Heal from love gone wrong. If a romantic partner has hurt you (such as by neglecting you, abusing you, or cheating on you), pursue the healing God offers you by: being honest about your own role in the relationship’s problems, relying on God to help you forgive the person who hurt you and forgive yourself for your own mistakes, recognizing that every romantic relationship can teach you valuable lessons about love even if it doesn’t work out, and looking back on your failed relationships with compassion and understanding while moving forward with hope and trust in God.

Design a blueprint to build the romantic partner you want to meet. Just as you designed a blueprint that describes how you can present your best qualities to potential romantic partners, design one that describes the specific qualities you hope to find in a romantic partner. Include some information about the person’s appearance since you should be physically attracted to him or her, but keep in mind that spiritual and emotional qualities are far more important than physical qualities in order to build a strong relationship that can lead to a healthy marriage.

Get yourself ready for love. These steps are all important parts of preparing yourself to meet a new romantic partner: envisioning love for yourself, letting go of desperation, radiating loving energy, listening to your inner voice, dealing with past wounds, shifting your self-image to one of confidence, letting go of excuses that are holding you back, and learning your love language.

Build a strong foundation. Keep in mind that any future romantic relationship should have all of these building blocks in its foundation: unconditional love, gratitude, empathy, acceptance, charity, friendship, and kindness. Don’t settle for less.

Start dating the right way. Approach dating in a healthy way, with love and respect for yourself and your romantic partners. Keep in mind that the dating process should be a courtship with marriage in mind, and involve purity and balance (rather than games or power plays). Ask God to help you and the person you’re dating to save sex for marriage, even if you or your romantic partner has had sex before in previous relationships. Keep in mind that becoming sexually intimate before marriage interferes with your ability to wisely discern whether or not the person you’re dating is truly the right person for you. Realize, too, that saving sex for marriage protects you from lots of unnecessary heartache. Give yourself plenty of time to figure out if you’re with the right person, and, if so, to build a strong foundation on which you then can build a strong marriage.

Adapted from Real Love, Right Now: A Love Architect’s Thirty-Day Blueprint to Finding Your Soul Mate, copyright 2013 by Kailen Rosenberg. Published by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., Brentwood, TN, http://imprints.simonandschuster.biz/howard.       

Kailen Rosenberg is the founder of The Love Architects, a matchmaking and love design firm, and was co-host of OWN’s show Lovetown USA. She has appeared on the Today show, Good Morning America, and CNN, among others. Visit her website at: www.thelovearchitects.com.

Whitney Hopler, who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years, is author of the new Christian novel Dream Factory, which is set during Hollywood's golden age. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.

Publication date: August 15, 2013