When a certain level of success is achieved in life it’s natural to seek out pleasures as a reward. In the times that we now live, those rewards can range from a triple venti caramel macchiato at Starbucks, to hiring a super yacht and holidaying on Necker Island. Frequently, the way in which we indulge ourselves involves little more than a monetary transaction, as simple as a phone call or email. But what happens when the upgrade we desire isn’t for the diamond with more carats or the expanded home cinema? What happens in the world of dating, when we want to elevate our love lives from grainy, to High Definition?
Laying the groundwork
Anyone in business knows that when the work is easy, it still requires effort. And when it is difficult, it requires even more. Accessing true love is much the same and the more effort invested in the groundwork, the better the outcome. Not only do you have to know what you want, you have to make sure you’re ready to receive it.
The realisation that techniques from the world of acquiring material items don’t readily translate into the world of love can be frustrating, especially if expecting the best is your default setting. In relationships, the way we experience love will always be dependent on the beliefs and habits we live our life by, and they can oftentimes be a direct reflection of what’s buried deep in our unconscious. In order to achieve a standard of love equal to any external luxury surrounding us, it’s necessary to first travel inwards.
To start the process, take an inventory of:
- who you are as a person, your passions, ethics, beliefs
- how people, that you trust, would describe you
- the places you spend your time and the people you spend it with
- the general life you live
The next step is to mentally ask these same questions of your theoretical ideal partner. If they’re someone who is quietly refined, spends a lot of time at home and wants a family life, how will this work if you spend all of your time in loud bars and you favour the nightlife over intimate dinners at home with loved ones?
By looking at anomalies between the life you live now and the life you want, you can begin making changes and addressing the reasons you’re so out of sync with your ideal mate. Preparing your mind and your physical world for the type of relationship you wish to be part of is as important, more so in fact, than preparing your matchmaking profile or online headshots. To get your best match you need to be your best match, or at be least working towards it.
The building blocks
Once you’ve done the self-analysis and work necessary to experience the fulfilling love you desire, it’s possible to begin building a dating life with a much clearer insight into your true compatibility with partners. Whether your goals are marriage and children or cohabitation and lavish holidays, the basis for success is knowing and articulating your intentions, both what they are and are not.
Really listening to and believing a potential partner’s goals is also paramount in creating a love that will trump all else. Beginning a relationship with clearly different agendas, in the hope that one of you will change your mind, is a recipe for disappointment. Accept what you are presented with, any change in your favour is a bonus.
For love that contents your soul and becomes a source of respite and relaxation, as well as growth and stimulation, your partnership must be built on honesty and awareness. In the early stages and throughout, it’s vital to talk often, to make honesty one of your non-negotiables, and to consistently make the effort to remain emotionally, physically and mentally in sync. It sounds like a lot, but relationships are about how we interact with each other and people are changeable beings, so loving one another requires a certain amount of conscious effort. The rewards you’ll receive from taking the time to do this are immeasurable.
The idea of maintaining love is as much about renewing it, as it is about looking after everything that has already been established. To keep it fresh and also challenging in a positive way, you need to understand and accept that you can never fully know another person. This means that as deep as you go, as much as you share and as much as you communicate, there will always be new nuances to discover about them.
It’s very easy to get to a comfortable emotional level with our partner, one which leads us to believe that we know and have all the answers we need. However, love is about continually wanting to know someone and be known by them. Always make this a goal, no matter how many years roll by.
The other type of maintenance required is that of making sure bad habits do not go unchecked. Like anything of value, in order to keep love performing at its best it needs to be gently dusted off once in a while, preferably before the need for a major steam clean arises. Common habits we slip into include; not giving each other the full attention we once did, spending less time alone as a couple or favouring the art of ‘making up,’ rather than not repeatedly making the mistake in the first place.
Loving and being loved to the best of one’s ability takes discipline and must not be treated like another disposable acquisition, or a stand-in until the next best thing comes along. Once love has been found and accepted, the responsibility cannot be handed over to therapists, housemaids or security guards. It is ours to look after, ours and our partner’s.