Are You Dating Again? 8 Signs of True And Lasting Love
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By Dalila Jusic-LaBerge, LMFT, Guest Author - June 19, 2017

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"All you need is love," say the Beatles. If you've been divorced, you may be a cynic and think that it's all just smoke and mirrors. It's understandable. Bad relationships and divorce suck. This doesn't mean that love doesn't exist. It does, but it's different from what is portrayed in the media and movies. Love isn't just those butterflies in your belly when he texts you, it's so much more.

Here are 8 signs that your new love may be true and lasting.

1. You are on a smooth sail rather than a rollercoaster ride 

He may not be a prince charming and sweep you off your feet, but he does what he says. He is on time and you can count on him. You don't experience emotional rollercoaster with him.  You enjoy the ride, and you are ready to give him a chance to show you that he may be your man.

Things are good in your relationship, and they are getting better and better. You don't need to wonder about the status of your relationship with him. He is clear with his intents. Enjoy. Let him show you that he is your man.

2. He's seen you at your worst, and he's still in

Are you two able to express yourself completely with each other? Is he able to handle you at your worst, or is he discouraged about prospects for the future? Similarly, when you see his shortcomings, are you able to live with them for the rest of your life? If you hope that he will change, this is not a good sign. But, if your affection is growing after being through thick and thin together, then it's a good sign that your love may be long lasting.

3. The couple who plays together stays together

When you feel so comfortable with each other, it's a good sign. But, when you are able to be playful together, it's a great sign of the potential for a lasting love. Playfulness is one of the most missed aspects of many otherwise good relationships. This is often why people seek an affair outside of a committed relationship. Playfulness enables you to have fun together and build a deeper bond. If you can tease each other without your egos being hurt, it shows that you two may be compatible and able to build a long lasting loving relationship.

4.  You both have interests outside of the relationship

You were a person before you've met him, and he was attracted to you the way you were before meeting him. When you are passionate about your interests, this gives you a spark that keeps you attractive to your partner.  Losing your individuality in the relationship can put too much strain on the relationship. Having separate interests lets you have enough individuality to allow long lasting love to develop. Your relationship by itself can't make you happy.   Continuing with your hobbies, friendships, and interests can keep you happy as an individual. You can be ready to develop long lasting love.

Having separate interests lets you have enough individuality to allow long lasting love to develop. Your relationship by itself can't make you happy.   Continuing with your hobbies, friendships, and interests can keep you happy as an individual. Only then, you can be ready to develop long lasting love together. 

5. Love is... when you spend the most ordinary day together, and you enjoy it immensely

You truly enjoy spending time together, and it doesn't have to be a structured activity. Just a regular Sunday morning will do.  As I already mentioned, love isn't something that they show in the media. What they show in the media are mostly extreme situations that don't represent ordinary life. For instance, when they shoot shows like The Bachelor, they create dream-like conditions. The participants are temporarily enjoying life on a beautiful tropical island in a beautiful mansion. The contestants don't get to live "an ordinary life" as a couple prior to choosing the final mate. This doesn't allow them to see how they mesh in real life situations.

Similarly, when we just start a relationship, life is better than ordinary.  There is an element of novelty that's exciting. We also go out on dates, dinners, day trips,  and so on. You each show the best of yourself.

What happens down the line,  when you get up less than happy, not impeccably groomed, and without coffee on a Sunday morning? Outside is gray and you both are just browsing the internet, taking walk, getting ready for the next work week. How do you feel about your relationship? Can you enjoy this time together too? If your answer is "yes," then you have a chance of developing a long lasting love.

6. Your love can last if you have similar or complementing life goals

It's important that you want similar things in life. In order for love to last, there shouldn't be resentments. If one of you sacrifices too much, then resentment can eat away happiness in the relationship. Do you both want children and how many? Do you both want to live a city, suburb, or country life? How important are these life choices to each of you, and how will this affect you if you compromise? These are all the questions that you need to ponder before you enter a committed relationship. If one of you sacrifices too much, it may be hard to overcome the resentment down the road when going gets tough.

7. Your fights bring you closer and help you understand each other

A good relationship isn't the one without arguments. If you never have conflicts, it can mean that you are not comfortable with each other enough to express disagreements. In a good relationship, people are able to express their disagreements, anger, and other negative feelings. You may also fight, but if you are able to reconcile by gaining more understanding for each other, this can lead to individual growth and a closer bond with each other. This also may show that you both are solid, emotionally healthy individuals. You are not fragile and arguing doesn't make you feel hurt. These all are signs of a potential for a deep lasting bond.

8. You bring out the best in each other 

There is no need to say much about this. You inspire and support each other. Does your partner appreciate and support your career, social life, and hobbies? When we are in a good relationship, we have a chance of excelling in all the aspects of our life. Similarly, is your partner also growing with you? Are you encouraging him to take important steps in his career? Do you encourage each other to have positive relationships within your families of origin? Do you support each other when one of you is struggling? If answers to these questions are positive, then there is a chance of developing long lasting love.

If you are dating again, these 8 aspects may be good to consider in order to determine if your love has a long term potential. Are there some more? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. 

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