This is part 2 of the pathway to true Love and to finding happily ever after. So many people are doing it wrong, and this series will help you find what your heart is truly seeking. It’s so sad today that so many people get divorced and so many people who aren’t divorced have miserable marriages. They’re not happy in their marriage. Many relationships end with broken hearts, pain, fighting, regret and anger and so much that God never intended for us to have. So how can we find true love?

Why are so many songs that talk about true love, describe how love hurts you, how it’s thorns and pain? Well simply because that’s not true love. True love makes you better. True love makes you stronger, more confident, helps you to find yourself, be happier and be more fulfilled. Whereas a false, counterfeit love steals all of that.

It makes you more unhappy. It takes away your self-confidence and your self-esteem. It makes you more codependent. You lose yourself in the relationship. You end up fighting all the time, becoming someone you’re not, losing your hobbies and so on. So, in order to have happily ever after, we need to know what true love is.

That’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about in this article.

If you’re like me, you must be tired of all the divorce in this country, of all the heartbreak and of all the pain. This is because the media, TV and movies, tell us and teach us wrong. All of these things, which are supposedly about love are not. It’s no wonder most people in Hollywood aren’t married. In fact, they’re divorced many times because they don’t know what it takes to make love work. In order to make love work, you need to know what it is, how to find it, and how to keep it.

I was speaking at a conference once in Pennsylvania, and during the question and answer time, a couple stood up and asked me, you and your wife look like you have such a great and wonderful marriage. Can you just tell us all, what does it take? Maybe what is the one thing to look for in order to have a successful marriage? I said: “There are two big things:

  1. Finding the right person in the first place and not compromising.
  2. Actually, falling in love, finding true love and not the counterfeit of love.” Many people say: “I love you”, but many relationships are much less than loving. I know people who are in abusive relationships, and they say: “I love you, babe.” But he is ABUSING you! it’s not love and you’re lying to yourself.

And so we have to know what love is if you actually want a relationship and you need to stop compromising. Because as long as you’re with someone you should not be with, and you know that in your heart, you can’t be with the person that God actually has for you, the happily ever after one.

I have a story about True Love. I had a friend named Dan. And Dan was a good looking guy, big guy, strong. All the girls liked him, and he knew that. And so, he used to get with girls and hook up with them constantly, make out with them, do more than that with them and anyone he could get with, he used to get with. He got a lot of girls. And then, one day he met this beautiful girl, long black hair, big blue eyes. All the guys in school thought she was gorgeous, and Dan wanted her. And when he met her and started talking to her, he immediately realized that she was different.

She said that she wouldn’t date him because he’s not the kind of guy that she dates. She’s looking for a real man who will treat her right. This put him on his heels. He thought: “What? Nobody talks to me like that.” And she said: “I’m sorry but I won’t date You.” And he’s said: “But I want to get to know you more.” And the more he talked to her, the more he realized how sweet and kind and loving she was, but also how strong she was. You know? And how she had morals and virtues and how she stood for them, and this really made Dan like her even more. He thought this girl is the real thing. And even though she would acquiesce and talk to him sometimes, she would not date him.

And so, Dan came up to me and he told me:  “Bryan, listen, I really like this girl, and she’s real and not like all the other girls that I just hook up with who are like shallow empty shells. If I have the opportunity to date her, I’m actually going to date her and I’m not going to hook up with her. I’m not going to sleep with her. I’m not going to do anything that might get her to get pregnant or have a disease or anything else because I don’t want anything to happen to this girl. I like her too much. I want to protect her in fact.”

This is a man who’s the player with all of these women, who can get any woman he wants and all of a sudden, he wants to respect this woman?  He wants to protect this woman, and he wants to date her and get to know her on a deep level. Now, let me ask you, which one of these scenarios was true Love? The hookups, the cheap dates, the ones who will just give their bodies away for nothing, or the woman who actually respected herself and Dan wanted to serve and protect and have a deep, loving, and meaningful relationship with?

Obviously: The second one.

Dan himself wanted to change because of this girl. He wanted to become better. He wanted to do better. He wanted to make better decisions, and he wanted to treat her right. Now, saying that out loud, what does that say about the other girls? What does that say about how he treated them and how they let themselves be treated?

Now, some of these women probably fancied: “He loves me. We are hooking up together, or we’re in a relationship and we’re getting really somewhere.” NO. You are just sleeping together, and he’s using you for your body. That’s what it is. It’s not love. This other relationship is true love.

And here’s the lesson of love: True love does what’s best and good for the other person, whereas false love and lust does what’s better for oneself. Lust seeks to take, it’s selfish, it wants to get pleasure for oneself, even if you have to sacrifice and empty the other person and not care about them. Whereas true love, seeks to give to the other person, seeks to make them happy, to make them holy, to serve them and do what’s good for them, even if it’s a sacrifice on our part and we have to empty ourselves to make that sacrifice, even if it’s hard. We want to do what’s right for them, for their mind, their heart, their body, and for their soul. We care for them. And in fact, Pope John Paul II writing Love and Responsibility said: “The more responsibility you feel for another person, the more true love there is.” The more you feel responsible about them, you care about their mind, their heart, their soul. You want to lead them to God and not away from God, the more true love there is. So that’s what love is. It’s caring for another person and choosing to love them over yourself. It’s selflessness and not selfishness

Now, this can only happen if we find someone who is capable of love. Many people act at the outset like they’re capable of love, and they put on a good act, and they talk a good talk. But the reality is so many people are struggling today, are broken today, have mental health issues today, and they don’t reveal it to you until you are trapped and it’s too late.

Which is why you don’t want to rush into a relationship. You don’t want to talk to the person every waking hour, every day, texting them all the time, because this bonds you prematurely and it blinds you from knowing who that person is.

You want to find a person, not in theory, but in actuality, who is loving and has the ability to love you, has the capability and the strength to hold your heart, which is so fragile, so that you know, if you give them your heart, they’re not going to drop it and shatter it on the ground. You want to find someone who’s loving, kind, virtuous, who has the ability to communicate, who has the ability to sacrifice themselves for you and for your future children.

You want to find someone who is not going to be selfish, who’s not addicted to drugs or porn, who doesn’t lie, doesn’t have any self-destructive issues, you know?

We need to find someone who is actually capable of love, and we need to be that person as well. And if we’re not, we need to get counseling or we need to get some self-help books.

There’s a great book called The Boundaries in Dating by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend, and it talks about the pitfalls to avoid when finding true love. And one of them is rushing into relationships so fast and you just spend every waking moment with the person right away and you ditch all your friends and everything, that you don’t even get to know the person. It’s a façade. It’s not real. The person you think you know is not the real person. It’s deeper. After a year of dating, my wife and I realized we were pretending on some things. We were wearing masks. We weren’t being fully vulnerable with each other.

And so, we said: “We need to work on that.” And so, we really tried to do that, and we tried to open ourselves to each other. I mean, about a year is a good time to date because you get to see people in all seasons, see if they have seasonal depression, see how they are around your family, see how they act in relation to your parents, with their friends, and different things like that.

We need to find true love. True love is giving. I remember recently my daughter was sick at three in the morning. She was throwing up, she threw up 15 times in four hours because she had a stomach virus, the poor little thing. And my wife told me I need to go to the store even though I was so exhausted and tired. I love my little girl and so I wanted to do what’s best for her. So, despite the fact that I could hardly keep my eyes open, I went to find a 24-hour store in the middle of nowhere so I could get her the medication she needed and I brought it back for her. I did the same thing for my wife when she was sick at two in the morning, and I went out and got some of the medication she needed. She woke me up out of a dead sleep, but because I cared for her more than myself, I did this even though it was hard. So true love is doing what’s right for a person, even when it’s hard, it’s sacrificing for the other person, just as Jesus sacrificed himself out of love on the cross.

If you’re in a relationship where everything is easy, everything is fun, everything is attraction, everything is pleasure, everything is a hundred miles an hour, it is probably leading you to destruction. You’re going to go off a cliff. That is not the path to true love.

We need to create a firm foundation, which is going to last forever, and that is only built on love. True love. Attraction is good. Feelings are good. Being around a person and feeling butterflies and nervous, that “puppy love”, this is good. Those are not bad, but they are the first step of what love is.

If true love is a staircase, attractions, feelings and emotions are the very first step. Most people think that attraction and feeling, if you feel it really strongly, and all you can do is think about a person, it must be true love, when in fact, the opposite is true.

It just means you’re strongly attracted to them, which is a good thing, but true love is an entire staircase. More attraction is just the door that opens up to the staircase. It’s a hard, long climb up that stairway to true love, which is why there’s no such thing as: Love at first sight, no such thing. Absolutely impossible to find true love at first sight.

It’s impossible because love is a mature decision based on who the person really is and not who you want them to be, and it is a decision to love them.

So you love who they are as a person deeply and profoundly. You fall in love with them. You want to spend the rest of your life with them, and they are capable of loving you in return, being a good role model for your children etc. When we have all of these factors, there’s a good chance that we have found true love and you will find the relationship that you are looking for.

Remember, true love makes you better, happier, stronger, more fulfilled, and more free. Whereas a false love leads to fighting, pain, heartbreak, depression, codependence, and losing yourself in the relationship.