real love stories

Try our new Project Love Couples Check-in Tool

 
 

🎧 You can also listen to this and all of our other podcasts on Apple Podcast (iTunes) and Spotify.

If you’re in a long term relationship do you ever feel like you get stuck in a bit of a rut sometimes of feeling like you’re more housemates than loving and attentive partners? Do you ever find yourself getting irritable and feeling frustrated that your partner isn’t giving you what you need or making you feel the way you want to feel in a relationship? Do you ever wish that there was a little more connection and love between the two of you?

Well congratulations! It means that you are human!

All of us, no matter how much we love our partner, will have times where they just don’t seem to be giving us what we need, where we only ever seem to have conversations about who is doing the dinner tonight and can you remember to pick up toilet paper on the way home.

Which is why taking the time to step back together from your busy lives and really focus and reconnect as a couple is absolutely vital to making love last.

But how do you do that?

Well, inspired by the Rewilding your Relationship couples retreat we did with Canopy and Stars back in 2018, we wanted to have a go at creating a tool for couples to use, to help them reconnect, address any issues bubbling under the surface and get the love flowing.

A tool that you can use whenever you need a bit of a relationship check-in.

So we teamed up with Canopy and Stars to do it, because honestly, there is nothing that supports and nurtures reconnection with yourself and your partner like being in nature and in beautiful relaxing, luxurious surroundings and that is what Canopy and Stars are all about (if you haven’t checked them out yet, come and feast your eyes on all the amazing glamping places you can stay over here, from treehouses, to yurts, to cabins, all nestled in beautiful natural surroundings, from woods to lakes to the sea).

We each went for two nights to a Canopy and Stars magical location (Vicki went to Ditchling Cabin and Selina went to The Treehouse at Harptree Court) and we tried out our couples check-in tool to see how it worked and WOW, the check-in combined with staying in the most amazing C&S places had such a powerful and long-lasting effect on both of us and our relationships.

Ditchliny Cabin

Ditchliny Cabin

The Treehouse at Harptree Court

The Treehouse at Harptree Court

So in this episode we share what we learnt from using our Project Love Couples Check-in tool and the power of reconnecting with your partner in nature.

And now you can download the Project Love Couples Check-in Tool here and give it a go yourself!

And when you do, email us at hello@loveprojectlove.com and let us know how you got on.

And thank you to Canopy and Stars - we are officially obsessed and we will be back!

X Selina and Vicki

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PODCAST | Real Love Story with our very own Love Coach Vicki Pavitt

PODCAST | Real Love Story with our very own Love Coach Vicki Pavitt

This week we had our very own Vicki Pavitt in the hot seat telling her own Real Love Story. One thing you might not know about Vicki is that she finds telling her own story nerve wracking, so this is a real act of vulnerability for Vicki and I am so grateful for her courage because this interview offered sooo much in the way of inspiration and deep conversation about love, relationships and how to navigate doubts and fears at the start of relationships and how to help your relationship to flourish over the years.

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PODCAST: Real Love Story with Natasha Lunn

 

🎧 You can also listen to this and all of our other podcasts on Apple Podcast (iTunes) and Spotify.

So excited for you to listen to this week’s real love story interview with the fabulous Natasha Lunn.  Tune in as Natasha talks to Vicki about dating apps and 12 hour first dates, speaking your truth, wholeheartedness and choosing to go ‘all in’ on love (starting with going ‘all in’ with dating). And much much more!

This podcast is packed full of wisdom as Natasha shares her love story with Dan and also the lessons learnt from interviewing people about finding love and making it last (check out ‘Conversations on Love’ - Natasha’s bimonthly email newsletter investigating love, one conversation at a time).

So grab a cup of tea, hit play and enjoy! You can also listen on iTunes and now - *drum roll please* - on Spotify!

Really hope you enjoy this episode.

Much love,

x Selina and Vicki

P.S If you’re feeling stuck in your love life and finding dating to be frustrating and exhausting then come and join 'Get Ready for Love’, our online course that has helped 500+ women to find love. 'Get Ready for Love’ contains the 30 essential lessons that we've found to be the most effective and powerful in getting you ready for love and on your way to a happy and healthy relationship. It’s like having a love coach in your pocket, with advice, tools and guidance that can be listened to during the daily commute or en route to a date! Find out more over here.

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PODCAST: Real Love Story with Selina Barker

I first interviewed Selina for a real love story back in 2015. We reflected on her journey of feeling completely stuck in love and wondering if it was ever going to happen for her, to feeling an abundance of love, and not just with a loving partner (we actually revealed in the podcast that she was expecting!) but the love that she discovered from the inside out.

And now, 3 years later, Selina is back in the hot seat, but this time to tell a much deeper love story.

This is a journey of hitting rock bottom in life and rising strong, healing and finding your way back home with love as your compass. A journey that starts and ends with ourselves.

This is a story that has never been told before and I’m actually hearing it for the first time. There is such a beautiful sense of vulnerability and intimacy to it. It’s everything our podcasts are about - hearing women opening up and sharing from the heart. And that takes real courage. Thank you Selina, it was an honour to hold the space and to hear you tell your story, your REAL love story.

 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

V xxx

P.S. next week (21st March), we’re running a free Masterclass  ‘A modern approach to finding love’ so if you’re feeling stuck in your love life then come and join us! Head here to save your seat (we’ll send you the recording if you can’t join us live)

P.P.S  'Get Ready for Love’ (our online course to help you to transform your love life) is on its way back 🎉🎉🎉 and almost (ALMOST!) ready to be released back into the world with all new videos, brand new bonus audios from amazing guests and a whole new sparkly platform to access the whole course...watch out for exciting announcements later this week! We are SO excited for you to get your hands on it!!!

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PODCAST: Real Love Story with Caroline Atkinson

 

So excited to share this podcast with you - a real love story with a friend of mine, Caroline Atkinson, whose love story with Gus spans almost 10 years.

We talk about relationship challenges, the incredible lessons learnt from spending 6 years apart, the importance of taking responsibility for your own happiness and the absolute joy of brunching on your own.

I remember attending a talk with Alain de Botton and he made reference to the fact that novels and films (in particular, fairy tales and rom coms) often don't give us a correct map of love and 'leave us unprepared to deal adequately with the difficulties of being in a couple'. And so we grow up with slightly unrealistic notions of love and what it means to be in a relationship. Hearing Caroline share her story really helped me to understand this more deeply and how we can update our 'map of love' to be more in-line with the realities of relating in today's world. 

I was so inspired by Caroline's journey of self discovery and self love and how she and Gus were able to start a new chapter in their relationship and the strength and vulnerability that requires, on both parts. I hope you enjoy this as much as I loved recording it.

V xxx

 

 

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PODCAST: Real Love Story with Luke Montgomery-Smith

If you're looking to have you spirits lifted this week then listen in to this beautiful love story of the gorgeous Luke Montgomery-Smith and his girlfriend Gina. Tune in to hear Luke talk about finding love when he wasn’t expecting it, how relationships can heal and the clarity that can be found when leaning into loneliness.

Luke had seen strong and loving relationships growing up but wasn't convinced this kind of relationship was available to him. It wasn't until he let his guard down and allowed himself to fall in love that things developed. I was so inspired by his openness and level of vulnerability and honesty.  

 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I loved recording it

V xxx

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Getting ready for marriage: one woman’s approach

As some of you know, I got married last month! It was mind blowing and life changing in ways I could never have imagined or anticipated. A huge celebration of love and friendship that I will treasure forever. But rather than indulge you with all the details of the wedding itself (this isn’t a wedding blog after all), I wanted to share the ways I prepared for it.

The preparation of marriage - emotionally, mentally, spiritually - is often overlooked, with the focus being firmly on ‘the big day’. Like with any big transition in life, fear plays a role and in preparing for the new, we say goodbye to the old.

Here are some of the ways that I consciously navigated the transition.

1. Making time to reflect

This was a great piece of advice from our friend Sam who married us in Spain. Through the process of preparing for our ceremony, I was given homework to start reflecting on the meaning of marriage and our decision to marry each other. I asked myself; what’s my intention for marriage? What makes a good one? What do I want to promise and commit to? How can I stay true to myself and not lose myself in this marriage?

Some pretty meaty questions that couldn’t be answered in one sitting. I got myself a new notebook (any excuse, I am stationary obsessed) and scheduled some dates with myself to start getting clearer on it all.

2. Feeding up on inspiration

To help answer some of my big questions, I read books on love, collected inspiring quotes and poems about marriage, I read blogs, listened to podcasts and drew inspiration from friends’ relationships that I admired. One of the biggest lessons? That marriage is about the union of two souls whilst also being faithful to the voice of your own soul.

This process of gathering inspiration helped me to get clear on what I wanted to commit to. I wrote about being fully present in my marriage, my promise to be Pav’s lifelong dancing partner and to make loving fun. And as well as committing my love to him, I made a commitment to my own self-love, as I know our marriage will flourish if I stay true to my needs and take responsibility for my own happiness.

I was inspired by a blog post by Melody Godfred, the co-founder of the Self Love Pinky Ring, where she talked about how self love saved her marriage. And I discovered a pretty cool ancient symbol of sacred geometry that consists of two circles overlapping in a way that creates a third circle in the middle (known as the Vesica Piscis):

One plus one equals three. This can only be possible, though, if each remains true to themselves - if they maintain their own boundaries by being honest about the desires and needs that cannot be compromised
— ‘How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People)’ by Meggan Watterson & Lodro Rinzler

3. Preparing to be vulnerable

The idea of standing up in front of our family and friends, celebrating our love felt super indulgent, even if a wedding gives you full permission to do it. That’s what they want, that’s why they are there! But I was still blocked around this. I went to Jody Shield’s LifeTonic event with a friend and I worked on my resistance to open up, I listened to heart-opening meditations, I meditated with the Headspace app and I prepared to get spiritually naked. I find giving love a whole lot easier than receiving it and actually when I thought about it, the idea of feeling love from all our family and friends all.at.once felt overwhelming. For me, being vulnerable will always feel uncomfortable, I am feeling vulnerable right now as I write to you. I am so used to writing from my comfort zone, speaking as a love coach, but recently (since my hen party) I have started to open up about my personal life in the Project Love space. In feeling the fear and doing it anyway, I normalise that discomfort so it doesn't have so much power over me. Our wedding ceremony felt like one big cuddle and by opening up to receive all the love that was showered on us, I realised just how supported I am in this next chapter of my life.  

4. Journalling one out

Preparing for marriage brought up a whole spectrum of emotions for me, from the incredible sense of joy to the confusion about my new identity as a wife and a woman with a new name. Even trying on my wedding dress for the first time triggered some insecurities, which sounds silly now but felt very real at the time (as someone who lives in jeans and trainers, I just didn’t feel ‘polished’ enough for a gorgeous silk dress. Aren’t beautiful dresses for really girly girls?). I turned to my journal to make sense of my feelings and developed a 3-part process for working through my fears:

  • Step 1: Raw and unfiltered mega riff - getting it all down on the page
  • Step 2: Asking myself, ‘Ok so what do I want instead?’
  • Step 3: Stepping into the shoes of a loved one and writing myself a loving note of kindness and support

When I read back to some of those notes, I recognise the voice of the loved one as the way I talk to clients or how I console a friend. I don’t always speak to myself in that way, often it’s a dance between my inner critic (AKA the Shitty Committee) and my inner cheerleader. In writing my thoughts out like this, I could manage my fears whilst having a huge amount of compassion for myself.

5. Feeling the feelings

In any period of change and expansion, even an immensely positive one like a wedding, it’s normal to feel a sense of loss. In the run up to the wedding, there were moments where I felt down for absolutely no reason. We tend to fuel our emotions with our thinking, so when I was feeling a bit sad, I’d then feel sad about feeling sad. This is rarely the stuff that’s covered in wedding mags or wedding blogs and it’s not really talked about, which brought up some guilt at not feeling ecstatically happy all the time. In honouring where I was at, and ignoring how I ‘should’ be feeling, I was able to just sit with it. Sometimes I would just say to myself ‘It is what it is’ or ‘I surrender’ when the shitty committee was giving me a hard time. It really helped to talk things through with friends and to talk it through with Pav, we had a really honest chat the week before the wedding, about the expectations on us and the worry of disappointing our guests - what if we’d had a really bad nights sleep the night before and we were quite low on energy? Or how about those days when you wake up in a weird mood and you just can’t shake it? Maybe those worries are totally unique to us but it was so great to talk about them. We both agreed that whatever we were feeling was totally normal and to just go with it. And that is exactly what we did, as a team.

There's a piece of advice that was read out by a friend during our wedding ceremony and it's something that I'll be carrying with me in this new chapter:

People evolve and develop over time
Don’t see this change as scary. It’s beautiful.
Wholeheartedly embrace getting to know
The new you’s every single day.

Like with any big transition in life, preparing for marriage is a soul journey, full of incredible highs and unexpected twists and turns. We close the door to a part of ourselves that we know so well to open the door to something new. I’m just getting my bearings here but my feeling so far is that it's pretty wonderful. 

V x

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