Your Soulmate Isn’t Who You Think It Is.

Via The Good Men Project
on Jan 24, 2012
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Bonus: How to Find the One.

Mark Radcliffe thinks you should skip the supermodel and go for the one who loves you even on your worst days.

We all have our own romanticized notions of what it will be like when we find true love. How it’ll go. What it’ll feel like. What he or she will look like, sound like, act like. Even kiss like.

And every once in a while, we actually meet that person. There they are! In the bar standing next to us! Or down the hall at work! Or in the line at the bookstore!

They’re perfect. Everything we imagined. And so we engage. And chase. And pursue. And assume our very best behavior. And fight for a chance at that perfect union we’ve imagined in our heads for so long.

And sometimes it works! We get their phone number. And a date! And a second date! And sometimes it even goes a month or two!

But then at some point, it runs afoul. What once seemed effortless becomes arduous. The perfect conversations suddenly don’t flow as easily. The shine has worn off the apple. It’s work, now. And who has time for that?

And here’s where many a relationship come to an unfortunate end. Because the other person thinks it should only be constant magic. That anything else is merely a false symbol.

But we still chase them! We want it back! We think of what we can do to possibly salvage this sinking ship. Should we change ourselves? Adjust our behavior? Change our whole personality? After all: this is love. Surely it’s worth sacrificing for, no?

No, I’m here to say. It’s not.Because there’s a big, horrible idea out there in the world of romance:That if it’s not hard, it’s not real.

True romance must be earned, we believe. Struggled for. Barely survived.

If it comes easy, it’s wrong. Shallow. Too simple.

We must suffer for love. We must cry with certain regularity. Lose our faith time and time again only to barely regain it again.

I humbly submit that such a belief is the romantic equivalent of 100% grade-A bullshit.

Perhaps it comes from our culture’s puritanical beginnings. The notion that anything great is worth suffering for.

And while I agree that love takes work, patience and forgiveness, I don’t think it should involve perpetual, ongoing damage-control.

If the relationship you’re in takes constant, ongoing acrobatic maneuvers to keep it afloat, then it’s not a relationship; it’s a doomsday project.

Relationships, in general, should be easy.

If they’re taking a ton of work, a ton of the time, something’s wrong.

Chances are either that:

A) One (or both) of you is not a stable enough person to even be in a relationship to begin with, and you need to go off on your own to learn how to keep yourself perfectly happy with nothing more than yourself to sustain you. (And yes, I’ve been this person many times.)

B) One of you has unrealistic expectations of what the other is supposed to provide them on a regular basis. (And yes, I’ve been this person, too.) They think you’re supposed to keep them constantly entertained. Or wined and dined. Or sexually pleasured. Or emotionally rescued. Or financially bailed out.

Neither of which is sustainable.

Which is why I say the following:

Don’t chase the person you can barely hold on to when you’re at the top of your game.

Seek out the person you can be happy with even when you’re having a bad day. Or week. Or month.

Because those days will happen, many, many times over the course of a relationship.

And the person who’s only happy with you when you’re a superhero will not stick around when you finally become a mortal again and need them to be there for you, instead.

So skip the supermodel. The pursuit of your own personal Jessica Alba or David Beckham. It might be heaven for a week or two, but they’d probably dump you as soon as you failed to be the emblem of perfection for more than 2-3 seconds in a row.

That perfect pairing with the Mister or Miss Right we’ve all imagined in our hearts isn’t going to survive the endless ordinary days that real life is fraught with.

The person who’s truly right for you is probably cleverly disguised as the one you work with every day. Or the one who you’ve casually known in your circle of friends for five years. Who has seen you at your best and at your worst. And is still there, a big believer in your immense potential. And is probably an amazing kisser if you’d just give them a chance.

That’s the person it’s going to be genuinely easy with over the long haul.

So the next time you’re looking for the one, don’t look up on some stage or pedestal for some shining realization of your fantasies. Turn around and look behind you. At the person you might have overlooked. The person who is quietly everything you need them to be and more.

You just have to give them a deeper look.

—Photo he(art)geek/Flickr

* This essay originally appeared on The Good Men Project on 01/18/12

Bonus: Red Flag, Green Flag, the One! A Buddhist view:

Yoga Girl:


About The Good Men Project

The Good Men Project is a cerebral, new media alternative to glossy men’s magazines. Founded by Tom Matlack in 2009, it's become a social movement: an ongoing in-depth discussion asking “what does it mean to be a good man in these modern times?” Proceeds from The Good Men Foundation are used to support organizations that help at-risk boys.


82 Responses to “Your Soulmate Isn’t Who You Think It Is.”

  1. Christie says:

    I have to respectfully disagree… I spent 11 years with my college sweetheart, in a most easy, intellectually-stimulating, fun, adventure-filled relationship. Then I decided I wanted a baby and he took a lover to escape. I was sure I had lost my soulmate and would never recover. Several years later, I found myself knocked-up 4 weeks into a relationship that started at a bar with someone with whom I could not picture a future. That was 10 years and 2 kids ago, and i can honestly say this relationship is hard work. We don't communicate with ease or enjoy the same conversational style. We rub each other the wrong way a LOT. But we are committed and we make it work on a minute-to-minute basis. Easy is lovely. I really enjoyed it. But hard is ok too…and it has taught me a whole lot more about myself.

  2. Kat says:

    I love that this perspective is being communicated. Too often, I hear friends say, "I guess relationships are supposed to be hard," in speaking about what seem to be major signs of imbalance and a sinking ship. Yes, relationships hold the key to showing us our triggers and allow us to heal and really work on ourselves if we are mindful, but they should not tax the very essence of our being and diminish our vital energy. When we think of our closest and truest friendships, they are full of love and commitment to one another, and are beautiful and full of connection; we rely on these best friends to support, play, challenge, speak truth, and philosophize with us. Sure we have disagreements and hurt feelings occasionally within friendships, whereupon we discuss and overcome these obstacles to allow us to grow closer. The foundation of a romantic relationship can be this friendship, and this is what I believe you are pointing to. What you wrote encourages people to seek a relationship that will uplift them, in the bigger picture… For if we are able to successfully establish trust for another person and know they love us in friendship, in high tide, low tide, through the unforseen, we are then free to start the work on the more subtle ways within ourselves to find the peace and happiness we are all seeking.

  3. Kathleen says:

    Same here. I ended an 8 year very easy relationship for a VERY HARD one is going on 2.5 years. I'm glad I had the easy, and I wouldn't trade the VERY HARD for anything.

  4. honeyryder512 says:

    I'm sure every relationship is different, some more volatile than others (Gottman has some great things to say about this.) However, thank you so much for this, I really needed to read this right here right now.

  5. […] out, I needed to do that for myself. Love isn’t roots; it’s wings. Love isn’t finding someone to complete you. Love is already being whole, but broken open enough to let someone […]

  6. HonestlyOK says:

    I really enjoyed this article. I had a relationship for over 4yrs. We split for personal reasons and tried to get back together… it seemed like one was trying harder than the other and that it just wasn't going to work out. The positive side is we were able to work on our friendship for a better cause. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if one would have tried harder still.

  7. Shar Qaan says:

    A couple of the preceding comments read like they come straight out of the book of Genesis. Bliss in the Garden, eviction, followed by toil in the fields. Yes, you make the best of it because the alternatives are far less attractive, but don't glorify it — because had you your druthers, you'd have been more grateful for the blissful situation instead of having taken it for granted.

  8. Aella says:

    I think that it depends on the person. I had an easy relationship, it was good, had its rough spots of course, and I could have stayed there forever, and wanted to. But much as I hate that I think I am going to end my very hard relationship now, I still liked this one for the passion. If I could find either I would be happy with it.

  9. Stacey says:

    Thank you for sharing an incredible response to a fabulous article. I strongly believe that relationships begin with friendship which entails all of the good along with the hardships for that is what makes us human. And if we can remember to love ourselves, even at the most difficult of times, it will encourage us to feel and acknowledge the love from another. Thank you for sharing!

  10. vmvasquez says:

    Great article!

  11. […] I forgave someone yesterday. For more than a year, a woman I used to love has behaved harshly and unfairly towards me. […]

  12. Nigel Be says:

    I am not so sure any more…there is something incredibly compelling about intensity in a relationship…That coming from a peace and ease, path of least resistance kind of guys is even surprising to me! But now that I am in that easy, pleasing, fun and compatible relationship I have been hoping for (and it's great) I really REALLY miss the hard work dynamics and delight of a far more challenging relationship…In my experience "easy" ends in ignorant bliss or stagnation, where a more challenging partner has lead me to tremendous growth through self examination and repeated contraction and expansion, and yes at a heavy price.
    It is when we are cracked open that the light comes in and the shadows can become our teacher and our lover.
    Nothing is wrong with either type of relationship. The question is what are you ready for?

  13. […] I believe you can have many soul mates. People come in and out of our lives for various reasons—each serving some purpose. However long or short their stay is with us, they are important. […]

  14. […] had told myself I should be happy. I’d married my highly successful economist-husband-soulmate, birthed two beautiful children, lived in an affluent waterfront community and was healthy. What […]

  15. […] all do carry some things forth, but when you meet a soulmate, be prepared not hide any of it, whatever luggage you have comes flying off the […]

  16. […] Your Soulmate Isn’t Who You Think It Is.. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  17. GreatNorthSky says:

    A Little Johnny Come Lately Here :: But I Will Say With Out A Doubt The Best Relationship For Us :: Is The ONE That Authentically Has Us Look At Who We Really Are Within, In The HEART :: This BTW, Is A Two Way Street :: Intellect Will Only Go So Far and Is Doomed To Fail :: The Question Is, Are We Ready and Do We Have The Courage To Look At Ourselves At This Level :: When We Start To Become Deeply Rooted Within, We'll Quickly Realize, That The Sun Is Always Shining, No Matter How Bad The Stormy Waters Appear.

    As So Precisely Stated Above By Kat " But They Should Not Tax The Very Essence Of Our Being And Diminish Our Vital Energy " No Relationship Should Ever Do This. And Fantasy, Well It's Just That, Fantasy, Ungrounded and Zero Reality.

    Great Piece, I Enjoyed Reading It and Am Very Happy I Ran Across It.

    Thank You,

  18. […] few seconds of eye contact to establish a shared world between us. I used to think that this was how soul-mates find each other, but actually that’s not necessarily so. A wet meeting is more like a kind of infection that […]

  19. […] Your Soulmate Isn’t Who You Think It Is. […]

  20. Lori Bell says:

    I am Thoroughly Encouraged by this article and by the comments above! I am Sooo Glad to see that some of us, at least, are finally, finally, starting to see through the illusions and myths (and Inappropriate Expectations) surrounding our ideas about "Romantic Love". I feel like I have been fighting this battle for most of my life, ever since I read "Invisible Partners" by John Sanford maybe 25 years ago now and came to a better understanding of the fascination and infatuation that are associated with "anima and animus projection".

    Bravo! To All of You, for valuing your relationships, and friendships, for ALL that they provide, both comfort and challenge that is REAL in either case. Yes there is the possibility of pleasure. Yes there is the possibility of pain and growth. Yes there are going to be kind of boring peaceful times and more dramatic challenging times. But it is all about what you are Committed To. And if you are committed to the Truth of who you are and who the other person is, and you are committed to Understanding, so that The Other Person Feels Understood, (and, in my experience, that is where some of the hardest work is necessary), then … then… you start to understand what it really means to be a human being!

    Again… Bravo! to everyone who has started to figure this out! (And if you want to see more from me you can check out my posts here: I'm finally starting to feel not quite so alone anymore!

  21. Lori Bell says:

    And in my excitement, I spelled out the wrong blog site… My Personal/Relational ("inner journey") posts are here: The other blog is for my "outward journeying" – Still good, though, as I am "Pedaling for Peace"… riding my bicycle cross-country in support of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and author and Peace Leadership Director for the NAPF, Paul K. Chappell. He's got a great book coming out in July called "The Art of Waging Peace". Okay…that's it for me! Peace Everybody – Both Inner and Outer!

  22. soulmatereject says:

    Really oversimplified and trite writing! Wow, I feel like a 7th grader just told me like don't just look on the outsides, k? Or the texted it to me. Sorry, what this article lacks is any depth of understanding as to why people torture themselves to 'get love'. What if you are the type that NEVER goes for the model type and just for the guy who you get and who you feel gets you but yet he never wants to touch you with a ten foot pole bcs YOU are not a supermodel and he is looking for his comedic, philosophical and intellectual match but also with a "perfect' Boulder 'rexic yoga climber male looking hard body? I guess I just fall for gay guys–those are the ones that like the 'whole foods' shopper bodies. I should start going FOR the kinder vapid good looking guys that I usually reject.

  23. savioni says:

    Yea, this is the good stuff: Simple and true. Thank you for the reminder.

  24. Sara Star says:

    While I agree about this, I also would say that if you feel you are the overlooked friend, don't demonize your crushes for not noticing you. Its not stupid or wrong to go for the people you are attracted to physically. And physical attraction can also develop side by side with friendship. And there are qualities besides nice friend that people look for in each other. If you are the overlooked friend still keep working on yourself. In some cases being in good physical shape, dressing well, and such means you will be more successful in many areas of your life. Being a good friend doesn't cover for other failings.

  25. There is no right way to love – hard or easy. If you've taken the time to know yourself you will be able to take time to know someone else – and not get confused by a fantasy you've created. I met my husband when I was 7, got engaged to him and married him when I was 29 (the dating was for 4 months when I was 29). I've always like him. I never dated him…long story short I ran into him after not seeing him for 7 years. I learned a lot about myself and what I wanted, practiced on other people. Never thought about getting married and having kids. Then I talked to him that night, listened, observed, and knew my life as an independent single woman was over. Sometimes it's really easy, sometimes it's really hard. 3 kids, 13 years, and I still want to grow old with him. He is the one. I'm lucky I paid attention.

  26. Louis Adkins says:

    Relationships aren’t, by default, hard or easy – they are complex. Sometimes we can waltz the minefield of our loved one(s) with effortless ease, and other times we can’t seem to take two steps without something blowing up in our face. The secret is, in my opinion, much less in unknowingly dodging the mines, and more in being able to disarm a few of them, and talk through the setting off of the rest. Trust issues abound with all of us, these days, and sometimes those little booms help build up a toughness, or resistance, in the relationship that helps prevent the bigger booms from ending things.

  27. Joyce says:

    I love this article. Well done! For me though, I personally wouldn't describe relationships as "easy" or "hard" but rather smooth or difficult. Meaning… relationships…all relationships can be hard because they are designed to give us the opportunity to delve deeply within ourselves to undo our past so that we can fully reach our divine potential. All relationships can and should push, pull and stretch us emotionally and, at times, can even become very uncomfortable. That’s natural, normal and necessary if we truly want to become emotionally evolved. Some relationships though (the difficult ones) take us to that point of self-discovery and evolution in a very painful way. Other relationships (the smooth ones) take us there in a more peaceful and loving way. What I have discovered is that my relationships that were very difficult were that way because there was an element of immaturity in my partners; an inability to own up to their part in the problems, a tendency to point fingers and blame. The relationship that I am in now is the most beautiful relationship I have ever been in and I believe it is because we are both mature; we are both able and willing to own up to our part in the challenges and we are both open to seeing areas where we need to grow, change and evolve. We aren’t threatened by each other nor are we insecure. We don’t cower away from our issues or the emotions that go along with them. We are brave, loving, kind, supportive and genuinely care about the other person and what they need and those qualities are very apparent in our communication with each other. We take the approach that we are on the same side, not opposing sides of the problem, showing each other we are dedicated to resolving the problem, no matter what. So, it's not to say that there are no problems, there certainly are but our approach to them is what makes getting through the problem smooth. Being in a "smooth" relationship in no way translates to stagnant, boring or dull. On the contrary, with the absence of the difficult and hurtful dynamics, I have reached levels of emotional intensity, passion, love and excitement that I never, ever experienced before or believed possible. Thanks again for a great article.

  28. Susanne says:

    I can't tell you how many articles I've read about "the answer to a lasting relationship" over the years. I'm 48 years old, have been in many relationships, serious and casual, never married, no children. They were all different. ALL of them. You talk about "the one" being someone who you probably see on a regular basis. Well, my last relationship was with a casual friend with whom we shared other friends. Both of us single, never married. We always had fun when we were at social gatherings together with our mutual friends. How perfect, right? Wrong. There was a reason he was single. He was/is a great guy…as a friend. But, he lacked/lacks the fundamentals of being in a relationship; mainly, that compromise and giving part. I didn't see it right away. The signs started peeling away like layers of an onion. I was in the relationship for six years. The good thing, now is…after many harsh words and hurt feelings because we just couldn't make it work….we are friends again. But, I would never date him again. He is not cut out for a relationship. I've seen all kinds of relationships come and go, not only with myself, but with my friends. There is no one single answer or solution. Sorry, folks, but it's just a roll of the dice. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

  29. lisab says:

    Most of the actual relationship advice is pretty good. But why in the world would we assume that a "super model" would give you heaven for a while? OMG, I can't believe the level of image obsession in this culture. It's sick. It's a neurosis. And it's all based on arbitrary made up standards of status and beauty. I don't get it. Do men really want a woman who is considered to be the most beautiful by those made up standards but who is a vapid, boring human being or are there men who actually love and deeply desire a woman for who she is instead of the shape of her ass? Women can be shallow too, yes. It's not something only men do. But that just goes back to the image obsession. It's all illusion and we're all like little children believing in Santa. None of it is real and who really wants something that isn't real? Time for everyone to wake up, grow up, get well, and stop perpetuating suffering.

  30. Kyle McQueen says:

    I am offended by the idea the writer is trying to convey about how you shouldn't let societies idea's of love get in the way of love. But at the same time the writer says forget the supermodel…the world thinks all supermodels are shallow soulless out of touch, out of reach people? What if you found a supermodel who was also smart and nice, and romantic?

  31. Corinne Lebrun says:

    Umm.. some pretty girls are pretty nice. I wish they would have re-worded this article a little but. I'd say don't let beautiful men or women get a bad rap.. it more about how much depth does someone have. So how about rewording this to "skip the glamour and go for the one who loves you even on your worst days."

  32. Buddy says:

    It's possible the supermodel might be the one. Why exclude anyone?

  33. Nadia says:

    Thank you Christie and Kathleen for your views on hard relationships. My friends and family have been trying to convince me that relationships are supposed to be easy, and my "difficult" relationship is not the norm. But we love each other and have been making it work for 4 years now. We have very different communication styles and it has taken a lot of time to figure out the best way to say something so the other receives the message as they want to hear it. It is hard to learn a new way to communicate with this one person in my life, while communication is SO easy with my friends and family. Many times I have wanted to end it (him too). But we never do, because even though it is oh so hard, it is so worth the love and commitment we feel for each other. Yay for difficult relationships!

  34. Jenna B Wiser says:

    Oh my gosh!! This article was so well written it makes me want to cry!! Really. Maybe it’s that time of the month, or year, or I’m having a mid-life crisis. 🙂 Whatever it is it makes me think about my own failed relationships and why I can’t seem to get it right. It shouldn’t be hard and painful when you are dating, yet that’s how it was for me in my current failed marriage. Next time I will look around for the person who is real, fun, and authentic. There in good times and bad. Thanks so much for sharing this wisdom!!

  35. Tanya Syaroff says:

    We never know until it happens. For me its all about communication and reflection.Love and relationship are completely different things. Our call for love is answered,when we are ready for participation.i came out from a longterm relationship (20 ). Did I love him? day I woke up and realised: I am not happy. May be we all are too different and looking for different things and directions. I will rather appreciate feelings of love than.friendship and parnership ,they have nothing to do with love. .. And more over :under different conditions we value different things.And we calling “love” for every feeling of gratitude and appreciation.Let we start from here :what does Love means for us?

  36. hazel says:

    All relationships are meant to do is transform you, so there's no right or wrong or good or bad, Loving is a risk, but it's never wrong to love anyone. Love and the pain and the healing that comes from it will transform and evolve you. And when you finish the relationship carry on loving that person as they were a necessary part of your journey.

  37. Miguel says:


    1. Why don't women do the same?
    2. Does this article imply that miss supermodel is incapable of love?
    3. How can I be sure that this person won't end up treating me just as bad as miss supermodel, without me at least having had an ego massage along the way?

    These are sincere questions. Not questions that affect me directly, but questions that I think about. Why does it always have to be that we, men, lower our standards and "learn", while women are able to be accepted just the way they are – a technique encouraged by society as a whole?

  38. Jenny says:

    I agree and disagree at the same time.

    Sure it should be easy to love all the best and worst parts of your partner. Easy in the sense that the things that annoy you about that person can be overlooked because the love is so worth it and so strong.

    But no relationship is EASY. why should it be? We are all creative crazy free-thinking individuals! We all have issues and are selfish at times. For us to decide we want to share our lives with another is a HUGE deal. It is complicated to entertwine our lives and expect it to be easy.

    I was married to my best friend for 8 years. It was pretty easy. Aside from the fact that I felt something was missing. He pretty much let me walk all over him until I finally ended it. 🙁 bad on my part I know. But he was perfectly happy ‘pretending’ and asked me to continue to pretend.

    I am now with a man I truly call my soul mate. And it’s wonderfully hard. Really getting to know. Down deep and personal. We love and laugh and are so happy. But still with every learning curve or new discovery there is HARD WORK involved.

    I think of it like this…..

    If you want a healthy strong body you have to work at it. EVERDAY!! You have to eat right and figure out what you can’t eat. You have to exercise and figure out a routine that’s best for you. Why is love so different?

    You must work on it everyday!! The day you stop…. It starts to fade away!

  39. Monica says:

    I’ve always had trouble in relationships involving my work schedule,as well as communication and trust. I watched my friends around me struggling with bofriends involving trust and compatibility. I thought for awhile that if I wanted someone I needed to put up with more and give in more often.I gave in a lot with men I thought were right for me, men that left me feeling vulnerable and untrusting. Luckily I began seeing a long time friend in a different light. He was someone who was a coworker and in my group of friends.He was right in front of my face the whole time as a good friend and a good person.As soon as I saw him in a different light my attraction for him grew.I knew his dating history and his friends and the trust between us is unfailing.Everything is never sunshine and rainbows but the hard times disintergrate with ease because he’s my best friend.We’ve already seen our best and worst times which makes our relationship a breeze with little embarrassing moments. I feel lucky that I finally realized that it was him I was looking for. Ladies listen to this article! For some of you your soulmate is right in front of your face.

  40. Jill says:

    I have a stepdaughter who is a knockout. Goegeous, a little bit taller and she might truly have been a super model. She is also intelligent, competent and responsible, with a good paying career and will surely make some lucky man a great wife. It's not right to assme that a beautiful woman is a bad choice as a life partner. That's a certain form of misogyny, or at minimum, shallowness and prejudice and is totally unfair.

  41. Jaclyn says:

    This article is ridiculous. On so many levels. I don’t even know where to begin. It’s odd to find a swallow cynic all in one. So first off, when you do think of love, at first it’s “finding the super model”? OK, not everyone has that mindset. Secondly, true love is” holding on” to the person “out of your league” so settle on the average looking person who loves you and worships you because they don’t look Ike Megan Fox or James theo? Are you kidding? And even if you do happen to fall in love with someone very beautiful, just because you click not because they were some sort of conquest, that’s not real love because you probably lose them? Why because tj ry are “too hot”? So in turn, what if you’re the hot one? Will you dump the sorry soul you’re dating because they aren’t on your level or stay with them because of that fact?

    Dude, you need counseling. Or you’ll forever be alone or in an unfair and unhealthy, shallow or unwhole relationship. Yikes. This article also made me more dumb by giving it any of my time. Gonna shake this one off.

    Ps- not all gorgeous people are a holes that simply want someone as hot or successful as them. Someone must have really done a number on you. Get over it. Everyone is different, and love is love no matter the situation, or the persons looks.

  42. Timothy Corder says:

    An outstanding article! We love who we love, and no one can “help” the way they feel, BUT…what is the relationship adding to or subtracting from us as individuals? Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts or do we bring out the worst in each other? I’ve been in many relationships, ones that have given me stability and inner peace, all the way down to the ones that have broken me down to an empty shell. What I’vr learned is that NOBODY is worth that “feeling.” You know, that anxious, nauseated, empty, “oh my god, he just hung up on me when I’m 1,000 miles away” feeling. Those moments work AGAINST our growth and improvement as people (how could they not when you can actually feel them taking days and weeks off the end of your life?!). I say go for the one who has the maturity to respect you as you are, encourages you to be yourself, and accepts your flaws, while encourging and challenging you to be your best. The overlooked friend, (although co-workers are generally a bad idea), the one who was right in front of your face the whole time, can, indeed be the best choice! Remember…Smart is sexy. Comfort is a must. Respect at ALL times. And most importantly…love is not about controlling another person or our idea of who we can transform them into. Love and control are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Know yourself, love yourself, share yourself, but don’t give up yourself or expect your other “half” to either!

  43. Tina says:

    I have been in a relationship/partnership for 14 years and still going strong. No one is 100% blissful & happy 100% of the time. The important thing is, weathering through the storms…learning more about yourself and each other along the way. Life happens, people grow & change over many years time… through experiences both good and bad. Some people lose focus, lose the connection, the communication. It’s important to be flexible. To support each others goals and aspirations. You become a team, working together to better each other. We don’t always agree but we work it out. I’ve learned what to get upset over and what to let go. I’ve learn to accept things I may not like or drives me nuts because the other things are worth the irritation. And he puts up with my imperfections/flaws too. Time, allows you to reflect on all you’ve done, are doing, and where your going. And after all this time, I still look forward to all that is to come. Good or hard, we tough it out, work through it and aim for better. It’s a constant give and take, learn and improvise as life moves forward. There were times it got so hard, seemed un-fixable, not worth it. But we still stuck through and came out stronger on the other side…feeling secure and confident because our love and comittment stands tried and true. And to those who haven’t met their “forever” yet…be patient. Rejection is God’s protection. When the right one does come along, you will know…in time.

  44. Rod Karolys says:

    I don’t think I’d ever had a healthy relationship before I met my wife (and I’m still not sure if it’s healthy). I spent the best years of my life chasing after what I could not have. I’ve been rejected by everything that walks. And looking back, it was because I tried too damned hard. Instead of searching for someone who would accept me, I should have been just going about my life, and the right person would have appeared. My advice to anyone in this situation is, don’t look too hard in your immediate surroundings simply because it’s convenient. Go somewhere you love to be, and do an activity you love doing (not at the local pub drinking). The person will appear. In my case, the place and activity were China, teaching English.

    That said, many people just need a confidence booster. For me, teaching did it because it forced me to get up and speak in front of large groups of people. Now I don’t give a shit about rejection. Anytime you’re rejected, remember: you’re talking to the wrong crowd. The key to happiness is teaming up with those who are on the same page as you.

  45. Rhonda T. says:

    This article made it quite clear by the A and B terms early on, that it takes an emotionally mature and stable person to sustain a loving relationship with another. There is nothing simple or trite about that concept. As the 4th step of the 12-Step Recovery Program insists…we must conduct a "searching and fearless moral inventory" in order to expose all our unanswered needs/wounds/vulnerabilities that lie buried and direct our behaviour (i.e. our choices). Without accomplishing knowing oneself first, it likely doesn't matter with we you choose to have a relationship, since we're operating in a self-awareness vacuum, i.e. its basically a crap shoot.

  46. adb227 says:

    Thank you Sara Star… I have been with extremely gorgeous men and men who were so/so … every relationship is unique and challenging in there own way. Demonizing someone because they happened to be born beautiful, is ridiculous … what, should they try to look more unattractive>?? Haaa, what BS. No relationship is easy, neither should it be "drama city". I'll take the middle, thank you.

  47. Lil P says:

    It's not about difficult or effortless relationships, it's about the connection you are able to make with that other person. Of course if you have some serious conniving issues, then perhaps do not continue to pursue that kind of relationship. Yes some people struggle while others do not. Some people find love in a banal situation, others find it whilst on a grand adventure. Some people fall in love with someone who is exactly like them, some fall for those who are complete opposite. But it's something in that person's soul that you have not seen in anyone else and it compliments your soul. People find that the person they fall in love with, are not even close to the "type" that they would typically like. Or maybe it is exactly that, finally you have found that one person who manages to fulfill all the criteria and so much. Anyway Love is love is love, it comes in all shapes and sizes and in many different circumstances. When that love is pure it can only be classified as magic.