Top Ten Things You Should Know About Yourself Before You Fall In Love

Do you think you are ready to fall in love? If so, here are a few things you should know about yourself before you do.

Know Who You Are When You Are Happy

I don’t just mean the sort of happy you get from a great event or unusual high point in your life, I mean the sort of everyday background level of happiness you get from just enjoying where your life is at. The time in your life where you wake up with positive thoughts and good expectations of your day ahead, where you are thinking about what you are going to have for dinner without stressing about it, that sort of happy. Studies have shown we humans are really rather creatures of habit so no matter what happens to us, be it a lotto win or a devastating accident, we tend to settle back down into our previous happiness level by about a year later. Falling in love creates an enormous high that can last anywhere between 6 months to 1 year, but after that you will fall back to your previous level of happiness. So it makes sense to cultivate your own personal happiness level because that’s your base line for life. Something that no one can take away from you or affect over the long term, even if others and outside circumstances can change it in the short term.

Know Who You Are When You Are Sad

One of the biggest inhibitors for a lot of people when it comes to falling in love is the fear of being hurt- the fear of loss. For this reason it is important to know who you are when you are sad, to not just have a theory about how you would deal with a low point in your life, but to actually live through one. It is important to know that you will get through it, that you will survive, to know that things will get better. And the only way to know this is to live it. When you live to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you know that no matter what happens to you and your love, you will be ok. Eventually.

Know Who You Are When You Are Angry

What type of angry do you get? Peaceful most of the time, building up a huge head of steam to be let go at the strangest provocation, spewing forth weeks or months of built up resentment? Or maybe you are the rant and rage over every little thing type only to forget it all five minutes later. Maybe somewhere else on the spectrum. Where ever you fall, however it is you get angry, you really need to know who you are when you do. For one, you’ll need to be able to tell your new love what you are like when you are angry, and secondly, you’ll need to be able to recognise it in yourself as well. There are two types of angry- justified angry and unjustified.  Being angry in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. We all get angry. We get angry when we are tired, stressed, upset, offended, and so on. This is not something you need to “fix” about yourself, just something you need to learn to deal with. The better you know your own temper and how to diffuse it, the easier you are to live with and fall in love with.   

Know What Your Battles Are

You need to know what your battles are, where you draw the line over things worth worrying over. We simply can’t worry about everything or do everything so it’s important to choose your battles wisely. Just how important is it to you that your house is spotless with no dust bunnies colonising the underside of your bed? Maybe it’s important to you to have a fully stocked pantry and meals planned out in advance. Whatever it is that important to you- from making sure that the socks are properly paired because it drives you insane to have a draw full of mismatched socks- to drawing the line over swearing when arguing make sure you know what is and isn’t worth a fight. This isn’t to say that you have to have your own way all the time in relationships. When I was a kid, one of the best exercises I ever did at school was to put a list of values in ranked order. The list included such things as honesty, faith, bravery etc. I learnt a lot from that exercise, not the least of which was that some things are more important then others. If you need to, make your own list up, of both values and battles. Putting things in perspective, and really knowing what you can and can’t compromise on makes it much easier to negotiate a happy relationship.  

Know What Your Own Faults Are And How To Make Peace With Them

Yep. We all have faults. Sometimes we are so super critical of ourselves all we can see are our own faults. But put it in perspective. Everyone else has them too. Before you fall in love, come to grips with your own faults and failings. I’m lazy and rather messy. If it’s a choice between hard work and a day on the couch watching my favourite shows, chances are I’ll probably take the shows. And you know what, every now and then I do, and I don’t beat myself up for it. It makes me happy to be a little bit naughty every now and then. My dust bunny colony annoyed hubby to be so much the other day that he vacuumed. I did feel bad about it for a little while because cleaning the inside of the house is my job as per our previous agreement. Then I forgave myself because you know, I’ve done a lot of other really good stuff the last few weeks too. And that’s the trick. Learn to forgive yourself for not being perfect. 

Know What Truly Gives You Comfort

As I mentioned above, I love sitting on the couch watching my favourite shows. I’m too impatient to watch it on tv, so I have a pretty extensive dvd collection. In fact, if I had no responsibilities and endless amounts of money, I’d probably divide my time between watching great shows and reading great books. Food wise, give me a good spaghetti Bolognese or tomato and feta salad, maybe a few glasses of rum and coke, or if I’m feeling cashed up, some Long Island Iced Tea. All these things give me comfort. They did before I fell in love and they still do afterwards. All your comforts will come with you when you fall in love because they are a fundamental part of who you are. You may not get to indulge in them quite so often when you are loved up, so make the most of any single time you have to revel in your comforts. Trust me. After you fall in love you’ll have to divide your time between your own and your love’s comforts. After you have children you’ll have to divide that time again. Make the most of your comforts while you still can!

Know What You Really Want Out Of Life

By that I don’t just mean whether you want a rocking career, or a large family, I mean what kind of life do you want? A busy one? A famous one? Do you want to make your mark on history? Invent something that will change the lives of millions? Maybe you want to create something that will last beyond your lifetime? Maybe you want a quiet life, the sort of life that is filled to the brim with memorable meals and get-togethers with family and friends. Sometimes the only way to know what you really want is to try lots of different things and see how they fit. Maybe you thought being a lawyer would be for you, then discovered it wasn’t; maybe you thought you’d be happy staying at home and raising your kids, then discovered it wasn’t as fulfilling as you’d hoped. Whatever your life path, learning about what you want out of life is crucial to being able to be happily in love. You don’t want to discover after you’ve fallen in love with someone that doesn’t want kids that you have changed your mind and do really want them. Your base line on this journey is to imagine yourself at 80 or 90 and looking back on your life. Better to have regrets for what you did do then for what you didn’t.

Know What Your Priorities Are

This is a rather everyday and prosaic need. Is it more important to you to have no debt or to be able to buy whatever you like whenever you want? Is it important to you that you have time for yourself or you get all your housework done? If you don’t know what your priorities are how are you going to learn to mesh your needs with someone else’s? By knowing your priorities and living in a pattern that allows you to take care of them, you’ll find it much easier to attract and be attracted by someone who shares those priorities. So if you know that it is important to you not to have any debt, then you’ll be less likely to fall in love with someone who doesn’t have a problem with being in debt.  

Know What You Consider To Be Success

We don’t all define success the same way. For me, I consider the day a success if I go to bed feeling like I have accomplished what I set out to do. Success to me is achieving my goals. For others, success may come in the form of validation or recognition from others- like a scientist who has their work peer reviewed and discussed. Others may consider success to be financial reward, emotional reward, intellectual reward- you name it. But to happily fall in love you need to know what your idea of success is. You need to have a base line, something to aim for and a measure of where you are at as you go along on life’s journey. Success can come in many different forms, but the only one that matters is the one that matters to you.

Know What You Consider Failure

Failure is not the end of the world. We all fail from time to time, the same as we all have faults. But not all of us have the same definition. Like success, the only failure that matters is the one that matters to you. I consider it a failure when I don’t live up to my promises, or when I don’t practice what I preach. Like knowing what it is like to be sad, knowing what you consider failure is important because over the course of your life you will inevitably fail at some things. But that doesn’t matter. How you pick yourself up and get on with things does matter.

So often when we are single we long to be in love. But there are some things you can only do while you are single- truly getting to know yourself so that you don’t lose who you are when you are in a relationship is something you can only do on your own. The more you know yourself, the more secure in who you are, the more likely you are to attract the love of your life- to attract someone who loves you for who you really are, not who you are trying to be.

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Top Ten Relationship Tips

Getting a reading on your relationship should be a last resort. 9 times out of 10, a relationship reading isn’t necessary if you know how to have a good relationship. Now, not everyone is good at relationships for a myriad of reasons- often we simply don’t know how. Here are my top ten suggestions- the ones I find myself most often telling my sitters.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Seriously. This is a big one. There are books about how not to sweat the small stuff. The general rule of thumb is are you going to be mad about it (or even remember it) in a week, a month or a year? If the answer is no, then just let it go. All too often we nitpick with our partners and get angry about little things. Save it. That’s what best friends are for. Have your whinge to your bestie’s about him leaving the toilet seat up or about her habit of leaving the lids off things. Whatever the small stuff is, get over it. When I say let it go, I mean really let it go, not just pretend it doesn’t matter. If it’s an issue you are still thinking about a week, a month or a year later then you need the next bit of advice.

Actually Listen and Talk

You wouldn’t think this really needs to be given as advice, but I cannot being to tell you how many times I have been asked for a reading about issues that would be solved by a simple conversation. If you can’t talk to your partner about anything that is bothering you then you are in the wrong relationship. Honestly. Being able to talk to the one you love is fundamental. Without it, it’s not a relationship, it’s someone you have sex with that lives in your house. When you listen shut your brain up- do not think about what you are going to say next, do not be planning how you are going to come back to your partners accusations/ thoughts/ statements/ whatever. Get into the habit of listening to what they say and then telling them what you have understood from what they have said. For example-

”I’m tired and cranky because this has been a horrible day where everything has gone wrong and I come home and find you’ve had an easy day and it doesn’t looks like you’ve done anything!” he said.

“So what you’re saying is that because your day has been so awful, you are upset that I have had a good one?” she said.

By simply taking the time to understand what your partner is telling you without immediately leaping to the defensive you calm the situation down and you really get it. That’s what communication is. Think of the old saying- you have two ears and one mouth for a reason, you need to do twice as much listening as you do talking. There is a lot to be said about talking and listening but for now, I’m sure you get the idea.

Hubby-to-be has pointed out that sometimes you just have to be patient and listen to your partners issues no matter when, even if it is 3am. Sometimes, you simply have to put their needs first. And if they need to talk when they need to talk, then you need to listen. For a healthy relationship, you have to have a partner who will do the same for you.

On a Scale of One to Ten…

This is one bit of relationship advice I discovered with my beautiful hubby-to-be. Whenever we come up to a decision that needs to be made that we disagree on we pull out the scales. That is, on a scale of one to ten how much does one of us want to do something vs how much does one of us not want to do something. For example, there’s a party on that one of us is very keen on while the other is thinking bed and a cup of tea sounds more inviting. If on the scale of one to ten he wants to go at an 8 whereas I want to stay in bed is a 5 then we go. This only works if you are both 100% honest and willing to compromise. But without honesty and willingness to compromise, again, it’s not a relationship worth keeping. A fundamental rule of a healthy relationship is give and take. This is one method for negotiating that give and take.

Do NOT Bring Up Old Stuff In A Fight

I cannot stress this one enough. When you disagree or fight stick to the issue at hand. If you can’t, walk away and think again about how important this relationship is. It breaks my heart every time I do a reading for someone who is constantly bringing up old issues. Some people store up old issues to use as ammunition because they think fighting with their partner is about winning. It’s not. We sometimes disagree. It’s a fact of life. If you love someone you will not be trying to hurt them or put them down. When you bring up old stuff in a fight it’s about winning, it’s about saying “well I’m more hurt than you”, or “I’m a better person than you”. Long term that just won’t work so, don’t do it.

Daily Affection

One of the things I love most about my relationship is our after work hug. Everyday, without fail, hubby-to-be and I will stop whatever we are doing, put whatever is in our hands down, and give each other a long hug. It’s our way of saying, “hey, I’m glad you are here,” and simply reaffirming our connection. It takes a minute, tops but during that time our energy changes from the frantic pace of work and busyness to the calmer and happier ‘togetherness’. Our after work hug isn’t the only affection we show each other. We are both rather touchy feely kind of people, so there is always a lot of casual strokes and caresses and hugs and kisses. Sometimes they are foreplay and sexual in nature, sometimes they are simply teasing, affectionate and fun. No one ever said that foreplay only happens in the moments before sex. Sometimes foreplay happens all day. Stolen kisses, caresses, ass grabs and giggling. Maybe part of this is because I am supremely confident of my hubby-to-be’s affection and attraction to me, but I do think that way too many women worry way too much about their appearance. Seriously, if your partner didn’t find you attractive, he  or she wouldn’t be with you. If he or she is putting you down about your body or attractiveness then you don’t need them. Daily affection both given and received makes for a happy relationship.

Division of Labour

Fundamental to the division of labour is the ability to talk and listen. So, if you can’t do that one, don’t expect this one to work. Do NOT rely on unspoken agreements about the division of labour (ie- who does what around the house, when and how often). You really, really need to talk about this one. Our division of labour, by mutual agreement is that I handle pretty much all the inside stuff (except the bathroom scrubbing because it bothers him quicker then it bothers me) while he tackles all the outside stuff. I think it’s fair to do all the washing, cooking, dishes, beds and stuff because I don’t mow the lawn (we have a lot of lawn on 5 acres), or weed, or build fences, renovate buildings, clean gutters, fix the car or chop wood. We didn’t just fall into this- we agreed to it. However it works out in your relationship make sure you have agreed who does what. At the end of the day, housework is a fundamental part of our lives. It has to be done because it just won’t do itself (though I’m sure that doesn’t stop us all from wishing it would do itself). You would not believe the amount of relationships that have fallen apart because of resentments that were born from this, stoked by a fire of hanging on to old stuff and regurgitating it in fights. Save yourself the drama and get this one right. Reserve the right for either of you to renegotiate the division of labour as circumstances change.

Praise

A little praise goes a long way. I think of it as the salt in a relationship. Too much (especially if it’s false) spoils things but just the right amount makes all the difference. Praise, appreciation and gratitude. Simple things that can make or break relationships. I don’t think we think of them often enough. I have seen many people who simply refused to recognise when their partners were putting in effort, instead expecting more of them, saying for example, “well if he or she can do this then why can’t they do that as well?” Stop if you ever find yourself saying or thinking this. Back up. Did you say ‘thank you’ or ‘I appreciate the effort’ for whatever they did? If not, then say it. Verbalise your appreciation for efforts made. When you praise, keep it real. If someone has made a meal for you that wasn’t the best tasting in the world, don’t bag them out for it, thank them for making the effort. They’ll be happier and you’ll be happier because they will want to keep doing stuff for you. For every criticism that you make find ten positives. It’s really not that hard.

Cultivate In Jokes

The glue that keeps couples together is a shared culture. It’s the glue for society as well- pop culture, references that make sense. If I say “Luke, I am your father” in a deep and silly voice, you’ll get the joke (unless you have had no contact with western culture for the last 40 years). The same thing applies to relationships. Sometimes you’ll be the only two who get the joke. But that’s what makes it fun. I always hated the word “boobs”. The feminist part of me thought it was ridiculous. It now forms the basis of a private in joke so I giggle every time I hear it. We both do. And every time we do I feel just that little bit closer to hubby-to-be. You can’t make in jokes happen. But when you have a free and easy communication, when you praise each other and appreciate each other, warts and all, then in jokes will flow naturally. It helps if you have the same sense of humour. But you wouldn’t be with someone who doesn’t have the same sense of humour would you? If you can make each other laugh then pretty much all else can be forgiven.

Love Them Because of Their Faults, Not Despite Them

Now this is something I have believed my whole life and my relationship with hubby-to-be has proven it to me. When you are searching for a partner, don’t be looking for someone who has the traits you love. Look for someone who’s faults you can live with. You can grow to love just about anything, but faults are what drive us apart. If biting your nails sends chills down your spine, don’t hook up with someone who does it without thinking. If the toilet seat is a massive issue for you, again, it’s a deal breaker. But if drinking milk out of the carton from the fridge annoys you but isn’t that big a deal then live with it. Pick a partner whose faults you can live with for the rest of your life. We all have faults. It’s ridiculous to pretend we don’t. Even Mr or Ms Right has faults. None of us are perfect and an unreasonable demand for perfection has been the death of more relationships than I can count. You can save yourself a lot of drama if you simply pick a partner whose faults are actually kind of cute rather than bone jarring.

Admit When You Are Wrong

It is not the end of the world if you have stuffed up. Honestly. In the right relationship it is safe for you to make mistakes. As I said above, none of us are perfect. Sometimes we stuff up. Some of our mistakes are small ones (it was the wrong brand of cheese) some of our mistakes are big ones (I should never have taken that job). With the person who loves you most, with your life partner, the person you are spending the rest of your life with, you have to be able to admit when you are wrong. But it is the end of the world if you can’t admit you made a mistake. In it’s way, it’s the worst kind of lying. It’s the sort of lying that is obvious to anyone who knows you. So often we are programmed from a young age to be perfect and never make mistakes. We grow up and become adults who are “always in the right”. All that does is leave your partner feeling wronged, angry and determined to make you see things from their point of view. As a reader I have so often found myself in the position of having to tell someone that the mistake was theirs. Far more often then not, they know this at some level, but just didn’t want to admit it- as if admitting it makes them weak or vulnerable. If you can admit when you are wrong and not hate yourself for it then you are on your way to a healthy relationship. A true love will support you; will hold you when you feel bad; will trust you to fix it or simply move on. Anyone who throws your mistakes back in your face isn’t worth keeping.

This isn’t a comprehensive list or a relationship How To. This is just a list of the top ten things that work for me and hubby-to-be. All relationships are different and how things work for you may be just right. But that’s the thing about relationships. At the end of the day it’s about how two people relate to each other. No one else can do it for you. If you are thinking about getting a reading for a relationship you are already in, run it by this list and see if it’s something you can solve without a reading first. If you have to ask yourself if it’s the right person for you, then there’s a good chance that it isn’t. When it’s the right person, the first place you’ll go when you have a problem is to your partner, not a fortune teller or psychic.

Relationship Readings

There are things readings can and cannot tell you about your relationships. A reading can tell you about

  • Your emotional state
  • The issues between you and your partner
  • Likely outcomes if you continue on your present course
  • Lessons you need to learn
  • Relationships in general
  • Your own personal issues
  • Learning about yourself
  • Actions you can take to improve your love life

A reading cannot tell you about

  • What someone else is thinking
  • How a conversation will go
  • What someone else wants
  • Whether this is the love of your life
  • When you will meet someone
  • What they will be wearing (or what colour their underwear is)
  • What their name is
  • Specific details

You get the idea.

Relationship readings can be very useful but you must be very wary that they don’t replace an actual relationship. If you want to know what someone is thinking, ask them. If you don’t feel comfortable asking them, then you don’t have much of a relationship.

To get the most from a relationship reading you need to be clear about what you want to know. Are you uncertain about the state of the relationship itself? Is it something about yourself or your other that is bothering you? Use relationship readings to clarify things with yourself. Take the time to really think through what the reading is telling you. Are you allowing your fears to cloud your judgement?

A good relationship reading will leave you feeling empowered. It will give you the tools you need to make some decisions and allow you to have an idea of likely outcomes if you choose certain actions. It is best to do a relationship reading for yourself when you are calm. Any reading you do for yourself when you are upset will likely be flawed as will your understanding of it. If you need a reading when you are upset, go for a walk first, take time to breathe and get centred again.

If you are seeing someone else for a reading it does help to give them a short background on why you want a reading. A good reader will listen and take that on board and give you relevant information. A bad reader will milk you for information then simply tell you what they think you want to hear. A really bad reader will waste your time if they don’t want to hear a thing about why you are seeing them. The whole “no, no, don’t tell me, I can see it in the cards” approach simply means that the reader is trying to impress you with how wonderful they are. Those that want to help will benefit from a short background which allows them to focus the reading.

Whatever happens, don’t allow relationship readings to take the place of actual relationships. It’s no good sitting at home for months on end constantly asking your cards when are you going to meet someone. If you are stuck at home and never doing anything then the answer will be never. Use relationship readings wisely. Make sure they back up or clarify your actual instincts and resist the urge to see what you want to see in the cards. When reading for yourself, especially with relationship readings, make sure you are writing them all down. Your hindsight really is 20/20 and making yourself write down your readings means that you have to actually think about what you are writing. It allows you to take a step back and see what’s really there.

As we grow and develop as people, reading over your old readings is very rewarding. It is good to see how far you’ve come, how much you have learnt. It’s a great way to remind yourself that you have a lot to offer. Lastly, reading over old readings gives you a chance to see what, if any, patterns you have developed in relationships. You have to see a problem before you can fix it. Of all the things a relationship reading can do for you, this is probably the most important- awareness. Relationship readings can open your eyes to what is happening, when all your hormones and emotions are trying to tell you something different.