Everyone wants to be in love. We want that moment that makes nothing else in the world matter except for being with that special someone. But no one seems to know what love is. Every time I get on Facebook or Twitter or any other public space, there are a dozen new relationships, a bunch of people breaking up and countless articles teaching guys how to act to pick up girls and teaching girls how to dress in order to get guys attention. I have seen people ruined by breakups, depressed, and heartbroken for months post relationship.
Does something sound wrong here? Where is the happiness? Where is the authenticity? What seems apparent is that more people seem lost and lonely in today’s time than confident and secure. Have you ever noticed that articles written about love get more hits and more attention than anything else? Love is the most powerful human emotion. Love is innate to all of us and when asked, millions if not billions of people often say all they want is to find love.
In today’s society, there is one idea that needs to spread. Love is not found in others and happiness cannot be achieved by meaningless relationships. Love is not found in others because it has to be found in ourselves first. We must be able to look ourselves in the mirror each morning and love that person staring back. If we cannot first love ourselves then how can we love someone else? The same goes for happiness. Superficial relationships lead to nothing but emptiness. We might feel temporarily satisfied with hookups and with casual relationships, but that will never last. Eventually the flame will die out and we will begin to look for a new relationship or a new hook up. Real love and lasting happiness starts with ourselves and evolves over time. It is hard work, but nothing worth having ever comes easy.
What it Means to Love Someone
If you don’t really know what it means to love yourself, then how can you find true love? Love is so much more than that feeling of butterflies in the stomach. Love is the most powerful emotion that we have. Scientifically, love is a result of the most potent chemical in our bodies: oxytocin. Spiritually, love is the greatest gift we can give someone and the driver of our actions. Emotionally, love is the only thing that leads us to make crazy and completely irrational decisions. No one can deny love’s powerful grip that it has on us.
Love Yourself First
You should always respect and care for yourself first. You need be able to love yourself fully and accept you for who you are. Our happiness comes from ourselves and no one else. All human emotions exist in one place, our heads. Fear, anger, love, stress: they all exist in our minds, and because they exist there we have full control over those parts of our lives. When you love yourself, you accept that everything comes from within, and with that acceptance comes the ability to change, grow, thrive, and be happy.
The Best Relationships are Built with Interdependence.
Interdependence is the art of two people being independent in a relationship, but working together to be better as a whole. Think of two successful business owners. Alone they have each built successful companies. But if they combine forces and work together, then they have one powerful organization rather than two strong ones. This should be the same for your relationship. Interdependent people have their own lives and complement each other in a way that empowers each other to thrive.
When two interdependent people are in a relationship, they push each other to grow. They find each others weaknesses and help each other improve as a person. When real love exists, that love is the foundation used to grow as a couple and as individuals. You communicate, you are honest with each other, and you are empathetic to each other. When you find someone that pushes you to be a better person, you have found someone worth having.
Emotional, Physical, and Compatible
It is so important to be compatible. This applies to emotional, physical, spiritual, mental, and whatever else you feel is important in your life. Everyone is a little different, and everyone has their own personality that is accompanied with needs and desires. When you love someone, you respect what it is that makes them happy, what it is that satisfies them, and what it is that they are passionate about.
You don’t need to be dating someone as identical as you, but you have to be able to accommodate the needs of whoever you are dating. In turn, your significant other should do what makes you happy as well. This includes everything from your pet peeves to what you enjoy in the bedroom.
Loving Someone Means You Can Let Them Go
This might be hard to visualize, but true love means respect. Respect for what your partner wants or desires and respect that they are their own person. If you truly love someone, then you are able to live with who they are and not force them to change. This also means respecting them enough to let them go.
That last part might not make sense, but remember that relationships go two ways. If you love someone and it is best for them to move on, then it is best for you to accept that decision and live your life to the fullest. Nothing ruins us faster than loving someone who does not love you back.
How to Find True Love
Now you might ask, how do I find that special someone in my life? It’s simple. Just be yourself. Do what you love. Be open with others. There is no reason to be someone you are not just to be in a relationship. All that does is build a weak foundation for your love life and create an inauthentic relationship.
If you are a goof, then be goofy. If you are serious and intense, then be serious and intense. No matter what someone tells you, if you are truly happy with your life then never change who you are. There is nothing more important than being authentic to you.
This idea all revolves around one notion, happiness. If you are not happy, then it is time to change. But then the question arises, if you are not happy with your life, are you really being authentic? The whole be-yourself paradigm for dating is one of the most commonly taught things, but this is the most important piece of information you will ever learn. This idea extends far beyond dating and relationships and is applicable in every aspect of life. You are you and no one else. The moment we stop being ourselves we lose a piece of us and change to accommodate others.
When you act and behave in a way that best reflects you, you do something amazing. You attract people into your life who like you for you. That is the end goal. Real love comes from real relationships, and real relationships come from being authentic to yourself and to others.
You don’t have to be the most emotional person on the planet, but you need to be able to let others into your life and past that barrier that we all have. The importance of being vulnerable cannot be overstated. Once you are being authentic to yourself and living a life that makes you happy, you have to let others into your life and get to know you. That’s what being vulnerable is: opening up to others. Share your passions, fears, dreams, and goals. You will be surprised how open others are once you open up to them first.
We all have our reasons for not letting people in. After we have loved and lost it can be hard to love again. Sometimes it feels like we shouldn’t bother others with our problems and sometimes it can be difficult to explain how we truly feel. But this is a problem that everyone has. When you go on a date, I can safely say that other person is just as nervous as you and has just as many fears and doubts as you do. All it takes is you opening up to them and they will in turn open up to you.
Say Hi and Smile
A simple smile can change a person’s day. The way a person acts towards you is also a great reflection of yourself. If you take a scenario where you are meeting someone for the first time, say your potential new boyfriend or girlfriend, how you act will affect how they act in return. If you smile, say hi, and act positively to that person, then they will act that way towards you as well. If they don’t, then you know it is already time to move on.
The single most important thing you must do is say hi! If you do not muster up the courage to go and say hi to someone, then you will never move forward with your relationships. You can exercise, work on your own self love, and live an amazing life, but if you never take the leap of faith to meet someone new, then you will never be able to share your life with them. All you must do is say hello.
Love Lasts Forever
Everyone experiences love differently. In fact, every love is different. Love is timeless and lasting. It comes and goes. It changes lives and inspires millions. All you have to do is find love in yourself first. Use that to make you a truly happy and genuine person and your relationships will begin to flourish.