Dr. Seuss once said, “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” But before you go jumping headfirst into a relationship, make sure this person is not Mr. or Miss Right Now (unless that’s what you’re looking for, then by all means indulge – but be honest about it with yourself and your partner). As I’ve said before, I don’t believe in “the one” per say. The soul mate theory came from Greek philosopher Plato in “Symposium” who states, “Each of us when separated, having one side only… is but indenture of a man, and he is always looking for his other half.” While that idea is noble yet slightly archaic, I believe some of us have many soul mates on this planet – some are good for us and some not so nice. Here are some pointers to keep you on the happy track regardless what level of relationship you want:
• Does your partner listen to you?
Before someone opens their heart to you, they have to first open their ears. Genuine concern manifests itself in listening to the cares, concerns and issues of your partner. “A man who wants to be around you for the long-term will be a good listener when you need him. He will be a dependable source of guidance and support and will not turn a deaf ear simply because the problem is too big. If he doesn’t know the solution, he will try his best to find one,” says Anthony Woodson, president and CEO of BlackLoveForever.com, a matchmaking service that has resulted in nearly 500 marriages.
• Is there is a natural ebb and flow?
Relationship experts claim there is a natural chemistry that defines your interaction when you meet your perfect fit. You shouldn’t have to push it, force it, tug it, pull it or cut the edges to make it fit. There should be an undeniable ease and flow to the relationship. You can see it and others around you can as well.
• Do you have to compromise who you are?
A person who you have to change for isn’t the person for you. Maintaining and enjoying a continued, if not healthier, sense of self when you are with your partner is key. Your partner should make you feel good about being yourself, while always pushing you to be better. If a man doesn’t feel good about himself, it will be hard for him to make you feel good about being you.
• Do you trust them?
When you trust your partner, you open your relationship up to a world of possibilities. Add on respect and the satisfaction level can go through the roof. Without trust, the relationship can’t grow and is likely to be doomed. To trust is to believe that your partner is doing their best, is being honest and true and that they want the best for their partner. Remember that no one is perfect, but don’t be blinded by love. Maintaining realistic expectations is key to understanding both roles in the relationship. If something is holding you back from trusting your partner, address the issue. If it still lingers, that’s usually your gut instinct telling you something is wrong.
• Is your life enriched by your partner?
Being in love should have productive benefits for enhancing your quality of life. Stretching your imagination and stimulating your desires should be top priority. If someone is bringing you down spiritually or professionally, this is a huge red flag. A good partner encourages and supports you professionally, personally and spiritually. Your partner should look out for your best interests at all times and through all things. Competition should not exist because they know what is good for you is good for them.
• Do you feel pampered?
Pampering is a celebration of womanhood, rather than the pure self-indulgence of superficial spoiling (i.e. gifts such as jewelry, fancy clothes, etc.). As Rihanna sings, “I want you to make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world.” Your partner should demonstrate, on a daily basis, that you are his queen or king. They cater to you. They care for you. Whether you get a head rub, cooking your meal or massaging your feet, they are demonstrating affection and showing the privilege that it is to be in your life.
• Do you share common ground?
Despite your religious background or affiliation, having a common and unified direction spiritually, socially, financially and economically creates cohesiveness. If you cannot agree on fundamental values, it is unlikely that you will go very far (and if so, not for long). It’s not enough to simply be together. You must be willing and able to grow together. Fighting fair is also a natural part of the relationship process and leaves both parties more committed in the long run and open to communication.
• Are you part of each other’s world?
When you meet someone’s parents, family, co-workers and closest friends, you are getting a true glimpse of who they are, not just who they are when they are around you. A person who is serious about making you their partner will not only want you to be a part of their world, they will create avenues of openness so that you can enjoy the full world, people and interests.
• Is this person good enough for you?
It’s easy to fall into a romance full of obstacles. The relationship is satisfactory or “good enough,” but something always seems to keep it from being great. Perhaps it’s an annoying habit, an addiction, a roving eye, an annoying ex, a nosy parent, an ungrateful demeanor, a stressful job or life’s rollercoaster path. You convince yourself that once this one problem is resolved, the relationship will turn into a “great” one that is drama free. The reality is that once the problem has been handled, another one soon pops up. The couple is still unhappy and still living in a “good enough” situation, which is counterproductive if you’re looking for true love. High drama is a definite red flag when it comes to long-term relationship success.
I find it unsettling and sad to see people settling for someone rather than someone special. If you just wait it out a little bit, open your eyes and keep hope and faith alive, your true love won’t be as difficult to find as you think.Follow me on Twitter www.twitter.com/girlspy.