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Knowing Self Helps You Find Love

Publication: York Region's Liberal Newspaper
Date: June 2001

While there are literally thousands of single people in the greater Toronto area, all of the indicators would suggest that most singles would prefer to be in a healthy 'love relationship' with a significant other.

What constitutes a healthy love relationship and why does it appear to be so elusive for so many?

A healthy love relationship is built on a solid foundation of mutual respect, loyalty, trust, and safety to be who you are without fear of judgment. It often begins from a solid friendship that develops over time as you learn about (and develop a respect for) each other.

As one member of a love relationship, you also need to remember that it is your responsibility to make yourself happy, since authentic happiness comes from within one's self. If you are able to create happiness in your own life first, then you may enter into a love relationship with the ability to be able to nurture and support your partner's quest for happiness. That is, if your mate is unhappy in her job, you will encourage and support her decision to look for a new one.

Being in a healthy love relationship means that you 'know' unequivocally that you have one person out there in the world who is always there for you, no matter what. There is also a sense of 'trust' that whatever your partner tells you is 'true', without ever needing to 'second guess', or question what is said. This 'knowing' allows you a sense of security and peace of mind that undoubtedly strengthens your relationship time after time.

Lastly, a healthy love relationship embraces effort and forgiveness. As human beings, we make mistakes, we overlook the consequences of our actions, and at times, we may be less focused on the needs of our partner and the relationship. A love relationship is never static. It requires constant effort and work from both partners, and the underlying commitment that it is a priority. While all couples will have the experience of dealing with 'bumps in the road' as each partner is constantly growing and changing as a person, what is most important is how these obstacles are dealt with and resolved.

Having said that, if the basic components of a healthy relationship are reasonable and attainable, how come we as a society are bombarded with professional singles groups, online 'chat rooms', dating services, and personals in the classified ads, all with the intention of helping people find other people (and in many cases, a love relationship?)

Fundamentally, a 'healthy love relationship' may be far 'easier' to find and cultivate if you have already spent a considerable amount of time getting to know yourself. Knowing yourself, including your strengths as well as the qualities you would like to improve upon, allows you to be yourself in relation with another. Being comfortable with who you are means that you allow yourself to be vulnerable, honest, and trusting with another. It means that both partners can share of themselves as who they really are, as they begin to know each other.

The secret? As we continue to evolve and grow as individuals, we develop the ability to be in a healthy love relationship. Making friendships with people who have qualities you admire, and practicing the art of being truly yourself is a good start. others see you as trustworthy. As yourself if you trust in who you are.