Funny you should ask! Many cannot find Love because they do not know what it is. Love is:
Willingness to Change Your Life to be With Your Beloved
If you are willing to materially change your life to live with and to make your partner happy, you are in Love.
This goes back and forth over time but the there is always an inseparable invisible bond between you two. Where do you live, work, send the kids to school, vacation and Love.
The biggest change is not even physical, it is emotional. Love lives and breaths when the relationship becomes more important than self. The you can find bliss.
Making the Other Person Happy
Westley in the The Princess Bride had it right when he responds to Buttercup, “As you wish.”
The opening of new Love can be the most wondrous thing in life. You have renewed energy, enthusiasm, a best friend, one to be intimate and vulnerable with. Finally life is complete!
After the honeymoon period the true test of Love begins. We all have our own drama, triggers and short comings. We bump into each other with our baggage. Simply put, if we can get over our sh*t, we can be in Love.
Here is the kicker, I believe Love can never be destroyed. Once created for another person, this Love lives immortally in our hearts and souls until we die and maybe beyond the body. The question is which rises to the top, our drama or Love?
There is a balance inside everyone, two worlds that exist inside each of us, one is insecurity leading to resentment, the other is Love and hope. You know which wins? The one you feed. Which one are you going to feed? I choose to feed Love and hope.
If you are falling behind in your marriage or relationship, sit with yourself then together to remember the honeymoon and what brought you together. They were so attractive to you, their quirks did not matter, just their energy and soul mattered. It is still there, you just have to drop your ego to feel it again.
When you partnership is slipping for you it is because your trigger or drama is rising to get in the way. If your partner is falling out of Love for you, figure out which triggers you tripped and attempt to heal them through open honest Loving communication.
Avoid the make mistake to be defensive, selfish and resentful for their not caring for you as they once did. If you screwed up, own your part. Until you do, healing cannot begin.
You have to recognize that the their trigger got tripped or a need was not met. Yes, it is their responsibility to ask for their needs and communicate about their triggers. But! If you Love them, you are going to have to help by learning your partner’s triggers in advance and check in about their needs even when things appear to be going smoothly.
It is also common for a Loved one to hesitate to mention a feeling or need for one of many reasons you have to be sensitive to. One of the biggest mistakes I have learned a hard lesson from is stating a need of my own that overrides a need of my partner’s. That is a big no no, it is being selfish.
The secret to a long-term relationship is to make the other person happy. Pick your needs carefully. Separate needs from wants and scale them back. Which would you rather have? Your partner comfortable because you are living within your budget or a new car?
If you are about personal needs, you are running a single person’s pattern. It is black and white, make yourself happy, single pattern. Make your beloved happy, relationship pattern. Easy peasy.
Loving Nonviolent Communication
Long-term happy marriages and partners have their own form of nonviolent communication (NVC). They have an ebb and flow of Lovingly expressing feelings and stating needs in the safe container of the relationship. “I love you, our relationship is the most important thing in my life, I feel this and have a need for … may we find a time to creatively brainstorm and find a way to eventually meet this need. Honey, I love you.” Always, say I Love you.
Long-term NVC takes practice, mindfulness and sometimes some growth to overcome hesitation to express one’s feelings and needs to prevent them from growing into resentment. Expressing an unmet need before it comes resentful can save your marriage.
It is also fair to say, “That need does not work with my need for… Let’s find a way to make us both happy. I Love you!” Healthy relationships have clear boundaries.
As my wise and best friend J in t-ride says, “Never argue.”
Before, During and After Kids
Children change everything. Before kids, you biologically a drawn to a partner to have kids. During kids you are bound to them to raise the children. After children are grown it becomes more difficult to commit to a new relationship because you do not have biology or children pulling and holding you together.
You have to want to be together simply for the sake of happiness through partnership and Love. The kicker is we all have our drama and as we get older our personality becomes more solidified.
If you have children, look for a partner who has been married, has had children and gets the commitment to family or vice versa.
Early, Lovingly, Tender, Tantric and Often. But most of all, look your beloved in the eye in union and tell them, “I Love You.” This is one of the most important moments of your life. Always tell them you Love them.
Intimacy is the magic bond that separates you two from the rest of the world. Savor your beloved’s smell, taste and feeling, there is no other, there is only together.
is the salt of the earth,
is the marrow of life,
is tears of joy,
is the soul of the relationship.
What is True Love?
True Love is the everlasting honeymoon. This is the dream. The honeymoon can go on forever if both people get over their own stuff and appreciate each other. If you are grateful everyday to wake and see your beloved, then they have True Love. But it must be mutual, if not, the relationship can become needy.
True Love is mutual gratitude.
This comes with emotional maturity and minimized ego.
I becomes We.
True Love does not come from losing someone you Love and Loving them more. It happens when gratitude and joy is mutual. Couples can breakup, get perspective, grow and rejoin, then they can enjoy greater appreciation for having lost one another. That is a hard road though and is best avoided by being in tune with your partner in the first place, lesson learned.
Keep your ears, eyes, heart open to your partner. Let your self dissolve into the relationship, there is no I in Love. Tune in and breath Love in. If you are in Love and Loved, you are blessed!