10 Things You Need To Do Before You Meet The Love Of Your Life

If you’re searching for a long-term partner, pause for a second and make sure you’ve taken advantage of the single life. You have the whole rest of your life to be committed to one person, but before you meet the love of your life, there are plenty of other things you need to accomplish first. Before you get attached, make sure you give these a go.

  1. Travel by yourself. You learn a lot about yourself when you travel alone. Whether it’s a delayed train, a hostel that doesn’t have any beds available, or an impenetrable language barrier, you will at some point feel totally out of your depth and helpless, only to find yourself problem-solving a moment later. Solo travel will introduce you to new places and people, give you a love of adventure and show you that you are more than capable of fending for yourself. Then, when you meet the love of your life, you can explore the world together.
  2. Be single for a significant period of time. Some people crave the emotional support of relationships. You always have someone to go out with, to clean the house with, to eat dinner with. You never have to be alone. But being single teaches you more about yourself than any relationship could. It forces you to lean on your family and friends when things get hard. It solidifies your understanding of yourself and ensures that you never feel dependent on a relationship for happiness.
  3. Fall in love more than once. You never know what kind of person you want to end up with until you sample a few options. You’ll realize that the qualities you thought were non-negotiable are irrelevant, or that the kind of partner you thought you wanted is actually incompatible. The more failed relationships you have, the better prepared you’ll be to recognize the right person when they come along. You want to meet the love of your life when you have something to compare the experience with, right?
  4. Know your dealbreakers. Some differences are insurmountable, and you should know what they are before you choose someone. There are really obvious ones, like drug addiction or financial recklessness, but there are others that may not be as universal. Only you can decide what your dealbreakers are, and it’s much better to figure it out before you meet a potential spouse than after, when it’s much harder to extricate yourself.
  5. Have a solid group of friends. It’s funny how focused our culture is on finding a romantic partner when friendships are far more reliable in the long term. Friends are the true soulmates. They will see you through any number of partners and make you less dependent on your romantic relationships for fulfillment and happiness. The closer you feel to your friends, the happier you’ll be with your future partners because you’ll never choose anyone out of loneliness.
  6. Have your heart broken. Heartbreak is an important milestone in becoming an adult. It is evident that you let yourself be vulnerable to another person, and teaches you to heal from even the most painful of experiences. In retrospect, you will value your experience because you’ll realize that even though love can hurt you, it is still worth striving for. When you learn this lesson, you’ll be able to enter into a relationship with the love of your life knowing the true scope of your commitment to them.
  7. Be financially responsible. Financial instability can ruin a relationship, but it can also force people to stay in unhealthy ones. If you’re financially independent, you’ll never have to choose between a happy relationship and having a roof over your head. Having enough money to take care of yourself means that you have the freedom to choose a life that’s best for you, with or without a partner.
  8. Develop your passions. No matter how much you have in common with your future partner, you need to have your own identity. Having your own set of activities to pursue without your partner will ensure that you never define yourself solely in relation to the person you love. In order to be secure and happy, you must feel independent and fulfilled on your own.
  9. Focus on your career aspirations. Falling in love is all-consuming. When you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, everything else becomes secondary. But that initial thrill of excitement and obsession does not last in any relationship, even the most solid and happy ones. You will always benefit from having another purpose in your life besides being with the person you love. Having a career that fulfills your need for personal achievement will make you a happier partner in the long term.
  10. Have realistic expectations about long-term commitment. Marriage is so romanticized that many people don’t actually know what it entails. Even though everyone knows someone who has gone through a divorce, we still fall into the trap of believing that “happily ever after” is a reasonable expectation. Before you commit to someone, talk to the people in your life who have experienced marriage. The more you understand the challenges of long-term relationships, the more selective you’ll be in your pursuit of a partner.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.