When you’re single you tend to fantasize about your ideal relationship. You look back at your past relationship and remember how it fell short. You think about all the times they didn’t meet your expectations and just how incompatible you really were. You may have found yourself pretending to like things they liked just to please them. You realize that you may have been bored or felt completely disconnected from the person you slept next to every night.
Fast forward years after your relationship ended and you vow to never feel that you are alone in your relationship ever again. This time around you want to find “the one”. The one that feels like a best friend you could talk to for hours…the one that fits like the missing piece of the puzzle. I believe that we each have a person; call it a soulmate or the love of your life, but I like to think of it as “my person”. He’s out there waiting until I’m truly ready to embrace a healthy relationship. My person will enter my life when I’m free from the house that holds my memories…good and bad. Somehow this house we once called a home is now the remnants of the past that is holding me back from the future. I’m looking forward to rebuilding a new life with my person. All the dates I’ve been on or men that I’ve met are bringing me clarity. Some are here to show me a reflection of myself, some are here to show me not to fall for the same type of man that I had in my past and some are just here to be lovers or friends. I knew that none of those men were my person. Somehow they fell short or didn’t feel like the right fit.
Those of you that have fallen in love, knew when you found the ‘one’. It’s something so simple and so right. It was a feeling that felt undeniable because it’s not your checklist of physical attributes that you visualized in your mind or the fact that you have everything in common, it’s something much deeper than that…something you feel in your soul. A knowing. When you meet your person, there are no games being played because you are both in a good place and ready to open your hearts.
Conversely, I have seen relationships that may start off a little rocky but develop into something strong because deep down you know they are the one for you. You know because you can’t imagine your life without them in it. After you’ve been heartbroken you tend to doubt your choices or you may think your judgement is somehow damaged.
Unfortunately, there are people that don’t learn their lesson and end up in the same toxic relationships their entire lives. Somehow, they don’t believe they deserve anything more. They don’t know their worth and they sacrifice true happiness by mistaking shallow attention for love. Getting a second chance to find love is a gift. Be thankful for your second chance and don’t take it for granted. Sometimes we don’t get it right the first time, but why not use this time as a chance to get it right the second time. Be clear about what you need from your next relationship and walk away from anyone that doesn’t meet those needs. Define your relationship goals. Look for aspects in others relationships that you admire and use that as your guide.
Recently I went to an outdoor concert with my girls and behind us is an older couple that we struck up conversation with. They opened the back of their car and pulled out a bottle of wine, some cheese and crackers as they talked and laughed. It was clear that they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. They had raised their children together and were very proud of the rewards of seeing them become successful adults and now they were reconnecting as a couple. It was a beautiful thing to see. As we left to enter the concert I turned to my girls and said, “that is what I want…those are my relationship goals” This time around I see myself with someone that I can share a beautiful summer night with engaging conversation a nice glass of wine and good music. Someone to laugh with and have meaningful conversation with instead of someone that talks at me and thinks they know more than me. Someone that respects my opinion and isn’t trying to compete with me to be right or highlight my flaws. I want someone that compliments me and shares my beliefs instead of feeling like we’re on opposite sides of the debate team. I honestly can’t wait to find love again, but I’m willing to be patient because this time around it’s going to be right. Yes, relationships are hard work but they shouldn’t cause you pain or make you doubt your value.
A healthy relationship requires three key things; Honesty, Commitment and Compassion. Without honesty, the foundation of your relationship will crumble. If you are trying to be someone you’re not in order to please the other person and you lie to cover the truth about who you really are– your relationship is based on lies.
Without commitment and the willingness to work hard on your relationship even when things get tough is a true sign of how successful your relationship will be. If you’re constantly threatening to leave the relationship when you get angry or frustrated, then you break the bond of trust needed to make it for the long haul.
Compassion may be the most important one because that is your willingness to put aside your own selfishness in order to give the person you love what they need to feel connected to you. If you’re only thinking of yourself and in your own little world, your relationship will fracture and you’ll lose sight of what the other person needs from you in order to feel loved.
When I define my relationship goals, I visualize connectedness, laughter and truly enjoying each other’s company doing the things we both enjoy. I picture a person with a kind heart that doesn’t feel the need to hurt me because they’ve been hurt. I picture a person that has my back no matter what and someone I can trust with my heart.
If you’re feeling lonely and want that special someone to come into your life, be sure to be clear about what that relationship will look like. Not the superficial bullshit like looks or their bank account, but the way you want them to make you feel. Close your eyes and picture your life two years from now…what do you see? Visualize in your mind’s eye what it looks like and how it feels in that moment. I see myself in a beautiful new home standing in the kitchen talking and laughing with my new love as we share dinner listening to each other’s stories over a glass of wine. I see my best friend and my lover. The one I’ve waited so patiently for….my person. Those are my relationship goals and I won’t settle for anything less. No, things won’t always be picture perfect and relationships take work and understanding, but I believe with all my heart that I will find happiness again and this time it will be with the person that was designed just for me flaws and all.