First Find Yourself Then Find ‘Real Love’, Says Relationship Expert Marina Bakker

Marina Bakker, founder of Modern Love Solutions, has spent the majority of her career working with people as a psychotherapist, coach and educator. She has traveled through her own personal journey of self-discovery after a long term relationship breakup and has now reached a new level of consciousness and understanding about modern relationships and what is required first to find real love – and then to make it work.

Bakker says, “Relationships of all types are the most important thing in the world, and often we fail at them. It’s really important we understand the complexities surrounding relationships and how they need to change from earlier days. With intimate relationships where there is strong desire to connect and to find that special person we need to dig deep to uncover our vulnerabilities so we don’t keep doing the same things which have not worked in the past. We need to be conscious with our selection and ensure our relationships will enhance our growth and make us feel safe and secure. Without safety and security we can’t go on to really feeling and expressing love and growing. Not all relationships and not all people are able to provide that for us. We need to take this to a different level and establish healthy boundaries and understand that although we have a lot of choices, they are not all good for us and that underneath the surface we are not all the same.”

According to Bakker, people looking for new love relationships need to take time out to become clear about where they have been; what they have been tolerating; what has been appearing for them in their relationships; and most importantly the role they have played. If these considerations aren’t taken into account there is a huge risk of going out and repeating the situation with the same type of person again and again.

“It’s really important we find out why we keep repeating the same hurtful and in some cases harmful behaviours ‘All in the name of Love’. Take some downtime to review what has happened in the past and what we want to create in the future that will provide us with a consistent feeling of safety, security and being loved,” says Bakker.

Daniel Jones, editor of The New York Times’ hugely popular Modern Love personal essay column agrees with Bakker’s views, “Finding love has been influenced by technology in recent years, but also by the idea that a lot of people are going out with nobody but total strangers now. Whether we’re finding them through online dating, a social network, a speed dating session, or any other commercialised way of finding love – it’s strangers. A lot of people are struggling with trust and looking around, often desperately, for some sign that this particular stranger is the person they’re meant to be with.”

In the past, information and advice on healthy relationships was scarce, and road maps to create a thriving and long-lasting, mutually satisfying and growing relationship were almost non-existent. These days, men and women are on more equal terms and there is a strong idea of maintaining individuality in a relationship, with many fearing a relationship is going to involve a regression from who they are. Without some kind of mandatory time out between relationships, issues likes these cannot be worked through, and two people coming together carrying these emotions, patterns, and ‘old stuff’ will not work.

“Creating healthy relationship experiences require us to consciously choose people who are capable of providing us with our relationship needs. The person we choose must be a compatible match; we must accept the person for who they are before committing; and not try to change them. To ensure you are consciously choosing a compatible partner, it is important that one finds out more about themselves, heals unresolved issues and becomes aware of the red flags of dating and relating. Take some time to ‘play it forward’ and envision how current personal circumstances of both individuals will impact on the future of the relationship and the type of feelings and situations this will generate. Is this what you want your long term relationship and your life to look and feel like? By exploring the consequences of what it means if you involve yourself with this person, you will then be more able to make a conscious decision – is this right for me to move forward or not?” says Bakker.

The relationship landscape has changed. Everyone wants the security and intimacy a relationship brings and many hold the belief it will make them complete. However, without deep soul searching and an honest assessment of yourself, what you want and need from a relationship as well as what you are prepared to give and understand about your role in previous failed relationships, it almost becomes destiny that history will repeat itself. Heed the advice of many. Take some time out and think these things through and if appropriate for you, ask for help from a qualified, supportive professional.

To find out how you can become more conscious and aware in pursuit of healthy, loving relationships visit: