I was 24 years old when I fell deeply and intensely in love. I thought I would spend my entire life with this person. I trusted my choice in heart, body and soul. I was 29 when we married and I felt the joining of the two of us in my roots. While that deep, undeniable intense love brought magic and passion into my life, when we got divorced, I was left shattered.

Ending our marriage was unbelievably devastating, confusing, and shocking. I didn’t understand how I could have made such a wrong choice. I felt I had betrayed myself. How was I ever going to feel complete and whole again?

I literally felt the roots of my body had been ripped out. After years of healing and forgiving, I moved on and transformed. I buried the dead and learned that my first marriage had been a lesson of self-worth.

Recently, I opened my heart and began dating again…in New York of all places! New York has a bad reputation for singles who are interested in connecting, bonding and creating beautiful intimacy. It’s a vortex of rushed energy, transient people, busy people, traveling people, guarded people, jaded people and sometimes in the hustle of it all, our minds go into overdrive and we close our hearts.

Women and the sacred feminine inside all of us run on heart energy. This is our beautiful, beating beacon of life and radiance and this is where we turn our light on! Naturally, women like to relate and long to share this radiance with their friends, family and romantic partners. It’s natural to want to share this energy and feel a complete sense of belonging and love. It can get imbalanced when we long for that completion outside of us if we are not consistently filling our own cup with self-love.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever longed for a guy to complete you, love you, nurture and protect you. I certainly have!

The whole mindset around a man completing a woman is deeply engrained in our collective female psyche. We are told, convinced even, that we need a man to nurture and love us, to provide for us, and to protect us from the dangers of the world. What if there was a different truth than the one we’ve been listening to for years and generations and centuries? What if we have what we need to lead rich and fulfilling lives we possess within ourselves.

After my divorce, every time I’ve tried to date or have a relationship I was a mess in the beginning stages. I was filled with anxiety, helplessness and powerlessness. I met this guy years ago; let’s call him David. When I met David I was living in Ibiza, Spain. We were in romance bliss, but that didn’t last.

Since David was a marine-biologist and loved the freedom of the seas, he traveled and was away most days the summer we were together. I went out of my way to see him when it was convenient for him. I became anxious and crazy and my lovely, relaxed energy started to become one of desperation and needing to get his attention. David started pulling away more and more. The frequency of calls and texts declined. He stopped initiating contact (but would always respond when I reached out to him, acting nice and normal like always). Eventually, I stopped reaching out because it felt imbalanced, ignored, rejected and incomplete.

I dated many, many guys after David and I observed the times when I was overly available, feeling anxious, clingy and needy for their attention – I was giving away my power. The problem was I hadn’t worked on myself. I had a very needy mindset and I derived way too much of my self-worth from how men responded to me. That’s not what confidence looks like. (Read: 10 Things Confident People Dare To Do Differently.)

As empowered women, we all have all the resources we need to survive available to us within ourselves. This is our deep, inner power. So it’s time to stop searching for it in the outside world.

How do we do that?

1. Be Emotionally Whole
Being emotionally independent means that you take responsibility for your own happiness. It means being realistic about who’s in control of your happiness. As in keeping clear of your individual identity so you do not “lose yourself” in the other person.

The other person is not responsible for making you happy. YOU are, and when you follow and stay in control of your own happiness, then your life is empowered.

2. Stand Your Ground
Don’t let a guy disrespect your needs. You do not have to put up with any bad behavior. If he treats you in any way that’s not okay with you, let him know. Don’t spiral and over-analyze what you did wrong to be disrespected.

If a guy flakes or cancels on a date and gives you an insincere excuse, do you let him know it’s okay and clear your schedule to meet up another time?

If a guy knows he can get away with anything he wants and you’ll still be waiting around for him, he’s not going to value you and instead he’ll take advantage of you.

Next time he calls or texts, you can let him know. “My time is valuable. I’m available this day Thursday and Friday nights.” Then he says great I’ll meet you at this time Thursday at Landmarc Bar. You don’t need to confirm. If he is a gentleman, then he will honor the commitment and meet you there. If he flakes and cancels then he is not honoring the commitment and you do not want to reward his behavior. So you say, “I’m really happy to meet up with you and I like it when people honor their commitments and stick to plans. Since you’ve already canceled twice, this isn’t going to work for me. Thanks, I’ll be seeing you around.”

3. Believe In Yourself And That You Are A Prize Worth Winning
Men value things they have to earn. Be confident and see yourself as the prize that your man has to work hard for to win. Being the prize is all about inner confidence and knowing that you are worthy of being loved, adored, and worshipped.

If you feel unworthy or unsure that he will step up to the plate to pursue you and are constantly trying to impress a guy and win him over, he’s going to intuitively sense that you don’t value yourself. Men are just as intuitive as women!

When you treat him like the prize and work hard to win him over, you are valuing him much more than you are valuing yourself. If he feels like you did all the work to get him into a relationship, he’s going to feel trapped because it wasn’t his choice.

A man falls in love to a woman when it’s his choice to chase after her. He has to feel like he won the prize.

4. Be Vulnerable And Connect With Your True Self
A big part of valuing yourself is your willingness to be vulnerable. I know, it can be scary to see and accept the real you. But you have to be vulnerable enough to be who you really are and feel comfortable that other people will like you for your real self as well.

How do you become vulnerable? By connecting to the beautiful and unique YOU; as in coming into alignment with our higher-self or true-self. This is the part of you that wants you to be the master of your own direction. Only you can truly see you, and only you can truly know what you need. When we put the responsibility on someone to provide for us, we have created a situation that is set up to fail.

5. Make Self-Love and Self-Care Your Foundation For Love
Take the time to nurture yourself throughout the day was and actually listen to your own needs and body.

A lot of women get caught up in the fantasy of having a boyfriend. They might not care that much about the guy they’re with, so long as they are with somebody and don’t have to be alone. Be comfortable with being alone and honor yourself with daily, weekly and monthly rituals. It’s very nourishing to make nurturing rituals for yourself Explore My Top 6 Self-Love Rituals here.

Acknowledge and appreciate yourself. When you recognize your best qualities and show your sincere appreciation for the gorgeous Goddess you are, you will raise your self-confidence and fall in love with you.

6. Return To Old-Fashioned Values
If you were raised with old-fashioned values then dating apps and casual sex may feel uncomfortable to you. On the other hand, you may feel completely empowered dating multiple men. Whatever the case, own your sexual power.

Don’t just give it away to anyone who gives attention and buys you a drink. Your sexuality is a gift and a treasure. When you save yourself after getting to know another person and connect with them emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physical in an organic way you build intimacy, trust, friendship and connection. These are high-vibrational qualities. Values like these can hold a relationship together without the need for control, drama, manipulation and mind-games.

What’s the rush? Empowered women have sexual urges, desires and cravings too. They want sex. They don’t NEED sex. They won’t die without it. So they don’t find themselves in compromising situations that diminish self-esteem. They also realize their body is their temple and only someone worthy of respecting that temple is allowed entry.

7. Practice Self-Empowerment, Confidence and Courage
A life of empowerment or enlightenment requires us to show up in class, do our inner work of slaying our emotional fears.

What are our fearful reactions? Fear of rejection. Jealousy. Fear of loss. Fear of abandonment. Anxiety. How do we transform them into loving responses? Through self-worth.

Connect to your self-worth in such a way that you love yourself first before you love another person, and the love that you do give to another is the overflow of love you have for yourself. In other words, make yourself first.

8. Practice Personal Balance
Bring a depth of personal balance into your life. Personal balance is the persistent focus of self-awareness, self-love and self-loyalty. Remember how I spoke earlier about having felt like I had betrayed myself? That’s where self-loyalty comes in. Be loyal to who are at your core. And if you don’t know what that is yet, enjoy the discovery process.

Balance in relationships is where you are not pushed around by the emotional imbalance of others. Your connection to your true-self / spiritual-self keeps you in tune how you respond to your happiness. You are aware of the unique you. When you are in that place in you, your relationships will reflect that balance.

When we become imbalanced, eg. Expect the other to fill our needs, heal our wounds, resolve past mistakes and failures, be responsible for your moods, etc. This is disempowerment in action and we are in a place of imbalance. We are placing the other person first. This action comes from fear of losing or rejection. Connecting to self-worth insures that everyone that you become involved with reflects to you the same self-worth you feel for yourself.

9. Check In With Yourself
All these techniques are meant to empower you.

Empowerment = joy
Disempowerment = drama

Ask yourself.
Does this inspire me?
Does this empower me?
Does this energize me?

There’s no way to be perfect in relationships and there’s no reason we ever should. All our flaws come out so it’s about being gentle with ourselves, accepting who we are in the moment and loving ourselves through the process.

It took a long time to realize I needed to stop prioritizing guys above myself. When you are a woman who values herself and is confident in who she is, you don’t need to play mind games and you will naturally activate a man’s instinctive desire to pursue.

Whenever I am dating someone new, I take it slow. It’s easy for me, for anyone one of us, to be swept away in romance and sensuality. In our busy lives we crave it and long for it. As long as you know that you are the source of sensuality, love and pleasure, you can generate those feelings within yourself instead of looking for a man to fill those needs for you.

It’s about learning and growing in relationships. Not looking like you have it together 100% all of the time, in control and invincible. Be willing to discover yourself and who you truly are. Men don’t fall in love the same way women do. They connect with you when you are connected to yourself, your worth, your value. This is your greatest source of strength and power.


  • Zinnia Gupte

    Sacred Feminine Wisdom Teacher / Age of Aquarius teachings

    Zinnia is an inspirational author, sacred feminine wisdom teacher, speaker and retreat leader who helps women embrace their sacred feminine power. She is the best-selling author of Messages From Shakti, hosts the Shakti Power podcast on iTunes. Her courses and retreats are designed to help women rejuvenate and heal from corporate burn-out, stress and heartbreak. She is also the co-author of Inspiration For A Woman’s Soul: Cultivating Joy, Grace & Gratitude, Women of Midlife Wisdom 2, Unleash Your Magnificence. Her 7th book, "Breaking the Spell" will be in the world soon. Zinnia divides her time between New York City and Ibiza, Spain and hosts classes and retreats every year in Spain. Reach Zinnia at www.shaktipriestess.com and receive your free self-love gift!