Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Is It Time To Tune Up Your Love Radar?

CC photo courtesy of Gilgongo via Flickr

You have a “love radar,” and the people you attract into your life are not by accident. If you are anything like me, then your love radar may need a “tune-up” along the way.

I had an emotional timeline in my mind, and I wanted to be married and starting a family by the time I was thirty.

In my late twenties panic alarm bells started to sound as I looked around me to see my prospects for love were looking rather frightening. In fact, my “love radar” (telling me who I was attracted to) had a major malfunction, and I was drawing in all kinds of guys who either saw me as a bank account or their personal therapist. These men were in a position of needing something, and I set myself up to try to help them.

What I did not realize is that my “love radar” was set at being a “needy giver,” and I was attracting takers. I didn’t have to worry about having company in life. But that type of companionship in dating was lacking, and my radar was set at “low quality.”

Late at night, I would push my face into my pillow, cry out to God and ask “Why me?” or “God, will you ever bring me my true love?” Then I would get up the next morning only to face another disappointment. My love radar was out of order!

While stumbling through this whole love stuff, I had a conversation with my father one day who had a sharp tongue and a blunt personality.  He said to me “Cathy, you are looking for men under rocks.” My fragile self-esteem was devastated. What did he mean, I was looking for men under rocks?

After much reflection and some deep prayer time with God, I realized I wasn’t attracting better men because I didn’t feel like I deserved better men. My love radar was malfunctioning; since I had low self-esteem, I was attracting men who were my emotional equals. In other words, I set my value at a low quality so I attracted people who treated me poorly.

I committed to a tune-up on my love radar and directly tackled the patterns of attraction that I had going on in my life. As a result, I soon discovered I was dazzled by the allure of bad boys; I thought I could earn their love by turning them into nice guys who treated me well. Instead, with my love radar out of balance, I was getting used as well as manipulated along the way.  

In order to change these patterns, I started working on me and finding my value again. As I grew in my self-esteem, the way people treated me changed. In fact, I set my value at a high quality and insisted on being respected as I worked on seeing that I did deserve good things in life.

Over time, people started meeting me in my value; all of a sudden, nice men were in my emotional world. I was no longer bored with good guys; instead, unhealthy bad boys were unappealing. God was transforming my heart and preparing me for the love of my life.

My true love did arrive and, after 13 years of marriage as well as three children, I thank God every day for these blessings. I am also very grateful for  the major life-altering lesson of doing a tune-up on my love radar.

About Cathy Patterson-Sterling

Cathy Patterson-Sterling is a Christian counselor with a counseling ministry called Real Life Tool Box. She is an author, speaker, wife, mother and friend. Through her counseling ministry, she offers more than 50 e-learning audio play courses to help people grow in faith and have their healthiest relationships. She is passionate about helping people find freedom from fear or other emotional strongholds that are holding them back from living out their greatest potential in God's plans for their lives.
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