It’s a very scary truth, but there is a simple reason most of us date: to find a life-long partner (GASP). For those of us who are built for monogamy and always pictured our future with a spouse included in it, we have been dating for years in search of that person who is going to be the one with whom we grow old. We are looking for the person to move in with without any hesitation, to incorporate into our families, to raise a family with. Why else would we waste our teen years, our 20s — and for that matter, as long as it takes — to fall in love and meet the one? Dating for a long time can be tiresome, meeting Mr. or Ms. Wrong time after time again. To quote Charlotte York from the beacon that is Sex And The City, “I’ve been dating since I was 15. I’m exhausted. Where is he?”
So what is it we’re all looking for? Even if we’re too stubborn to admit it, all of us monogamy-chasers are looking for that whirlwind, perfect, magical love. The kind of love that makes your stomach jump when their name pops up on your phone; the kind of love that leaves you hanging onto the edge of every kiss with goose bumps. The kind of love that you just know in your gut will be everlasting. Someone whose imperfections you learn to adore. A love that you know will never hurt you.
Believe it or not, this love truly exists. I’ve seen it. You’ve all seen it. Love stories are posted all over the Internet. I can’t go a day scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed without seeing a video of a 50-year romance story or an epic marriage proposal. I just recently saw an article about Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman’s relationship. They had the love we’re all looking for.
When Newman was asked what it takes to make a marriage successful, he responded with two magic words: patience and affection. I love this answer because it alludes to the fact that a good marriage requires work. And that’s true. There is no way that you can get along with someone 100% of the time, without any differences of opinion or disputed behavior. Being in a long-term partnership entails putting effort in, and fixing it when it’s broken rather than throwing it away. While it’s true that the forever-relationships require work, you need to find somebody who’s worth putting in the work; someone whose best qualities dramatically overshadow the differences.
We want the love that makes our toes curl and our shoulders go up at the sound of their name. We want a person who enjoys every part about us, even the parts that we ourselves don’t like so much. We want someone who looks at us like we were the greatest thing that has ever happened to them. We want a love that we can be proud of; where they can be proud of us. We want someone who encourages us in every aspect of our lives no matter what. We want a person to take care of us and someone who allows us to take care of them. We want a person who never “lets” us do anything but rather gives us our independence without thinking twice about it. We want a love that makes us feel valued and respected for both our similarities as well as our differences.
My advice to people who have agreed with any of my above points about finding that kind of love: search for it, fight for it and then enjoy it. This person is out there for you. There are over 7 billion people on this planet, chances are you will find at least one person on this earth who makes you feel this way and gives you the kind of love that you deserve. But you have to be looking for it. Don’t waste your time with people who don’t treat you well or people who don’t value you. Look for the whole package in a person. Life is way too short to be in a relationship where you don’t feel invincible. Have high standards because this is the only life we have. I’m not saying that it’s not going to be work, because a good relationship will have its twists and turns but at the end of the day, there will be smooth sailing. Find that person who makes you feel invincible; you’re worth it.