Whenever we think of “true love,” we immediately picture the fairy-tale romance. We think of Romeo and Juliet. We go to a place of false expectations. True love exists. It’s always available for creation, but you must find a balance within you that manifests such love. You must know the real you, and then another will align with your life.

Here are 10 things you need to create true love:

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1. Love yourself first.

This is a given, yet the hardest of all things to do. We project love and expect it to find us. Then when the love is not in alignment with our desires we fall apart. Loving yourself is necessary. When you know yourself, every flaw and beautiful insight, you get to understand what you truly need in a relationship. If you cannot love the most important person in your life then no one else can do it for you.

2. Acquire a sense of humor.

Laughter is the best medicine. Sometimes in the journey to find love you hit a few speed bumps. Don’t take life so serious. Enjoy the ride. You might meet several people along the way who are not meant to be your true love. They will let you know that love is one giant prankster waiting for the right timing. Find the joy in all that comes your way. Your true partner will join you in the adventure of laughter.

3. Depend on yourself.

You are responsible for you. You cannot, and should not, add all the dependency upon someone else. There are no halves in love. There is your whole and that other person’s whole. You connect as one but holding on to your own individuality. Co-dependence plays a toxic role in relationships.

4. Learn from another.

We are each others’ mirrors. We arrive into this world with unbelievable agendas while partaking in endless lessons. When you find true love, that person will show you parts of yourself that might not feel good. They might be parts that you haven’t looked at. True love and partnership will bring out the dark and light of each others’ personalities. Allow for these moments.

5. Embrace each others’ quirks.

If you are looking for a romance novel type of love you will be disappointed. You are not required to live in a romance state of bliss all the time. You and your partner will have quirks, eccentricities, goofiness, and all sorts of irrational behavior. Find the person that lifts you up and enhances your quirks. You will enjoy life to the fullest.

6. Open up your heart.

Tear down the walls. Past loves tend to break the heart in a million pieces. Often times we carry those fragments into other relationships. We put up guards and endless miles of barbed wire around ourselves as not to get hurt. The point of looking for love is allowing another person to enter our lives in entirely. Vulnerability is sexy and courageous.

7. Place your focus on giving.

A relationship is made up of giving and taking. But, give of yourself first. You are responsible for what you bring to this new union. If you are focusing on what you can get, then you aren’t truly allowing love to flow. It’s your job to love unconditionally.

8. Let go of expectations.

If you expect nothing, you will not be disappointed. Expectations are irrational in a relationship. You are responsible for you. To expect another to know how you feel or do things your way is not a partnership. It’s a dictatorship.

9. Be honest with yourself.

When you know what you want you attract that. You know the things that you can tolerate and those you will not entertain. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Your gut always lets you know what feels right. If you are having doubts, step back and begin to take account of those things. You are not just falling in love with another. You are aligning with them to the highest form of energy. Be honest on how that feels.

10. Live your life with purpose.

When we enter into new love affairs, we tend to forget our roles in life. It becomes all about the other person: making them happy, fulfilling their life, doing the things that they want to do, etc. Don’t forget your individuality and the purpose of living authentically. Your love should be able to have his/her own agendas and purpose. Do not abandon your calling just to answer theirs.

Love is magical in a every way. From the moment you set eyes on that person life seems to stop. Love another with all that you are but don’t forget to take your mind along for the journey.