True and long lasting love isn’t automatic, it takes knowledge, time and effort!
Cinderella and other love stories have made us believe a bit too blindly in the concept of love at first sight and happily ever after. We think finding “the one” is a one day encounter; with little or no effort and a magic wand, everything else falls in place and we live happily ever after.
This is quite far from reality, every successful relationship requires much more than just a love connection to work out. We experience failures in relationships not because there is a deficiency of love; if love isn’t the problem then what really is? that’s the question on my mind and that of millions of others who struggle with relationships.
Miles Monroe once said and I para phrase “ what we need isn’t more love, for love has failed us repeatedly; What we need is more knowledge”.
Out of 100 broken relationships and marriages, 95% of them will tell you they are still in love with their partners, yet they can’t live together. This brings up a worrisome debate; “if love conquers all, why then do relationships still fail?”.
This question brings us to a context I like to call “conscious loving” i.e loving with your whole being (eyes, ears, mind,spirit etc).
Most often than not, those who walk into relationships do so without proper preparation and knowledge about themselves and their significant other. Emotional connections blinds them to differences in attitudes, thought patterns etc which are paramount to their staying together long-term.
The bible states this clear in Hosea 4:6
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”
Knowledge is the key to unlock the secrets of growing and maintaining any kind of relationship most especially a love-ship. Physical, financial and social status should not be the sole basis of our unions, for many at-times these parameters fail and we get trapped in a “Hell Zone” called a relation ship.
Based on personal experiences and similar stories of failed relationships, I can boldly say that what we need is more knowledge, of ourselves and our partners in order to build a firm relationship foundation that will stand the test of time… ie consciously loving.
To properly master the arts of love and consciously walk on it’s marbled pavements, we all have to take note of the following processes which are quintessential for personal and relationship development and growth.
1- Know Yourself
Self knowledge puts us on our knees, and it is very necessary for love. For knowledge of God gives love, and knowledge of self gives humility
“Self-knowledge is the great power by which we comprehend and control our lives”
Loving and being loved properly starts with self knowledge. It is basically impossible to understand someone else without knowing who you are as a person. You need to understand your likes, dislikes,finding your passion, temperaments, values etc.
This gives you an idea of the type of person or persons you can better bond with based on your similarities or differences. (We will talk about how to know yourself in a later article).
2- Love Yourself
Self love is simply the “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness”.
This concept of self love has often been viewed as selfishness or conceitedness, which are negative attributes. But there is a positive aspect to the idea of self love which encourages self acceptance and happiness.
I strongly believe that no one can effectively love without having love for themselves. However, most people focus on giving love to others while neglecting themselves; this is one of the main causes of abusive and possessive relationships.
To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.
Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.
In order to properly love another, make it your daily aim to love yourself unconditionally.
3- Enjoy your singleness
We are all scared of loneliness, reason why we jump from one unhealthy relationship to another in search of companionship, love and all what not.
Being single does not necessarily mean you are a lonely or miserable person as well as being in a relationship does not mean you are happy and fulfilled. There is a lot to learn about yourself by being single which you may not have the opportunity to explore in a love-ship.
Singleness is the best period to discover your purpose, values, boundaries, build yourself mentally, travel, explore new opportunities and so much more.
Singleness is the best gift God has given us right through our youthful days for it gives us the opportunity to enjoy, learn, seek and grow.
Singleness if not a status, it is a word that describes a person who is strong enough to enjoy life without depending on others.
Being single is smarter than being in a wrong relationship.
— Learn about the opposite sex
More men than one can imagine know little or nothing about women, same with women. They may know the basics which is everywhere, but few take out time to properly read and understand the mentality and functioning of the opposite sexes.
Effective reading and study about men and women gives you an understanding and a different perspective, which can save you from unnecessary clashes in relationships and unexpected heartbreaks.
Rather than spending time reading magazines or watching that movie which may not serve you positively, get a book about men or women and read, watch YouTube videos and so on. It will do you so much good ^thank me later^.
My favorite authors on men and women include; Miles Monroe and TD Jakes and a few books include;
- “Understanding the purpose of MEN” Miles Monroe
- “Understanding the purpose of WOMEN” Miles Monroe
- “He-Motions” TD Jakes
- “So you call yourself a man” TD Jakes
- “The TD Jakes relationship bible”
there are however other great authors out there with great work.
4- Invest in yourself
I would love to give you a long sermon on investing in yourself but Royale Scuderi explains this way better;
“Investing in yourself may be the most profitable investment you ever make. It yields not only future returns, but often a current pay-off as well. The surest way to achieve a better quality life, to be successful, productive, and satisfied is to place a priority on investing in both personal and professional growth. The effort you put into consistently investing in yourself plays a large role in determining the quality of your life now and in the future.”
Investing in yourself takes time and a conscious effort, it involves investing in your heath, exploring your creative side, confidence and self assertion, nurturing your mind and so on.
5- Ask questions about your prospective other
As women we have been accustomed to staying silent while the man engages and takes the lead. However in today’s society, women have been mislead and manipulated by men with little or no morale; their trust has been broken time and again.
That said, women and men as swell are advised to ask questions to their to be “significant other”, get to know them; do you have the same goals and views of life, love, family, religion etc. Questions are a simple way to understand peoples beliefs, values, thought patters, priorities etc within a short period.
This saves you the time and stress of getting to discover a persons real self while already entangled. Before getting into any love-ship most especially, it is imperative to ask questions so as to decide if the relationship will be worth your time.
There is no guarantee that questions will get you the perfect partner (because most people are externally deceptive) however, it helps eliminate poor matches and gives you an opportunity to focus on more eligible people.
6- Test their spirits
This simply means to ensure that their words match their action. There are different ways of finding out if a person is genuine (we will see this in a later article).
Whatever method you wish to use to confirm if the person is consistent (asking friends and family, observing their attitudes over a long-term, putting them in a test situation etc) is up to you. Just make sure whoever you chose to get into a love-ship with has at-least been tested and is eligible to get your time, love and everything you have to offer.
7- Sign the relationship contract
This is my favorite part.
Have you ever had this great bonding with someone, you talk all day, hang out and feel like you are meant for each other; just for you to be cut off one day with the “we never were in a relationship” slang? well… that can be both heartbreaking and confusing.
Most women have been victims of this and have been left devastated at the men without considering their faults and mistakes of not setting thing straight from the start. A man may have a connection with you, enjoy your company and even have sex with you, yet, he still doesn’t consider himself in a relationship with you.
To avoid such things from happening, it is important to ask a man from the onset what he wants from you and what his plans are (same thing with men). A man interested in you will “sign the relationship contract” i.e telling you what he wishes to have with you (exclusive relationship, open relationship, friendship etc).
This saves you time wasted assuming you are in a long-term relationship with someone who doesn't even consider you a couple to start with.
The man for you will assure you verbally and with actions about his intentions, cancelling every lingering doubt or discomfort about your union...
Find that man, anything short of that; RUN!
8- Begin the love process
After exploiting the above point, it is now time to get closer to the person and find out who they are entirely. This phase is called dating, courtship etc.
This is not a time to look into your lovers eyes and tell them how much they mean to you (nothing wrong with that though), this phase entails gathering necessary data which you could not get before.
Data gotten will help determine if the person is worth more days of your life or it’s best to move your separate ways.
Have you ever experienced a broken relationship? what do you think you missed out in the points above? Do you think they are logical and helpful? I will love to hear your thoughts!
THANKS FOR READING
This process is my own idea of starting and growing an effective relationship based on observations and experience.
Do share your thoughts on this in the comments below, I will be pleased to discover other ways of ensuring healthy and happy love-ships.