Lesson 1: finding love

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I am one of the luckiest people I know. Every morning, I wake up to the sight of a beautiful human being lying next to me, the same human being, every single day. Before you reach for the sick bucket, just know that I’ve had my fair share of disastrous, hilarious, ridiculous relationships. Someone once declined a painfully obvious booty call of mine to watch the Star Trek movie with his friends. That hurts. After years of uncertainty, when you find something as special as I have, it becomes something to shout about. More than shout about, it’s something I could be helping others to find. I had to be so sure that Joe was right for me, but that’s a whole other story.

At 15, I fell completely and utterly head over heels for someone. I had braces, he had yet to discover jeans, and it was perfect. Perfect until our emotional connection became so extreme that it no longer suited our age. It was chaotic, paradoxical and ended three rollercoaster years later. I say ‘ended’, it took years to end. Which is where I come to my first piece of advice:

If part of you still wonders ‘what if?’ do your best to get it out your system before you even think about dating someone else.

You don’t know if you don’t try, right? So, if they throw it back in your face you can move on, and if they want you back you’ll soon realize if you really want the same. Fill up all the gaps of your past and your boat won’t sink trying to reach the shore. It’s ok that I still think of him sometimes, he taught me valuable lessons. Which is where I come to piece of advice number two:

If something ends, it has ended for a reason.

It’s very easy to paint a prettier picture of the past and believe you were happier than you really were. So, don’t be too critical of your present self when you’re comparing the two. Comparisons are good though; everything is relative. I only know that Joe is ‘the one’ because I’ve been with people who aren’t. I also know this because he knows everything there is to know about me and still wants to be with me. Pretending to be something you’re not, even if that version of yourself seems ‘better’ than the real you, will never lead you to the person you’re meant to be with. While you’re pretending to be a certain way to please a certain person, there is someone out there who would love you for you. The more time you spend fannying about with the wrong person, the longer it will take to find the right person. So,

Be real and be honest, not just with the other person, but also with yourself.

I love this quote: ‘Too many people are looking for the right person instead of trying to be the right person’. When you are truly happy with who you are, you will know exactly when you’ve found the right person. Until then, you run the risk of shaping yourself around someone else and the relationship will never feel equal. When actively searching for love, whether it’s down the pub, through mutual friends, or online, there’s a danger you’ll so desperately want it to work out that you might try and force it. Like squeezing into that size 4 shoe when you’re really a 5, just because they’re the last pair. Go to another shop, maybe one you’ve never been to before, and they might have even nicer shoes in the perfect size.

So there you have it, my top tips for finding love:

  1. Let go of the past and learn from the people who aren’t right for you
  2. Be true to yourself and honest with the person you’re with
  3. Hold out for the right person and feel in your heart it’s the right time

We all know it’s never as simple as that, but I’d say it’s a good place to start.

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