How to Set Up Your Life for Love: Partnership Pillar #4

This is Part 4 of a 5-part series on what I’m calling “5 pillars of partnership.” Let me know what you think!

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Hey! Welcome back to the 5 Pillars of Partnership. In Pillar #3: How to Get Out of Love’s Way, we looked at how to transform your way of seeing and doing things when it comes to love and partnership.

In “Pillar #4: Set Up Your Life for Love,” you’ll see:

  1. What it means to “make room” for partnership, and why it matters.
  2. How to start with the small changes that make the greatest difference.
  3. The benefits of looking at this now rather than “someday.”
  4. How to get started.

OK, here we go!

Setting your table

Imagine you’re having someone over for dinner.

You’ve been looking forward to it for weeks… you’ve planned out the meal… you’ve cooked it and it came out just as you’d envisioned…

But the person knocks on the door, and the dining table is still not set.

Not only that, but it’s also covered with newspapers, old mail you still haven’t opened, dirty dishes you never cleaned… Everything that could possibly be there, except what you need for the meal.

You can cook a great meal, but if the table is not set, no one can enjoy it.

Similarly, you can be eager for partnership… you can be “ready” for partnership… but if you have not made room in your life for partnership, it will be very difficult to sustain and enjoy it.

“What is the life I’d be proud to welcome a partner into?”

This is a simple but powerful question you can ask, to begin looking at setting up your life for love. Here are some areas for you to take inventory:

Your health:

  • Am I ignoring any known or suspected health issues?
  • Do I have the energy and stamina to do the things I’d love to do with a partner?

Your time:

  • Do I view time as an enemy to “outrun,” or a gift to be cherished?
  • Am I making time for the people in my life who matter to me?

Your finances:

  • Am I ignoring any outstanding balances, debts, or other financial issues?
  • What would I love to use money for in a partnership, and am I financially set to do so?

Your physical environment:

  • Is there anything in my physical environment that needs fixing or cleaning?
  • How might I turn my living space into one I’d be more proud to welcome a partner into?

Your work:

  • Am I doing the work I want to be doing?
  • Am I making the difference in the world I want to be making?

Your relationships:

  • Do I have any old grudges to set aside, apologies to make, or bonds to heal?
  • Am I proud of the person I’m showing up as, in both my personal and professional life?

Why start now versus “someday?”

This really is a golden opportunity for you to look at these things, right here and now!

When you ignore this, you may:

  • Find yourself in relationships you’re not prepared to easily sustain.
  • Get stuck choosing between your partnership and other areas of your life.
  • Risk unaddressed problems growing more difficult to deal with later.

When you start now to address these areas, you:

  • Prepare to feel the pride of welcoming someone into a life that has room for them.
  • Free yourself up to actually enjoy partnership, if and when you have it.
  • Gain the benefit of a more relaxed and fulfilled life, solo or in partnership!

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

After all, as a friend commented to me as we were discussing this:

The worst that can happen from all this is that you’re not in partnership but you still end up getting your shit together! :-)

Small changes can make the biggest difference.

At this point, you may be thinking: “Oh great, do I need to change everything about my life now??”

No!

You simply need to start making the small changes now that make the biggest difference.

The Pareto principle (aka “the 80/20 rule”) shows us that about 20% of our efforts cause roughly 80% of our results.

For example: You decide to pay off that credit card over the next 8 months, and you make your first payment… as a result, your sleep improves… and as a result, you have the energy to call your friend… who says they’ve been thinking of you, and they want to introduce you to someone. :-)

Similarly, in The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about keystone habits: Habits that lead to even more good habits.

For example: You decide that, no matter what, you’ll put a glass of water by your bedside each night and start your day by drinking it… as a result, it cues you to write in your gratitude journal, which puts you in a good mood as you take the train to work… where you happen to be sitting next to your future partner. :-)

A small, sweet way to get started

So here is the easiest way I can possibly think of to get started:

Ask yourself right now: If I met my partner tomorrow, what’s one small step I’d be proud I’d taken today?

Or, if you are with a partner: What’s one step I’d be proud to take today, to make more room for love?

So… what’s your next small sweet step?

Thanks for reading!! What’s next?

As I write this series, I continue to be struck by how relevant this is for me in my life. I hope you are finding this as helpful as I am!

Next up, we’ll look at Pillar #5: How to Let Love Grow. I think it’s my favorite one. :-)

Let me know what you think!

With love,
Zo


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