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Love is a magical and powerful thing. It’s an amazing feeling. It makes us do things we don’t understand, things we can’t control. And like it or not, it often leads us in the wrong direction. Often, people settle for Mr./Ms. Good Enough. A relationship that’s nice enough, but will never reach it’s full potential – a dead end. If you know yourself well enough to know you want someone you can commit to for a lifetime, then what you’re really looking for is a partnership. Two people who bring out the best in each other, who make the most out of life, together. So how do you know if it’s the real deal or just a simple crush? Ask yourself these five questions before leaping into love.
How well do you know yourself?
It is important to understand who you are and who you are trying become before jumping into a relationship. If you’re still figuring things out, being with the wrong person could be dangerous. You may find yourself accommodating to their needs, adjusting to their mood, and spending time on their interests instead of your own. You shouldn’t give up what is important to you for the sake of the relationship. All relationships require a little compromise, but the essence of who you are should never be compromised.
Do you share common life goals and ambitions?
We all have goals for the future, but the trick is figuring out if your individual goals compliment each other or clash. This isn’t always as easy as it seems. It’s not just about sharing similar tastes and hobbies, it’s about sharing similar long-term goals, dreams and ambitions. For instance, what if your dream is to launch your own business and travel the world while your partner dreams of a different life, one that involves a set schedule and staying close to home? Why invest your time and energy with someone who doesn’t share a similar vision of your future? Cut down on wasted time and hurt feelings by discussing your goals and ambitions early on.
Do they bring out the best in you?
People are complicated. We have so many versions of ourselves, brought out by different people and different situations. The way you are around your family, your serious friends, your fun and silly friends, your coworkers, and your significant other. In one scenario you are the calm influence, in another you drag people into adventure, and in a third you are irritable and argumentative. All these people are a part of you, so ask yourself who brings out the best you? Make sure you choose a partner who brings that person out in you. If you are naturally ambitious and curious and always wanting more out of life, but the person you’re considering is happy staying right where they are, then it’s safe to assume they won’t encourage or challenge you the way you need to be. Not because they won’t want to, but just because they won’t know how to.
Do they really “get” you?
There is a difference between listening and understanding. Your partner can listen to you as much as they want, memorizing your likes and dislikes, but if they don’t get you then they’ll never understand why you feel what you feel. It’s the difference between sympathy and empathy. One must have a similar perspective to ever truly know you. The ultimate goal is to be with someone who gets you like you’ve never been got before.
Do you feel lucky?
Friendship is comfortable. Romance is thrilling because there’s a part of us that feels as though we won the jackpot. This person should be everything you’ve ever dreamed. You can’t believe they really exist, and although you don’t suffer from low self esteem, you can’t believe they picked you out of everyone in the entire world. It’s a feeling incomparable to any other. No matter how long you’ve been together or how much you’ve been through to get where you are, a part of you should always believe you are the luckiest person in the world.
Remember, you deserve to have it all, so never settle for less. Especially when it comes to love.