In my capacity as an educator, couples therapist, researcher and married priest these last forty years, I have had the privilege to counsel hundreds of couples.
One conclusion I have drawn from all this work is that good marriages do not simply materialize out of thin air. Finding the love of your life depends upon a lot of varying factors.
Among other things, good marriages are highly dependent on the decisions that people make prior to marriage and during the dating process.
Things you must do to meet the love of your life are often quite simple and obvious once we know what to look for.
So if you are wondering what are the signs you’re about to meet the love of your life or signs you’ve found the love of your life.
Then here are 9 tips that would help you understand the secrets to finding real love and how to get the love of your life.
It used to be that people married for all kinds of reasons, the least of which had much to do with finding the love of your life. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone dating consider engagement and marriage if they are not romantically attracted to one another.
2. Don’t rush the process
Whenever I’ve met privately with conflicted couples, at some point in my efforts to get to know them I might ask how long they dated before they decided to get married.
It’s surprising to me how many indicate that they dated for less than a year. Some might tell me less than six months.
Research indicates that it takes around two years to really get to know your dating partner.
So, don’t rush the dating process, and if you detect something you don’t like, don’t assume it will disappear. The likelihood is, it won’t go away after marriage and you would just drift away from the prospect of finding the love of your life.
3. After 26
Data also indicates that people who wait until they reach their mid-twenties significantly increase their probability of finding the love of your life, being happily married, and staying happily married.
Why? Actually, it’s not really hard to understand why this might generally be true.
People who wait until they reach their mid to upper twenties are more likely to establish, on a career path, and more mature than their younger peers.
What’s your compatibility quotient? In other words, what similarities do you share with your partner?
Do you have a similar perspective regarding money, friends, in-laws, career goals, recreation, leisure activities, sex and parenting?
What about your cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds? How compatible are they? Then again, how similar are your personalities?
Are you a Type A personality, and he’s a Type B personality, or vice versa?
Do you like to argue passionately, but your partner is an avoider who doesn’t like to engage in hot and heavy conflict? Is he an introvert, and are you an extrovert?
The extent to which two people are compatible is very important to the well-being of your relationship today and into the future.
So, while you’re getting to know your partner, don’t be shy about asking questions related to these and other important concerns.
The reality is, many couples spend time trying to determine how compatible they are, but few spend an equal amount of time trying to determine how different they are.
This last statement might confuse you, but I have found that couples who spend time trying to determine the extent to which they are similar, should also spend more time trying to understand their differences.
Especially with regard to some big issues such as, money, friends, in-laws, career goals, arguing styles, recreation, leisure time, sex, parenting, ethnic and religious backgrounds and personality differences.
6. Avoid compromising your beliefs
You are what you believe. So, don’t compromise your core beliefs and values. I have met far too many couples who compromised what they believe in order to please their partner, or some extended family members, only to regret this decision after marriage.
So, be honest with yourself and your partner. Those who compromise what they desire and believe almost always regret doing so after marriage.
And worse than regret are the residual feelings of anger and resentment which follow. These feelings usually end up poisoning marital satisfaction and family stability.
7. Importance of religion, culture, race and class
These factors have a significant impact on the way we see the world and finding the love of your life. So, if applicable, spend some quality time during the dating process, and before marriage, talking about your religious, cultural, ethnic, racial and class differences and how they might interfere with marital satisfaction and oneness.
8. A few thoughts about online dating
Online dating has become so popular that 35% percent of Americans, in one study, reported meeting their spouses online.
However, online dating is not free of risks. Approximately 43% of participants in another study reported that online dating involved risk.
Participants reported that profiles may contain misrepresentations. Stalking, fraud and potential sexual violence have also been associated with online predators.
Government regulation, recent litigation, together with the media’s coverage of related crimes have alerted people to these risks, and functioned to make this mode of dating safer.
9. Getting it right the second time
People who’ve been divorced and are considering remarriage often encounter a host of additional challenges that are unlike the challenges that people encounter when marrying the first time.
That’s one main reason why the divorce rate among this population of couples is significantly higher. For example, some potential pitfalls related to the challenges that stepfamilies and stepparents encounter are their efforts to blend.
Others are related to the ex-spouse and how to deal with him or her. Still others are related to marriage after 50, and the unique challenges that couples face during this part of the life cycle.
Dating can be one of the most rewarding and exciting times in a person’s life. But it’s also hard work. Those who enjoy the ride, but fail to participate in some of the heavy lifting I’ve described are less likely to find the love of their life.
Conversely, those who enjoy and ride, and do the heavy lifting are much more likely to find the love of their life and establish a solid foundation from which to build a life together.