4 Things You Learn When You Stop Falling In Love With 'The Idea Of Him'

by Lindsay MacMillan

My motto regarding love used to be “Leave no stone unturned.” I feared that one day, I'd wake up to cats and Adele albums as my only companions. I would be saying "Hello" to stale regrets.

I feared I would never find true love unless I put myself out there and made it happen. So I did everything I could not to wonder, "What if?" I said "yes" to beer pong dates in case that frat bro was looking for more than a hookup. He wasn't.

I relapsed with my ex in case he had grown up. He hadn't. I waited years for the guy I was in love with to realize we were right for each other. I almost told him how I felt.

But I didn't. Here are four reasons why:

1. If he's the one, he'll realize it on his own.

If he's really the person you should be spending your life with, he'll appreciate you for everything you are. He'll recognize the rarity of meeting someone whose values match his.

He'll love that he's found someone who can make him laugh so hard, he doesn't need to do planks. He'll be thrilled he's found someone he can vent to about a sh*tty day at work or celebrate his fantasy football victories with.

You won't need to wait years for the right guy, hoping he'll “wake up." He'll be awake the whole time, with eyes for you and only you.

2. If he's the one, he'll do something about it.

The right guy won't just realize you two are meant to be together. He'll be mature enough to make his feelings known.

He won't talk about other girls to gauge how jealous you get. He won't leave you overanalyzing with "How r u?" and "Wanna chill?" texts.

He'll confess his feelings in person, and while sober. Don't expect him to launch into a Nicholas Sparks-worthy speech, but he should at least open the door to let you know how he feels.

If you bring up the topic, he should reciprocate. If he doesn't, wait for someone who recognizes you for the one-in-7-billion badass you are.

3. If he's the one, you won't need to convince yourself.

If he's the peanut butter to your jelly, not only will he recognize it, you will too. Don't talk yourself into having feelings for someone just because he's good on paper or because your best friend recently got engaged.

This will just end up making you feel less hopeful that you'll ever find someone you really connect with. Keep an open mind, but don't waste your time on him, thinking he's going to turn over a new leaf.

4. If he's the one, he won't get away.

We spend too much time idealizing either the loves we've lost or the ones we never really had: the guy who moved to California before you could see what you'd be, or the ex who became 10 times more attractive once he started dating that girl with 4,000 Instagram followers.

True love won't disappear on us. It'll fill cracks, but it will not dissolve into them. Your made-for-you guy might take a detour or circle around a couple of times, but when the time is right, he'll be there. He'll be seeking you out as much as you're seeking him.

What it all comes down to is this: When you meet the person suited to be your life partner, you won't need to lay out the reasons he should fall for you and vice versa.

It'll be glaringly obvious to both of you that you've never felt this way before, and that you could never imagine feeling it again.

It doesn't mean your relationship will be easy. But it'll be easier to remember what you're fighting for.

So, before you turn over another stone, walk up to it and examine it thoroughly. If true love really lies beneath, someone will be by your side, helping you lift it.

If not, keep walking. Love isn't meant to be discovered alone.