Choosing Love

The great pursuit of most people is finding their tribe – their peeps – their community. It’s why sites like Facebook and Instagram are so popular. Humans want and need to be in some form of a relationship and most of us seek intimacy as well as friendship. When we are in a healthy, intimate relationship we can let down our hair, be ourselves, be real and relaxed. We are at our best if we find the right situation and person to be intimate with. If we find the wrong one, it can be a recipe for disaster and/or could cost us our life.

I have always said there are four things everyone needs:
1. Respect
2. Appreciation
3. Understanding
4. To feel welcome, like we belong

We need to think about what kind of person best matches our needs and wants.

Finding that in a romantic relationship is possible. But it does take some inner work. We need to look at who we are in a relationship (would you want to date you?). And we need to think about what kind of person best matches our needs and wants. Unfortunately, most of us spend more time picking out an outfit than we do thinking about traits of our desired sweethearts.

When you are choosing those you would befriend and perhaps bring closer to you in an intimate relationship, give it more than a passing thought. Expanding on the above “Four Things We Need”, here’s a little quiz for you:

Does he/she respect me?
a. Respects my physical body (no forcing themselves on me, no violence against me. I have a rule: No hitting: Not Even Once!)
b. Respects my physical space (recognizes that a little space between people occasionally is a good thing; respects my home, office, belongings and right to choose what I need around me to make me happy.)
c. Respects my other friends and my family members
d. Respects my career, my talents, my rights, and my intellect.

Does he/she appreciate me?
a. Appreciates the little things I do for him/her?
b. Shows appreciation verbally or in other ways?
c. Honors the contributions I make to the relationship and acknowledges them.
d. Doesn’t take me or my gifts and support for granted.

Does he/she understand me?
a. If there is confusion, do they ask for clarification?
b. Are they willing to communicate and hear me out? And do I want to hear them out?
c. Knows we don’t have to be the same: is this person willing to understand where I’m coming from without necessarily agreeing with me? Can we talk about these things without a fight?
d. Does this person recognize when I am frustrated or sad and need comfort?
e. Do they give me the consideration and understanding I need when things aren’t going perfectly? Do I want to do the same for them?

Does he/she make me feel welcome?
a. Is he/she proud of me when introducing me to friends?
b. Do I feel good and at home in his/her presence?
c. Do I feel good about myself both with this person and after leaving them?
d. Is there a sense that this is right and we belong together, or do I feel like an outsider while with them?
e. Am I honored, respected and made to feel valuable? Or am I always apologizing and feeling bad or less than perfect?

No matter your age, there are many things to consider when searching for friends and lovers. Who do you want influencing you? That’s important because you will change them and they will change you. Are you willing to put serious time into considering what you want to attract into your life, or are you just going to go with the wind and accept any ol’ person because you are flattered that they like you?

Work on yourself and get to know who you are and what you stand for.

People should like you! You should like you! Work on yourself and get to know who you are and what you stand for. Be willing to attract people to yourself who will lift you up and whom you will lift up. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone has good things about themselves and everyone has something they need to work on. Just keep working on what needs work, and keep improving the good things that make you special and unique.

The world has a lot of craziness in it these days. We need healthy people! We need YOU to be healthy. A healthy and happy relationship makes you a lot more fun to be around and it lifts the rest of us up!

So take care of yourself and remember, we need you!

Beth Terry, CSP is a Resilience Mastery Expert, author and step mom of seven kids. She has helped to raise another 5 kids throughout her life and has experienced what makes for a healthy adult and what gets in the way. She says, “I want to give back to today’s girls because my step kids taught me everything I needed to know about unconditional love. If I can help one more girl find her voice and her uniqueness, I will have lived a life of significance.” Find more about Beth on her website or visit her blog.