Sunday, February 26, 2012

What Does Real Love Look Like? Searching for “The One”

By Angie G.

“What do we really want?”  This is a question I’ve asked many of my single friends when the conversation inevitably comes around to relationships.  Some say a partner or a companion to see us through good and bad times.  Others say that it’s unconditional love or security.  But whatever that “thing” is that we are seeking, it seems that our perception is that we either don’t or can’t have it without benefit of a relationship.  We need for that special someone to come along and give to us what we are missing.  We will meet “The One”, and they will make our lives better and more fulfilling.  It appears that we might believe too much in stories and fairytales.

Although we all would swear that we are real women living real, grown-up lives, when it comes to love and relationships, we spend an awful lot of time indulging in fantasies-fantastic and mythical stories of that one person who is perfect for us.  And as real women, we would dispute the notion that we are looking for a prince, a savior, or even a perfect man.  All we want, we say, is a partner who is willing to go the distance; that will love us, support us, and fully accept us as we are.  We just want “real” love.

And as we imagine what having that “real” love looks like, we seldom think about what it means to be in the practice of giving love to ourselves.  Do we honor and take proper care of our bodies, our minds and our spirits?   Do we speak kindly and lovingly to ourselves and respect our personal boundaries?  Are we responsible with our finances and do we make the best possible use of the resources that are available to us?  Do we live in our own integrity and are we committed to our own well-being?  In other words, are we a match for what we are looking for in a mate or are we waiting for someone to show up and be better to us than we are willing to be to ourselves?

It’s easy for us to conjure up visions of what we want our perfect mate to be, but “The One” is a fantasy created for movies and bad romance novels.  In reality, there is only the person that we will ultimately choose, and who in turn, will choose us-in all our glorious imperfection.  What comes from that is what we choose to make it, but for now and always, we can start with loving ourselves fully and completely.  That is unconditional love.  Having the opportunity to share all of that with a partner?  Well, that’s just more of an already good thing.

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