Sam frowned, "after my swiping right, he texted, I suppose you want me to say something romantic. As soon as he said that, I deleted him. That's when I gave up on Tinder and gave up looking for love!"
She gulped her beer as I looked into her eyes. She had never looked so defeated. She was a fighter, but those green eyes had lost their sparkle. She is not unlike many people who have been unlucky in love. Will they ever find true love, or will true love find them?
Maybe she, like many others, has failed to understand the elements of finding love?
I took a sip of beer and we talked about finding love.
The Ladder to True Love
To ladder to true love has four rungs:
Question: do you want a bad life?
Of course not! Nobody wants that.
I love films that end with lovers heading off into the sunset. I can imagine their married life with happy children, good friends, a home that is warm and welcoming and everything else that makes for perfection. In my youth, these films, other stories and life generally told me this is how life should be when I fall in love.
We all want the good life that we see in films and read about in books and magazines. So much we create ideals in our mind picturing that life along with the perfect person who will share it with us. And yet, I could never imagine the face of the woman I would fall in love with, but I knew the most important things about her before I laid my eyes upon her. She would be pretty, funny, wise, genuine, respectful, share my values and aspirations and so on. Most of all, she would want a good life with me.
None of these attributes is specific, except she must be a she, but they are clear enough to create a sort of cardboard cutout of the ideal woman I seek. Everyone’s journey to real love starts with an ideal in mind of a future life with a perfect lover.
But creating and looking for your perfect lover who will be part of your ideal life has its problems. If your ideal lover is beyond reach (too perfect), or incompatible (chalk and cheese), you will struggle to find or hold on to love.
You need a good life lover not a good time lover. The two are not always one and the same.
The key is in finding resilient love which includes somebody who meets your needs, respects your rights and matches your values, and the same should be said for them in your being right for them. If these fundamental elements are not right for you both, love will struggle to take root.
With your cardboard cutout ideal in mind, you are ready for candidates to compare to your ideal. Candidates arrive in one of three ways: You can seek them, wait for them, or you suddenly realise they are in your presence
Up to the late-20th century, women were expected to wait, and not seek love, and as a romantic idea this remains strong. Katy Perry in her song Teenage Dream waits for her lover with the words, ‘One day my prince will come / So I wait for that day.’ Her song is a romantic ‘sweep-me-off-my-feet’ message that is less prevalent these days now women are more active in finding love rather than waiting for men (with the good life) to come to rescue them so to speak.
Regardless if you are male or female, and how you find your potential lover, the result is the same: if they match your ideal, you are ready to start falling in love with them.
The question is: to find your lover, will you seek, wait or do neither in the hope one day you will realise your potential lover has already arrived in the form of a friend or colleague? Depending on your choice, select the tools and strategies needed to find your true love. If you are seeking, look to socialising with friends and their friends, consider dating apps and generally get yourself out there. If you are waiting, take a more laid back approach through closer relationships with trusted people around you. Scanning the horizon so to speak whilst letting close friends know you are waiting for the right person to come into your life. Realising, is more laid back again as you need not be searching for love per se, but will be happy if love comes your way through one of the close relationships around you. Keep an open mind and simply enjoy your time with other people around you. If and when the circumstance is right you will realise as will they.
Falling in love
If you think about it, up to telling your lover you love them you are appraising them… kind of interviewing them for a husband or wife.
You are working out if you can commit to them, and everything commitment means when you live with them for the rest of your life. The same is true for them too.
Falling in love–or appraisal–has two steps. The first [initial appraisal] is when you come across your potential lover for the first time and ends when you become a dating couple. The second [deep appraisal] begins at the start of your dating and ends when you tell them you love them, and they do the same with you. Then you are in love.
Initial appraisal is all about, do I want to date this person and you answer that by comparing them with your ideal to see if they fit at an elementary level.
For some couples, their initial appraisal can be over in a conversation, for others a one-night-stand is enough with little in the way of chatter before, and for some, they can chat endlessly getting to know one another over weeks or months. It is when sexual intimacy kicks in that initial appraisal ends; this is where you become lovers in a traditional sense of the word.
Initial appraisal is an important time for you to get to know your potential lover, and vice versa. Take your time on choosing who you want to get into a dating relationship with. By looking deeper at the person rather than just at the flesh you may find qualities you would otherwise reject early on.
Also, and referring to the points earlier, don't be too locked into the past and your ideals. Old ideals may drive you along old pathways where you will find the same kind of lover as before. With a revised ideal, somebody who you would otherwise reject on initial appraisal may meet your needs rather than your wants. Do not be afraid to initially appraise the wallflower of the party, if your tendency is to chase the life of the party.
Deep appraisal (Falling in Love)
Falling in love starts with your first kiss and ends when you say, I love you, and hopefully they say the same to you. Then you both find yourself in love, although you will probably still feel what people call falling in love.
For some couples falling in love can be out of this world with a sense of madness as reflected by the psychologist Frank Tallis in his book Love Sick: love is a kind of illness where you feel less in control and more volatile – less capable of making rational judgements.
Adele says the same in her song Crazy For You where she paces floors and opens doors in anticipation of her absent lover who she can’t get out of her crazy mind.
For others falling in love can be elation one minute and despair the next as seen in the film The Notebook. Noah and Allie share moments of elation in one another's arms, and yet they argue and strike out in times of frustration, especially under the pressure of family around them.
Beyond The Notebook and Crazy For You there are many films and songs that celebrate and warn on the emotional ups and downs of falling in love. When Harry Met Sally, Pretty Woman, Friends with Benefits are just a few films worth watching. All of them show one key thing: while falling in love you are working out some important facts:
It is when you know the answers to all of these questions that you are ready to either bestow your love or call it quits.
So take your time here, there is no rush to say, I love you. Be guided by your feelings and your head. The five bullets above, and the final question of compromise, are the key to successful true love in the long run. They represent your overall needs in love, not your wants.
Three Little Words
I love you.
Bestowal of love means I am committed to being there wherever and whenever you need me, you are worth all the riches of the world, and you are my perfect lover. This all amounts to: you are ready to be with your lover long into the future and you want them to know it.
Your only hope is that they say the same to you. If they do not, do not be afraid to ask, do you need more time or is this the end of the road?
What is true, and as Bonnie Raitt's song says, you cannot make them love you - I Can’t Make You Love Me.
Your lover has to know that you also meet their needs, respect their rights and match their values and that they genuinely feel that life ahead is good with you. During your time together they will see if you can bend to these things, and where not, if they can accept your shortcomings, but the truth be told, they will know, as will you, if your life ahead is the good life they want when all is said and done.
Underlying all of this is open and truthful communication. If you are not talking to each other about each other's needs, rights, values, the good of the future, compromises made, and how you perceive one another you are bound to fail.
Would you like to contribute to the Blog?
We'd love to have your input.
This section will not be visible in live published website. Below are your current settings:
Current Number Of Columns are = 2
Expand Posts Area =
Gap/Space Between Posts = 10px
Blog Post Style = card
Use of custom card colors instead of default colors =
Blog Post Card Background Color = current color
Blog Post Card Shadow Color = current color
Blog Post Card Border Color = current color
Publish the website and visit your blog page to see the results