It really amazes me what falling in love can do. It turns closed up, self-centered, arrogant, private individuals into people willing to open themselves up, expose themselves and voluntarily make themselves vulnerable. Love really does seem like a mental disorder. Love makes us want to give ourselves over to another.
We let down our guards and allow those we love to see the real us – naked and vulnerable. This is where the fun part comes: giving yourself up too soon will likely ruin what you have. The very same can be said for giving into love too late.
There’s a narrow window of time that relies heavily on those involved. Sometimes things align just right and they work out wonderfully. The real task is knowing that window when you see it.
1. You’ve known this person for at least a year (two if you want be safe).
You may not be able to help falling for someone, but you can help letting him or her know too early. Once you say those three words, your relationship goes to the next level; it will never be able to level back down again. Once you love someone, you’re supposed to love that person forever (or so we’re led to believe).
Before giving someone your heart and taking the relationship to the next level, make sure that you know who you’re getting into bed with. No pun intended.
2. As far as you know, this person has never lied to you.
And if he or she has, you at least never found out. I understand that most people are entirely against lying, but the truth is that no one wants to be told the truth all the time. Reality is harsh and having it softened by those who love us can be a wonderful thing. There are some lies, however, that shouldn’t be told.
Certain types of lies are formed out of malice and deception. If you know you’ve been lied to before and were hurt by the knowledge itself then you may want to rethink moving forward. It’s not the lie that hurts, but the truth that it’s covering. You don’t want to be with someone who hurt you in the past while lying to you about it.
3. This person doesn’t need to be chased after – you simply manage to find each other.
Before you hand your heart over, be sure that the person you’re handing it over to actually cares about you. It’s not difficult to tell. If he or she is there when you need and isn’t always the one who is in need, then it’s a good bet that this person really enjoys spending time with you. If he or she enjoys your company that much then he or she most definitely cares about you. Beware those who seem to be regularly unavailable.
4. This person told you that he or she isn't "going anywhere” and you believe it.
Before people say “I love you” they tend to ease in with an “I’m not going anywhere” remark, or its equivalent, strategically fitted as a witty and romantic response. If this person doesn’t plan on running off and is falling for you, he or she is likely to start by making you feel safe.
This person wants you to trust in him or her because this person wants to be able to one day, in the near future, exchange those words. If this person has already told you that he or she loves you, hearing “I’m not going anywhere” from time to time is still a nice reminder that you made the right decision.
5. This person has always treated you well and has respected you.
If he or she has been treating you poorly then don’t expect that to ever change. If this person doesn’t respect you then he or she isn’t the type of person you should be with and definitely isn’t the one you should be giving you heart to. Your partner should be your partner, not your owner.
6. This person is always there for you when you need him or her.
This one is a big one. A lot of people are quick to talk big, but are nowhere to be found when it comes time to actually follow through. The person you should love is the person who will never abandon you, never leave you alone and stranded, never give up on you or let you go. If he or she isn’t that person then forget about him or her and keep searching.
7. This person is willing to inconvenience him or herself to make you happy.
Being inconvenienced is nothing more than being uncomfortable. If this person isn’t willing to be uncomfortable for you then he or she won’t be willing to do a whole lot for you throughout your relationship. People have very neat comfort zones – leaving them is often pretty easy, but uncomfortable. This person should be willing to sacrifice his or her comfort for yours.
8. This person is trustworthy.
If you can’t trust him or her with your secrets then he or she isn’t a very good partner. You need to trust the person you have feelings for before you allow yourself to accept that you love him or her. You have to be able to trust this person – trust him or her as a friend, lover and as a partner. If you can rely on and count on him or her to catch you when you fall, then and only then, should you be willing to make yourself that vulnerable.
9. You’re ready for this.
This is one that is most often overlooked. It’s not enough that your partner is right and ready to take the relationship to the next level. We ourselves have to be ready for it.
We often are too busy thinking and worrying about those we are falling for to consider if we are prepared to play the part ourselves. Are you ready to follow through on points one through eight? If you’re not then it doesn’t matter if your partner is, does it?
Photo via We Heart It