In those heady first days of falling in love, your body does some bat shit crazy stuff.
Hormones go into over drive, chemicals get released and the body does what it needs to in order to fulfil its physical job on this planet, to procreate.
In order to make sure that you are horny and laser focused (read obsessed) with your mate, your cray-cray body releases so many happy hormones that you are literally as high as a kite – yep, recorded MRI studies show that during the first couple of years of falling in love, activity in the brain is the same as that of a someone who has just snorted up a big line of cocaine.
You are literally, on drugs! And we all know that being on drugs is not the time to be making rational decisions about life.
This high can last (under the right conditions) for a good couple of years, by which time most of us are cohabiting if not procreating!
One of the biggest mistakes I see men and women make is that they fall in love based on how they feel at the time and not on the suitability of a long term partner.
So how do you cut through the haze of emotion and apply some logic to these early stages of falling in love so that you can be sure that you’re selecting ‘the one’ that is going to be right for you after the drugs have worn off and the party’s over?
Here are my top 3 tips for knowing if you’ve found ‘THE ONE’:
1. You have a shared VISION for your relationship and life itself
I see so many couples miss this step. They fail to talk about where they want to go, what they want to create and who they want to be. They don’t discuss their dreams and needs in the fear that they’ll realise that they want different things from life. And then they realise that they want different things from life. Go figure!
2. You don’t have to compromise beyond what’s reasonable.
Look, we all make little tweaks to our lives when a new relationship happens. For example, I no longer eat cookies in bed because my partner hates the crumbs I inevitably drop as I tuck into my second (okay, third!) one. But sacrificing things which make you truly happy and healthy (seeing friends, going to the gym, expanding your collection of paperweights etc) are warning signs that s/he’s not ‘the one’. The one will support you in your greatness and love you for who you are without trying to change you.
3. You can facilitate each other’s values without compromising your own
Let me give you an example of this. Suzie and Dave work together. They’ve spent a fair amount of time flirting by the water cooler and accidently bumping into each other in the copier room. Eventually, at Friday night work drinks they kiss. Fireworks and Gospel Choirs!!!
Praise baby Jesus it finally happened.
After a few dates, things start heating up and soon enough, they become a couple. But here’s the thing. Suzie loves adventure. She values it so highly that frankly she’s as miserable as sin if she doesn’t go on at least 2 big holidays a year and she likes to spend her weekends exploring new bars, clubs and restaurants.
Now, Dave values security above everything else. Sure he’s happy enough to check out the new restaurant down the road and at this crucial time of a new relationship, he’s more than happy to please so he goes along to the bars and clubs too. But honestly, he much prefers evenings at home organising his back catalogue of Michael Bolton CD’s.
Fast forward a few months and Suzie want’s to smash those CD’s over Dave’s head and Dave is desperately trying to sabotage all plans for the adventure holiday that Suzie has been hinting at. Neither party is right nor wrong. Their values are just not aligned and so ‘cracks’ appear in their relationship.
Before you know it, Suzie and Dave can’t remember what they ever saw in each other and Dave moves department so that he never has to see her face again! (Slight exaggeration but I’ve heard worse break up stories!)
Ultimately, being really honest with yourself about what you want from life, love and a relationship and having the balls to communicate your needs and wants is KEY. If your partner doesn’t want the same things for you, it’s time to walk away.