How to Find Love That Lasts: Someone Who Fulfils These 5 Things
On 8th July 2017
Most of us know that couples falling in love tend to relish spending time with one another, but have you ever wondered why some pairings result in lasting love, whereas others fizzle out quickly? Perhaps you have entered into a new relationship feeling optimistic that they could be “the one,” only for everything to fall apart within months?
The key reason why it’s so hard to find lasting love is easy to understand once you know what happens in the opening stages of a relationship. In the early days, we are so infatuated with our partner that we can be literally blind to any problems or incompatibilities in our relationship. According to researchers at Loyola University, the rush of feel-good neurotransmitters and increased blood flow to the pleasure centers of the brain result in an obsessive fixation with one’s partner. Specifically, we tend to focus only on their good points. This is a great feeling, but it can impair rational judgement.1
Although you might not want to bother analyzing your relationship in the early days, doing so will save you a lot of heartbreak later on. If you are serious about finding lasting love, you need to look beyond your feelings of infatuation. Don’t waste time with people who aren’t suitable for you, otherwise, you will look back on lost years with regret and sadness. Take time to find someone who is a good fit for you, and you will be on your way to lasting love.
Fortunately, there is a simple checklist of things to consider when embarking on a new relationship. Ask yourself the following questions, and answer honestly:
#1 Do they share my core values?
It doesn’t matter how physically attractive your partner is if their values are incompatible with your own. For example, if you are a vegan with a passion for animal rights but your partner loves to eat steak and wear leather, you may have a problem. At some point, value clashes may mean that you start to aggravate one another.
#2 What are values, and why should you share them?
Values are those ‘rules of life’ that are inherently important to you. They’re personal beliefs that are a fundamental part of who you are and they tend to be consistent throughout your life unless something major happens that causes you to change them. Chances are that you’ve probably had a similar set of personal values since you were a child.
#3 Knowing your values is important
Your values play a part in many places in your life including the choices you make, how you react or respond to situations, who you spend time with, the boundaries you set, and so much more.
When your values are being honored, you feel good. When you or someone else is pushing up against your values, you’ll feel a certain level of discomfort, if not outright pain.
#4 Values are a key part of you
It is so important to match with your chosen partner because when our values aren’t aligned with the people we share our life with it can cause all sorts of problems. A lack of shared values will often be the underlying basis of those really meaty arguments you have, or those ongoing frustrations that come up every now and then, and can ultimately cause a total breakdown in your relationship.
The good news is that you and your partner don’t have to have exactly the same values, but if there are more that you match up with, compared to those you don’t, you have a much better chance of having a good, healthy partnership.
#5 Improve your relationship
Even if you find out that there are a few mismatches, you can improve your relationship simply by knowing that a lack of alignment is present. By understanding that your partner is coming to you from the perspective of a different personal value, it can explain a lot about how they respond or react to certain situations and make it easier to resolve differences.
Knowing your values is also important if you are single, and looking for your life partner. You’ll kiss a lot more frogs if you keep dating people without first knowing your own personal values. How can you meet someone who holds the same kinds of things in importance if you don’t know what’s important to you?
#6 Is their attachment style compatible with my own?
People have different ways of relating to one another. This is known as “attachment style,” and is largely formed by a person’s early experiences with their parents. A securely attached individual enjoys being with their partner, but is also happy to spend time alone and does not worry excessively about the health of the relationship. Some people are avoidant and reluctant to commit. Others tend to be clingy and needy. Take a realistic look at you and your partner’s attachment styles and ask yourself whether the combination is likely to work out in the long run
#7 How Your Attachment Style Impacts Your Relationship
Our style of attachment affects everything from our partner selection to how well our relationships progress and to, sadly, how they end. That is why recognizing our attachment pattern can help us understand our strengths and vulnerabilities in a relationship.
An attachment pattern is established in early childhood attachments and continues to function as a working model for relationships in adulthood. This model of attachment influences how each of us reacts to our needs and how we go about getting them met. When there is a secure attachment pattern, a person is confident and self-possessed and is able to easily interact with others, meeting both their own and another need. However, when there is an anxious or avoidant attachment pattern and a person picks a partner who fits with that maladaptive pattern, they will most likely be choosing someone who isn’t the ideal choice to make them happy.
#8 Are our life goals in alignment?
If you both want very different things, you need to ask yourself whether the relationship is really worth the effort. It is possible to compromise in some situations, but it’s usually best to end a relationship if, in the early stages, you discover that your life goals are not a good fit. For example, if you want to buy a house and get married within five years but your partner plans on taking a career break to travel the world for a while, your life goals are not in alignment.
#9 Describe the Problem in a Few Words — and Let Your Partner Respond
The opening round in problem-solving involves getting your overview of the issue out on the table. Don’t let it smolder or expect your partner to guess!
You: “If we go to your parents’ house for the weekend, I won’t be able to get our tax return information together before the workweek starts.”
Your spouse: “My parents have been planning for this visit for months. I don’t think we can or should just cancel.”
#10 Craft a Win-Win Strategy
Look for steps you can take to resolve the issue for both of you. This is crucial: Don’t tell your partner what he or she can do, but instead say what you can do. The best solutions usually aren’t your first ideas at all but may occur to you after looking at your concerns and figuring out what matters most to each of you.
You: “Maybe I could stay at home on Friday night and Saturday morning and get the tax stuff organized. Then I’d join you for the rest of the weekend without any worries hanging over me.”
Your spouse: “I would be willing to tell my parents you have to catch up with the taxes and can’t come for the whole weekend. I’m also willing to postpone our night out with the neighbors during the week and help you get the tax information together.”
#11 Decide if you’ve got a problem or just a difference.
If an issue isn’t threatening your health, safety, or financial security, doesn’t work against your shared vision for your marriage and doesn’t put an unfair burden on you, then it may simply be a sign that the two of you are two different people. Perhaps you’re an extrovert and love parties, while your partner’s introvert personality makes him or she craves quiet nights at home. Perhaps you’re great at starting projects, while your partner’s terrific at sticking with it until every last detail is finished. Or maybe one of you is a morning person, the other a night owl. In that case, the solution is acceptance, not trying to change your partner. Look for the ways that your differences are marriage-strengthening assets.
#12 Do we trust one another?
Trust is a key pillar for lasting love. Even if you share the same life goals, can talk through your issues and are well-matched in terms of core values, there is no hope of long-term love if you cannot trust one another. Pay attention from the beginning as to how your partner makes you feel. If you get an uneasy feeling or suspect that they are deceiving you, do not ignore your intuition.
These questions might not be easy to answer, but in taking a time to consider the issues they raise you are laying the foundation for finding and keeping a great relationship.