The Secret To Finding And Keeping The Love Of Your Life
By: Aesha Adams Roberts
What is the secret to finding and keeping the love of your life?
A friend of mine gave me some interesting advice that I think points us in the right direction: "When you're dating, use a magnifying class. After you get married, wear rose-colored glasses!"
Her words were a real eye-opener. As I sat in my newly married friend's apartment, listening to her wisdom, I realized I had on the wrong glasses. I had just discovered a ton of emails my boyfriend had written to a bunch of other women. After crying my eyes out in my office, I asked myself, "how could I have ignored the signs?" Apparently rose-colored glasses make red flags blend in with everything else!
I was focusing on the postivie things about my boyfriend: "He makes me laugh," "He's got potential." If I would have used the magnifying glass, I wouldn't have explained away the fact that he flirted with other women, he didn't want a steady job, and he wasn't sure he'd ever want to get married and have kids. These were deal-breakers for me, but my decision to only look at his potential caused me to waste a lot of time and endure a lot of pain.
Before you say, "I do," you need to keep a magnifyng glass on hand. Make sure the person you're giving your heart to lines up with your values and the vision for life you want to live.
A study followed newlywed couples for 3 years. The couples who kept a rosy, idealistic vision of their partner showed no decline in their satisification with their spouse. (Click here to read the study). These couples didn't ignore problems. They discovered the secret to avoiding a lot of some issues by simply choosing to focus on the things they appreciated about each other.
What does that look like in a marriage?
- Laugh more! If it'll be funny later, it's funny now. Lighten up
- Be grateful! For example, I had to learn to stop amplifying my husband's little idiosyncricises after our daugther was born. I was a control-freak, hovering over his shoulder while he changed the baby's diaper to make sure he did it "right." Now that we have 2 kids, I could care less if he put the baby's diaper on backward! I'm just grateful to have a helping hand.
- Train yourself to focus on the good. You can get mad that he leaves his socks on the floor or that she never cleans her hair out of the shower, or you can appreciate teh fact that your spouse is alive and well (even if you have to clean up after them).
It's not just about optimism. It's about seeing your spouse with eyes of faith and love and extending grace and understanding to each other. It's a choice we get to make every day!
So, married couples, put away the magnifying glass and put on some rose colored glasses. If you're dating, pick up a magnifying glass and do some detective work. Make sure the person you're giving your heart to is lining up with your values and the vision you have for your life!