Buchtelite Copy Editor
As a disclaimer, I would like to begin this article by saying that I remain a skeptic about “true love.” I do not believe in the idea that there is one person for everyone or that there is only one sole “Mr./Mrs. Right.” However, I do believe that a variety of traits, possessed by both persons in a relationship, can make a couple more likely to stay together.
I also do not intend to objectify relationship because obviously subjectivity is some, if not most, of what makes up a romantic relationship. Also, this article is directed towards those in a monogamous relationship, no matter heterosexual or homosexual or whatever “-sexual” you are.
The infatuation phase
All right. So, how do you know the person you’re with is the right one? Well, you don’t. “But OMG Beau my boyfriend is my soulmate! You just don’t understand … we’re so in love!”
Yes, I understand what you mean. I also know what it feels like to be “in love.” You’re basically infatuated with the person you’re dating. You want to do nice things for them all the time because you want to make them happy and see them smile. Every time you see their name flash up on your phone you get giddy and respond within 2.589 seconds of receiving the message.
In the beginning of the relationship, yes, you feel like you’re going to be in love forever. You may think this is an attribute for foolish teenagers and middle school students going through puberty and experiencing the sensation of being horny, but trust me, there are people going through this at every age. And it’s because of our little chemical friend, oxytocin.
You know when you’re cuddling with your man, or woman, and you get this comfortable, warm feeling inside you that makes you want to jump for joy and declare your undying love for your mate? That’s oxytocin.
Oxytocin, or the cuddle hormone, is released into your bloodstream when you’re with the person you have intense feelings for. It’s a blessing and a curse that will die down over the years, but won’t ever go away completely.
That feeling oxytocin gives you, mixed with several other feelings experienced in the beginnings of a relationship, will make you feel like your love will last forever. I believe that’s when the “honeymoon phase” starts. Remember that it really is just a phase, and one day it will die down.
Keep the flame alive
Love isn’t something that you can let loose and expect to fall into place. Nothing in real life ever really “just works out by itself.” Love will require action and effort on both sides of the relationship.
It starts off as a strong, burning fire but over time it will flicker and die down, and you need to keep it burning if you want to continue to be in love. I’ve learned this from personal experience and by watching other people.
So, here are some tips on how to keep that fire burning. I’m no expert, but I find that doing these things can help anyone who wants to find “the one.” If you think the person you’re with is the one you want to spend your life with, make sure you:
• Are sexually attracted to this person.
This is pretty self-explanatory. You should be attracted to the person you love.
• Remember that your soulmate is created by yourself and no one else. Not fate. Not God.
What I mean by this is that in order to make your lover your forever-lover, you need to make sure you guys stick together through everything.
No, this doesn’t mean you chain them to the floor and never let them leave, this means you have to put your minds together and fight through all the struggles that come your way.
If you cannot get through even the smallest of tiffs, how could you live your entire lives together? You can’t, period.
• Learn how to meet in the middle and deal happily with that if you cannot agree on something.
You will never find someone who is going to agree with everything you agree with. However, you can find someone who is willing to agree to disagree and find a solution that works for the better for both partners.
• Will have to change sometimes.
“I love you for everything you are, and you have no flaws.”
Haha, no. You will do things that will irk the person you love, and the person you love will do things that irk you. Understand that the person you love is not doing this purposefully to piss you off, and talk to them about how you feel. It’s healthy to work together, even if it requires someone having to change a habit.
For instance, say you fall for someone who smokes, and you do not smoke. If you want to live your life with this person and live a long life together, and even start a family, smoking honestly could be a barrier for this. If you talk to them and let them know how you feel, then hopefully they realize that a change would be better for the both of you, and a change would be necessary.
It doesn’t hurt to change for someone, depending on the situation. But this doesn’t mean you need to make a big deal out of everything they do. Seriously, if they annoy you that much, why would you be with them?
• Use “The Front Porch” method when thinking about your future with your love.
I learned about “The Front Porch” from watching the hit sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” and I actually thought it was pretty useful. The method is simple: Picture you and your loved one sitting on the front porch of your future home, enjoying a meal with your closest friends. Does everyone get along?
It’s important, when things get serious with your partner, that you introduce them to the people who mean the most to you: friends and family. Keep in mind that not everyone gets along, and that’s all right, but if your friends make a big deal about not liking your partner for some stupid reason, then you should stand up for your love. If they have a legitimate reason, listen to them and work on the problem, whether it’s between you and your friends or you and your loved one.
There is no excuse for someone to hold a grudge against the one you love when there is no reason to. Hopefully, everyone on your front porch will get along, but if you don’t see everyone having the time of their lives together, then something is wrong.
If the problem is absolutely not fixable, that’s not your fault, and you may need to think about dropping some people in your life. Some of us have to grow up sometimes.
• Should be best friends with your love.
If you and your love get along like jam and toast, that’s great, but they should be best friend material. If you can act the same way around your man/woman and your closest friends, and they respond well to it, then you have a keeper.
You should be able to tell your love everything, no matter how embarrassing it is or how stupid you think it is. You and your love are a team, and there is no “I” in team.
• Remember that your love is your business partner.
If you want to spend the rest of your life with your love, keep in mind that they will be involved in everything. One of those things, and it’s of key importance, is your financial life. Make budgets, help each other out financially when one of you is struggling, make decisions together, make sure all bills are paid and no one is withholding important financial information from the other.
God knows how many people split up because of financial difficulties. Don’t let that happen to you if you want a happy life with your hubby.
• Appreciate the little things.
Do things for each other. Pay for a dinner, surprise someone with Starbucks coffee (I love it when my guy does this), bake cookies and watch their favorite television shows with them, even if you don’t like the show. If you pass by something you know your partner would like, get it (within reason, of course).
Appreciate everything your love does for you, no matter how dumb. Your goal should be to make the love of your life as happy as possible, whether you’re giving or getting.
• Keep the future in mind.
Make sure your goals and your love’s goals coincide. If you’re someone who loves to travel and your love is someone who likes to stay put, that might be a problem in the future. If you get a job opportunity that requires you to move or change your life around, talk with your partner and make a game plan.
If you and your partner are truly dedicated to each other, you will find a way to make your future together work. Additionally, there is a point in a relationship where you should talk about the future and that is not within a week of dating each other. Control your excitement and enjoy the moment.