It has captivated men and women in every era, on every continent, from every culture. It has caused wars and ended them, it has brought the deepest despair and the highest joy. It is free, but it costs absolutely everything. More than anything, it gives hope. Two out of every three songs is written about it. Countless amounts of literature has been devoted to its topic.What are we talking about? Love.
So hard to find and maintain, but once attained it is a priceless treasure. Here are some of the reasons that so many miss out on finding their true love, and hopefully they will help you avoid the same mistakes in your relationship journeys.
“There is one true love out there waiting for me.”
I call this the “Disney Syndrome.” Too often people miss the love of their life because they are looking for the wrong kind of guy or girl–the one of their dreams. I am an engaged man–to the most amazing woman in the world: Kelsey–and I wish I could tell you our whole story because it is beautiful. But it is not a Disney fairytale. I met Kels my sophomore year of college (her freshman year) and quickly fell for her. Long story short, she friend-zoned me because I wasn’t the kind of guy she was looking for. We didn’t talk for two years. But through a series of events (long story short, again), we rekindled that flame and now we are getting married in April. Disney fairytale? No. But romantic and perfect? Absolutely. So stop looking for the “perfect person” because he/she doesn’t exist. Look for the man or woman who brings out the best AND the worst in you–the best because he/she makes you better and the worst because the most loving relationships sharpen each other.
“Love is all happiness”
Love is one of the greatest joys, but people seem to ignore how hard it is. Love is not simply the feelings that arise when you think of that special someone–love is an action, a choice. Love is intentional and requires effort. Love is the greatest investment–it requires you to put time and effort into it, but the rewards are worth so much more.
“With my true love, romance will never die”
Love occurs between two people. Did you catch that? Love happens between two HUMANS. No human being is perfect. We hurt each other–intentionally and unintentionally. We do and say dumb things. We make mistakes. The pitfall of many doomed couples is that they are looking for someone who will make them feel giddy constantly, so they ditch each other when things get hard or arguments stifle the romance. But the best romance is fought for; the best romance is made.
“My true love will have everything in common with me”
Although it is true that similarities can draw couples closer, differences are what sustain relationships. If you dated or married someone exactly like you, it would be boring and awful. Nobody wants to date themselves (okay, maybe Donald Trump…). The spice of relationships is the differences between each of you. Kels is more artistic and outgoing while I am more detail-oriented, organized and less outgoing. My life was fine before her, but with her (and because of her differences in personality and tastes in activities) I have adventures that I never would have on my own. People are meant to complement each other–I fill in where she lacks and she graciously does the same for me. Together we make a whole.
“My true love will complete me”
This is where many relationships fall off the rails. This statement makes the underlying assumption that another person is capable of fulfilling all of your wants and needs. This is so far from the truth and terribly unfair to your significant other. This assumption puts unrealistic pressure on your significant other to satisfy all of your desires. No one person can do that. It is impossible.
A fulfilling life is more dynamic that simply having another person fix it for you. Having a partner can make life so much better, but you must have goals and dreams outside of your relationship. Do other things–ride a bicycle, learn magic tricks, do yoga–ANYTHING that brings satisfaction outside of your significant other. If all you are doing is taking from your true love, you have no new love to give back to them–and eventually they won’t be able to meet your unrealistic standards for them.
Featured photo credit: james j8246 via flickr.com