“Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love…but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love.”
Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
Important things you have to know:
Firstly, you have to be happy and content on your own to be satisfied with another person. Never expect your partner to make you happy. He/she can add to your happiness and contentment and help you lead a fuller life. They will not be able to ‘make’ you happy. If that is what you expect from a partner, you will be placing a lot of strain on your relationship right from the start.
Secondly, if you want a perfect partner, you have to be an ideal partner. It is essential to know what you want. You can make a list of aspects that you want in a dream partner. Also, have a look in the mirror. Are you what a dream partner is looking for?
What does the dating journey of most singles look like?
- Between 15-25: You dream and search for a perfect partner – the prince on a white stallion.
- Above 25: You have been let down a few times, and now you drop your high expectations a bit.
- Above 30: You might be discouraged to find Mr Right. Now you date anyone who asks you out.
Even if you find a partner, you will always wonder how different it would have been should you have found Mr Right. It is one of the reasons why relationships fail so often – ONE PARTNER MAY HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Thirdly, please get to know someone vertically very well before you get to know them horizontally. Fast-paced relationships, more often than not, ends in disaster. People always put their best foot forward early in a relationship, but after a year or 18 months, it becomes challenging to keep up pretences. By then, the real ”person” appears, and it might be a different person and personality that you initially thought. Have a look at the 12 Steps to Intimacy on how slow a relationship should progress, for you get to get to know a person okay.
Tips to find that particular person:
When you present yourself as someone available, consider your appearance. Look your best from head to toe. Neglected feet and dirty sandals say a lot about you. To get to know the person, be an attentive and encouraging listener. Be careful not to speak more than you listen. Remember, you have one mouth and two ears. If you find someone interesting, ask a lot of questions. Be honest and sincere. In other words, be yourself.
- Trust your gut feel. If it feels right for you – it is a positive sign. Don’t rely only on what others are saying.
- Never make finding a partner your only goal in life. There should be more going on in your life than just that.
- A person that is happy on their own usually knows themselves quite well. That includes their good attributes and flaws. It is essential to be emotionally mature to maintain healthy relationships.
- Relationships that are starting should be fun. Disagreements and fights are red flags.
- If the relationship fails, walk away with grace.
“My heart might be bruised, but it will recover and become capable of seeing beauty of life once more. It’s happened before, it will happen again, I’m sure. When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive–I’ll find love again.”
Paulo Coelho, The Zahir
What does a relationship require of us:
- GOOD COMMUNICATION
- TRUST – YOU HAVE TO FEEL SAFE AND SECURE
- CONSTRUCTIVE WAYS TO HANDLE CONFLICT
- FLEXIBILITY – ACCEPT THAT WE CHANGE AS THE RELATIONSHIP GROWS.
Sometimes a relationship can go haywire with demands, broken trust, lots of fighting and more heartbreaking moments than happy moments. Take a step back if this happens, and have a good look at your relationship. If you find it difficult to process what is wrong, you may text-chat to a counsellor for guidance – LIVE CHAT
What are the warning signs that a relationship is not doing you good?
The following may indicate trouble is brewing in a relationship. They are called red flags.
Don’t ignore red flags.
- Jealousy / no trust
- Dependence or Controlling behaviour
- Relationship is only sexual
- No one-on-one time
- Pressure from partner for you to change
- Rage and unchecked bursts of anger
- Belittling behavior in front of others
- Feeling of underlying fear
- Feelings of depression
- Lies & deception
You can also test your knowledge of relationships by doing the My Knowledge about Relationships Quiz.