[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you’re not currently in a romantic relationship but open to the possibility, it’s the perfect time to assess both yourself and what you desire out of your true love. We plan so many different aspects of our lives – education, finances, career, health…so why don’t we prepare for finding love? As a consequence, most people tend to “figure things out” as they enter (and especially exit) many relationships.
Contrary to popular belief, certain knowledge and understanding can be acquired that helps the likelihood of true love. Yes, love is an emotion and a powerful one…but it’s not as mysterious as many make it out to be. In other words, there are ways to prepare yourself to experience love – ways to figure it out. The great thing is that by preparing yourself beforehand, when true love does come, it’ll be more blissful than you could imagine.
Here are 10 things to figure out when preparing to find true love:
First – focus on yourself
This is number one for a very good reason – you should not prioritize romance before yourself. If there are any areas of your life that are off-balance or things that you wish to rectify, do so. If there are emotional needs to be tended to, take care of them. If your finances are a problem, figure them out. If you hate your job, don’t like your appearance, whatever the case may be – focus on taking care of yourself before attempting to care for someone else.
You’ll find that you’re more confident and, as a result, will put your best face forward. Yes, this is important when finding your true love, but it’s even more important for you.
Understand what you want
Relationship experts continue to state that many of us remain clueless about what we want or need in a relationship… and then wonder why the divorce rate is sky high. Other people remain in a cycle of dating merry-go-round – getting on and off without going anywhere.
Psychologists and relationship experts recommend the following four tenets for successful dating:
– Define your core values – religious beliefs, financial priorities, views on divorce, wanting children or not, money management skills, etc.
– Understand your emotional needs and personality type
– Don’t get physical before assessing long-term potential
– Assess the relationship to your core values as it progresses
Observe good relationships
What better way to learn what makes a couple tick than to learn from people in great relationships? Maybe your parents or grandparents have been married for a good while. Take some time to sit down with one of them and ask a few questions about how they’ve been able to make it work.
If you feel uncomfortable asking a family member, talk to a good friend that is in a solid relationship. Have an open, honest conversation with that person and learn from their experience. Just make sure to speak with someone in a long-term relationship. No, your best friend that’s been dating someone for two months doesn’t count.
The people that care about you want to see that you’re happy, and if they feel that they can contribute to this they’ll be more than willing to oblige.
Learn from the past
While reliving past relationships isn’t the most pleasing experience, there is much wisdom to be gained from them. As we’ve said before – when you enter a relationship, you either acquire a person to be loved or lesson to be learned.
Among the lessons to be learned from past relationships:
– We all need alone time and space.
– Nobody else can complete you but you.
– You can’t change someone else.
– Lust fades away; only love grows.
– Relationships often reflect our own circumstances.
Forget the relationships that failed
“Regret is useless” as Marlon Brando once said, and this includes regretting failed relationships. The bottom line: that relationship failed for a reason. Perhaps you were not compatible or the circumstances weren’t right. However, that person is no longer there, and each moment spent regretting past relationships is another moment you can be preparing for the next one… the right one.
As with learning from the past, forgetting past relationships (especially a recent one) can be a difficult thing to do. However, this is necessary if you are going to live in the present and move forward in potential relationships.
Be your true self – all the time
Part of compatibility in a relationship is being comfortable in your own skin and having someone who is comfortable in theirs. This compatibility leads to appreciation for each other while the relationship continues to flourish.
There isn’t anyone worth changing yourself for – this includes any potential mate. Anyways, it’s only a matter of time before your “true self” is revealed.
Control your anxiety
When you first meet someone, it is normal to have butterflies in the stomach. Even after the first couple dates, those butterflies may still be there. After a while, those feelings should start to diminish, and you’ll begin to feel more comfortable.
Much of this anxiety is because of self-consciousness – it’s natural. However, if you are being yourself and remaining in the moment, there is nothing to be overly anxious about.
Practice honest, effective communication
How you communicate with someone shouldn’t be determined by the situation. Regardless of the individual in front of you, speak with honesty and sincerely – especially with someone you’re just getting to know.
Moving forward in your relationships, make the sincere effort to speak with integrity and courage. Don’t negate your thoughts and feeling by not speaking about them. If you are being sincere and the other person doesn’t like what you’re saying, that’s their prerogative.
Don’t force anything
Having somebody to share your life with is a nearly universal desire. Who doesn’t want to experience the love and companionship of one special person?
While you may internally want this to the utmost, it is important that you don’t force anything. Someone may be attractive and charming, but if there is no chemistry there it’ll never work. If you implement the things on this list and remain steadfast, you’ll eventually find that one person – without forcing anything.
Put this list into practice
You can read all the articles, books and blogs in the world, but none of it helps if it’s ignored or forgotten.
BONUS: Be friends first.
When you decide to get into a relationship, be sure to establish a good friendship. The best relationships come from a place where there is more than a physical attraction. Without a good understanding of each other as people, rather than lovers, the physical attraction may wear thin with nothing left to support it.
If you remember nothing else, remember this: a relationship is supposed to be natural. Don’t place so much pressure on the outcome. Be yourself. You’re going to make someone, somewhere extremely happy when you do.
Add to the discussion: What did you have to learn before finding true love? Share your life lessons in the conversation below!
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