How Do You Find Love? 10 Tips

Itís not that hard to find like. Or lust. Or friendship.

But love – true, epic, lasting love, the kind of love that leads you to celebrate 50 year anniversaries – is a whole other story.

As someone with two divorces under my belt, you may be reluctant to take love advice from me, and I wouldnít blame you! But Iím nine years into my current marriage, and things are better than ever, so maybe Iíve learned a thing or two. Take it with a grain of salt, but in case something Iíve learned resonates with you and helps you find the kind of lasting love Iíve finally found, I wanted to share it with you.

10 Love Tips to Help You Find (& Keep) Love

1. You probably wonít get everything you need from one person. And thatís okay.

I used to think my romantic partner had to be my end all/be all. I had a list a mile long of what my partner had to do/be/think/like. Iíve since learned that many of the things on my list are mutually exclusive. In order to rock one, youíre likely to have to give up another. So how could one person possibly be everything?

Now I realize that I can get every need on my list met – but I have to seek outside my romantic partnership for some of it. For example, I adore my husband, but heís agnostic. And Iím extremely spiritual. I love him unconditionally, so Iím not going to ask him to change his beliefs. But I need to find spiritual connection elsewhere. So I have friends I can call when Iím in spiritual crisis or want to share some miracle thatís happened in my life.

2. Love someone for who they are, not who they could become.

Yes, people change. We grow. We evolve. Like fine wine, some of us get better with age. But donít count on it. If you fall in love with someoneís potential rather than who they really are, youíre likely to wind up disappointed.

3. Put your true self out there.

If youíre pretending to be something youíre not, youíll attract someone who loves the fake you, not the real you. One woman who took a workshop with me died her hair pink and left her armpits unshaved. She said it was a good screening tool for men. Anyone who wasnít cool with that just wasnít gonna jive with her authentic self (go girl!) Go ahead and let your freak flag fly and youíll be much more likely to draw in the right love.


4. Withhold judgment and give the person you love permission to be authentic.

As much as youíll want permission to be authentic, youíve got to also give your partner the same gift. If youíre a travel buff and heís a homebody, donít expect him to jet around the world with you.† If she wants children and you donít, honor her desires and respect her right to be a mother. If the two of you canít both be authentic and get your most important needs met, youíre likely to wind up with challenges, and the relationship probably wonít last.

5. Shared interests are overrated.

I know many couples who have built their relationship on shared interests. They fell in love because both were competitive cyclists or loved to travel the world or shared a passion for painting with watercolors. But what if something happens – you have children, you get disabled, you suddenly become allergic to watercolor paints – and you no longer have that?

I love to dance. Like I L.O.V.E. to dance. And I used to make all my romantic partners take dance lessons so we could salsa dance together and cut up the rug at weddings. Now I know that I can find dance partners and leave my husband, who doesnít share my passion, in peace. Because I love him just as he is. I donít want to make him change just so I get my needs met. I want him to be the Mattest of Matts, rather than some Lissafied version of who he really is.

6. Eliminate the ďbecauses.Ē

I used to love someone because of what they brought to the relationship. I loved a guy because he planned the most elaborate, romantic dates Iíd ever imagined. I loved him because he was irresistibly handsome. I loved him because he loved his mother. I loved him because he had a profession I respected, a shared faith, and a passion for fitness.

But true love doesnít exist because of anything. It just is. You love someone in spite of the parts youíd like to change. You love them for no good reason. Thereís nothing they could do to take that love away.

7. Compromise, but donít settle.

Itís a fine line between setting your standards so high that nobody is every good enough and settling for less than what you desire and deserve. When it comes to love, youíll never find perfect, but you also donít want to spend the rest of your life wishing you had held out for what you truly want.

8. Pay attention to warning signs.

If someone has trouble controlling anger, has never been faithful to a partner, or is a compulsive liar, you better be okay with finding holes in the drywall, silk panties in his briefcase, and the IRS on your doorstep. Donít let your passion for someone overshadow your intuition and common sense.

9. Sex matters.

You might convince yourself it doesnít, but as my mother always told me, sex matters only for about 10% of a relationship when itís good, but itís more like 90% of the relationship when itís bad. If one of you is sexually unfulfilled, the relationship is likely to wind up with challenges.

10. Prioritize the ability to communicate.

If you can spend the rest of your life without ever running out of things to talk about – and you can talk in a way that doesnít result in constant screaming or trips to the divorce attorney, youíve got something precious. Sure, passion is yummy, but itís not enough. At the end of a day (or at the end of a life when youíre celebrating your 50th anniversary), the ability to make each other laugh, touch each otherís hearts, inspire each other, stimulate each other, express emotions, and share mutual respect and affection matters more than anything else.

Share Your Love Tips

But donít just listen to me. What have you learned about love? Tell us what you think! Share your love stories.

Still figuring it out,

****

Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of†OwningPink.com,†Pink Medicine Revolutionary,†motivational speaker, and author of†Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about†Lissa Rankin here.

 

15 comments

Miranda G.
Miranda G.4 years ago

I have to say that mutual trust and respect are the top 2 things you NEED to have a good relationship. Take it from someone who's been cheated on, yelled at, emotionally abused, treated like a piece of property rather than as a person, stolen from, lied to, etc. during a 10 year marriage. If you don't have mutual trust and respect in your relationship....get out NOW. Don't wait and hope for things to get better like I did.

Belinda W.
Belle W.4 years ago

I've never known whether I should even talk about love like it exists anymore. But you've described the closest thing I've felt to it. Unfortunately, in this relationship, people told me I was too much of a "guy", because we would pursue our most passionate interests with our respective friends. They told me I was "letting" him do things, and seemed to think he must be too busy to come out with me if I went out with them on my own. For us, it was a perfect arrangement. We had a very solid relationship together, and the time apart didn't hurt us. I guess love works out very differently for every couple, but this resonates with me.

Winifred Wi
Winifred Wi4 years ago

' When it comes to love, you’ll never find perfect, but you also don’t want to spend the rest of your life wishing you had held out for what you truly want'
in spite of this article,,,
im still hoping the right match through my whole life.
its okay even if i couldnt find, the most important thing is this desire always makes me happy & dont let me put into despair. if i couldn't dream of it, i probably spend a more hard time compared than these days.

Zee Kallah
Past Member 4 years ago

thank you

Diane L.
Diane L.4 years ago

A "strong sexual attraction" is not the most important factor in a relationship. Many, for whatever reason, find it not important nor even part of a relationship. Many adults have little or no sexual desire after disease, injury, illness or in some cases, age. There's a vast difference between an "emotional bond" and a sexual attraction. The best relationships, of course, would include both.

I know of many couples who started out just as friends, respected each other and an emotional relationship grew as a result, but a sexual attraction didn't enter into things until well "after". Many times, the opposite happens. Some find another very sexually attractive, but while they may have a great "sex life", literally don't like each other.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton4 years ago

Love does exist but only for 1 million out of 300 million people. The rest of us never find true love. The fact is it's rare. Unfortunately all the movies and media advertise that anybody can find it. As with everything else the media feeds us, that's a lie. Those 10 things the author mentioned really aren't that important in finding your soulmate. The only thing that has to happen is an extremely strong bond which begins with an intensely strong sexual attraction.
It's chemistry, plain and simple. If the bond is strong enough at the start that couple will stay together through thick and thin. But in most cases, it isn't, thus the 90% divorce rate.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.4 years ago

Love doesn't exist.

David C.
David C.4 years ago

thanks

Carole R.
Carole R.4 years ago

Love is often hard to find. But when we least expect it, it often finds us.

Kath R.
Kath P.4 years ago

I believe that you should put your true self forward.