If you’ve been dating for a while but have yet to find true love, don’t despair. While it may not have happened so far, that doesn’t mean it won’t. It could just be that you haven’t done the following things to help prepare you.
Truly understand and practice self-love. RuPaul has popularized a very good mantra: “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” It’s true that in order to be all-in on a relationship and be a supportive, loving partner, you have to be able to truly say that you love yourself too. This is vital not only so that you can build a lasting relationship but also for self-preservation purposes. You have to love yourself enough to have your back.
Learn how to set boundaries. When you find true love, it’s safe to assume that you’ll be with a partner who’s your equal and who loves and respects you fully. However, that doesn’t mean that healthy boundaries aren’t necessary and important to have in place. You need to know what you won’t accept and what you consider to be deal-breakers so that you can draw clear lines your partner should never cross.
Drop your baggage. I’m not saying that you can’t have scars and battle wounds from your past when you find true love, but you should have done enough work on yourself and your issues that you’re not walking into a new relationship with tons of baggage to dump on your partner. This can get in the way of building something new and solid, and that’s the last thing you want.
Develop EQ. Emotional intelligence isn’t easy to come by but it is the key to a strong partnership. EQ allows you to understand your partner, to sympathize and empathize with them, and to navigate the ups and downs of a relationship with ease. Without it, you’ll either crash and burn or end up in a very unhappy and unhealthy couple.
Mess up and get your heart broken a few times. The ultimate goal may be to find true love, but it’s necessary to experience the opposite a few times first. These failed relationships are what teach us important lessons and push us to evolve into being the kind of partner we’re seeking. It’s okay to screw up. It’s okay to be devastated by love a few times. It’s all part of the journey.
Know how to communicate. If there’s one bit of cliche relationship advice that’s worth following, it’s learning the importance of communication and mastering the skill. If you can talk things out, you can make it through (almost) anything together. Before you find true love, have the ability to talk things out thoroughly and honestly down pat.
Make a commitment to having courage. Sometimes true love ends. It doesn’t always last forever – that’s always a possibility. However, you have to be brave enough to go for it anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
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