Before I met my husband, I had a very romanticized view of love. It was all chocolate and roses all the time in my imagination. But that’s not real life. Real life has downs as well as ups. It has sickness and health. It has times of lack as well as abundance.
Only when you can find someone willing to ride the entire roller coaster with you – up, down, and loopty-loop – is there any chance you’ve found your true love.
I was once accused of reading too many romance novels and believing in fairy tales. Well, I’m not so sure about “too many” and I still believe fairy tales have some merit, but it’s true that I had a bit of a distorted vision of what living happily ever after was supposed to look like.
I decided to go on a mission to educate myself. I went on a discovery binge. I observed the lovers, partners, and married couples I knew. I asked questions, listened to stories, and witnessed interactions.
And then, I had to admit, I was more wrong than right about what a romantic partnership should be. Sure, there’s romance, courtship, wooing, hugs, kisses, and fabulous sex. But there’s also friendship, compromise, working toward common goals, moral support, and appreciation for individuality. Not to mention housekeeping.
The bottom line was, if I wanted a partner in life, I was going to have to make a commitment. Not just to a person, but to our partnership – to our life together.
With the facts of my reality check in mind, I thought long and hard about whether marriage or a partnership was something I really wanted. I had a great single life. I enjoyed dating. I loved my independence. But something was missing – and it was missing on more than just holidays.
One thing I liked about dating was the spine-tingling spark of a first kiss, the warmth of his touch when he holds your hand, and the wave of excitement surging through you when he calls again. But once each of these things became familiar, they became too familiar for me.
This is when things began to fall apart. And then I would get my heart broken. Not because I missed the guy, although there were some I really did miss, but because I missed the newness and the romance.
I wasn’t sure if I could trust myself to stay invested once the sparks stopped flying. Could I ever be happy without a constant stream of sparks? Because if I was ever going to commit to someone, I might have to work on that.
As a student of spirituality, I believe we humans have more power over the direction and events of our lives than most of us are taught. One of the ways to wield this power is through visualization.
Visualizing can sometimes work like a truth serum. If you imagine something that doesn’t jive with what you want or believe in, you feel it. It’s like your brain starts yelling, “Liar!” at you.
So, I decided to embark on an experiment. I would try different visualizations and see where I was on the commitment scale.
I imagined different types of men, various scenarios of “real life,” and various aspects of our partnership. I was doing some online dating at the time, so this was made easier by seeing several profiles and reading about interests and lifestyles. Was there one that “felt” right to me?
Turns out, there was! But I hadn’t met him yet.
All my imagining and visualizing yielded some pretty cool information. It was highly probable that I could commit to someone and a life with that person. But he had to be very special.
I made a list of the qualities my ideal mate would have, I lit candles, I prayed, I continued visualizing, and I stayed busy. And while I was busy, I would imagine my partner there with me. Or I would imagine a phone call where we would talk about how our day was going.
During this time, I had a client whose office was on a hill. I parked on the street and would walk up to the office. Whenever I was leaving, I would imagine that my partner and I were on a walk and were going down the hill together. He was tall, strong, and would hold my hand as we walked, talked, and laughed our way down the hill.
This was a big clue in finding my true love. I wanted a best friend, someone I never tired of talking and laughing with, someone who would hold my hand when we walked together.
On November 14, 2013, I met him. We talked and laughed so much through dinner that we hardly ate. He held my hand as he walked me to my car. And I can’t imagine ever tiring of talking, laughing, or holding hands with him.
If you’re like I was and have no idea if you can commit, or if you’re on the opposite end of the scale, I know you can find love.
A general list of how you can do this is:
But most importantly, give until you get. Show a little love to every human you encounter. Practice gratitude and compassion on a daily basis. This opens your heart. And only an open heart can receive true love.