“You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.”
— Barbara De Angelis
This post is not for those seeking casual romance, or those blindly diving into another unknown; it’s for those who know just who they are and what they want, who are ready to find real love and take it home.
“Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.” – Henry David Thoreau
Music has a way of telling a story within the three or four minutes of its acoustic watercolor infusion. Here’s a song I picked to adorn this post with this artist’s rendering of ways to know when you’ve found “The One You Love.” Here are the lyrics to the first verse, and a link to the rest:
“We’re all looking,
That’s what she said,
For someone to share our thoughts,
For someone to share our beds.
But if you find someone that doesn’t try to change you,
If you find someone that doesn’t have to blame you,
If you find someone you don’t need to explain to,
You’ve found the one you love.”
“Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.” – Khalil Gibran
I believe that we all have the potential to find true love with more than one companion in each lifetime. But even if all the ingredients exist to make love with, there may be other things preventing us from whipping them up into a sustainable relationship. For instance, if we are dealing with a debilitated Jupiter spinning through another cycle of abuse, mistaking lust for love, confusing objectification with real value or if the timing just isn’t right; then these love elements may not be able to combine to form a relationship. We might be too weak to act on them, caught in codependence and miss them, fail to recognize them, undervalue them while looking for the younger/sexier/prettier, or discover them when somebody’s already taken; respectively. In other words, even when love exists, and our compatibility is perfect; the conditions may not be. So, to find the one to love, we need to share heart-centered love, relationship compatibility, and supporting conditions.
“I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.”
— Roy Croft
Real love is not a feeling, like happy, or the mesmerizing fire flowers of physical attraction that bewitch and make us want. We can experience these things with virtually anyone, with or without the presence of love. Emotions and sensuality are elements of Second Chakra attraction, not Fourth Chakra love. They relate to physical survival and procreation (Sacral Chakra), rather than spiritual awareness or synchronicity (Heart Chakra). Many confuse Second Chakra attraction for love. The persuasive armed marketing of our objectification-based world heavily promotes this misunderstanding as well — to make money and gain power over people. Fourth Chakra Love, when shared with an intimate partner, includes Second Chakra Attraction, but Second Chakra Attraction alone does not include Fourth Chakra, or heart-centered love.
Heart-centered love can be shared with intimate partners, family, friends, animals, plants, the earth, and other spiritual things. It is that blissful, spiraling energy that flows out of our chest and upward through our energy system, joyfully connecting us more consciously with our spirit — as a part of our spirit — and through it the conscious universe. Although it is a necessary step in our search for the one to love, it is not, itself, enough.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
– Lao Tzu
“Compatibility is equivalent to not settling for something less than what you desire, and it comes down to an understanding of what your values are, and deciding to be with someone who agrees with or also lives by those same values,” says Jeannie Assimos, Chief of Advice at eharmony.
Relationship compatibility is a naturally occurring thing — like pikake in the sunshine and the rain. We can’t fake it, make it, or break it. It’s either there, or it’s not. We can certainly use carefully constructed conversational calligraphy to create its fleeting facade, in an attempt to secure a love interest. Or, with ardent celerity, tattoo lust with blissful screams, crescendoing upward through a steamy-sweet seduction, to hook their hunger. But, when the dust settles, what then? We can’t change ourselves or another to create greater relationship compatibility. It’s either there, or it’s not. So how do we recognize it, and keep our minds from turning someone into something that they’re not?
There is no tried-and-true formula for creating a sustainable relationship — what works is uniquely different from couple-to-couple — but there are some general guidelines that, when carefully considered, can help us know if we’re compatible. Angela Melero, in “Six Relationship Compatibility Factors Everyone Should Consider,” says it’s important for us to figure out what our compatibility deal breakers are, and where we can be more flexible. She says that these are the six compatibility factors relationship gurus recommend for a long-lasting union: 1. Similar Future Vision, 2. Reliability, 3. Financial Alignment, 4. Chemistry, 5. Sociability, and 6. Life View. In “Relationship Compatibility,” Psychologist and author of Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships, Dr. Lisa Firestone writes “Relationship compatibility exists, first and foremost, when a couple relates with equality and respect. It’s important for couples to have fun together and really enjoy the time they spend together. Relationships thrive when two people share companionship and activities.” In “The Science Behind Finding Your Perfect Match,” eHarmony has defined 29 dimensions that can help you find partners with whom you’re truly compatible, through methods driven by hundreds of thousands of longitudinal studies of couples globally. From physicality to emotional energy, there are literally dozens of factors that come into play to turn those first tentative “nice to meet you”s into “I do”s. There are six key segments: Emotional temperament, social style, cognitive mode, physicality, relationship skills, and values and beliefs.”
Although the presence or absence of physical attraction is usually known by the end of our first date with someone, the remaining compatibility factors can take much longer to be seen. So it’s important that we don’t confuse that steamy-sweet chemistry with overall compatibility. It’s only one of its elements, and can occur with or without the presence of love.
“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”
Some will ignore circumstances revealing to them that a relationship is more of a future possibility than a current opportunity — plunging ahead through a cloud of saffron-coral fairy dust into a bottomless abyss — falling in love with potential, not what’s there. Such circumstances could include things like planetary perturbations, trauma triggers, location, being in a committed relationship already, legal complications, serious medical conditions, undisclosed deal-breaking histories, and more. If we discover that certain conditions don’t support our goal relationship then we should, depending upon the conditions, let it go. Certain non-supporting conditions may suggest taking a break from it, and revisiting it somewhere down the line.
For example, Suzanne and Paul fell head-over-heels into a love that fairy tales could only dream of. They were crazy about each other! After their first date they wanted to spend every waking moment together. Soon they were inseparable. She called him “Kind Sir,” and he called her “My Lady.” She started writing him poetry, and he wrote some back. It was mutual. They both put the other first, and lived to love them, please them, hold them, kiss them, know them. They planned their dates together, and they were mushy, sweet, romantic, fun, and fancy. One night they went out to a Japanese restaurant called Cafe Japango in La Jolla, where they devoured each others’ company, giggled sunshine, and shared a gourmet sweetheart split. When walking out the door, their arms wrapped sweet around each other, kiss-walking down the glowing sidewalk toward her car; he took her hand and bit it, oh-so-gently in the moonlight, and from his moistened lips came ardor in her eyes. He said he’d called the hotel across the street, and had a special gift to give her there. She simpered softly, and pressed herself against him, warm and willing. They crossed the street enraptured, as time stood still in courtly tribute, and he could feel her hips and derriere — coquettish poetry of motion — as she could feel him through the pocket of his jeans.
They walked into the Hyatt, he found the concierge, and said he was the one who’d called in earlier. Gianni pointed toward the corner of the room. As they descended the emerald velvet staircase, each step wide enough for twenty, their hearts were pounding out a rhythm, bodies hot and kisses sucking, and then they made it down and walked into the room. It was gigantic! It was a ballroom. Poised in the center of this capacious hippodrome was the longest grand piano they’d ever seen — like a stretch cathedral keyboard limousine. They walked over to it. He lifted the top, pulled out the bench, motioned for her to sit and sat beside her. They were both speechless, held each other closely, and felt a joy that wasn’t human anymore. Then he began to play …
He had written her a song … a sweet song … a love song … and as its Chopinesque melody arose, her tears fell down. They were somewhere far above the clouds; dancing, singing, swirling, spinning; and spent a lifetime there before returning to the ground. Something magical, mystical, spiritual had happened through the playing of “Suzanne.” Their lives would never be the same. They knew what love could be — with two as one.
After regaining their earth feet, they drove over to La Jolla Shores, hiked the shelf-like cliff-sides, and cruised the beach until the sun began to bleed … touching, kissing, lost in each other … as if transported to another time and place … she said she wanted more … asked to go back to his house … they left the beach behind and wound up on his couch …
Redefining passion, their burning hands and hearts were playing a new love song. She made the move, and grabbed him; cooing, moaning, kissing, gasping; like a starving lioness upon her prey. Things were mesmerizing, hypnotizing, harmonizing, synchronizing — until he touched her there — then it shattered, and blew away.
She jerked away, screamed “Stop! How could you! Don’t touch me!” in a sudden, startled rage. Until tonight she’d never come this far — except when raped while running — and didn’t know that this would freak her out this way. After seeing what was going on — her fears of rape again reliving — she felt a need to call it quits and get some help. So she ended it, to protect him from the pain. They said goodbye, she cut off contact, and broken hearted they both went their separate ways.
Suzanne and Paul were truly in love, and together learned what sharing love can be! Although the ultimate conditions didn’t support a long-term relationship for them, they knew what love could be and what to look for as they traveled on through love’s eternity. And Suzanne discovered where to shine the light to see — to see the wound that needed light to set love free. And, who knows, maybe they’ll reconnect, someday, we’ll see.
So, in this example, Suzanne and Paul shared Heart-Centered Love, were highly Compatible, but, due to her profound fears of intimacy and trauma triggers, the Conditions weren’t quite right, at least at that time, for a long-term relationship. To find the one to love — to find the one to share a sustainable relationship with — we need all three (heart-centered love, compatibility, and supporting conditions).
Photo credit: Yannick B. Gelinas