I’m totally obsessed with Erica Bornstein’s yoga classes at YogaWorks in Boston. My body and mind always feel rejuvenated after an hour in her presence. What I love most about Erica is her ability to always find a way to weave a life lesson into the practice. The other day, for example, the theme of the class was about winning, or, rather, about not winning. More specifically, she said the following:

“You can’t win yoga. There is no end goal. There’s always another pose that’s harder. If you’re so focused on the destination, you’re missing out on the present. There is, however, one way to win at yoga, and that’s to be at peace withOn Yoga And Love: You Can't Win Either where you are.”

It was such a beautiful and spot-on sentiment. Of course, my mind wandered to the topic of dating and relationships, as it’s wont to do. The same sentiment can be applied to love, I thought. In fact, several months ago, I wrote a post about how you can’t win love (link: http://thelovetrep.com/its-not-about-getting-or-winning-love/).

The numerous dating industry peddlers, however, will tell you otherwise, that they know the precise “5 Steps to Winning Someone Over” or that they possess the “Secret Formula to Hook a Man”.

Hogwash; they’re just trying to sell you something.

Trust me: I bought into that crap when I was single and dating, believing that if I only unlocked the secret code to his heart and mind, that if I somehow discovered the perfect way to secretly manipulate men, well, then they’d all be putty in my hands. Meanwhile, I was directing all my attention outwards.

You know what helped me create love in my life? Therapy. Consistent reflection and action. Working on myself. Setting better boundaries in my dating life. And learning to understand and love who I am at my core.

When you become focused at winning a man or winning love, you lose focus on what’s important. It becomes a game, a chase, and, eventually, you lose sight of why you even like this person or want this relationship so badly in the first place. Chasing the validation of a man, the validation of getting a guy to be with you is a losing proposition, because you’ll eventually need to keep filling that void in other ways. Fill yourself up first and you’ll be able to focus on consciously creating a loving, healthy relationship.

So, as with yoga, you can’t win love. If you’re so focused on the destination of winning someone’s affections, you’re missing out on the present; you’re missing out on self-growth, understanding who you are, and learning to be at peace with who you are.

Moreover, there is no end goal in love. Even when you do settle into a healthy, happy relationship, there is always something else to experience and work through as a couple. There is no end stage, no way to master love; it is an ever-evolving thing.

As the yogis would say, “Namaste.”

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