What’s that you say? You couldn’t reach your front door yesterday for all the cards and presents clogging up the hallway? And you couldn’t get any work done because you kept pricking yourself on all the red red roses on your desk? I know, it was tough day for us all, wasn’t it.
If however, like most of the population that wasn’t your yesterday, then don’t worry, I have just the antidote! If you’re single and you’d rather not be…or if you’ve just finished reading Break-Up Club (ta very much!) and don’t know what to do with yourself, then I present to you the perfect follow-up: sign up to this brilliant new course called Project Love. The only possible hazard I can think of is that you may find yourself with a Wet Wet Wet song stuck in your head for about twelve weeks. I kept singing ‘Love is All Around you’ as it was written on a good few of the lesson notes. But if you can handle a bit of vintage Marti Pellow humming to you then read on…
You can’t hurry love. But you can do a 30 day course in it.
In the words of its lovely founders, Selina & Vicki, “Get Ready for Love is an online course that contains the 30 essential lessons that we’ve found to be the most effective and powerful to get you ready for love and on your way to a happy and healthy relationship.” How it works is, you get emailed 30 interactive lessons to do at your own pace, with homework to do when it suits you. I was lucky enough to try out the course, and I heartily recommend it to anyone – even if you’re already in a relationship! One of the reasons I was drawn to it is that the aims of the course are a little like those of Break-Up Club: to become happy single, because only then can you become part of a happy union with someone else. Cripes, if only Holly or any of my other characters had been on the course, the book wouldn’t have been half as long. Sorry! Anyway – once you’re done processing your break-up via the 12 essential rules, I cannot recommend Project Love enough. It makes for the perfect epilogue. Here’s a bit more about why I liked it…
You’ve got the love. Yeah, You do!
Saying ‘you need to love yourself before you can love anyone else’ has become something of a cliché these days. But the difference is, Project Love really gets you doing it, through easy, practical methods that slowly seep into your daily rituals ’til they’re habitual. The world can be a cold and lonely place sometimes if you’re not a smug married. And that loneliness goes out the window when you realise you’ve got someone there standing by you the whole time. You!
Any fool can fall in love. But Project Love gets you falling in love the right way… into a relationship that’s built to last. And if you don’t know what the frig any of that means – do the course!
- Lucy Sheridan on ‘Comparison Coaching’ – There’s a really interesting section on how we all sometimes sabotage our own happiness by comparing ourselves to others. No thanks to Mr Zuckerberg!
- The Dating is shit, or is it? podcast has an interesting discussion on how more often than not, heartbreak is just grief for the stories we’ve told ourselves. Without knowing it, we sometimes invent narratives about the person we’re falling for. When we break-up, we have to disconnect with that reality, and let go of ‘that individual who didn’t play to the rules of the game they didn’t even know they were playing’ – the poor little mites.
- Visualisations – The course explores lots of ways to get you ready for the relationship you want. Imagining what it looks like is one part of that. One exercise I found particularly powerful was when they get you to imagine it playing on a screen. It reminded me of what Holly does in ‘Break Up Club’, only she does it in a really destructive way. She plays constant re-runs of The Holly & Lawrence Show before they broke up. Numpty that she is, she’s unable to let go of the past and ‘delete the tapes’. Of course, the thing to do to help yourself after a break-up instead is this: press play on the positive images of what you’d like to see in your future, and the things that make you happy – rather than poking at the burning embers of your broken dreams. And that’s where Project Love is so helpful.
- The Tips on dating are brilliant. I loved happiness coach Gail Schock’s guided meditation for your pre-date-jitters. That said, I must confess I still haven’t ever joined a proper dating site before because a) I just seem to always meet people IRL (what can I say, I’m chatty!) and b) every time I’ve ever briefly tried an app in the past it always seems to end up with me watching jpegs buffering of men holding dogs, and me feeling like it’s all too much ‘ladmin’ – but that’s probably just mostly down to me having a shit data package.
- Lessons in ‘Self-Care’ – This might sound slightly wanky. But all it means is, it’s good to talk to yourself everyday in the kind of tone you would to a good friend – as opposed to a naggy-Mrs-Mangle-on-crack, which I sometimes do. Self-care also means taking yourself for a date once in a while, and nurturing yourself with daily-acts of love. Just the other day I read a really good article in Red Magazine about why we should date ourselves more. To celebrate this, for Valentine’s Day, Project Love are asking people to write themselves a Love Letter:
‘Instead of making this day of love all about romantic love and focusing your attention on others that you love or lust after, we want you to turn all that love right around and in on yourself, starting with the way that you speak to yourself. It is a life changer and key to your happiness and success.’ Check out how to write the letter, here. Of course, once again these ladies are bang on. Only last week I was listening to a Guilty Feminist podcast where Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge did an exercise in counting how many times she judged herself in a day. And this is a writer/actor at the top of her game. See, we all do it! We all need to exercise a little more self-care. The more you do that, the more you actually get a sense that there is someone there, catching you. And that’s the breakthrough moment – suddenly you realise you’re become the controller of your thoughts and your feelings – no one else is. That’s well worth remembering, whether you’re in a relationship or not.
All the Single Ladies
Lastly, another incentive to joining Project Love is that you get free membership to the warm, friendly community that is the Secret Facebook group ‘The Love Zone’. Take it from me – if you’re going dating (on or offline), then you need these girls in your corner.
And while we’re at it, you also REALLY need this girl! A frigging hilarious stand-up comedian I’ve met recently in Melbourne, she’s co-host of a sassy-as-shit podcast about sex and online dating – SwipeNight. I bring you the hysterical and lovely Rose Callaghan. If you happen to be in Melbs for the comedy festival, go see!
So there you have it. Between SwipeNight and Project Love, and your old chums the BUC, you’ve got the best possible support group you could ask for as you ride roughshod through The Jungle Of Single on this, the week of Valentine’s. And who knows, with all that going on, maybe it won’t be long before you’re the proud recipient of one of these puppies:
If you’re interested in joining Project Love just head here to sign up (and to get a very good price discount of £20 – Just type in the code Loreleilove) – Good luck!
A quick missive from the Land of La La, where I’ve come to live for a short while, having just gone on a year-long sabbatical from my ‘day-job’ in Advertising. Hurrah. Feeling very lucky! I’ll keep the smug-posts to an absolute minimum but this is just to say that in my first week I’ve ticked off a number of important Californian Cliches:
- Making friends with a plastic surgeon in a coffee shop
- Being told we have ‘cute accents’ about 457 times
- Going on a midnight drive to find the Hollywood sign, and not being able to find it – instead, getting into jetlag-fuelled delerium in our attempts to pronounce Griffith Observatory without laughing. Just try and say it without sounding like you have a speech-impediment. It’s nigh-on-impossible. But maybe it’s the jetlag.
- Going for a jog around the canals followed by an EXTREMELY green juice.
- Yoga on the beach daily
- Falling over while in Eagle pose, daily. Yoga on soft sand is very hard.
- Being offered the chance to look at a turtle with two heads. Politely declining said offer.
- Making lots of new friends because you can’t not, when everyone is this friendly.
- Meeting two drunk men in a bar having a homo-erotic fumble – one who turns out to be an actor from Sex and the City.
- Making friends with our Lyft driver who turns out to be an AMAZING musician called Slark. His latest track – of course – is called ‘Break Up’ which he wrote about his recent conscious uncoupling. It’s going in the BUC soundtrack as soon as it’s on Spotify!
- Realising Netflix is so, so much better here. They have The Wonder Years! Which was pretty much the defining show of mine and my roomie’s childhood. So now we watch an episode a day, and I have so far cried at Every Single One. Kevin&Winnie4Eva.
That’s all really. Except that, my book comes out on Thursday, so I might say a few words then! ‘Til then, here’s some wise words from a wall in Venice Beach – good to remember in a break-up, but also in life. Have a really, really really nice day y’all.