By Cynthia Belmer

Back when I was still in the dating scene many years ago, I had hard time believing that one day I would find the right partner for me and be in a great long-term relationship.

When I looked around me, I thought that those who have been together for decades are simply luck. I had a limiting belief that true and lasting love is very hard to fulfill especially that very few good men exist, and I didn’t want to risk revealing myself to the wrong one.

Even though ambitious women like us are successful in their career, we sometimes find it challenging to transfer that confidence into relationships. we’re not comfortable showing someone what we’re feeling and thinking. Vulnerability is not for us.

The lack of vulnerability affect our choices in relationships. That happened to me too. Deep down, I lacked trust in my own judgment to pick the right man. I feared repeating a mistake I’d made in the past, which had led me to believe that trusting and being vulnerable in a relationship would only set me up for hurt and disappointment. Can you relate?

Although the fear of making the same mistakes is valid, the truth is, we all know deep down that we’re smart enough to fix any mistakes we’ve done. What’s scary is the thought of reliving the same negative emotions, such as shame, hurt, loneliness, and disappointment that we once felt as a result of a relationship that didn’t work out.

The need for certainty is often a top priority for us, and we would do anything to keep it — including avoiding the uncertainty of what potential love and new committed relationship bring to the table. And so we put up our guards to protect ourselves and we adopt beliefs such as “lasting relationships happen by luck” or “I’m too hard to be with. No one can bear my confidence and strong personality.”

My personal experiences taught me that being guarded and using these beliefs were not going to get me what I wanted in a relationship, including equal support, love, openness, great communication, intimacy, and growth. Instead, they drove me farther away.

The truth is our external world is nothing but a reflection of our internal world. When we open our heart to both negative and positive emotions, we realized that even though a past breakup seemed like a hurtful experience, our feelings are signaling to us that something deep within us had a message for us. That message was about letting go, adopting new beliefs and if it’s too hard for us to trust future partners maybe we owe it to ourselves to trust “love”.

When I became more intimate with my feelings, I trusted my judgment in men more than ever, and I made better decisions in my love life. Practicing vulnerability helped me become open about my feelings, fears, hopes and dreams. It got me ready to open myself up to someone really special and attract a beautiful marriage.

Lasting relationships are not made by luck because Love is a choice just like vulnerability is a choice too. When we choose to be vulnerable and open, we’re automatically choosing love over fear, and the result is going to be humbling, fulfilling, loving and accepting.

Finding the right partner starts by finding ourselves first. It starts with being completely honest with who we are, what we want, what we don’t want and what we fear. The more we become vulnerable and transparent with ourselves, the more we’ll be ready to attracting true love.

Many people choose to be single and lonely because they’re afraid of revealing their true self with their partner; they believe that no one would love for who they are. Others are in relationships yet lonely because there’s a big part of them that’s not being true and transparent. The question I want to invite you to reflect on is: Would you rather die known or unknown to yourself, to people who are around you and who love you?

I believe that vulnerability is the door to respecting being human, attracting high quality partners and true lasting love.

We all have fears, and everyone has endured bad experiences, but what shapes our future is the meaning we give those experiences. I believe you, me and everyone else have the courage to step into this space — our own vulnerability — in love.

Take this one baby step at a time. You can do it. You can find true and lasting love. Start by trusting it within you first.

relationship coach cynthiaCynthia Belmer is the author of “Meeting Freedom”, Certified Relationship Coach, entrepreneur and the creator of Vulnerable Self magazine and The Voice of Lasting Love.

She helps ambitious women from all over the world find the right driven partner and create a lasting successful relationship.

Cynthia is a lover of love, a truth seeker and currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and three dogs. Visit her inspiring sanctuary