Between the Pages: 'Love is Coming' Is All About Finding Happiness
People who grow up in dysfunctional families often don't know what healthy relationships look like. And this absence of knowledge could result in a disastrous dating history, leaving them wondering if things will improve.
This concept acts as the core for "Love is Coming: How to Find Real Love in a Superficial World," a new book by author Persia Lawson about how to enjoy happy relationships.
Lawson, an actress turned dating and relationship coach in the United Kingdom, was brought up by parents who struggled with addiction. As a result, she became an overachiever and developed an obsession with boys in order to achieve a sense of validation and escape from the hardships at home.
When she was in her mid-20s, her dad took her to a health retreat in Thailand. He told her, "Focus on the insides, and the outsides will take care of themselves."
This led to an epiphany.
"I started healing the real root of all my romantic dramas, which was my relationship with myself, which it always is," she said. "And that set me on a trajectory that not only changed my life and my romantic life, it also ended up changing my career."
Lawson firmly believes inner work is the ultimate path to success. She hopes her latest book, "Love is Coming," can transform your love life by recounting stories of her own struggles before meeting her now husband and illustrating how she made the necessary changes.
The book has three main parts: heal, attract and commit. How would you summarize each section?
Lawson: There's more nuance and complexity to dating than wanting a boyfriend. First, you've got to heal and understand why previous relationships or dating situations haven't worked out and why you feel the way you feel about yourself, about romantic life and all of that—and that's uncomfortable work.
Most people want to manifest the relationship, but you might manifest the boyfriend or someone to date; however, it will not last long if you haven't done that healing work.
The next phase is attraction. Now that's more the skill set around dating. That's where we're looking at manifestation, communication and more. And there's a part of attraction where you'll get really healthy at the process of dating because it's its own body of work.
The final stage is to commit, where you essentially say you've been dating someone for a while, maybe dating several people you meet, but you're now with one person whom you like. This feels right. And both of you make the agreement to move into a committed relationship.
This part of the book shows you how to navigate commitment. Often, what I'd see is women would date for three months, and that's when you're either going to move from dating to a relationship or you're going to go your separate ways. That can be a challenging period and chapter to navigate.
I also take you through the first few years of a relationship. When you're figuring out where you want it to go as you're looking at the future, whether you want to get married/have kids, how you navigate conflict and whether you're moving in together.
These are very different phases and problems that come up at each of those stages.
I wanted to do a deep dive because I didn't see anything out there that dealt with the complexity and nuances of going from being miserably single in a toxic dating or relationship dynamic to being in a healthy, happy relationship.
That's the journey I tell everyone about from all of the work I've done on myself. And also from the decade of listening to clients and seeing what worked and didn't work for them.
It took me five years to write this book.
We know we first have to become the person we want to attract. What would your advice be for perfectionists who always feel like there is more work to do on themselves before they can put themself out there again?
You need to spend a significant amount of time being single. Of course, that looks different for everyone.
For example, if someone's been in a relationship for eight years, I'd say you need to be single for at least a year before you think about dating. You might have six months of not dating anyone and just heal. And in the next six months, you might do a little bit of dating, but you know you're not ready for a serious relationship. I'd always recommend at least one year between significant relationships.
Do all this work in the healing phase. As I say though, everyone's different. For some people, the healing phase is the hardest. For others, it's the attract phase or the commitment.
When you get to feeling good about yourself and your life about 80 percent of the time, then you're ready to look around and say, "Yeah, I've done the work, and I feel good, so now I'm going to date or get a relationship to make myself feel better."
I've had clients who were single for 15 years or never had a boyfriend the whole time and yet are now happily married.
They were scared to date, but they needed to get out and date.
You've got to ask yourself, "What is my pattern?" Is it that I'm constantly dating or going from relationship to relationship, or that I don't even remember when I last went on a date and am almost too scared to do that?
The quote that I open "Love is Coming" with is, "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." [It's] from American writer Joseph Campbell.
Whatever the scariest thing to you is, that's probably what you need to do.
When someone has a typical cycle, how can they break it?
This is a hard thing. In my program, right at the beginning, we do a lot of work around your patterns, and you're taken through these crazy exercises where everyone is like, "Oh my God, it's not the guys—it's me."
It's not to say that they weren't dickheads but we've been ignoring red flags.
What you realize is, "I've been my own problem all along." This can be depressing at first until you understand the idea of if "I'm my problem, then I'm also my solution."
Going from being a cheating addict and an absolute nightmare in my love life to being where I am now—given where I came from and what I experienced growing up—I can tell you, there is hope.
It's not just possible, it's inevitable if you change how you show up in your love life. I promise you, the results you get will change your love life.
Yes, it will take time and it's a process. You have to keep showing up one day at a time. That's why surrounding yourself with the right people is vital because it's going to be uncomfortable to change.
However, if you want what you've never had, you're going to have to do what you've never done. It's a cliche, but it's true.
What have you learned in the past two years that you wish you could have included in the book?
I read a book called "Existential Kink" by Carolyn Elliott, Ph.D., which is fascinating. The concept is that we're such powerful creators and we think on a conscious level that we only want the good stuff like happy relationships, money and more.
But if you want to watch a film, you also want the drama and that's what makes it exciting.
The book is saying we want all the bad things in our life that we're essentially creating at a subconscious level, because our subconscious controls 95 percent of our decision-making. It was at this point I realized that a big part of me was really enjoying all the drama I created in my love life.
Why would I go for bad boys? Because of the thrill.
The book is about bringing more consciousness into actually trying to experience the pain. There are painful things that can be pleasurable.
I'd have loved to touch on that because it's really interesting—a different perspective.
It's hard to get your head around because our ego is like, "No, I don't want this. I would never create this." But it's your subconscious, not your conscious mind. When you realize, "I've been creating this because my subconscious actually wanted all these bad things because it just got a kick out of it," then you can start to experience yourself in a different way, like, "Well, maybe I've got everything I wanted and therefore, I'm fulfilled."
Your conscious and subconscious come into alignment, which means you're going to manifest on a much more potent level. You no longer need to do all these crazy things and you clear a lot of the blocks. It's like, "I don't need to play that game anymore because I've brought awareness to it. I know what's going on."