How to get true love

How to get true love

How do you find a new relationship? Whether you’ve been single for years or are only recently on the market, seeking out a compatible partner is not always easy.

Researchers haven’t found a recipe for finding love, but some guidelines can help make the process more efficient. Consider the following points before setting out to find a partner. There are no guarantees in love, but a good start might help you move in the right direction.

  1. Do you know what you want? Are you looking for a hook-up or a spouse? Be honest with yourself and find ways to be consistent with your goal. We generally pursue short-term partners differently than we do long-term partners; the desired characteristics are different, too (Regan et al., 2000). In fact, whereas similar people tend to pair off for long-term relationships, opposites often attract for short-term flings (Amodio & Showers, 2005). This suggests that pursuing a short-term relationship as a way to find a long-term relationship isn’t necessarily a good idea.
  2. Are you really prepared to invest? Relationships that last require investment (Rusbult, 1980). That can mean money—dates can be expensive—but also emotional investment and investments of time and energy. With such personal investment comes risk, but being vulnerable and open is essential to fostering commitment and relationship stability.
  3. Do you know your value as a potential partner? Knowing how desirable others perceive you as a potential partner tends to be difficult, but agreeable women and sexually unrestricted men tend to be better at it (Back et al., 2011). If you’re not sure of how much you have to offer, taking a closer look could be worth it. An accurate assessment of your own mate value can help prevent wasted energy and streamline your search towards potentially interested partners.
  4. Have you given yourself a chance to grow? Scholars are familiar with the idea that social relationships help people grow, but recent evidence confirms that people don’t necessarily need a relationship context to experience considerable self-growth (Mattingly & Lewandowski, 2014). Try something new and you build a bigger self-concept—one that is more diverse, with more abilities, perspectives, skills, and beliefs. This may help you gain self-awareness to better navigate the dating field and could make you a more interesting prospect for potential partners.
  5. Are you ready to show your humor? People like funny people, even if that humor is quirky and silly. Witty, positive humor is particularly helpful for pursuing long-term relationships (DiDonato, Bedminster, & Machel, 2013), whereas sarcasm or jokes at the expense of others might lower your attractiveness towards long-term partners. Potential short-term partners, however, tend not to distinguish between humor types, which means you only need to pay attention to the kind of humor you’re using if you’re looking for a long-term relationship.
  6. Will you let your friends help? Friends can be incredibly helpful when you’re looking for love. They can break down approach barriers at social gatherings, making it easier for you to talk to an attractive person, or they can build barriers when you’re trying not to talk to someone who is attempting to connect with you (Ackerman & Kenrick, 2009). Get your friends on your side and let them be a part of your efforts to find love.
  7. Can you uphold high standards for a relationship? Some people are afraid of being single, and such fear is associated with staying in unsatisfying relationships and being OK with having a less responsive, or less attractive, partner (Spielmann et al., 2013). Being single, however, can be an empowering and rewarding experience. It might be wise to hold out for a relationship that meets your expectations and elevates you to have the experiences you deserve.

It’s not easy navigating the dating game, but knowing a bit about yourself and what you want can help you make good choices. Good luck!

Ackerman, J. M., & Kenrick, D. T. (2009). Cooperative courtship: Helping friends raise and raze relationship barriers. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1285-1300.

Amodio, D. M., & Showers, C. J. (2005). ‘Similarity breeds liking’ revisited: The moderating role of commitment. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 22, 817-836.

Back, M. D., Penke, L., Schmukle, S. C., & Asendorpf, J. B. (2011). Knowing your own mate value sex-specific personality effects on the accuracy of expected mate choices. Psychological Science, 22, 984-989.

DiDonato, T. E., Bedminster, M. C., & Machel, J. J. (2013). My funny valentine: How humor styles affect romantic interest. Personal Relationships, 20, 374-390.

Mattingly, B. A., & Lewandowski, G. W. (2014). Expanding the self brick by brick: Nonrelational self-expansion and self-concept size. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5, 484-490.

Regan, P. C., Levin, L., Sprecher, S., Christopher, F. S., & Gate, R. (2000). Partner preferences: What characteristics do men and women desire in their short-term sexual and long-term romantic partners? Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 12, 1-21.

Rusbult, C. E. (1980). Commitment and satisfaction in romantic associations: A test of the investment model. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 16, 172-186.

Spielmann, S., MacDonald, G., Maxwell, J., Peragine, D., Muise, A., & Impett, E. (2013). Settling for less out of fear of being single. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 1049-1073.

Searching for a life partner or soul mate? Get to know yourself first.

How to get true love

The love of your life. Your soul mate. Your life partner. That special someone. Whether we admit it or not, many of us are seeking to find our perfect complement. We crave having someone by our side who will love us through our moments of imperfection, and share the memories of our lives with us. We’ve seen enough movies about it, so it must be possible, right?

Love is no fairy tale, so you can stop looking for a perfect “10” who fulfills all the qualifications on your wish list. It is possible, however, to find someone to stand by your side, brave the messiness of the world, and help you experience life to its fullest potential.

How do you set the foundation to attract this kind of love in your life? Here are 5 secrets to get you started:

  1. Be authentic. To find real love, you must first emphasize your true self. If you want someone to love you through your moments of imperfection, you must first be willing to do that for someone else. Be real with yourself, so you are ready for someone else’s authenticity.

What really makes you happy? What do you really want out of life? It’s easy to get caught in a pattern of pleasing others, and doing what seems popular or “normal” at the time. If you shift your personality, passions, or purpose to appease another person, you are not being your true self. People are attracted to authenticity. Get to know yourself, love yourself, and learn to act and speak authentically.
Be your best self. Though opposites can attract, you must first understand that “like attracts like.” You set the caliber for the individual you want to spend your life with. You wouldn’t look for a lethargic, gluttonous, stingy complainer with ketchup stains on their shirt, so identify ways to clean up your own act first.

Do you want to spend your days with a healthy person who takes care of their body? Then lace up those sneakers and get to the gym yourself! Do you want to surround yourself with a person who sees the best in people and situations? Then stop complaining! Do you want to find someone who strives to live each day with grace, joy, purpose. and integrity? You get the idea. . .
Be confident. Be confident in yourself, your decisions, and your ability to attract love into your life. If you are being your authentic, best self, this confidence will radiate from you in a glow of self-worth. You will attract someone who recognizes, appreciates, and loves who you are.

Foster this confidence by knowing that you are whole and complete just by being you. Understand that a soul mate is nice to have, but not a must-have. You, alone, are enough.

  • Be open. If your desire is to meet someone new, then you must be willing to connect and open up with the people around you. If someone next to you in the coffee line strikes up a conversation, be willing to engage. Even if that person is not to be the love of your life, practice openness anyway. Developing this energy of openness will help you facilitate iterations that may lead to lasting relationships.
  • Be happy. Perhaps the most important secret of this list is to be happy. Everyone wants to be around happy people; happiness is magnetic. So focus your energy on thinking about and doing the things that make you happy.
  • How to get true love

    Is it true love? Is it going to be forever? So many people out there fall into the trap once or twice of thinking they definitely have true love only to find that tragic ending. We all know that we only have one true love in our life, at least, that is what I believe. How to tell if it’s true love may be a bit frustrating as people fall in and out of love many times. Below, I am going to give you 12 ways to tell if it’s true love.

    12. Eye Contact

    When he or she talks to you, do they look you in the eyes?

    11. Do They Seem to Care about You?

    When you talk to them and tell them your problems, do they seem to care? Do they show you that they care? Then it may just be true love.

    10. The Kiss

    It is in the way they kiss you. When someone kisses you, if it’s true love, you can just feel it. How to tell if it’s true love can be found in that kiss!

    9. Are You Always Interested?

    If you always enjoy talking and looking at the person, then it may just be true love. If you only find yourself looking at the person’s figure and not enjoying a conversation with them as much, then it may not be a true love romance.

    8. Willing to Wait

    Are you willing to wait in order to make a relationship work out?

    7. Friendship

    Are you friends? It seems that companionship always last longer than ardor. Do the two of you laugh together? Do you share each other’s family and friends?

    6. Do You Want What’s Best?

    When you are with the person, do you want was is best for them? As an example, if they have a job offer in another city, are you willing to turn your life around and move with them? When you love someone, it involves self-sacrifice and compromise.

    5. Disagreements

    Do you have disagreements? If you do not have disagreements, then there may be something wrong as everyone disagrees. If you have never had a disagreement, then someone is not being real.

    4. Talking

    Do you enjoy talking to the person? If they always seem to have something to say that is interesting to you, then the both of you may be made for each other.

    3. Support

    No matter what opinions you have, do you support each other? How to tell if it’s true love – support each other’s needs and wants.

    2. What Would You do

    Can you think of anything that you would not do for him or her that you would easily do for someone else? If so, then it probably isn’t true love after all.

    1. My Rule

    When it comes to true love, I have one rule that I have always lived by in determining if it is true love and that is the fact that you will just know it. I will admit, I have went out with many guys, but I never felt the same feeling I felt for anyone, until I met my husband.

    How to tell if it’s true love – True love is hard to come by for some, but then it’s easy to come by for others. You never know when it is going to hit you. It could be the person living down stairs, the person next door, the person who comes to your job a lot or someone you don’t even know right now. Do you have any experience with true love? Did you have a case where you thought it was true, but it wasn’t? I found my true love 8 years ago and have been married for 6 years, ever since I was 18.

    Updated on January 6, 2021 by Cyril Abello 1 Comment

    Are you in love? How do you know it’s true love? What if it is only infatuation or obsession? Or maybe you are only overwhelmed by the thrill of getting attention from someone you are attracted to.

    Everyone is looking for genuine love. Sad to say, some people who thought they already found it realized that it was not the moment they “fell out of love”.

    Find out if what you have for someone is really true love by checking the following signs:

    1. It does not go away.
    If you fell out of love, then it was not loved at all. What wears off is the feeling of infatuation or attraction—because feelings are fleeting. However, real love is not based on any feeling so it stays even when there is no more attraction.

    2. It goes beyond cloud nine.
    That ecstatic feeling that we feel when we are in love is actually the thrill of attraction, which is also called infatuation. Whenever you are in this state, you cannot think clearly and everything seems to be surreal. On the other hand, true love can make you genuinely and rationally happy without that magical emotion.

    3. It puts the other person first.
    True love makes you prioritize the person you are fond of. Instead of demanding to be taken care of and treated special (because you want to feel valued), you willingly do these to him/her without expecting to be paid back. Also, it makes you put the needs of that person first before your own.

    4. It is not blind.
    The real thing does not make your special someone perfect before your eyes—which what infatuation does. Instead, love makes you accept the person despite his/her flaws. Although the qualities matter in deciding whether you should pursue the person or not, your affection for him/her is not based on them.

    5. It is not based on qualifications.
    Moreover, true love is not like a job hiring process that strictly adheres to a set of qualifications in choosing employees. You know it is really loved if you could choose the person even if s/he does not meet your standards. It defies social status, educational background, race, and other criteria.

    6. It does not hide the person.
    It does not matter if others would be impressed with your partner or not, but you love telling and showing the world that s/he is the person you love. It is not his/her looks, career, or achievements that you are proud of—it is the person him/herself. You want everyone to know that you are with him/her.

    7. It does not expect anything in return.
    True love is selfless. It makes you give or do anything for the other person without demanding that you receive the same. You are not after impressing him/her or doing him/her a favor so that s/he would stay—you simply care.

    8. It motivates the person to change.
    If you truly love a person, you would want to change for the better not because you want to impress him/her but because you want to be the best partner. You want to become stronger so that you can protect him/her, and you could be someone s/he could depend on. You would also want to get rid of the habits and traits that could hurt him/her.

    9. It gives second chances.
    There is grace in love. Even if you got hurt, you would be willing to forgive the person. You could give more than one-second chance, not only because you do not want to lose him/her, but because you believe s/he is worth it.

    10. It respects.
    One of the elements of true love is respect. Since you respect the one you love, you cannot bear to do anything that could hurt him/her, even if there is no way for him/her to find out. It is not fear that makes you firm against temptations, but it is the honor you have for this person.

    11. It is a decision.
    Like what it is always said—true love is a commitment, not emotion-based. Committing to love a person means choosing him/her even if there is no more attraction or when the situation gets tough. This decision to stay with the person is an agreement made between the heart and the mind.

    12. It gives you security.
    True love gives you peace of mind because your heart is at peace. This is because of the trust you completely give—no inhibition—not because you are sure that the person will never break that trust, but because you selflessly choose to give without expecting anything back. As the Bible says, perfect love casts out fear.

    13. It grows through time.
    Unlike infatuation that fades as time passes by, love grows over time. It is built through genuine friendship, especially if you get to spend more time and do things together. The attachment grows in a natural phase and way.

    14. It does not give up easily.
    No matter how much it hurts, and even if gets too hard, you do not give up on the person easily. You are willing to go through the pain to fight for the person you love. Sometimes, even if s/he is already pushing you away, you still choose to stay.

    15. It is willing to give up—if that is what the person needs.
    However, true love knows when to stop—when it is what would be better for the one you love. Since it is selfless, it can be sacrificial just to make sure that s/he will be happy. Love does not insist on what it needs, but it puts the needs of the other person first.

    Remember, it is not an emotion
    Now, have you ever loved truly? If you are still wondering whether what you have right now is true love or not, then you have to evaluate whether it is making you selfless or insecure. One thing is for sure though, it is not a mere feeling that makes you feel high since it will surely fade away.

    If you cannot tell by now because you are too in-love, then let time tell you.

    Finding your YOU that leads to TWO

    Welcome!

    My partner wants to rekindle friendship with his ex and I don’t know what to do!

    Today’s letter comes from one of the beautiful members in our community, Kate, who’s at a loss to know what to do when her partner announced he wants to rekindle his friendship with his ex. I can imagine how most of us would feel about this; let’s see if we can help Kate out here, too!

    Her Story:

    I’m struggling with the thought of my partner reconnecting with his ex.

    When we met over ten years ago he was still upset for over two years occasionally about the way she cheated, ended their relationship and threw him out.Continue Reading

    One guy; really?

    One really important guy you’ve pinned all your hopes and dreams on.

    But because one person isn’t capable of seeing you, you’re going to let that one person define your worth?

    No! Not this time and not any other time either.

    We’re done doing that. We’ve done that too many times already.

    Take him down off that pedestal right now, girl, and take a look at what you’ve actually got.

    The real picture, not the fantasy of “but you don’t know him like I do” that you keep coming back to. I DO know him like you do because guys like him are the ONLY ones I’d ever known before I finally did something about it and they all follow a familiar pattern.

    Someone who triggers every one of your blind spots so you can’t even see why it’s happening. (Get my program WHY MEN PULL AWAY if you want to finally understand why.)

    Sure, those good times feel great. Sure, he’s got a ton of potential. But there’s more to life than potential that breaks your heart every single day, more to life than tears and loneliness and waiting for something to change.

    Whatever happened to the woman you used to be who would NEVER allow herself to be treated this way?

    Whatever happened to her? We all have our stories, our reasons why we’ve settled for the things that we do. Share yours here in the comments so we can make her more than just a memory again. I want to bring you back to the woman you used to be who stands in her power and NEVER allows herself to be treated this way!

    Duped by an avoidant guy. Is it fear that drove him away?

    Ever wondered why you keep attracting men with an avoidant-attachment style? Anne shared her story about someone just like this. Read on to hear what happened and my thoughts on why.

    Her Story:

    Hi Jane . I just bought your book after another failed almost-relationship. It was so helpful, thank you. I wanted to explain my story; sorry that it’s long.

    I work in a helping profession and am patient and all about feelings; I’m like so many of the women in this community.Continue Reading

    Don’t accept this!

    I’m speaking to every one of you today who’s ever been left by some guy who was NEVER good enough for you.

    Stop with the “I wasn’t good enough”, “He’s thrown me away”, and everything else we say.

    No, you haven’t been discarded, girl. Don’t accept that as your verdict!

    You were saved from being with someone who would NEVER have been the one for you unless you were someone else. So choose to either change to be that someone else – or embrace who you already are and accept that you can’t make someone want to be with you who isn’t looking for you!

    This isn’t a “prove your worth” game with all the wrong ones; it’s a “find someone who’s actually compatible with you because he’s looking for someone just like you” reality.

    Not a game, not a challenge, not a distraction from doing your own work. It’s a beautiful life if you choose to stop looking at it in these old no-longer-serving-you ways!

    Tell me you got this message loud and clear in the comments, girl. I see you. I’ve felt your pain. And no, he still doesn’t get to discard you. You were saved for something far better than him!

    Can I trust him when he wants to “take it slow”?

    Beautiful Emma wants a committed, exclusive relationship with her boyfriend of almost three months, but he doesn’t. Ever been there?

    Here’s what she wrote:

    Hi Jane. I love your work.

    I know you’ve talked about these types of men before but I’m hoping you can help me with the following issue:

    I’ve been seeing this guy I met online for, maybe, 2.5 months (not exclusive). We have a great connection.Continue Reading

    This is how you’ll know if you’re meant to be with someone

    You: But I just know we’re meant to be together!

    Me: Know how you’ll know if you’re meant to be with someone?

    Because they’ll be there with you.

    They’ll be there for you. They’ll show you with their actions and behavior that they actually want to be with you.

    Not just empty words and promises they can never live up to.

    There won’t be any doubt. You won’t be trying to figure them out.

    You won’t have to. They’ll want you to know how they feel!

    In fact, they wouldn’t ever want you to doubt how they feel because – and here’s the kicker – they will actually care about you and your feelings.

    Yes. That’s right. They will actually CARE about how you feel.

    Got this? Good. Because that’s how you’ll know. And girl, you will absolutely know!

    Updated on January 6, 2021 by Cyril Abello 1 Comment

    Are you in love? How do you know it’s true love? What if it is only infatuation or obsession? Or maybe you are only overwhelmed by the thrill of getting attention from someone you are attracted to.

    Everyone is looking for genuine love. Sad to say, some people who thought they already found it realized that it was not the moment they “fell out of love”.

    Find out if what you have for someone is really true love by checking the following signs:

    1. It does not go away.
    If you fell out of love, then it was not loved at all. What wears off is the feeling of infatuation or attraction—because feelings are fleeting. However, real love is not based on any feeling so it stays even when there is no more attraction.

    2. It goes beyond cloud nine.
    That ecstatic feeling that we feel when we are in love is actually the thrill of attraction, which is also called infatuation. Whenever you are in this state, you cannot think clearly and everything seems to be surreal. On the other hand, true love can make you genuinely and rationally happy without that magical emotion.

    3. It puts the other person first.
    True love makes you prioritize the person you are fond of. Instead of demanding to be taken care of and treated special (because you want to feel valued), you willingly do these to him/her without expecting to be paid back. Also, it makes you put the needs of that person first before your own.

    4. It is not blind.
    The real thing does not make your special someone perfect before your eyes—which what infatuation does. Instead, love makes you accept the person despite his/her flaws. Although the qualities matter in deciding whether you should pursue the person or not, your affection for him/her is not based on them.

    5. It is not based on qualifications.
    Moreover, true love is not like a job hiring process that strictly adheres to a set of qualifications in choosing employees. You know it is really loved if you could choose the person even if s/he does not meet your standards. It defies social status, educational background, race, and other criteria.

    6. It does not hide the person.
    It does not matter if others would be impressed with your partner or not, but you love telling and showing the world that s/he is the person you love. It is not his/her looks, career, or achievements that you are proud of—it is the person him/herself. You want everyone to know that you are with him/her.

    7. It does not expect anything in return.
    True love is selfless. It makes you give or do anything for the other person without demanding that you receive the same. You are not after impressing him/her or doing him/her a favor so that s/he would stay—you simply care.

    8. It motivates the person to change.
    If you truly love a person, you would want to change for the better not because you want to impress him/her but because you want to be the best partner. You want to become stronger so that you can protect him/her, and you could be someone s/he could depend on. You would also want to get rid of the habits and traits that could hurt him/her.

    9. It gives second chances.
    There is grace in love. Even if you got hurt, you would be willing to forgive the person. You could give more than one-second chance, not only because you do not want to lose him/her, but because you believe s/he is worth it.

    10. It respects.
    One of the elements of true love is respect. Since you respect the one you love, you cannot bear to do anything that could hurt him/her, even if there is no way for him/her to find out. It is not fear that makes you firm against temptations, but it is the honor you have for this person.

    11. It is a decision.
    Like what it is always said—true love is a commitment, not emotion-based. Committing to love a person means choosing him/her even if there is no more attraction or when the situation gets tough. This decision to stay with the person is an agreement made between the heart and the mind.

    12. It gives you security.
    True love gives you peace of mind because your heart is at peace. This is because of the trust you completely give—no inhibition—not because you are sure that the person will never break that trust, but because you selflessly choose to give without expecting anything back. As the Bible says, perfect love casts out fear.

    13. It grows through time.
    Unlike infatuation that fades as time passes by, love grows over time. It is built through genuine friendship, especially if you get to spend more time and do things together. The attachment grows in a natural phase and way.

    14. It does not give up easily.
    No matter how much it hurts, and even if gets too hard, you do not give up on the person easily. You are willing to go through the pain to fight for the person you love. Sometimes, even if s/he is already pushing you away, you still choose to stay.

    15. It is willing to give up—if that is what the person needs.
    However, true love knows when to stop—when it is what would be better for the one you love. Since it is selfless, it can be sacrificial just to make sure that s/he will be happy. Love does not insist on what it needs, but it puts the needs of the other person first.

    Remember, it is not an emotion
    Now, have you ever loved truly? If you are still wondering whether what you have right now is true love or not, then you have to evaluate whether it is making you selfless or insecure. One thing is for sure though, it is not a mere feeling that makes you feel high since it will surely fade away.

    If you cannot tell by now because you are too in-love, then let time tell you.

    Years ago a psychologist by the name of Robert Sternberg came up with a pretty good explanation that is difficult to improve on. What Sternberg did was to break down true love into three parts. I will try to share them so that you can easily apply them to your situation in a simple way. These three parts will help you to determine if what you have in your relationship is true love!

    Part 1: Passion This part includes physical and sexual attraction. It is like “Wow!”… You might hear angels and music…… . You initially cannot get over this person. The attraction is overwhelming. Pheromones abound. Electricity and chemistry are constantly zapping and bubbling in and around you. You feel an obsessive need to have your feelings reciprocated. For most persons, this is the first part of feeling attraction.

    Part 2: Intimacy Intimacy leads to attachment. It creates closeness and connectedness. We call this process becoming bonded with another person. Intimacy grows first by spending much time with another person. Then it grows deeper by sharing with one another every aspect of our lives. Intimacy is built on trust and safety. If you cannot trust and feel safe with a person then intimacy disappears and will degenerate into distrust and suspicion.

    Since intimacy takes patience to develop, many are not prepared for such task. It is work. It implies a lot of talking and disclosure. If a person has been hurt in previous relationships, then they will have great difficulty finding closeness due to previously existing walls of distrust. The tendency will be to project past hurts on the present relationship.

    Part 3: Commitment Commitment implies the ability to stay connected no matter what. A mature person is one who can work through misunderstandings and hurts. A key to staying together is believing the best of the other person, not prejudging them with bad motives. It is working positively to resolve issues. For a couple to stay together they must consistently break through the barriers of being hurt while assuming that the other person wants to resolve the issue also.

    Commitment involves being conciliatory and pursuing the relationship no matter how you feel. That is why we have social contracts such as engagement and marriage. Sure, these can be broken, but it will make you think twice before breaking them, especially when you have a lot of “equity” invested into the relationship. Commitment is not for the lighthearted. Herein lies the real test. Will you be committed to that person even when they gain some pounds, lose their hair, get sick, change in their economic status, etc.? Commitment does not mean you have to agree with everything, just that you can respect their differences.

    True love has all three of these components. Having only a couple will show that the relationship has lost its air and needs help. The famous wise king Solomon once said, that “many waters cannot quench love” True love is like a flame. All the monsoon rains, hurricanes, and floods cannot put out the flame of love. What is your love made of?

    Dr. Samuel López De Victoria on True Love:

    As much as it is physical, love is mainly psychological – we find it hard to let go of some things. Especially when those things are people who were once incredibly important to us.

    There are people in our lives who have had such a tremendous impact on us – the individuals who we have become – that giving up on them entirely would mean giving up on a part of ourselves.

    It’s one thing to excommunicate your past lover, but changing the person that you have become isn’t possible.

    Sure, you could continue to make further changes, fill the cracks, build a new foundation, create new cracks to cover up the old, but the scarring will always be there no matter what happens from this point forward.

    When everything that you have become is thanks to this one person whom you had to part ways with, realistically letting that person go and forgetting about him or her isn’t going to happen.

    Those cracks will always be there, and if they haven’t been filled perfectly by another, then your mind may very well figure out a way to have them filled by their original creator.

    A great love experience puts anything that falls short to shame. Think of the best slice of pizza that you have ever had, or the best, plump and juicy peach that you’ve ever bitten into.

    Now, tell me how disappointed you are every time that you take a bite of a different pizza or a different peach and it doesn’t live up to that memory?

    People don’t live only in the moment. We live in the moment, future and present. Everything that we take part in, experience or consume is compared to everything similar that we’ve once experienced as well as to what we, at one point, hoped that we would experience.

    It’s funny, but generally speaking, life is riddled with letdowns. Many of them small, such as in the example above. Others, however, are much larger letdowns.

    When we start to date someone new, we start to pick them apart, comparing them to that one individual we deem to have been “the best we ever had.”

    When we broke up with that person, we did so promising ourselves that we’d find better… so we try and find better. Anything that falls short simply won’t do.

    A huge problem is the fact that our memories don’t always match up with the reality of the past – we often remember things more colorfully than they actually were. This makes falling for someone new difficult. Very few can live up to such unrealistic standards.

    Sadly, we often don’t comprehend what it is that we’ve lost until we’ve lost it. Understanding how much you really love someone can take time. You may fall in love with someone without fully understanding why it is that you love him or her.

    You may spend hours, months, years together without fully appreciating what it is that this person means to you.

    You may be smart, but understanding exactly what someone adds to your life while he or she is a part of your life is tricky. You only fully understand the importance of an individual once that person is removed from your life.

    When it comes to life, human beings are like little children playing with electronics. They love their gadgets and are fascinated with trying to figure out how everything works.

    They want to understand how each individual piece makes the entire trinket do whatever it is that it’s supposed to do.

    Unfortunately, what each lever, cable and switch does isn’t always evident. Sometimes the only way to figure out how useful something is, is by removing it entirely and seeing what happens.

    When you lose someone you once loved, you may very well come to realize that life without that person simply doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. If this is the case, then you can’t blame yourself for wanting this person back – it’s only natural.

    When you love someone so deeply that you can’t let go, the world has a way of bringing you back together. If love exists as a tangible substance, which many seem to believe, then it only seems logical that true love must prevail.

    I can’t say that I understand exactly how this works, or whether it is only an illusion, but in my experience, – and in the experience of countless others – we often get exactly what is that we need.

    It’s the things that we spend so much time focusing on, so much time thinking about and fanaticizing about, that so often come to fruition almost as if streaming from a force larger than ourselves.

    Whether the hand of destiny is pushing us in the direction or whether we are almost unconsciously moving towards a goal without understanding that we are, such love has a way of coming back around.

    When you love someone so deeply that this person affects your day-to-day decision-making, then it isn’t unthinkable that with each decision you are finding yourself one step closer to the arms of your soul mate, your true love.

    Regardless of what you believe or don’t believe, when it comes to love, you need to have a bit of faith. With a bit of faith and love in your heart, miracles can happen.

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    What is true love? It’s a question that’s been contemplated by everyone from authors to artists to philosophers to clinicians.

    And it’s one that naturally brings up another key query: How do we make love last?

    With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we asked relationship experts to share their definitions of true love and provide practical tips for prolonging it.

    What True Love Isn’t

    Many think of love as a feeling. And in some ways it is. According to Mark E. Sharp, Ph.D, a psychologist in private practice who specializes in relationship issues, “the experience of being ‘in love’ is primarily a feeling,” which begins with a powerful attraction and sexual desire.

    But these initial intense feelings fade over time, he said. What’s left are “feelings of connection and affection,” if the couple works to sustain them.

    Yana Dubinsky, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist and director of clinical training at Primary Care Psychology Associates, also noted that true love goes beyond feelings. “When a couple stands in front of friends and family on their wedding day, they promise to love each other ‘til death do us part.’ If love were a feeling, how can we make a promise about how we will feel in 20, 30, 50 years?”

    What True Love Is

    “There are many kinds of love,” said Mudita Rastogi, Ph.D, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Arlington Heights, Ill. “Passionate, romantic love is very important, but long-term couples also engage in deliberate acts of love that nurture their partner and their overall couple relationship.”

    She described love as a process that includes how you love your partner and how your partner wants to be loved. “For some people it may mean saying, ‘I love you.’ For other people it may involve changing the oil in the car.”

    Love also means being empathic, meeting each other’s needs and supporting your partner when they need you, she said.

    Psychologist Erich Fromm inspired Dubinsky’s definition of true love: “an act of will and judgment, intention and promise.” Sharp also focused on commitment, and added that true love involves choices and behaviors shared by partners.

    “Healthy adult love exists when both partners are emotionally interdependent; meaning that both partners love one another, care for one another, desire physical closeness with one another, but respect each other enough to have their own identities as well,” said Meredith Hansen, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in couples, premarital and newlywed counseling. Partners feel safe being themselves and being vulnerable with each other.

    Making Love Last

    Loving relationships take effort. The experts suggested these tips for making love last.

    • Manage conflict. In her clinical work and research on happy couples, Dubinsky has found that all couples have conflict. But it’s how they deal with conflict that counts. When a compromise doesn’t seem possible, the key is to manage conflict and fight fair. This includes not hitting below the belt, listening to your partner and speaking clearly and directly, she said. “Resist the urge to bring up prior events that may help you prove your point.” Staying on track prevents an argument from escalating. Consider your partner’s point of view, and how they might interpret yours, she said. ““We don’t have to agree, but we must work to understand.”
    • Have a strong foundation. “Your interests, opinions and experiences can change as you grow. But if you share the same core belief systems, you will have a platform from which to build a strong relationship,” Rastogi said.
    • Have fun. “Whether it is gardening, deep sea diving, or taking French cooking lessons, all couples should have some activities that they enjoy doing with each other,” Rastogi said.
    • Ask about your partner’s day, and actually listen. “Offering a solution is not always necessary. Listening always is,” Dubinsky said.
    • Be clear about your needs. The best way to get your needs met is to communicate them clearly. As Dubinsky said, none of us is a mind reader.
    • Share your feelings with each other. Vulnerability is sharing your feelings – not your thoughts. And this ultimately helps you connect emotionally, Hansen said. “When you argue with your partner, the facts do not matter. Rather it is important for couples to share how the incident made them feel or how it affected them emotionally.”
    • Carve out quality time. “This does not have to be an elaborate date or a vacation; sometimes just going to bed a little early, turning off the television, and connecting can go a long way,” Hansen said.
    • Have your own passions. “We are all multifaceted, complex creatures. Your partner will never be able to match all your needs and interests. It is OK to pursue some separate activities, either individually, or with friends, apart from your partner,” Rastogi said.
    • Perform nice acts daily. “Show your partner that you care with small gestures,” such as a compliment, Dubinsky said. These seemingly small acts make a big difference. Similarly, when your partner does something kind, let them know, she said.
    • Dream together. “Knowing what you both want out of life and working together to make those dreams a reality will strengthen the bond in your marriage,” Hansen said. Discuss your relationship goals and how you’ll accomplish them at least once a year.
    • Respect your differences. Partners will always have differences. “The strongest couples manage their differences without becoming over-reactive, and without disengaging from each other,” Rastogi said.
    • Embrace your partner’s individuality. The idiosyncrasies we once fell in love with can frustrate us today, Hansen said. But it’s important to let your partner be themselves. “To help with this, make a list of all your partner’s positive qualities, characteristics and behaviors,” and keep it on your phone for regular reminders, she said.
    • Consider counseling. According to Dubinsky, “Too many couples wait until it’s too late or view therapy as sign of failure. Couples therapy can take a strength-based approach to help you identify the strengths in your relationship and help you translate those strengths into areas that are more difficult.”

    There’s no fairy tale formula for true love. It begins and blossoms with partners committing and recommitting to each other, both in vow and in action. As Sharp said, “[Long lasting true love] is when two people make a commitment to each other and choose to act in ways that sustain their feelings for each other and their connection to each other over time.”

    Last medically reviewed on February 11, 2013