Love matters. Love is important.
Love makes us grow, love can heal us.
Who wouldn’t want to love and be loved, passionately, unconditionally?
We as children were born and brainwashed with fairy tales for so long: And they live happily ever after.
They never reveal how princes and princesses can manage to maintain their love without the burden of marriages or the boredom (or I guess back in the fairytale they do not have that problem at all (?)
I grew up with a strong fundamentally different view from many of my friends. I never see my parents being happy together. Never ever!
I have no role model to look up to, around me I see debris in marriages too..
Therefore, I walked into adulthood with deep-rooted fear and insecurity that later played out negatively in my relationships.
I failed again and again…
Because I didn’t know what I really want.
I led my heart lead the way, without a lot of experiences and many
Because I chose to ignore red flags along the way
Also because I was too fearful to walk out of a commitment when deep in my heart I know it was not working.
Because I picked the wrong person
I guess many of us have been there done that in that journey. (if not, consider yourself lucky, and congratulations). It’s nothing to be ashamed of because it’s a part of life. Finding the right person who can match you and your expectation is no easy feat , because luck , probability, and even you yourself– play a big part in it.
You attract and feel attract to specific type of person based on our own belief, your subconscious . There are various factors at play
Before we deep dive in the key questions, I’d like to spend some time to squash 3 myths that we tend to have (mostly us women) about love and relationship:
3 myths that we need to squash
There is only one THE ONE out there
Love and relationship is a labored and painstaking process that requires a great amount of work on both sides to maintain it, let alone let it grow.
Of course, when you find the right person, the process will be easier, but by no means it makes very problem disappear.
There is no THE ONE out there. Only a person who can be fit with you (who happen you have feelings to) and you two will try to make it work.
The process of compromising, adjusting to each other makes that person your THE ONE.
They will complete us and make us whole
We cannot deny the fact that the right person will make you become a better version of yourself. However, if you look for anyone with the expectation that we can only be whole with him, that is a flawed assumption. With that mindset, you will become needy before you know it. And neediness has a very special vibration that makes you less attractive. That is not to say, no one can complete us, but only us.
Everyone would be like the cherry on the top of the cake, but not half of the cake itself. Do you see yourself half of the cake when you are single?
Only when we can accept and love ourselves and be comfortable with being alone, would we can be confident and walk into a new relationship with conviction and be comfortable, even with the fact that if this relationship doesn’t work, we would be ok back to being single.
Love is enough
Yes, love is enough..in stories and movies. Love is powerful for sure, but it takes more than just love to survive and thrive of any challenges of any relationship. In other words, love is the prerequisite.
If we enter into a relationship with only love and nothing else: no experience, no money, no common value, there is a great chance that the relationship will be short-lived.
Love is just one part of the recipe, like flour, but to make the cake, you would need sugar, egg, butter. Without flour, there wouldn’t be a cake
It doesn’t matter how much each person loves one another, if they are developmentally incompatible, or if there is not a shared willingness to become conscious. This is why we call it relationship, not loveship. Love alone is not enough. If you want it to last, you have to relate to the other the ways that keep the ship afloat.
What to look for to know if they are the right one
(disclaimer: this is not a magic formula but a well-tested theory based on my humble experience and this applies for a long-term relationship, not short-term. You may want to save yourself some mental work if you only want some short term fun ;))
Building a long-term relationship is like building a house. A house needs a good foundation to weather rain, storm, tornado.
As you can easily see if you pay enough attention, there are countless relationships out there that still exist, but no one feels happy, worse, they are miserable living in it. (I personally experienced and see that with my own eyes). Yet, that is certainly the goal that you want for yourself, right?
Consider this as the checklist to filter out your “future teammate”, someone will work and build your future together. Or you can use it to assess the current “teammate” to see if it makes sense to continue or let go. (hint: your intuition is often right, don’t dismiss that tiny voice)
This is one of the most important aspects of any relationship and core values plays a great role in deciding whether you two are a great match or not. However, core values are not something you can pick up easily in the first days, even first months. The good news is you can probe or look for signs in the early days to see if they share your own values.
Love without compatibility, love without compromise, love without self-examination and self-improvement will never sustain a healthy relationship,”Dr. Klapow
Key core values that you want to look at are Loyalty, Trust, Honesty, Spirituality/ Religion, Attitude towards money, Family, Lifestyle.
Ask yourself which one is the most important that you need to keep, and which one you can compromise (no, you won’t find someone who has it all)
It’s impractical to expect someone to match 100% with ours, however, if you have enough self-awareness (read: know yourself), you will know what values matter the most to you, and what values where some differences will not pose a big challenge.
For example, you can be very spiritual, he could be super materialistic, but for you, it’s not a big deal, you can live with that (for me, I can’t. It’s hard for me to find common ground with a high materialist people)
Attitude towards money & Spending lifestyle: I couldn’t stress this enough. Money could and has been a source of so many arguments for many couples. You have to make sure you share similar values toward money and spending lifestyle. If you are frugal, planning for the future and retirement vigorously while he/she loves buying high ticket values to enjoy the instant gratification, overspending on the credit card, the chance is you cannot reconcile unless you compromise. If you want him to pay for all of your expenses or to send money to your parents, while he prefers splitting expenses equally, that is another important issue to work out.
We carry the belief towards money since childhood and it’s deeply ingrained. I’m not saying it cannot be resolved, but remember it’s hard, and don’t hope that you can change someone unless they want to.
What is attachment style? Attachment styles refer to the particular way in which an individual relates to other people. The style of attachment is formed at the very beginning of life, and once established, it is a style that stays with you and plays out today in how you relate in intimate relationships and in how you parent your children (source)
The ideal situation is that you both share the same secured attachment style. The worst is that you have an insecure attachment style (crave intimacy) while he has the avoidance (being so wary of closeness and avoiding emotional connection with you). You will always feel uneased, insecure. In the long run, this is detrimental to a healthy relationship.
Mind you, my dear, the worst case is to be in love with a person with an avoidance style while you have an insecure attachment style. He will always trigger your insecurity (maybe not intentionally) and make things extremely harder.
This is one of the most underrated reasons why some relationships don’t last long and cause so many deep-burning dissatisfactions for each party.
If you haven’t heard about love language, I encourage you to look deeper into it and reflect on your past relationship, whether the difference in love language make you feel difficult to communicate with him/her?
If one person expects to fill her love tank with words of encouragement and the other keeps expressing their love through gift or act of service (like cooking for her), she would be left dissatisfied, because she is not feel loved (note: feel, not loved) by her boyfriend, thinking he doesn’t care enough.
While love language is hard to change, the good news is each party can learn to adapt to others – given that he or she is willing to put into the work. If not, one would have to compromise much more than the other.
This normally will be explored later in the relationship, but you can be upfront about what you want to save time.
If you like to have children and he doesn’t, or if you love to live abroad while he hates that idea, make sure that factor is carefully considered before taking the relationship to the next level. Do get your hope high for thinking you can change him.
Background & Education
I’m not sure about you, but for me, it is very important that my partner can maintain and engage in conversations on various topics with me. I believe if two people do not share similar education backgrounds, they would sometimes find it hard to understand each other from an intellectual point of view. A relationship is not always about talking about love. It entails thousands of conversations about life, society, and Education background does play an important role in shaping one’s view of the world. If the level of education or background of two people differs too much, that would cause a discrepancy in mindset and viewpoint- this, in turn, is almost impossible to change, unless they are struck by some big crisis.
Also for women, especially in Vietnam, when you marry a man, you marry his family too. You want to make sure that you are well aware of their styles and they fit you, not just the other way around. We tend to only expect that women need to adapt to husbands’ family, and the expectation and burdens are real. Navigating the relationship is hard enough, if possible you may not want to add more to the burden by reconciling the difference in lifestyles between you (your family) and your in-law family.
However based on my observation, the relationship would have a better chance to work if the woman has slightly less knowledge and experience, but it would be more challenging otherwise. If a man cannot keep up with the intellectual curiosity of the woman and cannot participate in those conversations, he may feel threatened and insecure. This, in turn, would lead to more disruption to the relationship.
Finding the right person to become our “teammate” is a journey that could be tricky and tiring. Using our heart is good, but it’s even better if you can foresee what can potentially make it work and make it go wrong. Sometimes you just still have to try again and again, because you know what? You deserve it.
Don’t settle for less. Don’t rush into anyone just because you want someone to lean on, to take care of you. Find someone who can share your vision, your mindset, your lifestyle. With key ingredients at hand, now your job is much easier. I’m sure you don’t want to have some grain and wait for it to grow and then process into flour before making the cake.
Do you agree or disagree with any point above? I’d love to hear your thougts in the comment. If you are too shy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 😉 Cheers.
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