Welcome to part three of The Pathway to Love and How to Find Happily Ever After. How to find true love and to find a happy marriage. It’s so difficult. We’ve talked about the necessary key ingredient of loving in our first part as knowing ourselves and knowing our worth so that we can properly love other people.
In the second part, we talked about what love is, because if you don’t truly know what love is, then you cannot find it. And in this last part, we’re going to be talking more about true love, but also many of the pitfalls and counterfeit loves that are out there.
Because even if you do find it, it’s not a guarantee that you’re going to keep it. Many people lose love “so called”, or they fall out of love “so called”. They actually can fall in love many times but it doesn’t last. Is it really love then or do they not know how to make it work long term? So in this article, we’re going to be discussing about what does it take to make true love work, why it’s wonderful, and how to avoid the pitfalls, the common ones, that people fall into and lose love.
We’re going to be starting with a necessary and a foundational principle you need to find and keep love, and that is the foundation of Truth. If your relationship is not based on truth, it’s not based on reality, and there’s many different aspects of this, then it can’t last. Because without truth, there is no love.
One necessity is truly knowing the person. This is going to be a whole different article, but I will talk about it briefly here. Sometimes we attribute virtues and good things to the other person that they don’t actually have. We think they’re a good person and in fact we’re blinded and they’re not really good people, or they have a lot of character flaws that we choose to ignore or that we don’t want to look at. And if we do this, we are only going to pay later on.
So, we need to truly know the person that we want to fall in love with, and we need to make sure that they’re actually truly good people who we would trust our lives to, we would trust our kids with, and we would trust ourselves to marry. If you’re dating someone who’s lying to you, then you need to get out fast because a lie is not a small thing. It’s actually a sign of a serious character flaw, especially if people are lying consistently.
If it happens once, that’s bad, but maybe if they promise not to do it again and they have a good track record of never doing it again, it might not turn out to be a problem. But if you see that someone lying in the relationship, get out. Stop justifying it. This is a deep character flaw and you don’t want to trust somebody with your heart.
You need to trust somebody that if you give them your heart, your fragile heart, they’re not going to drop it and let it shatter all over the cement and that comes first and foremost with trust. You need to really “know”. You need to know the other person well, not just, have your head in the clouds and it’s all fun and games and oh my gosh, we just know each other. We’ve only met each other once, and talked for like five hours, and I just feel like I’ve known him forever… except that I don’t know him at all! You really need to know the person and you need to learn to trust the person. And that comes through truth. Really revealing who you are. Then revealing who they are. And coming to know each other in truth without lies or falsities.
And while we might not lie, we might intentionally or not intentionally deceive people in other ways.
I know way back in the day when I used to have a very low self-esteem, I may have had girls who are interested in me and I wasn’t really interested in them, but I really liked the attention and I really liked talking to them. And so I would play it up and I would talk to them back, and I would almost act like I’d like them because I loved the give and take. I loved the attention, but I wasn’t really interested in them and it wasn’t fair to them. And we should not lead people on if we are not interested because it’s not fair to their hearts. And that alone is being dishonest. I ended up getting in a love triangle between two girls and that did not go well because it’s immature to try to string people along just to boost your own self-esteem. It’s wrong, so don’t do it!
Another aspect of this, is sometimes we’re not honest with people on dates or in relationships because we fear that if we say something wrong or if we like something perhaps that they don’t like, then they might break up with us. If we say: “Oh well I like this,” and they’re like: “Oh, I don’t like that.” We would think, I just wounded the relationship. Maybe he won’t like me as much. Maybe he’s going to dump me and we get these incredible fears in our mind that lie to us. And so we don’t always present ourselves truthfully.
Maybe as a Christian, you’re talking to an atheist. While the date is going great and you have great chemistry, all of a sudden, they drop the bomb: “I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in this God stuff.” You didn’t even mention that you were a Christian, but you just ignore that and let that pass. You choose not to even hear that because this date is going so good. And if you mention you’re religious, they might just dump you. Well, do you want someone like that, that you have to be dishonest around just to keep, is that a good, deep, wholesome, honest relationship?
No, it’s not. And it’s not based on a good bedrock foundation of truth.
I remember I got into a conversation with a girl, and we hit it off, and it was one of those conversations where you talk for like three hours, but you feel like it’s just 10 minutes. And we had a great conversation and somewhere along the line she just drops this bomb: “I hate the Catholic church. The Catholic church is this and the Catholic church is that.” She didn’t even know I was Catholic. I never mentioned it. She just was venting her anti-religious sentiments, I guess. And this broke my heart. Like literally I was up here on cloud nine and it took all the steam out of my sails. I realized this girl is not religious, but wow, I’m really into her. And so, I just wanted to ignore that. And I even found myself giving into it again, because this is how low my self-esteem was. I’d be like: “I know! The religious people!” I would just let her vent to not let her know that I felt or thought differently. Again, this is super immature, but people do it all the time.
I hear of things where a guy asks a girl out and he is like: “Would you like to go out for Italian on Sunday? And all of a sudden, her heart sinks because she doesn’t like Italian, but she swallows it instead: “Yeah, I love Italian. Let’s go.” Just so she can get a date. Because she’s afraid if she says she doesn’t like Italian, the guy is not going to like her as much. And this is wrong. She’s not presenting herself honestly or truthfully. A much more mature response would be like: “You know what? I’m not a huge fan of Italian, but I’d be happy to go there if you’d like, or if you prefer, I love Chinese.” You can just offer a few different options and let him choose. And I’m sure he will not care.
Anyone who dumps you because you don’t like Italian is not worth dating. Seriously. It’s like the movie Cloudy with a chance of meatballs where the girl was allergic to peanut butter and he loved peanut butter and all of a sudden, she says: “Oh, I don’t like peanut butter.: And he’s like: “I don’t like peanut butter either.” And later in the movie she finds out that he’s not allergic to peanut butter. She’s like: “Why did you lie to me?” And he’s like: “Oh, I don’t know.” She replies: “Did you really think that being allergic to peanut butter would make you more attractive?” But that’s kind of how we think sometimes.
The reality is we need to be honest. If you like going to Church, say that on your date. If you’re religious, don’t be afraid to say that. If you want to wait until marriage to have sexual relations, then say that. If you don’t want to kiss for a long time because you want to get to know the person, say that. Be honest.
Don’t hold back these things because you fear that the person’s not going to like you as much or is going to dump you. And if they do, they’re not worth your time.
Here’s the deal. When people are saying something like: “I think we should kiss on the first date, or I like a girl who really gives a little,” and you’re like: “Yeah,” and you don’t let them know how you really feel, then you’re presenting a false version of yourself. Meaning if this person falls in love with you, they’re not falling in love with you, but with a false version of who you are and when they find out who you really are, they’re not going to buy that bait.
Remember, and I’m going to say this throughout the series, that dating is a mature act between mature people.
So, we need to be mature and say what we really mean, to say what we really like, to say what we don’t like, to say what is important to us, to say what our values are, and to say what things we aren’t for as well.
If you can’t do this, then it’s just going to get you into trouble later on. If you can’t say: “No, I don’t like Italian food,” or “I’m religious,” or “You know what I don’t feel comfortable with talking against the Catholic church or just against religious people in general,” or “I’m a Catholic, I actually love the Catholic church and here’s why,” then this is going to bite you in the back later on. Because if you are compromising in small areas like this, then you are absolutely, out of low self-esteem, going to compromise in bigger areas as well. When people want to do stuff with you, in the relationship that you are not comfortable with, you are not going to have the backbone or the self-esteem to be able to say: “You know what? I don’t feel comfortable with this, or “here’s what I was hoping for.”
You’re much more willing to slide down the slippery slope if you want to save sex for marriage to not save it for marriage. And I know many people who don’t, because they don’t have the self-esteem and they don’t want to jeopardize the relationship. And the whole relationship is being founded and formulated on fertile weak bedrock, a faulty foundation, something that is not going to last long term. The truest love is honest. Love is based on truth, and love is based on honesty. If we can’t be honest, then we really need to reevaluate ourselves and you need to go back to part one of this series and watch the video on self-esteem.
Truth is not just about lying and cheating or the big, huge character flaws that we shouldn’t even put up with even once. But also about lesser things that are going to hurt or injure our future relationships as well, and hurt the people that we’re with or hurt ourselves. So please do us a favor and look at your life if this fits you, and really go and do some soul searching and think about why you do that, why are you making these compromises, and what can you do to figure that out and to not do that in the future.