Elusive search for THE ONE

Love is joy, love is pain, it gives you wings and that glint and glow only love can explain. It’s tricky; sometimes sticky too. Love is everything we’ve heard of it and then some more. Most of us are looking for love but only a few are fortunate enough to find it. Sometimes we are in love with the idea of being in love. We’ve been in it for so long that we are afraid to step out of that zone; unfortunately, even at the cost of our wellbeing.

I’ve often been asked what made me decide. What was the clinching factor? What follows is an attempt to decode what mystifies us all. Culled from experience, some mine and some others’, here are a few pointers that require soul searching and honest answers. Look out for these signs, both in yourself and the one you think is THE ONE.

  • Listen to your intuition, learn to trust it. It comes in handy when logic fails you. If it feels right… or if it doesn’t; either way, you’re right.
  • Love sets you free, it doesn’t bog you down. Being in love doesn’t have to mean being together ALL THE TIME. It means to be able to do stuff together and be secure enough to be on your own as well. Its our insecurities that smother a relationship. Deal with them first and then move ahead. Love gives you wings; it doesn’t clip them.
  • Sharing interests is nice but its refreshing to have someone with a different set of hobbies. You may not like them all but they’ll help you grow and see the world from a different perspective. Often even the mundane becomes enjoyable.
  • Friends and Family. Before you met each other, you had a life and you had friends. Mingle with each other’s friends (and if possible, family). Observe what they say about him/ her or how they react towards him/ her. It’ll give you an insight that even years of staying together may not provide. See how your family gels with your choice. There’s a certain vibe that you get. not all will be positive but neither will all be negative. However, if the negative outweighs the positive, don’t ignore it.
  • Sense of humour is precious. That doesn’t mean behaving like a clown. It’s the inherent ability to find the silver lining and walk that dark tunnel with you to show you the light at the end of it which (s)he could see when you couldn’t.
  • Dealing with crisis. Is (s)he the ‘go to person’ or one to be avoided when faced with an inadvertent situation? Life is going to throw a lot of curve balls. Its good to have a strong ally.
  • The fights. No one WANTS to fight but they’e inevitable. What matters is how we fight, on what issues and how we make up. If only one person is apologizing all the time, its usually manipulation. Do you agree to disagree? Is past history of conflict raked up every time you fight? The answers to these might help you decide if its pack up time (or not).
  • Us vs I. It’s good to have couple goals but its also essential to have a sense of self. A relationship shouldn’t rob you of your identity. If you don’t respect yourself, your partner will follow suit (sooner or later).
  • Promise of growth is an important relationship goal. We plan our professional lives meticulously to attune it with growth but overlook it on the personal front. You should be able to inspire each other and be a better version of yourself. Visualize that before you take it to the next level.
  • Children and finances are often not discussed in the flush of love. But they play a decisive role if you envision a future together as they are the most common causes of disagreements. Face them today so they don’t haunt you later.
  • Abuse is an emphatic NO. Physical may be easy to spot but the mental abuse is worse. Do NOT ignore the signs. Its not a baggage you need. It is NOT normal. Love has no place for it.

To put love into perspective,for me the operative words are respect, patience, growth, equality, humour and the commitment to build a life together. Think with your heart and never ignore what it says. I hope that these pointers may spare you a lot of heartache, and time, and energy if you choose to put them into action.

-Dr. Shivani Salil

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