In the beginning stages of dating, we often feel compelled to ask, “So, what’s your type?” or “So, what are you looking for?” We respond by listing a number of physical characteristics and maybe a few personality traits. You may find yourself falling for someone tall, dark and handsome, but I can assure you, you haven’t found “the one” until you’ve found someone who will offer these four essential traits to you:
1. They communicate
We are trapped in a digital age where people think that responding to a photo posted on our story is the ideal conversation starter. We double tap in hopes that a simple “like” will somehow communicate the intensity of our interest in someone. We linger for hours before responding to those seeking our attention while we sit on pins and needles waiting for a response from the person we seek a reciprocal interest from. Picking up the phone and calling gives us intense palpitations.
We are a nonverbal generation who chokes on words, makes assumptions, and misinterprets messages, and we rather distance ourselves than simply verbalizing our feelings. We fail at expressing ourselves, but you know you’ve found “the one” when you realize an effort is made to communicate on a daily basis. Hold on tight to the person who makes attempts to share their thoughts and desires. Remain involved with the person who asks you how your day went, how your family is doing, or how this semester of school is going. Appreciate the one who recognizes when you’re down and reaches out to console you. Express your desire for effortless and honest communication from your partner. Recognize that it is difficult to find someone who is honest about their past, their desire to be with you, and plans for the future.
2. They’re consistent
The trend of inconsistency creates challenges in the dating world. It’s difficult to describe the gut wrenching feeling experienced when someone has the ability to elate us with their presence today then disappoint us with their absence tomorrow. We hear complaints of relationships that began with gift giving and adventurous dates but fade into disappointment when the honeymoon phase comes to an abrupt halt.
Spontaneous fun and romance should not seize once the relationship becomes exclusive. When you are with the right one, the blissful moments are never-ending. A love destined to survive will consistently show up; your person will be the shoulder for you to lean on and the one you can always depend on. A true love does not leave you stranded, questioning, or guessing. The right one will make the same efforts to show their appreciation for you several years into the relationship as they did in the beginning.
A real love, with a strong bond, will go to great lengths to find time for you because you will be a priority. You deserve a love with a flame that never dims. You deserve a love that is consistent, and anything other than that doesn’t deserve to be labeled as love.
3. They commit
Once you begin to develop feelings for someone, the discussion of being exclusive will occur. Do not assume you are the only one that they have allowed to meet the family, schedule date nights with, share secrets with, and are intimate with. Be prepared for the let down of being one of many.
Understand that if you are the one, there will be no desire for the search to continue. The right one will discontinue quests to test the waters and meet the other fish in the sea because you will be worthy and you will be enough.
If you find someone who recognizes the greatest parts of you but also handles your flaws with care, keep them near. We’ve been brainwashed to fear commitment and exclusivity, but there’s no greater feeling than knowing that your partner dedicates time and effort to one person, and my hope is that the one person is you.
4. They’re loyal
One of the most important components of a successful relationship is loyalty, but unfortunately, it’s one of the hardest to identify. I define loyalty as remaining supportive in times of hardship. In the dating stages, it may be hard to tell if someone will stay by your side during trying times. Obstacles serve as a true test of a relationship. When life throws you a wrench, and it will, you’ll want someone with a pure heart to lean on.
The one deserving of your love will climb the steepest of mountains with you, stand at the peak with you, and hold you tight when life begins to shove you. A real love will embrace you, help you endure the fall, then help you foster up the strength to stand tall again.
The reality is that physical appearance may fade and money is just an object. A materialistic love is bound to fail. It’s not always easy to be a good judge of character, but make efforts to recognize a person with good intentions who will help you weather this storm called life. I believe that these are the four keys to the heart and the foundation to a love that will withstand even the most difficult times.