How To Find Lasting Love
Exploring the right path to ever-lasting love.
Relationships 21st Dec, 2020
Many people look for love as they reach adulthood. Regardless of sexuality, we are all socially conditioned to get married and settle down. Lasting love though starts with being comfortable in your own skin and the ability to be happy alone. You really don’t need someone else to make you whole. Finding peace within yourself is far more healthy, in the long term, than looking for love. Eventually, when you do meet someone, the task of comfortably adding each other to your lives becomes the reality as opposed to trying to complete each other.
A good place to start is by working on yourself. If your primary motivation to find a partner is derived from low self esteem, every day over a six week period write down something complimentary about yourself. It can be an aspect of your personality, your appearance, or something you’ve done that you’re proud of. Keep it simple, for example, ‘I like my long eyelashes’ or ‘I’m kind’. This could help you learn to love yourself. In addition, you could talk to someone, or take advantage of the many internationally recognised resources like the Samaritans self-help app here.
Another block to lasting love is constantly comparing past and present relationships. Although somewhat inevitable, endlessly comparing each detail and dwelling on the past detracts from enjoying the present. Perhaps you have that one perfect ex that you compare everyone new to, if so, be honest with yourself about why that relationship ended. If you were the one who walked away, remember why. Maybe they weren’t so perfect after all. If you think you were the main reason that relationship ended, work through your reasons. We all make mistakes and there were two people in that relationship. Take all the time you need, talk to your friends, family, or therapist if you have one, then start to move on and forgive yourself if necessary.
You could also start to recognise the stories you tell yourself about your relationships. These generally revolve around your hopes and fears: ‘I always push to move in too fast’ or ‘I get bored/the sex gets boring and that’s why I don’t commit’. These are both common stories. Try to figure out what yours is, then challenge it. The next time you meet someone, watch as the story crosses your mind and then wave it out the door.
The final piece is to take pressure out of the equation. If you believe your whole future is riding on every date, then you aren’t leaving any space to relax, have fun and get to know the other person. If you are nodding to yourself now and recognise this as something you do, then remember that, the next time you go on a date. Understand also that not every date works out. This person may be your new best friend, not a partner, or perhaps you never want to see them again! Either way, you’ve learned something and met someone new. Holding onto that thought, not the ones about a future together (there’s time for that), could allow you to stay in the present.
In the long run, if you learn to love yourself, then you can find lasting love with someone else. Try out a few, or all of these tips, see where they take you, then, next time you meet someone, start to put them into practice and see where it takes you. It’s important not to put pressure on yourself. See where this new self-knowledge and self-love takes you.