Falling in love is a wonderful experience that transforms our life. That’s why romantic love is the stuff of our favorite books and movies. Life is more meaningful because of the gift that is love.

Being prepared for love when it comes calling means you can make the most of the experience. Mental preparation is key for getting your head straight. There are some things you should know before falling in love.

Below are the ten things you should know before embarking on your journey of love.

1. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship.

While high expectations is never a bad idea, it is important to be realistic about the normal challenges lovers face. Effort is required from both parties to work through disagreements and minor bumps in the road. The important thing to remember is that arguments are normal and should be expected.

2. Learn from your past romantic experiences and use that knowledge as you consider a new love.

Lessons learned in those early relationships are important to remember moving forward. Take them with you and remember them when you find yourself falling in love again. Recognizing that we all need alone time is important so that you won’t expect too much and can relax into a relationship. Realizing that lust fades and the giddy feeling that you had when you first got together is replaced by a stronger connection called love, if you are mature enough to understand that fact.

3. You should always honor your own needs and identity as you approach love.

While we all want to fall in love, it is impossible to truly love another person unless you are sure about who you are and what you want. Any relationship that lasts is built on trust and based on truth. That’s why it is essential to know yourself well so you can reveal your authentic personality to another person and build something meaningful.

4. True love is built on friendship.

The first step to romance should be friendship. Superficial factors such as physical chemistry and charm should be viewed as fleeting and less important comparatively. Keeping an evolving relationship in perspective and seeking to connect as friends first with shared interests and values will serve both parties well.

5. Lasting love has little to do with sex.

Great sex is a force of nature that leaves you weak in the knees and on a cloud of endorphins. This good feeling is impossible to ignore. Enjoy these wonderful experiences for what they are and don’t confuse it with love. Great sex and love may or may not go hand in hand.

6. Accept the responsibility you have for your own life first.

Too many people want to shift the responsibility of their happiness to the person they fall in love with, hoping this new person can make them happy. Nobody is responsible for your happiness, except you.

7. Love does not guarantee your happiness.

Falling in love is no guarantee that the relationship will last. Physical attractiveness and chemistry can play a large part in new love, seducing us into believing we are head over heels in love. But in the light of day, this type of love often fails.

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8. You have to be willing to walk away from a new relationship even after you feel like you’re falling in love if you can’t see yourself growing old together.

Some people swear that you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the “right one” for you. As exhausting as this process can be, with many first and second dates, you have to be willing to do what is necessary if you want to
fall in love with Mr. or Miss Right.

9. No two people are exactly alike.

Falling in love is amazing, but it takes work and compromise to make it work. Since no two people are exactly alike, compromise is key for success.

10. You can’t force a loving connection.

Love defies logic at times. A person can be nice, attractive and seemingly the perfect person for you, but they may not feel the same way. You should never try and force romance.

Relax and enjoy the ride. Take your time. Dating can be a lot of fun if you take some of the pressure off yourself and let the magic of love happen when it is time.