“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.” ~ Paulo Coelho
I have always been a romantic. I have always longed for love, craved for it. I have always wanted to find the ideal mate, the one who would understand me. The man who would stay.
However, this alignment was never happening. To be honest, I wasn’t missing men’s company. I experienced two long-term relationships before the age of 30. I have had several love interests. However, nothing would last.
In my 20s, I met two important loves. With the first one, I remained seven years—but deep down, we were not sharing the same core values and our journeys in life just went distinct ways. After this, I experienced a strong connection with another soul—the kind of temporary firework that goes nowhere—which, perhaps, is more supposed to remain in our hearts a long-gone memory of sparkle and fire, than any other tangible thing.
This being said, I wasn’t myself the best partner, so far. I didn’t know how to make the difference between feeling temporarily annoyed and a lack of alignment. I had, at times, difficulties mastering my emotions.
As a consequence, and up until the relationship I’m now in, I was doubting the possibility of true and long-lasting love.
But life always knows best—and oftentimes it chooses to not let you go.
In fact, life swept me off my feet in the form of a man with blue eyes, something like 18 full moons ago.
Below are the seven reasons why this relationship goes way beyond what I experienced before:
1. We are aligned on how we want to experience life.
This sounds so simple but isn’t always evident. My partner and I both want to give energy to our professional life, but also to make the most of life’s pleasures and joys. We both can be intensely focused on what we have to do, and later shift to experiencing wholeheartedly the arts, spirituality, going on a sports trip, or traveling to discover new places. We both are open-minded and enjoy experiencing each other’s hobbies. We experience the couple’s container also, as a means to enrich ourselves individually. It is our love for making the most of what life has to offer that makes our daily life so tasteful.
2. We are and have been from an early stage 100 percent committed to each other.
As soon as we met, we both decided to fully dive in. We never “casually” dated. Of course, I think we were scared of making a mistake or repeating past hurtful experiences. But we didn’t let this decide for us. Instead, we both trusted our intuition and saw each other regularly and in an exclusive way from the very beginning. This created a sense of trust, safety, and intimacy early on. Of course, we were both assessing if we were a good match, and we were honest about it—but while we did this, we were fully with each other. He was with me 100 percent from the start, and this hugely opened my heart. We took important leaps, progressively, always going with the flow, and we never blocked our organic progression. We approached our relationship both with trust and curiosity.
3. We have healthy conflict management skills.
I think conflict is healthy, and actually truly important for a couple. In one of my previous relationships, we were never arguing—but this was actually the mark of a slow but clear disconnect. Conflict is avoided when one doesn’t feel safe enough to express their dissatisfaction or feeling, or when there is this insidious vibe that a hard conversation could “ruin” the relationship. However, a real relationship can’t become “ruined” because of an argument. And avoiding arguments is like hiding parts of ourselves in case they wouldn’t be approved of. It is like constantly wearing make-up or the best outfit. It is a way of not being fully seen, of not being entirely oneself, real.
In time, my partner and I have learned to argue “healthily”—in a way that is useful for the relationship and its future. We listen to each other’s perspective even when we feel differently. We try to go into their shoes and understand. We share how we feel, yet we understand that we aren’t always responsible for one another’s pain, but that individual wounds and blockages are also involved. We don’t hold grudges. We try and learn from the other’s feedback.
We both made consistent efforts to communicate rather than closing off, to listen with an open heart rather than interpreting. We also learned to process our own feelings deeper internally—so that we less and less project. We have become familiar with each other’s triggers and are being mindful with not unnecessarily creating negative emotions for the other. I entered the relationship with one rule, which is to never go to bed angry at one another—and we’ve respected this.
4. We are aware of each other’s limits—and don’t expect more than the other can give.
Intimate relationships are a huge part of our lives. We wake up with our partner, go to bed with them. We try to organize life together. However, we always have to remember that our partner is a person, like everyone else—and has their own ways. One will always be triggered by the same jokes. The other one will never truly be on time. One will show love through words—the other through presence or touch. When both can reach the space where they understand that a lover won’t be able to do it all—to be everything they need—they learn to love them for who they truly are, rather than a fairytale image of what love is. They learn to love consistently the actual individual that their partner is.
5. We both have our own individual goals and interests that are independent of the relationship.
I believe that what brings a great sense of balance to any relationship is precisely to have a beautiful journey also outside of it. It is key to see a romantic relationship, however aligned it is, as a part of our lives only. Each partner finds their joy and personal fulfillment outside of the couple’s container. My partner and I are both on our individual journeys—as well as a shared one. Not only is our connection not a block to develop ourselves and experience the activities that we are drawn to, but we both fully respect one another in the choices that we make.
Neither of us feels that we should do or shouldn’t do anything to feel more appreciated and loved by the other. There is no mold to fit into. We can evolve freely as a person while being entirely committed to our love. With him, I have never felt judged when starting something new, changing my mind, or letting go of a work or a project. He loves me when I write, when I sing, when I’m a full-time astrologer, and when I want to be a businesswoman again. I feel loved for my own core—not for the things on the top of the iceberg.
6. We have open and honest communication.
My partner and I always speak our truth and express what is happening in our hearts clearly. We share our needs, what we would like to do or to receive from one another. This is not a threat or to give pressure—rather, a responsible communication of what matters for each of us to feel loved. So very often, people have their own codes for feeling appreciated but it is very hard to guess if not voiced out. We also express openly what we won’t be able to give to each other—if we have other obligations or commitments.
Our communication can be fully open because we understand that one having a desire doesn’t imply that the other one will have to fulfill it—and that not expressing something of importance would create a lack of transparency and therefore of intimacy. In a nutshell, we always share how we feel but without expectation. We share in the name of honesty and vulnerability—not with the desire of always getting what we want. We don’t try to keep the relationship pretty all the time—we know that we may upset one another by having some conversation, but that transparency is key to feel truly close to one another.
7. We want to grow together but not to make the other change.
We never try to make the other change. We want to learn from one another and evolve—but not to see the other transform into somebody else! This includes our flaws, wounds, and limits too. We both know that we are the way we are, and that true love is to accept our love as they are and be grateful for it. I believe that couples work through their wounds together but that the purpose of a relationship is never to radically change. It is to grow. It is to transmute old pain and outdated beliefs about relationships. It is to shed unhealthy patterns, gain more trust in love, and release blockages that prevent emotional connection to flow freely.
I believe that the inner work conducted by both individuals has the power to bring the relationship to a more joyful experience. Something more and more based on love in its purest form—rather than attachment or fear. However, a relationship isn’t about molding one’s partner into a role, a type of personality, or a specific agenda. This is why the healthiest relationship, to me, is one where we can be truly who we are.
Evidently, all of this magic wouldn’t work without the key ingredient—which is love. With the word “love,” I mean a strong emotional connection—a sense of care, mutual respect, understanding, chemistry, deep draw and attraction, that we have felt from the start, and that has always maintained itself, or actually should I say grown, the more that we have known one another.
Eventually, life is a funny thing. I can feel that I didn’t meet the right one before because I wasn’t ready. In fact, I had something else to do, first and before.
Before, I had to explore the world. Before, I had to find myself.
So I did that before I found him.
And it is because I had found this space within myself that he found my way.
“Love is by nature fragile.
That’s what makes true love so powerful.
It is that you’ve made a fragile thing unbreakable.” ~ Atticus