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Real-Life Love Stories That Will Remind You True Love Does Exist

Real-Life Love Stories That Will Remind You True Love Does Exist

A long time ago, someone told me one of the truest love stories. It was this: the real value of your life is how well you loved and were loved back.

In an age where people, places and moments are too easily replaced, societal norm has acclimatized to a kind of social media dating that is anything but normal.

I have often pondered what impact this modern re-invention of romance would have on me if I were 10-years-old today. I grew up where liking a boy meant a stomach of fluttering butterflies if he looked at me. At 10-years-old, my idea of romance or love stories was the way your reflection danced into someone’s eyes and how that made you feel.

I have never stopped believing that or living by that.

Here are some inspiring love stories to restore that faith in love that the 10-year-old you had:

1. True love knows no obstacles or distance.

Despite abject poverty and social stigmas of his “untouchable” caste, Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia[1] earned a place as a student at the College of Art in New Delhi.

Following his painting of Indira Gandhi, many people wanted him to draw them. One of those was Charlotte Von Schedvin, who was traveling in India.

They soon fell in love and got married. Charlotte, however, had to return home to Sweden. She offered to pay for Pradyumna’s plane ticket, but he had too much pride to accept and promised he would make the money on his own.

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After a year, he had still not saved enough.

Selling all of his possessions, he made enough to buy a bicycle. He then cycled for four months and three weeks, covering 4,000 miles across Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Germany, Austria, and Denmark to get to Sweden.

They are still happily married 40 years later, and live in Sweden with their two children. Pradyumna became a well-known artist and is a cultural ambassador.

When asked about his arduous journey, his reply was, “I did what I had to, I had no money but I had to meet her. I was cycling for love, but never loved cycling. It’s simple.”

2. You are never too old to find love.

In 1946, Anna and Boris had only been married for 3 days in Serbia when he left for the army.[2] Afterwards, Anna and her family were exiled and despite both their frantic searching, the two were unable to find each other.

Years passed and they both married other people, yet neither forgot their first love.

When their spouses had died and after 60 years, they coincidentally visited their hometown at the same time. When Boris saw her, he ran up to her and said: ‘My darling, I’ve been waiting for you for so long. My wife, my life…’”

They remarried not long after.

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3. Love as first sight does exist.

Nacho Figueras is universally recognizable as the polo player with the striking model looks, featured in many of the “Polo by Ralph Lauren” adverts.[3]

He first saw Delfina Blaquier in their native Argentina when they were just teenagers. He knew immediately that he would marry her and decided to pursue her properly.

Every night, he would travel for almost 2 hours to see her, after working all day at a ranch. He would sit with her on her porch and play his guitar to her for a short while, before going home to sleep for another long day at work.

The couple married in 2004 and have since had four children

4. True love means loving each other until the very end.

Princess Charlotte was the daughter of George, Prince of Wales (later George IV) and Caroline of Brunswick.[4] She was the future heir to the throne and was adored by the people, which was a stark contrast to the rest of the Royal family who were loathed.

Her upbringing was turbulent amidst her warring parents. At 17-years-old, Charlotte was pressured into agreeing to marry a Prince she didn’t like, until she met the handsome and dashing Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Her father finally relented and permitted her to marry the impoverished Leopold.

Following their wedding and two miscarriages, Charlotte again became pregnant with the entire country elated.

In 1817, at 21-years-old and after two days of a difficult labor, Charlotte delivered a stillborn 9-pound son by breech birth. Prince Leopold was so worried that he refused to leave his wife’s side and insisted on helping her–something that was unheard of at the time.

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After the third day, Charlotte’s condition seemingly improved. Leopold was urged to take an opiate to rest, as he had not slept for 3 days. Unfortunately, Charlotte’s condition worsened and it was not possibly to rouse the sleeping Leopold as she died.

Her death elicited international grieving on an even bigger scale than Princess Diana’s. Britain ran out of black cloth because everyone wore black–even the homeless found black scraps to tie around his or her arms.

Prince Leopold plunged into depression and eventually took a mistress who resembled Charlotte. Years later, he remarried and named his daughter Charlotte.

The Princess’ final wish before dying was for Leopold to be buried beside her when his time came. Shortly before he died, he asked Queen Victoria for this wish to be fulfilled but it was denied. His last words were: “Charlotte Charlotte”.

5. Remembering your love stories will keep love alive.

Jack and Phyllis Potter met in 1941.[5] Jack frequently wrote in his diary about their story and continued to do so for his whole life.

After seventy years together, Phyllis had to be moved to a nursing home as her dementia became too much for Jack to deal with alone. Unperturbed, Jack visited her daily and read to her each day from his diaries to help her to remember their love and life.

6. Young romance can stand the test of time.

Kate Middleton was just 19-years-old in 2001 when she first met Prince William, where they both studied at St. Andrews University.[6]

Unfortunately, the pressures of the media and a long distance relationship caused them to split up in 2007. They, however, decided to get back together later in the same year.

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Prince William eventually proposed in 2010 with the late Princess Diana’s famous sapphire engagement ring. And in 2011, millions all across the world watched their wedding ceremony that culminated with “that kiss” on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

7. Love stories that are worth it, are worth the wait.

In the 1974, Irina and Woodford McClellan got married in Moscow.[7] Woodford, an American, had to return to the USA when his visa expired. He was repeatedly denied returning to Russia, and she was likewise refused entry to the USA.

It took 11 years of phone calls and letters to each other and unwavering endeavors before they were in 1986 in the United States.

Final Words: Live, Laugh, and Love

For those who have found love, remember the beauty of being in love is finding new ways to keep falling in love with that person.

For those who are still looking for love, don’t let the cynicism of the social media generation to cloud your hopes. It’s true that love happens when you are not looking and when you least expect it. Have faith in yourself and in the love that you deserve. After all, you owe it to your 10-year-old self.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

More by this author

J.S. von Dacre

Writer at Lifehack

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

What is the Stages of Change Model?

Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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    The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

    The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

    The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

    The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

    1. Precontemplation
    2. Contemplation
    3. Determination
    4. Action
    5. Maintenance
    6. Termination

    How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

    To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

      Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

      Stage 1: Precontemplation

      At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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      For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

      Stage 2: Contemplation

      At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

      You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

      The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

      Stage 3: Preparation

      At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

      Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

      Stage 4: Action

      When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

      Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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      Stage 5: Maintenance

      After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

      Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

      Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

      Stage 6: Termination

      Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

      However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

      How long does each stage take?

      You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

      So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

      The limitations of this model

      The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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      Require the ability to set a realistic goal

      For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

      If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

      Difficult to judge your progress

      The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

      Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

      Conclusion

      The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

      While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

      Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1]Psych Central: Stages Of Change
      [2]Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [3]Empowering Change: Stages of Change
      [4]Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [5]Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
      [6]The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
      [7]Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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