The most important thing I’ve learned is that love is a reciprocal process. You give your best; you deserve the same in return. I’m never settling for less than what I deserve in a relationship again.
Mutual appreciation is the key to attaining a balanced relationship. Mutual appreciation gives me the right to free expression in an atmosphere of respect and acceptance. It means my partner won’t launch into a lecture, condemn, attack, or withdraw from my openness.
Reaching out beyond my center, like my Big Sister relationship, has opened the door to self-expression in ways I never expected. I have something valuable to share. It has enabled me to open up more with confidence and more purpose.
Love promises us a haven of understanding. Understanding is what we seek most in a relationship. That means bonding on the most intimate emotional level. It’s finding our soulmate. Like seeing ourselves in someone else. We see ourselves through him.
The Three Elements of Romantic Love are:
Understanding the Tri-fold bond of love—passion, emotional support, spirituality.
Accepting our own aloneness and individuality first and accepting the aloneness and individuality of our partner.
Loving ourselves self-first and then expressing this love in a way in which our partner can see and respond. If he sees you and responds in like manner, you have the basis for a solid relationship.
Julie ends her no-win relationship with Joe and embarks on a new dating strategy. An enlightened understanding of herself propels her to choose future dating partners based on purpose and direction. She needs to find a man most like herself—this is the man most likely to offer her love, romance, and commitment.
But, first, complete the “Do You Remember” exercises. These exercises reinforce lessons learned in previous chapters. Putting your thoughts in writing helps clarify specifics. And makes application of the principles easier to incorporate into your own life.