Many want to experience true love, but do they really know what that means?
In many ways, true love is similar to marriage or having children. We have romantic fantasies, fueled by society, about these life choices. And yet, rarely do we think— what clicks a relationship.
Once the honeymoon phase of the relationship is over, the people concerned will realise that they know nothing about each and that they don’t share common goals and ideas. Similarly, the idea of having a baby makes us feel overwhelmingly happy but the happiness dies down once your baby has colic, won’t take a bottle, or has special needs. This is all about parenthood. But its’s shocking to know that one is not ready for it.
True love is a lot about working things out – together. Because, love is action, love is work, and love is a decision.
Love is not granted to you, it is not going to last by itself. One needs to consciously and actively work on it for it’s constant betterment. Most things of value, are lost. Every day, couples get divorced. Every day, fussy babies are ignored or, worse, mistreated—because the responsibility inherent in marriage, and parenthood, was not appreciated before deciding to take it on.
To love and be loved in a positive, and healthy way is not effortless. True love means saying “no” to urges. True love means being conscious rather than hurtful, being compassionate rather than selfish, acknowledging your partner’s needs, being faithful. True love includes both big and small acts.
Dysfunctional relationships are not hard to build. It is so common that people do it all the time. Oh, the ennui of taking another emotional hostage, or allowing same for yourself. It may be chaos, drama, and decimation, but it is familiar.
But, to really love someone who really loves you is to be emotionally mature, healthy, supportive, and caring. It is a team work, partnership, compromise, and acceptance. Real, true love amplifies while dysfunctional love contracts. And yet, that which amplifies comes with work and responsibility both to self and to each other.
There are things you can do that will almost guarantee success:
1. To find the right person, you need to be the right person.
Before being in a relationship, you must build yourself.
What went wrong in your last relationship? What personal patterns and habits do you need to address?
Have you entirely moved on from the toxicity of your previous relationship? Does it affect you anymore?
If you are in a relationship and are both trying to save it, you—both of you—figure it out and heal your past wounds. Therapy is a good start. And, you both are in, or no one is in. If one partner wants to change and the other doesn’t, it is not a relationship anymore.
2. Know your boundaries.
What are your relationship deal-breakers? What else is a non-starter? Drug abuse? Excessive drinking? Dishonesty? Financial instability? Racial slurs? Emotional, verbal, or any other abuse? Be clear with yourself before you go in.
Once you know your deal breakers, be prepared to follow through. This is not about losing the other person, this is about not losing yourself. And, by the way, men and women: emotional, verbal, physical or sexual abuse is a one-shot deal breaker. A person who will treat you like this is not likely to ever change, but rather to ratchet up the abuse. They are absolutely not your problem to solve.
If you are allowing yourself to go through experiences you would rather avoid, then it’s time you start to think of your boundaries. You’ll be stuck again in dysfunction, bargaining to accept less than you want, and certainly, less than you deserve.
3. True love is healthy communication.
Communication is one of the biggest tool to understand and foster well being in a relationship. To actively listen to the legitimate concerns of your partner is a tool used in successful relationships.
Do you want to be with someone who calls you names? Or blames you for things, nitpicks at you? I don’t.
When you talk with your partner, begin with “I feel” or “I think” statements, and be with those who do the same. There is always some amount of mind games in a toxic relationship but a healthy relationships is transparent. If you feel like you’re in a game, the way to win is to not play.
4. True love means goals and desires, both yours and as a couple.
Figure out what you’ve always wanted to do—and do it. Find out what your partner wants in and out life and support it. Decide, early on, if you can and will support each other.
You want to be happy, you want your partner to be happy, and you want to be happy together. Get to this early or you will be disappointed, and disillusioned. You do only live once, so make the most of it.
5. Be proactive in all your relationships.
Make choices about relationships and friendships—even those with relatives—and don’t let friendships or professional connections just happen, or continue if they no longer meet your needs or violate your boundaries. Be with those who are loving, respectful, honest, and open.
Choose people who value the quality of trustworthiness. Those who keep you in the darkness about your position in their lives are people who deplete your positive energies.