Many men and women find themselves searching for the “right” partner, the “one” perfect match for them, their “soul mate.” Yes, once in a while someone seems to wander the world alone and then appears to strikes gold when they meet that man or woman of their dreams. And they walk out into the sunset together.
I know this sounds romantic and probably feels wonderful. But how long do those outrageously delightful feelings usually last? Actually, it doesn’t take very long (as little as a few days or weeks to a few months or even a couple of years) for the bubble to burst. Sooner or later, real life enters into the picture and if you are not prepared for reality you are about to enter the school of hard knocks. That “perfect” soul mate has a dark side, a weak side, an angry side, a flirtatious side, a cheating side, a dishonest side, and other qualities that don’t fit your original perfect picture. And that person who was so sensitive, so attentive, so focused on pleasing you may relax, take the relationship in stride, and focus their attention on work or friends or outside activities that may or may not include you.
Beware of quick and easy promises for finding true and lasting love. Intimacy develops over time as communication deepens, trust develops and both people are getting their most basic emotional needs met. Most of us want to find a quick and easy solution, without having to put much effort into it and without having to change any of our thoughts, beliefs or behaviors.
Even if you do have the good fortune to find the man or woman of your dreams, the relationship only begins when you first meet. That is the easy part if you both fit the desired image of the other. The test of whether you are able to develop a lasting love relationship is not based on assisting your partner to change whatever is not working. A truly satisfying relationship involves working together, but if your partner is not yet ready to do what it takes, YOU can be the one to create the love your desire.
How do you do that? You look in the mirror and ask yourself, “What can I do now to make this relationship better? How can I make my partner feel accepted, loved and appreciated at the same time that I get my own love needs met?” Sometimes, the mere process of self-reflection causes a shift in your habitual interactions and newly loving behaviors and attitudes emerge from both of you. Often, however, the only way to get through the gradual blocking of pleasure and distancing of open communication is to seek professional help. Even a few counseling sessions can get you both back on track.