Been dreaming about your wedding or your soul mate ever since you were old enough to spell “romance”? Admit it, we’ve all scrawled our desired future married names across our notebook covers at some time or another. Everyone yearns for that one special person to make our corner of the world that much warmer and more wonderful.
Life teaches lessons in funny ways, and we don’t always get a map and guidebook to lead us in the right direction. Often, the best teacher is experience after experience after experience, or, if we are lucky, the experiences of others shared before we cash in on the same heartbreak. So here, to help prevent unnecessary heartbreak, I have compiled some well-known and some little known hints about finding—and keeping—a dream relationship.
1. Make allowances for minor faults.
As much as we would like to believe the perfect partner exists, no one is literally flawless in every respect. The key is to find someone whose faults are few and something you can tolerate in the long run.
Going along with that notion…
2. Do not expect or convince yourself you can make a person change. People behave in certain ways for a reason. Sometimes it is to attract attention or to make a statement, but most times it is because it is their simple human nature.
One thing a lot of people do not realize is that for such a change to take place, the person must truly want to change. Smokers often do not just wake up one day and decide to quit cold turkey. At least not most times, because change is a process that takes time, commitment and adjustment. In most cases, it can be done, but generally not without great care and determination.
3. Do not plan your dream house location and children’s names on your first date… or until you have some form of security, for that matter. Too often we think we have found “the one” – our “perfect match”, before we really even get to know the person. Relax, be yourself, let your new love interest get to know your personality and its quirks before you delve into planning your future life together. It is perfectly fine and healthy to daydream and imagine these things, but do not obsess about them – and if you are unsure about whether or not that person reciprocates those feelings, perhaps it would be best to wait until you know before sharing the intense ones.
Sometimes one of the hardest things is realizing that someone is not the person you built them up to be, and with this revelation comes the smack in the face that you are back at square one once again. In time, though, reality sets in to remind you that this person was not right for you, and that so many other eligible bachelors and bachelorettes are waiting for their perfect match as well.
4. Don’t lose sight of your friends and family members.
Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the novelty and flirtation of a budding relationship that we forget – or disregard – times we would normally spend with friends and family members or the plans we made with them.
Many people are understanding and accept the sudden lapse in time spent together, but every so often there may be a friend or loved one who takes your absence as a personal foul. It is very important to mend hard feelings if this should happen to one of your friendships at the risk of losing a friend if you wait too long.
I advise from personal experience in this case—my best friend at college changed her attitude and behavior toward me a great deal for the worse when I consistently spent more time with my boyfriend than I did with her. She felt as though I was avoiding her on purpose, ignoring her and our plans and generally letting the friendship slip. Well, the friendship slipped so far into the danger zone that it took months to retrieved it, and four years of a best friendship nearly went right down the tubes.
Because I have been there, it is very easy for me to warn you – it is much wiser to make time for your loved ones before things get out of hand and still find time to spend with your new flame.
5. If the glass slipper doesn’t fit, hold out for another prince or princess.
If you begin to get the feeling that things just are not “meant to be”, there is nothing wrong with giving the relationship a shot and seeing how things go. When you are certain that you cannot picture yourself with this person beyond a few dates to the movies or a night out to dinner – if you stopped getting butterflies or if you simply do not get excited when you hear their voice on the phone or see them throughout the week, chances are you may need to reconsider your relationship status.
Due to personality traits, likes and interests and general compatibility, reasons exist why everybody does not just wind up with anybody. Dating is a game of trial and error, but once a suitable match is made, everything seems to fall into place. If your dream relationship crumbles at your feet or if you simply cannot find your match-made-in-heaven, fret not, for love often lurks when and where it is least expected.