Making Space in Your Life for the Right Person

Are you willing to adjust? To devote time to love?

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By Betty Russell

Make room for love and it always comes. Make a nest for love and it always settles. Make a home for the beloved and he will find his way there. — Marianne Williamson

When you think about finding love, do you ever think about what love will find when it gets to you?

Will it find a welcoming space in your life to settle in, or will it find barriers and complications? This blog will explore the ways we can sweep aside the clutter that keeps love from getting close.

Diane was a mature, confident woman with a career she loved and an apartment with a great view of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. She reached out to me to figure out why all the men who seemed so promising never stuck around. It seemed mysterious to me, too. Diane was really great! Smart, funny, creative…. But then one day as we met on Skype she moved from the kitchen to the bedroom with her laptop to look for a book she was telling me about. That’s when I saw it. The lack of room — every inch was stolen by clutter. The stacks of books and the baskets of laundry and even a wall of cardboard boxes along one wall in the hallway. How to tell her? Finally, I just said, “Diane. There is no room for a man in your life. Where would he put his shoes? His toothbrush? You have left not a speck of space for him.”

Preparing yourself to receive love in your life is a multi-faceted process, but one very tangible thing you can do is empty a drawer. Clear a shelf in your medicine cabinet. If you need to, rent a dumpster for a week and get rid of all the junk in your garage so he can park his car on a snowy night.

Diane struggled. At one point she even wondered if cluttering her space was a way to keep the challenge of intimacy at bay. But in the end, her desire for connection won out, and she used an entire week-long vacation to purge, declutter, and make space for Paul, who showed up about a month later.

There is more to it than that, of course. Making literal space for love in your home, car, garage is important. But what about making space in your schedule? Are you willing to adjust? To devote time to love?

First, put work in its place. Dan figured that out pretty quickly. He realized that even though he did occasionally meet amazing women on-line, he could never manage to schedule a first date. Late meetings. Business trips. Weekend work brought home. Is any of that unavoidable? Of course. But Dan was in charge of his schedule to a large degree and he could do what his partner who had young kids did: call a halt to late meetings except in dire emergencies. His love life became a priority and he made space in his schedule. And he met Suzanne the following Thanksgiving and sure enough, by making space in the schedule, there was time to fall in love. Once you are committed to making time, figure out what you can do together. Have to do laundry? Do it at each other’s houses while you hang out. Need to go to the store or want to go to the gym? Schedule these things together to maximize your contact.

Next, make room in your circle of love. Family is hugely important and we have responsibilities and the strong desire to stay connected with our families, even adult children and grandchildren. Our friends are key elements of our world as well. Of course, everyone deserves and needs separate time to be with friends and family, but as soon as it looks like you are making a strong connection with someone romantically and want it to have a future, open up the circle and invite that person in. Introduce each other to your friends, kids, siblings, parents — whoever is important and with whom you feel connected. Making that space for one another is very important and will enhance and enrich your lives.

There is one more way that you can make space for someone in your life. Make room in your life and heart. Open yourself to sharing the big and little things. Share your truth, your thoughts, dreams, goals. This kind of honesty is a way to expand the shared space of two lives coming together to find love and connection. Being vulnerable is a way to open space for someone, and is beautiful.

Really what you are doing is making space for the relationship itself. You think you are clearing out a drawer for someone’s socks… but you are really clearing out space for the relationship to grow and settle in.

And appreciate that the other person is making space for you as well. It is not always easy, but it is worth it. If we are too set in our ways we can close out love. Cancel that breakfast meeting and have coffee with him. Send those 10 wide-lapelled sports coats from 1989 to Goodwill and make space in your closet for a few of her suits and dresses. Don’t leave him at home next weekend, invite him to dinner at your son’s house.

If you are not in a relationship yet, find a way to open space in order to invite love in. If you are in a budding relationship, look to see where you can create room for that relationship, welcome it to you, and find the places in one another’s lives where you can fit together. Making room is making the relationship you co-create a priority.

This story was originally published on Be Free to Love and republished on The Good Men Project.

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