5 Secrets to Finding Your Soul Mate
It is not often that I share TOO much about my personal life on the blog. But today, I am making the exception.
I want to share my love story with you.
In case you didn’t know, 6 months ago, I married the man I couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to find. Yes, of course I felt like I deserved it. But I also couldn’t believe how deep and good and true the love could actually be. It felt, and still feels, unreal at times.
Flashing back to when I was single, I would read the New York Times wedding section almost each and every week. For a girl who never gave much thought to having an actual wedding of her own, it was an odd thing to do.
It’s not as if I was reading these articles searching for visual inspiration or dress ideas. I truly didn’t care about any of that stuff.
I read this section quite simply because I was searching for love. Deep, true, honest, profound, beautiful, adventurous love.
If all of these people in the NYT, of all different ages, ethnicities, shapes and beliefs could find love after loss, in the face of adversity, or at a corner café, then surely I could, too. These stories served as my beacon of light and possibility.
And that’s why I think it is important to share love stories. Perhaps this will be a beacon of light to you if you are searching for love or even if you are looking to rekindle your current love.
While I am not a ‘relationship expert’ by any stretch, I have become somewhat of an expert on having a relationship with myself. And I am quite certain that is where this all begins.
I believe that seeking this kind of soul filled partnership that so many of us long for, is quite possibly one of the GREATEST, most important and beautiful searches we can go on.
Because while it is about cultivating a beautiful relationship with yourself, it is not about doing it in a vacuum.
Finding the kind of love that I have with Lance is quite possibly the biggest, most beautiful blessing of my life to date.
Meeting him when I did was so totally worth any previous heartbreak, worth any and all gunk and muck I had to go through to get to him. It was worth every frustration, every lonely feeling or disappointment I ever faced until we met. Totally and completely.
I didn’t know that the right kind of partnership would be as fulfilling, satisfying, sweet and comforting as it has been.
My life was amazing and beautiful while I was single. It truly was. And now, as the Michael Franti song goes, “Life is Better With You.” And it’s true. Life is better with Lance.
And so, I am sharing a peek into our wedding album and video, and below that, the story of how we met and also my TOP 6 LOVE LESSONS I picked up on this journey.
In the end, this independent, free-spirited girl decided she DID want a wedding after all. We felt that bringing our friends and family together to not only celebrate our love, but to celebrate LOVE in general is the absolute best kind of party to throw!
Don’t you agree?!
Leave a comment below. If you have a partner, I would love for you to share when you met, how long you have been together, and what you believe is the key to a lasting partnership. It will inspire the other readers (and me)!
And if you are single, leave a comment and tell me WHY you believe in love. It’s important to stoke the fires of love when you are looking.
With total love, love, love,
PHOTOGRAPHY: Amy Jo Royall
VIDEO: Kevin Borge Films
HAIR + MAKEUP: South Beach Makeup
FLOWERS: Julia Rohde Design
ERIN + LANCE SHORT FILM
ERIN + LANCE EXTENDED FILM
Funny enough, Lance and I went to elementary school together. I know, it usually gets a big “Awwwww, so cute.” And it is super cute. But, we didn’t really know each other that well. I mean, barely at all. He is a year younger and I moved away when I was about 12 yrs. old.
And who is friends with a younger boy in elementary school?!
However, our paths seemed to cross at a lot of different intersections of our lives. We attended the same Hebrew school and even both ended up at the University of Illinois around the same time. Yet, all this time, we barely knew one another.
LOVE LESSON #1: OUR LITTLE BRAINS CAN’T EVEN CONCEIVE SOME OF THE GREATNESS LIFE HAS IN STORE FOR US. WE CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE IT.
With all the intention setting, manifesting and dreaming we do (and should do!) I would have never written out, “I will meet a boy I went to elementary school with and fall in love.” NEVER! A lesson in letting Life do her work.
Flash-forward many, many years later, I was teaching a class at Equinox in NYC. He saw and recognized my name on the schedule and decided to come take my class.
Rare to see a tall, handsome gentleman in my class, I wondered who that ‘guy’ was in the back of the room.
Afterwards he came up, introduced himself and immediately I remembered the 11-year-old version of him. We chatted for a bit, said we should get together for a coffee, and said goodbye.
However, at the time, I was seeing someone else and while Lance wasn’t exactly asking me on a date, I thought it better to just keep it a friendly gym run-in and never made too much of an effort to make that coffee date happen.
But Life has a funny way of intervening. Several months later, I was visiting with friend who had come to town from Portland, Oregon. We had initially met through an online program.
LOVE LESSON #2: FOLLOW AND STAY CLOSE WITH YOUR SOUL CONNECTIONS, THEY LEAD YOU TO OTHER SOUL CONNECTIONS.
From the moment we started messaging each other online, I knew Samantha Brody was a life-long friend. We had what I call a “soul connection”. I simply couldn’t wait to meet her in person.
She was Air BNB’ing an apartment downtown in NYC. It was a rainy Friday afternoon in the middle of the day. The plan was to meet for tea, but since it was raining we decided I would come to the place she was renting.
I walked into the lobby and–lo and behold–there was Lance. Middle of the day! I said, “What are you doing here?” and he said, “I live here!”
At this point, things in my other relationship had changed and when I saw Lance this time, I felt that beat, beat, beat of my heart doing something funny. He was so tall. And so cute. And so calm. And well, maybe it WAS time to get together for a coffee!
So I sent him a Facebook message later that day and said, we really SHOULD get together.
LOVE LESSON #3 LADIES, FORGET THIS SHIT ABOUT ONLY WAITING FOR THE GUY TO REACH OUT.
Sometimes a guy needs to know you are interested. If being straightforward and saying you want to see him (without being pushy or needy, of course) scares a guy away, he ain’t your guy. Don’t be scared to share your feelings. Of course, if they are not met, no need to push it.
In my case, Lance replied and we set up a time to get a glass of wine.
From that first get together, I had this feeling. In my mind, I saw our whole love story get written. The whole thing. You know how they say that? Well, I never really believed I would be someone who would have THAT feeling. But there it was.
But I also had another feeling along with it. Our love story wasn’t going to start right away. I wasn’t totally available at that point, and while we didn’t discuss too much of our personal lives that night, I had a feeling that while he may have been interested, he was not totally available either… at least emotionally. He will beg to differ and say that he was. But a woman knows. He wasn’t.
The next day, he sent me an email. He was very straightforward and, of course, still sweet. He said he had a great time last night and would like to take me to dinner.
LOVE LESSON #4 WHILE THIS MAY SEEM COUNTER-INTUITIVE TO LESSON #3, IF A MAN DOESN’T MAKE IT CLEAR THAT YOU ARE WHO HE WANTS TO SEE AND THAT HE DOESN’T REALLY WANT TO WAIT TO LONG TO SEE YOU, HE MAY NOT BE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.
I obviously don’t know what you are looking for. But in my experience with guys of all kinds, it’s important that a man have some certainty about you. You see, by nature, men are much more definitive and black and white than women are.
Our nature is to flow a bit, Yin. Their nature is more action, Yang. Force. Forward movement. If he is not certain of whether or not he is interested in exploring something with you, meaning he is wishy-washy or non-committal, it is likely going to be a drag.
This doesn’t mean he has to know that he wants to marry you! It just means he has to know YOU are interesting to him and he is not afraid to explore that interest.
Back to the story. As I mentioned, I wasn’t quite available or ready to dive in to something at that time. I was excited about the prospect of seeing him again, but there were still things I needed to work out within myself.
And, if I am being totally honest, I got scared. I didn’t know if my excitement about him was just a distraction from a relationship that wasn’t satisfying me, or if it was something real to explore.
And when we got together a second time, I made it clear that I wasn’t really available to turn this into “something” right now. While he was disappointed, he was a total gentleman.
We decided that perhaps we should just be friends for the time being. And that is what we did. For several months. We would get together for coffee. Or have breakfast. Or take a soul stroll. And there was nothing physical happening between us during that time.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, there was a strong attraction building, but we kept it platonic.
LOVE LESSON #5 HAVING SEX EARLY ON WHEN DATING SOMEONE IS NOT A BAD THING AND NOT HAVING SEX WITH SOMEONE IS ALSO NOT A BAD THING.
Look, I don’t have the answer to this magical question. Should you be intimate before there is a commitment (as the great Patty Stanger would suggest)? I don’t really know. I think great relationships have worked out with either scenario.
But, I will say this: getting to know Lance without the layer of a sexual intimacy was really nice. We became friends and took a lot of time to talk and get to know one another. Would we have done the same if sex were involved from the beginning? Probably? Maybe? But the truth is, having sex with someone adds another layer. You are now intertwined in a physical way. And so there will be other emotions to navigate as result. Emotions that aren’t there when you are “just” friends.
Again, it’s not bad. It’s just different. So recognize the difference when you choose one or the other.
During those several months of getting to know one another, I had been diligently working on myself and working through some of the fears I was having around relationships.
What I finally came to realize was that I did not want to settle in a relationship. I had been so scared for so long that I was “high maintenance” or that I was never going to be satisfied in ANY relationship that I started to believe that perhaps I should just be ok with “good enough”.
But, I decided that NO, “good enough” wasn’t good enough. I wanted BIG, AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL LOVE. And if I wasn’t going to have that, I was ok with the idea that I might be alone. I felt certain that being alone was going to be better then settling.
LOVE LESSON #6 GET REALLY CLEAR ON WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU REGARDING A RELATIONSHIP.
If getting married and having kids is more important than finding that BIG, BEAUTIFUL love I wanted, I would never judge you for it. People get married for ALL different kinds of reasons ALL the time. None of them are right or wrong. They are just personal reasons. And all of them are acceptable and important. Truly.
I want you to get this. Your reasons for wanting partner do not have to be the same reasons as someone else.
But decide what YOUR reasons are. What do you want in a partnership? Do you want someone who you know would make a great parent? Or does that not matter so much? Do you need someone who will stimulate you intellectually or can you find that elsewhere?
For me, I knew I couldn’t walk down the aisle unless I was deeply, madly, passionately in love, and unless I knew that that person wanted to have a big, adventurous life together. That was my must. Sure, there were a few others things, but I will share that in another post.
And you know what? I found it. I found what I was looking for. And it was so worth the wait.
I am deeply, madly and passionately in love with Lance. Everything we do together, even if it is sitting on the couch watching Game of Thrones, feels like a fun adventure. There is truly no one else I would rather have beside me for the rest of my life.
I feel like the luckiest girl in the whole wide world.
And my wish for you is that you have the kind of love YOU want. The kind of LOVE that fills you up. The kind of LOVE that makes you MORE of who you are and who you want to be. The kind of LOVE that makes you WANT to be generous. The kind of LOVE that makes you want to receive. The kind of LOVE that makes you feel like you can and will do anything you set your little heart to.
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