don’t just like who we are; we love ourselves completely. We’re not hung up on our flaws, and we’ve got a pretty good handle on our strengths. Because we do these things, our vibration is raised, along with our standards.

So we’re not settling. We’re not putting up with low-effort, high-bullshit behavior from potential partners. We have no interest in relationships with partners who can’t meet us where we are.

This results in us being less attracted to people whose energy comes across as toxic. We tend to spend less time with people who clearly have no growth mindset and no interest in working on their issues. We’ve put in the work, and we’re looking for partners who aren’t expecting us to clean up after their messes with our emotional labor.

But it goes beyond how we look at other people. We begin to see being alone as an often-desirable state. We learn to enjoy our solitude and soak in that time to ourselves. We expand our interests and truly explore our own dreams and aspirations without feeling limited or distracted. We understand that there are so much worse things that we could be rather than alone- like in a relationship and deeply lonely.

You see, we weren’t- most of us, at any rate- born knowing how to love ourselves deeply. We got here through grit and hardship, and we’re not turning back. Our love was hard-fought and hard-won, and we’re hanging on to it. Pretty faces won’t tempt us to give up the ground we’ve covered, and we won’t be swayed by the tricks that they once used to trip us up.

Loving ourselves is the first rule.

Chase no one.

I don’t care what you might have read or were taught or saw played out on countless screens throughout your life. Forget everything. Love isn’t a chase.

Love isn’t meant to be hunted, cornered, caught, and caged.

It’s not meant to be a tug of war either where each party tries to find an advantage and come out the winner in the end.

Love isn’t supposed to be tracked and followed. It’s not a destination with a map and a set of directions only you can understand.

Love shouldn’t have to be earned with the dogged persistence of a hard-boiled PI in some noir novel dogeared at the corners from hard time in the hands of one too many dreamers.

So love yourself, and chase no one.

I mean that: don’t chase anyone.

If they run, they aren’t ready. Let them go make themselves ready if they need to. Do not give chase. Do not follow them into that darkness. They may never get ready. They just might drag you down instead.

If they are disinterested when you are ready and interested when you’re moving on, it’s not love, and they are not for you. Go with an open heart, and allow the Universe to send to you someone who wants to be with you. The right heart won’t make you play games to earn their love. You won’t have to wonder if your soulmate feels the same.

Chase no one. Know who you are, and stay there in that knowledge. Let the ones who want to leave go. But don’t lace up running shoes and stretch to follow.

These are the only rules, really.

Love yourself. Fall deeply in love to the point that you would never put yourself in a relationship with someone who isn’t all in and who makes you question their love. Let your standards rise with your vibration and know that the one who is for you will come, but that your life is happening now, and you must live every moment of it like it won’t come again. Because it won’t.

Don’t waste time being lonely or counting the days of being single as if it were a sentence when it has always been a privilege to be in your company. Honor that. Love yourself enough to understand that your time and your space are precious. Holy. Sacred. Wonder-filled and magical. Don’t wish it all away or give so much of it up to chasing hearts that just want to see how fast you can run and how far you can go.

Chase no one. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you have to win them with persistence and grand gestures and continued declarations of interest when they are merely staying too many steps ahead for you to ever catch up. Let them run away. See far they’ll go and how fast they’ll run. Don’t move, and watch them leave your life to make room for others to come in.

Because the right one won’t throw out a stick to see if you’ll go fetch it. They want set up obstacles and pull out a timer to see how well or how poorly you fare. Chase no one. Chase nothing but your bliss and your dreams and know that doing so will open all the right doors to bring love in. A love you will never have to chase.

Remember it.

Write it down on your heart or post it on your mirror. Whisper it to yourself or make it your mantra. There are only two rules, and they will bring love in while letting toxic energy flow on to somewhere else entirely. It’s simple, and every other relationship rule may just fall within the bounds of this creed:

Love yourself.

Chase no one.