“It’s not about finding someone who won’t fight with you or make you sad. It is about finding the person who will still be standing there wiping the tears away, holding you in their arms after a fight. The one who will never leave, no matter how hard things get.” –Unknown
The concept of true love is one that has been long sought after, captivating the minds, hearts, and imaginations of generation after generation. From the creation of our most popular fairy tales, and the first ‘Happily Ever After’ to today’s modern love stories, the quest to find that one perfect person is regularly discussed in literature, TV, and movies.
While the dating game may seem challenging, when you do come across someone that you think is THE ONE the question remains – is this really it, or another passing fling? Are you ready to settle down with that someone special? Is this your ‘happily ever after’?
Each time we turn on the television we are met with another story of a celebrity marriage that we all believe would stand the test of time falling apart. Another messy divorce gracing the tabloids. In fact, it is arguable that most couples spend more time planning their wedding day than they do their marriage!
If you are interested in finding that ‘special someone,’ settling down and starting your ‘Happily Ever After,’ you need to start by accepting these things:
- Communication is Key
Behind all successful relationships is a foundation of healthy communication. You need to find someone with which you can keep an honest and open dialogue going about anything and everything in life. This doesn’t mean using the term ‘honesty’ as an excuse to tear one another apart. Instead, you must find someone with which you can share your fears and problems without fear of judgment.
- Never Play the Victim
Victim thinking will destroy even the best of relationships. The second you hand over the victim card, looking for pity and sympathy, you denounce control over your own life. The truth is that you DO have control over your life, and so long as you remember that point you can continue to move in a positive and meaningful direction, working through any challenges that are thrown your way.
- To Find Mr/Mrs. Right, You Must First Be Mr/Mrs. Right
Relationships are a two-way street, and as much as you are looking for a certain kind of person to build your life with, so too are the people that you are meeting along the way. Look back at your former relationships and try to discover what went wrong – why didn’t they work out? It is important that you do so in a completely unbiased manner. If you find that the problem was something you had done, then it is time for you to focus on growing and developing into the partner that will attract your Mr. Right!
- Live with Purpose
In order to stay in touch with who we truly are deep down, we must have a thorough understanding of our life’s purpose. If this is an area that you know that you need to improve – start by allowing yourself a little ‘me’ time to focus on the desires of your heart and soul. This doesn’t have to be formal meditation, but you should take the time to relax and think inwardly, reflecting on what you believe you were called to do.
- Make Sure to Set Your Goals
Goal setting is an important step in working towards your ideal life. This includes both as an individual as well as goal setting as a couple. In order to effectively do this, you will need to have an idea of what one another is looking to get out of life. Knowing your goals will allow you to be supportive of one another.
- Remember that Real Love Doesn’t Hurt
Sure, every relationship will come with its ups and downs, and calling it ‘true love’ doesn’t mean you are exempt from facing challenges, however, true love is heavily focused on supporting and aiding one another in a sometimes-difficult world. When one, or both of you, face a challenge, the other should be there doing what they can to ensure that you aren’t’ facing it alone. When you stop and reflect back, true love involves more good days than bad.
- Practice Forgiveness
Everyone is going to hurt you at one time or another in your life, it is part of the human condition. If you are looking to establish a healthy, long-term relationship than you need to acknowledge that there is no place for grudges. When something comes up and you do find that you hurt one another in word or in deed, be prepared to forgive your partner and move on with life rather than wallowing in the difficult times.
- Establish Healthy Boundaries
Before entering into a long-term relationship, you need to determine where your boundaries are. Are you willing to settle down with a smoker? Do you tolerate excessive drinking? At what line do you believe criticism turns into verbal abuse? Understanding these boundaries will help you to find someone that fits into your image of the ideal relationship.
- True Love Means Loving One Another for Who You Are
When you enter into a healthy, lasting relationship it isn’t to find and settle with someone you can ‘mold into’ the perfect person. True love means loving one another as we are, both the good and the bad. It means celebrating one another’s strengths and accepting our faults. If you find that someone is trying to change you, step back and reconsider the relationship.
- Always Be Proactive
You need to be aware of which relationships are healthy and positive, enhancing your life, and which are toxic or negative, detracting from it. Proactively ending friendships and relationships that step over your boundaries or invite negative energies into your life will leave more room for those that should be there. This will allow you to focus your time and energy on those who will help you to discover the best side of yourself.
- Actions Speak Louder than Words
We’ve all met that person – they are capable of saying the right thing in every situation, professing their unending love over and over. True love means not only thinking/saying these things but actually acting upon them. Real relationships involve work and dedication, and you are going to have to be able to step up and do what is required to make it last!