True Love Is Real — But There Is A Big Change You Need To Make Before You Can Find It

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couple walking down the road sharing a kiss

One of the most common questions I hear in my practice is, “What do I need to change in my life now that I'm looking for true love?"

Before they can know the answer to that, they need to begin their quest for true love by first, knowing why they want it. And second, gaining an understanding of what true love looks like for them.

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To find true love, you need to change your intention

Many people are unsure of where to start and how to find true love at this stage of their life. Maybe they’re ready to settle down or are ready to start dating after a significant breakup, a divorce, or being widowed.

Or perhaps they haven’t put effort into dating for some time and are ready to give it another shot.

I was divorced in the mid-‘90s and thrown into single life. It can be scary to suddenly find yourself uncoupled.

That was 25 years ago, and I didn’t know where to start. So, I hired a dating and relationship coach to help me, and it made all the difference in my dating experience.

In fact, my coach’s guidance was so important to my success in finding my own true love, that I decided to help other people find theirs too.

And after helping hundreds of others find true love, I know the following are the next steps for you to take in your search.

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Ask yourself why you want to find it

The first thing you have to know is why you’re dating. Ask yourself, “Why am I looking for true love?” If you want a long-term partnership or marriage, then you need to be clear about this being the reason you’re dating.

It’s important to know your why because when you get out there, you’ll find that people date for many different reasons.

When I first heard this, it was a big revelation for me. I was motivated to marry. I wanted to find my forever life partner and have a family. However, most of the men I was meeting had no intention of finding a life partner. What was most surprising to me was that these were men in their late 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond!

And this is just as true for women! Many of the women I was socializing with as a single person are still single 25 years later!

I have to tell you I wonder what these women mean when they say, “I’m looking for true love.” I think to myself, “Do they even know what true love is?”

Then I remind myself, maybe they’ve simply chosen to remain single. I’m not judging, just observing.

RELATED: 7 Questions You Must Ask Yourself If You Want To Find True Love — Before You Even Start Dating

Set a clear intention for your future relationship

After you’re clear on your why, I suggest you set an intention of wanting a loving, committed relationship.

Then, I recommend getting clarity around your life vision.

Your partner needs to know what you want out of life. And you both have to determine if you can accommodate the other’s life vision.

I’ve had several clients whose work around clarity helped them decide to continue building a relationship with someone or move on.

I remember one client in particular who was still raising her school-aged kids when she met her partner. They traveled together and he was great with her kids.

However, his sister in Florida wanted him to move down there to work in the family business. My client briefly considered moving too.

But it would have been too difficult for her family to be uprooted like that.

In the end, the relationship broke up because the timing didn’t work out and they couldn’t agree on similar life visions.

RELATED: 7 Sad Reasons Women Think They'll Never Find True Love

Seek someone who shares your values

What values do you need to share with your partner? Values can look like a love of animals, special interests, or any other passions you have that you need your partner to appreciate and be supportive of.

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when they tell me “I’m looking for true love,” is jumping into dating too quickly. There are so many ways to meet people that most tend to believe all you have to do is get out there.

However, when you can pause and take the time to gain clarity around why you’re dating, your life vision, and your relationship values, then you’ll have more success when you try some typical ways of meeting people: online dating, speed dating, asking for introductions, and through the activities and interests that you spend your free time doing.

If you’re still asking yourself, “What do I need to do when I’m looking for true love?” my job is to take the overwhelm away and help you build a plan for meeting people who match your values, interests, and personality.

You’ll feel more in control and can finally start enjoying the process. You can move on from inappropriate people with no regrets — because you know they just don’t fit your criteria.

And the search for true love can continue unabated.

Make sure your vision matches your partner's

When the picture of the life you desire matches your partner’s, then you have a better chance of making it as a couple.

The next step is getting a good picture of who the person you want to meet is. I’m not necessarily talking about their physical appearance (height, the color of their hair or eyes, their body type, etc.). It’s more about who they are inside and the values the two of you share.

When you create his vision and can communicate it, you’re another step closer to finding the true love you’re looking for.

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Amy Schoen is a Washington, D.C.-based national expert in dating and relationships, as well as life coaching.