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The secret to lasting love

Why are you with just one man? Why is it that the guy you can call yours has prevailed over all the others who came before him?

Well, obviously, each failed relationship that has happened up till now has had its own unique defects that lead to the break ups.

So maybe a better question is, why can I believe the love that is offered to me this time is different?

Loving someone is a unique ability only humans can create awareness around. It’s an art because we can improve upon the skill, sort of like a craft. The more we feel it, the better we become at understanding it and how we handle ourselves when we feel it.

I once read a quote that’s always stuck with me, “Falling in love is easy. Staying in love, that’s the challenge.”

But to even consider staying in love, we have to make a choice: At the low points, in the time of doubt, will we keep choosing love? And are we willing to do so even if the person may not choose us one day?

The uncertainties in love are quite frankly bloody terrifying, the thought of the person we’ve chosen above everyone else one day not choosing us scares a lot of people away before anything has even really begun.

How can we know someone will make a great partner? Father? Or even a bingo teammate well into retirement? Yes I know that’s a lot of forward thinking but it’s worth considering to save yourself some heartache.

How can we know we won’t be betrayed? Our hearts not crushed? Our love not taken advantage of?

And the answer is plain and fucking simple: We don’t.

We don’t know how our lives will play out, and that runs true, especially when it comes to love. We can plan and analyse as much as we want, but we will never know for certain how things are going to go.

But just because we can’t be certain doesn’t mean we can’t try.

Loving someone is a choice. You find a person that makes your heart flutter, whose company you thoroughly enjoy and who you have amazing chemistry with. You understand each other; you could see yourself growing old with them because you can wholeheartedly be yourself around them.

So you choose them; you choose to try and make a life with them. But it won’t be the only time you’ll have to choose them.

Because the doubt will creep in. They’ll eventually hurt or disappoint you, you’ll start thinking about the negative things and even at this point, you’ll still want to choose them. Even over all the hurdles.

And the choice really comes down to your capabilities and willingness of working through the inevitable low points, because being with them surpasses everything else. You don’t mind riding out the lows with them because experiencing the highs is worth it every time.

If they choose you and you choose them then that should equal, I hope, lasting love.

You have open and honest communication, regularly checking in on one another. You both have the ability to speak our emotions, fears, and appreciations of one another. You acknowledge the hard times will come, but you’re certain you have what it takes to get through them.

And when you wrap all of this up into a package, that love seems like it will withstand time.

But all because we are both making a choice. A choice to stay in love and work through the highs and lows together because you know that being together is worth it.

Recently, I came across a Ted Talk by a woman that did a questionnaire with a man that led them to fall in love. That woman, Mandy Len Catron, wrote the initial article which consists of the 36 questions to ask your partner to fall in love.

Readers wanted to understand the magic of Catron’s relationship’s success; everyone wanted to know if the two were still together.

But Catron was wary of answering because the success of their relationship wasn’t based on 36 questions designed for creating love.

The success of their relationship hung on one main thing: a choice.

The two chose to love each other, every single day.

Sure, love is a bit more nuanced. But lasting love, I believe, is not.

You’ll never find a perfect person who won’t disappoint you at some point, it’s just human nature, none of us are perfect. Every single relationship is going to have its low points.

And when those lows come, you’ll have to make a choice, a choice to stay in love or not.

But in the end, I believe that’s the secret to lasting love. Choosing to love the person you’ve chosen no matter what, through all the tough shit and all the amazing stuff that you wouldn’t want to be experiencing with anyone else.

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Clear intentions

Have you ever watched He’s Just Not That Into You? There’s a scene where one of the main characters Alex states this: “If a guy treats you like he really doesn’t give a shit, then he really doesn’t give a shit.”

Mind blown.

Sad thing is, we don’t date with intention anymore (unless your only intention is an orgasm, in which case, be safe and have fun). Dating with intention is envisioning your emotional wants and needs and finding a partner who shares that same goal. However, we’ve ended up in a chaotic mess where the marriage-minded are dating individuals who want to play the field. And what happens when we discover our intentions don’t align? It’s excruciating. It is a real, staggering pain inside our chest, yet another one that you’re going to have to let go after you’ve spent time imagining how your families would combine.

Millennials long for companionship that’s more than platonic, without the cynicism of “friends with benefits.” So we end up in almost relationships, settling, because we think that’s all that’s out there, people who are only willing to give us half of what we want and deserve.

But really all we want is someone who gives a fuck about us and doesn’t make us confused. We want to cuddle up on the couch and watch movies. We want to complain about someone’s snoring. We want someone to make breakfast for us, because it’s the small things that have the biggest impact. We want someone who texts us goodnight and good morning, IS THAT REALLY TOO MUCH TO ASK?!

What we don’t want however, is confusion and anxiety which is really all we get from our almost relationships.

When we end up settling for the almost it’s because we don’t want to be viewed as needy or demanding. We’re taught to be the cool girl who doesn’t require higher standards as can always be independent AF. How did we talk ourselves into a dating culture where we don’t value connections, but we swipe right? One in which we ghost each other because conversation and honesty seems too scary and difficult?

But what happens when you meet someone who doesn’t make you feel scared for being honest with your emotions and stating that you want them in your future? How do you react?

You’re so used to acting in an IDGAF attitude pretending that you’re not slowly getting feelings for someone who has no intentions of drafting you into future plans with them, that having someone tell you they’re not here to mess you around sounds like the worlds weirdest concept …. but how refreshing!

So maybe after all the shit you’ve been through with everyone else, it’s ok to think that this one could actually be into you and it’s fine to let your guard down and actually be honest with what you want.

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100% Kind of Love

 

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If someone doesn’t love 100% of you, then you need to politely tell them to f**k off.

No seriously, hear me out on this one…

If you don’t in some way love every single, quirk, annoyance and weird habit of the person you’re dating, odds are that you’ve fallen in love with the idea of them rather than the real them.

It’s easy to fall in love with ideas, but falling in love with reality, now thats a hard task.

If you’re looking at the person you’re with and thinking ‘yeah you’re great, but if you didn’t do XYZ you’d be even better’ STEP AWAY!

They’ve been working hard to make that version of themselves since the day they were born and the last thing they want or need is some temporary, mismatched (to them) individual coming along to alter them, because ultimately once you up and leave them once you’ve reshaped them into the thing you think you want, not only are you leaving them heartbroken, you’re also leaving them wondering who the hell they are.

Once you’ve redesigned the end picture of the jigsaw of their life, by removing pieces and jamming in pieces that really don’t go where you’re trying to make them fit, you’ll leave them questioning a lot of things.

And the thing is, they’ve let you alter them because they love you, no demand was too big or too small, you wanted them not to hang out with certain people? Fine, those jigsaw pieces are gone. You weren’t a fan of that weird hobby they had at the weekends? Cool, they’ll drop it to fit into your lifestyle better, another jigsaw piece gone.

Originally, before you came along, the image they were working towards on their jigsaw of life, the one they had been working on since the day they were born, was a dog. Now, since you’ve been in their life, the end image is of a bucket …. they don’t even like buckets, but you do, so it’s fine, because they want to make you happy.

NO. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT FINE.

If you don’t love 100% of the person you’re dating without wanting to change them, leave them alone so they can find someone who loves 100% of them, there’s over 7 billion people in the world, so odds are they can find someone better than you and you’re not as special as you think. Sorry, not really sorry.

Maybe you’re reading this thinking, yeah I’ve done that, I’ve changed my life to please someone else. Well stop it, you don’t need to, if you love 100% of you, someone else can as well, but thats the key thing here, you need to love all your weirdness before you can expect someone else to.

We all have flaws, but few of us can actually own them and stand in front of someone and go, this is me. Yeah I’m not perfect, but neither are you so lets be perfectly imperfect together and I’ll love you anyway.

I’m not asking you to love your partners snoring when they lay on their front, or the way they can’t eat toast unless it’s basically burnt, but all those silly little things make up what is them and if you love them, you’ll get used to their weird quirks.

Don’t place yourself into someones life if you’re wanting to change it, you could just be a temporary part of their life jigsaw, all the other pieces they’ve spent years finding the right places for are the foundations they’ve created with their friends and family and if you try and change those just to fit what you want, well to be honest you’re just a crappy manipulative person.

So love someone 100% or don’t bother loving them at all.

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Advice from those before you

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She wants you to be successful, she wants you to get her to fall in love.

Yep, there’s that big L word, love …. she’s almost forgotten what that feels like, how it feels to be crazy about someone. To want to be around one person constantly. How is she supposed to tell you how to make it work?

Maybe if you took a note from those who came before you, you’d understand why she keeps running off in the opposite direction whenever she thinks you’re getting too close.

To understand her, maybe advice from the people before you would be just what you need?


Advice number 1: She’s a control freak.

She needs to fall for you on her own terms in her own way. She has to lead, that’s really important, or at least at the start. Until she’s comfortable with you, you need to understand that she just assumes you’re going to build the foundations of a potential relationship wrong. So she wants to create the base.

Oh and most importantly, don’t be too touchy feely, not at the start. Once she likes you and has handed over the reins she’ll want you all over her. But not until she’s decided she likes you.

You’ll be able to work out when it’s your turn to take over in the relationship she’s trying to build with you.

Advice number 2: Be confident.

You need to be confident enough around her to tell her how you feel, she doesn’t like liars or confusing messages.

Once you know she likes you, you need to do everything you can to keep her. It might take her a while to actually make her mind up about you, but once she does, you’ll be with the most loyal person you’ve ever met.

But seriously, do not lie to her because once you’ve burnt all your bridges, she will be able to act like she doesn’t even know who you are anymore.

Advice number 3: You need to understand that you’ll never understand her.

That weird twisted dark sense of humour is clearly a defence mechanism, if you manage to break down her walls to find out what/who broke her heart then you’re amongst a very small number of people.

Once you’ve got her interested in you, don’t play games anymore. the Game playing phase is over once she likes you. But remember, don’t go too fast or expect things to happen as quick as you’d like. This is how you’ll accidentally push her away.

Oh and Remember you can make her feel beautiful without objectifying her.

Advice number 4: Give her time and space.

She’s weirdly complicated, she wants you to want her but not too much otherwise she’ll get scared off.

In a way, she needs to chase you to begin with, if you’re constantly there willing to give her undivided attention straight away she won’t like it. It will be too much too quick.

Everything with her is ANYTHING but quick, you need to be willing to slow things down, and then slow it down again.

But if you’re lucky enough to get her to love you, make sure you’re all in it with her. She’ll never admit it, but it’s easy to break her heart once she’s in love.

Advice number 5: Just let her be crazy.

She will keep you on your toes. So make sure you’ve got good balance.

When she gets in one of her crazy moods, just wait it out, because even she wont know if she wants you to be a million miles away from her, or hold her so tight she can’t breath when she’s mad at you.

Advice number 6: Remember to reassure her

She has this weird obsession with fulfilling other peoples expectations of her, so make sure you reassure her she’s doing great. She likes hearing nice things from the person she’s dating.

Funny thing is, she’s always so determined to improve herself and everything around her sometimes she can forget to enjoy the moment she’s in, so if you can, get her to enjoy everything around her more.


But maybe there’s a reason why none of the ones before you managed to get it to work, maybe they figured her out in part but not fully. So perhaps you’ll be the one who totally gets it right?

Maybe the journey you’re going to go on with her will be the final one she takes, the last time she has to go through being chased and then chasing after someone.

Just remember, she wants you to get her, she just doesn’t know how to tell you to do how to it.

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Ambition and compatibility

You’re on different paths, and your paths are steering away from each other, beautifully unsynced, never meant to join and run in harmony forever.

But that’s ok.

Who’d have thought that your biggest ‘what if’ would have been over someone you thought you wanted to spend your life with.

But that’s what happens when one person is driven to move forward and the other is content with being stagnant, going round in circles.

Whether we like it or not, levels of ambition are key to compatibility, you can’t have one person excelling forward while dragging someone with them kicking and screaming. You have to be willing to push each other forward as much as you can if you’re keen to be successful, support each other’s dreams and be willing to remind each other of how far you’ve both come.

On the other hand, there are people who are happy to reach a level in their life and then remain stagnant, you’ll think you’ve reached your highest point and you’re happy with where you are.

That’s fine, but that’s not what she’s like.

You admire her because she’s forever chasing after her ambitions, you watch her go after what she wants while you sit content, happy with exactly where you are and what you’re doing.

Your paths are different, and that’s ok. But ultimately that’s what will keep the two of you apart.

She’s scared of knowing what her forever looks like, maybe because she’s worried her forever won’t be the kind of person to make sure she keeps hold of her ambition and drive to constantly move forward and chase after what she wants, or maybe she’s scared because she’s seen what staying still can do to people.

So before you promise her forever, before you decide that you want to be her future, ask yourself if you can help make sure she remains determined and ambitious, will you let her stop excelling when she says that you’re now all she wants, or will you be there pushing her up towards her goals?

Remember, right now she doesn’t need you, she’s busy going after exactly what she wants. So if she wants you, that’s a privilege.

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What you should’ve said

If you had the guts, maybe you would have told him face to face, maybe if you weren’t so scared about putting your neck on the line you would have pulled him aside and told him everything and you wouldn’t have even given a second thought to the consequences?

But this is real life and it isn’t that simple.

When you’re worried about opening up to people you don’t tend to put your heart on the line.

Actions have consequences and words can stay with someone for a very long time, maybe if you could tell someone how you feel and then instantly wipe their memory it would make things easier?

So in this pretend scenario where you’re not a coward and you’re not scared to take things into your own hands, maybe this is what you would have told him:

Maybe you would have told him that being around him makes you happy, that waking up and knowing that you’re seeing him makes your day feel less heavy.

You could have told him that in the moment when he does things that are a bit unconventional you just end up fancying him more, things that other people find weird and make them describe him as an introvert actually make you wonder if he’s got a space for you in his closed off world that not many people make the cut into.

Maybe you’d have said that if you were make him laugh every day then you would, because his laugh is infectious and makes you smile in a way that very few other things do.

Maybe you could have told him that he shouldn’t ignore how he feels about you because you feel exactly the same and what he’s tried to shrug off as a meaningless crush is actually deeper than that, even if he tries to convince himself it isn’t.

You could’ve said that when you see his name pop up on your phone first thing in the morning and as soon as you finish work, it makes you almost miss seeing his face because when he texts you stupid things that make you laugh you wish you could see the facial expressions he’s pulling, because his overly expressive face just makes everything seem even more funny.

You should have told him you liked him, but maybe it was more than that. You should have told him that you can feel electricity when you’re in touching distance of him, you should have told him that you can stop thinking about him grabbing your waist and kissing your neck, that after that one time it’s all you’ve been able to think about ever since and maybe that’s fuc**d up! Or maybe this is just what totally undiluted lust feels like?

Maybe you would’ve said that he’s not your type and that’s why this is so confusing for you because your head is telling you one thing and your heart is telling you another, but sometimes people are so similar it’s scary.

You could’ve told him that no one understands the controversial opinions you have like he does and no one listens to them while sharing similar opinions like him, no one gets it quite like he does.

Maybe you should’ve told him that you understand that the timing is wrong and that you’ve crossed paths at the worst point in both your lives, but you really hope that your paths cross again in the future.

There’s a lot you would’ve told him if you’d had the guts …. but you didn’t.

And now you’ll just have to hold on to your “what if” and the hope that this isn’t the end of it.

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Thank You Next

 

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If you can’t imagine introducing him to your family then honestly, what are you wasting your time for?

You might really like him, the sex might be great but when you think of him being around your family you suddenly get a sinking feeling, as if you know that he isn’t what they would want for you. You know your family would want you to be with someone who isn’t afraid to be soppy with you around them, because you know they would be happy to see that someone loves you as much as they do.

So if he’s afraid of physical affection in any way shape or form, is he really the one for you? Don’t get me wrong, PDA is massively off-putting, however, its nice to feel wanted. Even if it’s just in private. If you don’t feel wanted, how can you think that he’s for you?

As someone who is massively family orientated, I will always care about what my family think of my significant other. Which is why I avoid introducing them to anyone until I’m certain about how I feel and I know who they are. No one likes explaining to their parents why someone they were with a week ago at the family BBQ has now done a disappearing act.

So seriously, if you can’t imagine him stood beside you with an affectionate arm around your waist at family events, from BBQ’s to children’s birthdays, from weddings to funerals, then WHY ARE YOU WASTING YOUR TIME?!

You might not be able to focus your attention on anyone else right now, because although he’s a twat, you’re a little bit lust obsessed. But that’s ok, as long as you can acknowledged he is not someone that you should even imagine a future with.

You might love sleeping next to him, but if he isn’t rolling over to spoon you every now and then, or to put your head on his chest to make sure you’re still laying there with him, then you might as well be sleeping alone, because despite him being there, you feel as though he isn’t.

If you’re revelling in the fact that he’s been giving you undivided attention for the last few months (since his last disappearing act) make sure you remember how you feel when he does go back to his old habits … you know, the ones that you’re mysteriously missed out of. Because as nice as his attention is, someone who will be consistent for you, will be better in the long run.

So enjoy him while you can, because he’s not the one you’re supposed to be with forever.

He’s not the one you want to introduce to your family and he’s not the one who treats you how you expected the love of your life to treat you. But he’s fun and he’s easy to talk to, you have things in common, but not enough to make your parents approve of him.

He might be good looking, but if he isn’t willing to show you any affection in front of his friends or your friends, then you need to find someone better, someone who doesn’t want to keep their hands off you, but who knows you well enough to understand that you’re not a fan of PDA, so all they have to do is tell you they cant wait to get you alone later and that will make your day.

If he isn’t loving you the way you want him to, it’s probably a blessing in disguise.

So when he ghosts on you again, remember he is not the one you want forever. So you might as well let him disappear, as long as you’re not going to let him come back again (for the fourth time).