In Love And War

Looking for love? Too bad there isn’t an app for it. Or a barcode scanner where a detailed description of someone who you may be interested in would automatically pop up on your smart phone. I am truly grateful this does not exist because this is where our communication skills, heart and mind come out to play.

Ultimately, we are young college students. Dating seriously is often not on our “to do” list, which is good: go date everyone! Allowing yourself not be be grounded in a long-term relationship will give you the opportunity to build your experience and help you figure out what you want in your significant other for the long run.

On the flip side of things, many of us do prefer a strong, sturdy relationship — someone who will stay on the phone with you into the wee hours of the morning, surprise you with flowers or homemade lunch on a spontaneous note, make you smile at the mere thought of them as you cross the sidewalk by yourself. Love is a funny thing. The right person for you may just do all that and more. The problem is finding the right person with the characteristics that will complete x, y and z for you.

Presently, too many of us are unhappy in our “stable” long-term relationship. We begin to tolerate the countless arguments. We stop compromising with one another or perhaps you never did in the first place. We can be in the same room with each other but not be together (hopefully, that makes some sense).  We become stuck, trapped in our comfort zone of a daily routine with the wrong person. In the process of ignoring the needs of one another, you are ignoring your own needs as an individual. Take a moment to ask yourself what you want and muster up the courage to walk out that door if what you want isn’t in that room.

“The biggest mistake you can do is marrying the wrong person.” These are the words from my wise and respected volleyball coach who constantly reminded us this throughout the season. Yes, we are young but the next decade of our lives may possibly lead us to the person at the altar. And as you stand there in that white dress or penguin-looking tuxedo, you want that person to have the right heart and mind set on love as you do. This all leads back to your needs on knowing what you want as you play this dating game in your college years.

Love is a funny thing. In a relationship, there are a few qualities and traits that never die. At least, this is the way I view it.

They should better you, always. This can be from dragging you out the door to do community service with them or teaching you to be more patient with others. Perhaps their daily routine to the gym makes you want to be more disciplined in certain areas of your life. If they are “bettering” you, they are challenging you. Your partner has to make you want to be a better person in some way or another, not just during the dating phase, but for a lifetime.

Things can get comfortable, but not too comfortable. Sitting together and enjoying the silence shared between the two of you as you eat dinner is a good comfortable. Letting a “loud one rip” or burping obnoxiously is not. That spark you have during the honeymoon phase from the start will eventually fade so let’s not help speed up the process. Be neat, clean, dress up every now and then and keep your manners around. Never stop trying for each other. Bottom line, do not be gross.

They should love you unselfishly and vice versa. What I mean by this is putting their needs before yours. Think of it this way: if he won’t pick you up after work because he wants to go play basketball with the guys, he won’t pick you up when your hair is grey and your skin is loose either. Stop making excuses for them.

Life only gets harder from here on and out.

If they aren’t going to do it now when you are dating, they won’t do it later. This is a very minor example but I hope it covers the basics. They should always want what is best for you, not for them. Things will inevitably become comfortable in a relationship, but it doesn’t mean doing the little things need to stop. Doing the little and big things for each other need to last a lifetime.

They need to listen and absorb. I don’t just mean by remembering your favorite color or listening to how your day went. What I mean by listen is your significant other needs to understand and hear what you are really saying, even when you aren’t saying anything. This will take some time to understand but paying attention to detail with each other is vital because it leads to solid communication.

They need to be a good teammate. One that will have your back no matter what happens. They should be willing to stick around for you during the bad and good. Build trust. Be honest and loyal.

Along with all the other obvious details and essential necessities that a loving and successful relationship needs to be built from and have, hopefully this sheds some light to what you really want from your ideal lover.

Do not settle. Hold your standards high. Love the way you want to be loved. And remember, “the biggest mistake you can make is to marry the wrong person,” which means it all starts with the dating games we play now and with who.