Recognize WHEN it’s a Time to Love—The One Key Factor

Couple sharing dinnerIt’s time to love when reciprocal chemistry allows you and your partner to “SEE” each other inside and out. To appreciate similarities that bond. To recognize differences that complement. To merge two diverse personalities together in harmony showing each mutual appreciation.

Here’s the thing about people truly in love: They SEE each other. They KNOW each other as best friends. It’s two people who learn to work together as a TEAM—As teamplayers.

These couples dig deep inside to know each other (unlike superficial dating then deciding to move in together.) These couples burrow to investigate multiple areas of life on an array of subjects and ideologies.

Probing for compatibility, assessing how to handle differences, managing disagreements, assessing spirituality, politics, views on children, pets, monogamy, etc. It’s effort and a LOT of HARD WORK!

Why Hard Work Pays Off

The work pays off because (if the chemistry is right) and they continue working as a team, they develop warm feelings of personal attachment. Feelings of being connected with the person who SEES them —that’s what we all crave in a lover is to be SEEN and to be really Deeply Known and Understood.

Couple sharing eye love over drinks

And if you have that with someone, then that’s everything!


Of course, no two people develop in the same manner. People differ. One person is outgoing, the other introspective, one plans for the future, the other grabs the moment, and so forth.

Here’s the point. The differences should merely be because one is male and the other female. Not in being at odds. The issue is whether the differences between them complete or defeat. Differences should inspire growth, add excitement, broaden perspectives, and challenge potential. This results in a richer, fuller, more complete life.

  • Complementary differences exhilarate a relationship.
  • Defeating differences demoralizes a relationship.
  • It’s imperative to understand which is which and why.

Following we listen to three women discussing how differences impacted their relationships.

One worked. The other didn’t.

“For example,” said Carolyn, “before my husband became ill, we shared many exciting, adventurous times together because we were different in a complementary sense. He was very outdoorsy. He loved camping, fishing and nature walks, golfing.

Until he came along, I never appreciated nor participated in those activities. But together we enjoyed the best times of our lives in the great outdoors. I occasionally even beat him at golf!

In turn, I introduced him to country music. He was a jazz enthusiast. In time, though, he enjoyed it. Especially line dancing. Then you couldn’t keep him off the floor. So, our differences allowed each of us to grow in new areas and we delighted in the interchange of experiences. Our life together was greatly enriched.”


“Glad it worked out that way for you. My husband, number three or was it number four,” Barb said absentmindedly, “at any rate, he drove me crazy! Our differences were downright irritating. He never did anything I wanted, and I sure wasn’t into his scene. You know that is what they call incompatibility.

“When you live with someone, day in and day out, if your differences clash, your life together is nerve-racking beyond imagination. You’re ready to climb the ding-dong wall. The differences make you plain miserable. I felt drained, got tension headaches, and irritable—Oh my! There was this constant tug-of-war. Made me downright mean most of the time. I lived on Maalox and Tylenol.”

“A couple other red flags,” Carolyn interjected, “are personal habits and use of money. If one of you is very talkative and the other quiet, there’s big potential for problems. One will crave conversation; the other quiet and solitude. What if one is sloppy and the other meticulously orderly? One likes a cool room to sleep in the other wants it near 75 degrees.

Or one is slim and diet conscious and the other let their weight get out of control? Does one prefer nutritious food and the other junk food? Does one like alcohol and the other abhor it? Over time these differences could be trying.

And especially problematic are money problems. Disagreements about how to handle money can destroy a marriage. One wants to save money; the other spends everything they get their hands on. One is a risky investor; the other is ultra-conservative. One is generous to others; the other is selfish and keeps money for personal use only.

Conflicting views like these may be deadly to a relationship. Better get these issues recognized and settled before moving ahead.

Barb snapped her fingers and sang, “A smooth and easy thing and all the good things that it brings.” It’s an oldie, but I love that song.

She summarized that generally, relationships work best when partners “see” each other and learn which differences can be reconciled into complementary growth experiences for Cinderella-like love for the long haul.

That’s when it’s a time for love.

Please leave a comment. Let me know your thoughts.


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Donna Patterson


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