Q&A with Project Love

By Jayne Robinson

We get loved up with Project Love founders Vicki Burtt & Selina Barker

Vicki Burtt and Selina Barker founded Project Love in 2013 to help women lead happy and healthy love lives. Their mission is to break down the barriers of societal stigmas that undermine the struggles of dating in a modern age and to challenge the mainstream concepts about love and how to find it.

By empowering women that are looking for love to understand the disparity between what they think they want and what they actually need in their lives, Project Love guides them to consciously navigate the physical and digital realms when trying to connect to love.

Frame are very excited to announce that next month we will be welcoming Project Love through the Frame doors for a very special event! The How To Be A Good Lover Workshop will teach us the essential elements to enjoying a happy and healthy love-life. Today we caught up with Vicki and Selina to find out a little more about Project Love and why we all need a little more love in our lives…

What is Project Love all about?
Project Love offers women a new approach to love and relationships – one that is all about cultivating love on the inside so that it is flourishing on the outside. We help women lead happy and healthy love lives with our online course and 121 coaching programme “Get Ready for Love”, speaking events, workshops and a regular podcast show.

How are you different to other love and relationship advice out there?
There is a wealth of love and relationships advice out there, where you’ve got “How-to-catch-a-guy-and-keep-him” at one end of the scale and “Ask-the-universe-for-it-and-it-will-come” at the other. These approaches just don’t speak to the smart, self-aware women that we know and, in fact, most of the advice out there plays to people’s fears, insecurities and desires of the ego. It’s just not helpful. So our aim is to offer a whole new style of love and relationship advice that is designed for smart modern women – one that is practical, down-to-earth and fun.

Is it just for single women looking for love?
We predominantly speak to single women in their 30’s who are successful in their careers and lives but feel stuck in their love life and not sure why. They’re the kind of women whose friends say “you’re amazing, I can’t understand why you’re still single.” And neither can they. So our method “Get Ready for Love” is all about putting yourself in the best possible position to find love and is very much aimed at single women looking for love.

However since we launched Project Love we have found that women who are already in relationships and women who are happily single and not looking for love are also wanting to get in on the conversation, because what we talk about is the power of learning to love yourself – once you do that your love life naturally flourishes – and people seem hungry for that conversation in a way that isn’t cheesy, but practical and down-to-earth which is very much our style.

And so we have started to open up Project Love to be about helping all women lead happy and healthy love lives.

Why do you think women get stuck in their love lives?
Most of us have been brought up with pretty confusing and misleading beliefs on love: That it’s a ‘thing’ that you get from other people, so if you’re in a relationship then you have love in your life and if you’re not then you don’t. We’ve been brought up on ideas of knights in shining armour that save us from a life of sad singleness and gallop us off into a happy-ever-after life of coupledom, so that far too many of us believe that being in a relationship will bring us the happiness that we long for and that if you’re a good girl then eventually your knight will come and rescue you. Hollywood and Disney have a lot to answer for with almost no narratives around women being happy in their own right without being in a relationship. We’re also lead to believe that love is down to fate – either you’re lucky in love, or you’re not. That tends to make single women that are wanting to find love frustrated that it hasn’t happened for them and reluctant to believe that they can do anything to change the course of their love lives.

That’s why a large part of what we do at Project Love is to challenge the messages and beliefs we’ve been brought up on and offer women a different way of looking at love. We like to think of ourselves as leading a love revolution!

So how do you help to get women unstuck?

We introduce women to a model of love that is very different to the one we’ve been brought up on – one where rather than finding love on the outside to fulfil you on the inside, you start by cultivating love on the inside. You take a look at the relationship you have with yourself first and get that really flourishing. You look at all the ways you have previously been blocking love from flowing fully into your life and one by one remove those blocks so that it then becomes a matter of when not if you end up in a loving relationship.

What would you say women tend to struggle with when it comes to love?
Vulnerability and being afraid to open up and be seen. This is often disguised as a fear of commitment because commitment requires an element of vulnerability and it is this that clients find scary. The “not enough’isms” – a deep-rooted belief that you’re not good enough, not worthy enough and not deserving enough for love. This is often at the root of other fears that we witness e.g. fear of rejection. Perfectionism is also a pattern that we see, which stems from the belief that you’re not good enough just as you are.

Why is now the time for Project Love?
The world of online dating is thriving at the moment, with more apps launching all the time, but as a nation we still seem to be struggling to find love and meaningful relationships. Now more than ever, we need someone to be having conversations about love and meaningful relationships and what it takes for them to thrive in the modern world.

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