Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Kailen Rosenberg's upcoming book, Real Love, Right Now: A Love Architect’s Thirty-Day Blueprint to Finding Your Soul Mate (Howard Books, 2013).

Do you sense a longing to experience romantic love as God designed it to be, but can’t seem to find it? Are you searching for the right person to marry, yet frustrated that true love seems to be eluding you?

If so, be encouraged that the kind of love you’re searching for really does exist. But you may be unknowingly sabotaging your own opportunities to find true romantic love – either by approaching dating with bad habits or by responding to people God brings your way out of your ego rather than your soul.

Here’s how you can overcome the obstacles that can block you from find the true romantic love God wants you to enjoy:

Let go of misconceptions about love. Open your mind to the reality that love is all around you and that God may lead you to experience true love at any time in any place. In order to embrace this truth, let go of common misconceptions about love, such as: love is unattainable (it’s actually within your reach), love is painful (a romantic partner’s behavior can cause you pain, but love doesn’t cause pain), love is possessive (real love leads to freedom), love demands perfection (true love is unconditional), and love is vain (your ego actually repels love from you, while authenticity attracts love to you). Write down the negative beliefs about love that you have been holding onto; then pray about each one and ask the Holy Spirit to replace your false beliefs with God’s truths about love.

Identify and work to change unhealthy dating behaviors. Ask God to show you how you’re sabotaging your ability to experience true romantic love by acting in unhealthy ways, such as: trying to control others instead of giving them freedom, projecting insecurity rather than confidence, or being critical of others rather than positive toward them. Once you’ve identified unhealthy behaviors, ask God to empower you to stop them and start new, healthy behaviors in your dating relationships. Accept the forgiveness that God offers you for your past mistakes, and forgive yourself, as well. Find a few people you can trust to serve as accountability partners for you while you work to change unhealthy behaviors to healthy ones.

Assess your values and desires. Think and pray about what you believe about romantic love and why those values are important to you. Once you’ve clarified your values, write them down in a journal. Next, write down what qualities you want in a romantic partner, as well as what you don’t want. Ask God to help you focus from now on what you truly should be looking for in a romantic relationship and a romantic partner.

Design a blueprint to build the person you want to become. A vital part of getting yourself ready to embrace true romantic love is evaluating the image you’re projecting to the world in light of who you really are as a person. Often, people’s images and souls are out of sync with each other. If that’s the case with you, you can align your image with the reality of who you are by designing a blueprint that shows how you can present yourself at your best to others. The blueprint describes qualities related to your outer appearance (such as your physical fitness, hair, clothes, style, makeup, and the state of your home) and your inner strengths (such as wisdom, confidence, honesty, peace, and positive thinking).

Rewrite broken love scripts. Painful experiences from your past can cause you to write distorted scripts in your mind about how to deal with romantic love. Identify whether or not you may be telling yourself lies like these: “I have no value when it comes to love,” “I am unworthy of love,” “Love comes in the form of neglect or abuse,” “My value lies only in my beauty or talent,” “No one is good enough for me,” “I can love others only by rescuing or parenting them,” and “I have no value outside a relationship.” Reject these unhealthy attitudes. Rewrite your broken scripts by accepting responsibility for where you are now in your life and letting biblical truths guide your approach to romantic love from now on.

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