Mormon Channel Blog

    Finding the Faith to Love and Be Loved

    September 24, 2016

    Alisa Goodwin Snell is the author of numerous books, audios, videos, and articles. She spent 17 years as a marriage and family therapist and is now a dating and relationship coach. She’s a popular public speaker and has been featured on more than 100 TV and radio programs nationwide.

    Many singles and couples struggle to feel secure, both individually and in their relationships. Often the cause is an underlying sense of fear. This can include fear of rejection, loss, failure, inadequacy, comparison, and more.

    As a dating and relationship coach (who also spent nearly two decades as a marriage counselor), I find that helping singles confront their fears is a big focus of my work.

    Unfortunately, our fears often guide our perceptions, further reinforcing our fears. For instance, if we fear that we are powerless to change our situation, we may see any failure as evidence of our powerlessness and quit. Whereas, if we believe in the truth that failure is an essential part of obtaining success, than we will persevere and look for evidence of success and progress.

    Below is a list of truths that you can use to overcome the fears you might be facing. If you are willing to act as if you believe these truths, even though you may struggle with doubt, you will find that belief, hope, and understanding will grow.

    Remember these wise words from the scriptures:

    And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

    The truth about your fears of rejection, inadequacy, loneliness, failure, loss, or being mistreated.

    •The kind of person you’re looking for is looking for someone like you and will see you for what you have to offer and invest in you.

    •This one person is not your only chance for happiness.

    •You are meant to love and be loved.

    •You’re worth is not defined by your situation or past rejection. It is eternal.

    •You are more than you or other’s think you are.

    •The best way to avoid abuse, addiction, and infidelity in marriage is for both partner’s to have a pattern of showing empathy, personal responsibility, and self-control (E.S.P.). Signs of a lack of E.S.P. can be seen as early as the first few dates, but certainly within the first few months (if you learn to recognize them). There are far more good relationships than bad ones. You really can have lasting love!

    •Success is defined by progress not perfection. Your individual progress matters more to God than a temporary outcome. He is pleased by your growth and determination. He will help you always and loves you where you are today.

    •Rejection is essential to eventual success. The person who rejects you is often doing so due to his or her own limited understanding or life circumstances.

    •Seeking “perfection” in a partner is usually a sign of anxiety and distracts you from valuing and appreciating foundationally good and compatible relationships. Moving forward with faith will bring more success and happiness than waiting for perfection, which doesn’t exist in others or you. Loving relationships are created, not found.

    •All of your experiences are for your learning and benefit and will bless your life and others’.

    •There is nothing so different or unique about you that you can’t have what other’s have, if you are willing to learn and put in effort. All blessings are predicated upon the laws that govern that blessing (D&C 130:20).

    When my clients choose to repeat these (and the many other truths they discover), they find it easier to have faith in themselves, their future, the goodness of the opposite sex, and the love of God. From this place of faith they are better able to engage fully in dating and manage the highs and lows that are an essential part of relationships and life.

    Faith is a choice, just like love is a choice. You will gain the strength and skills you need to succeed if you seek them with faith.

    Wanting more? Listen to these seven relationship tips from prophets and apostles.