Being female and growing up in the US in the 80’s and 90’s with the Disney Princess movies and such, I have been conditioned to a particular definition of True Love. And I have been conditioned to expect my Prince Charming to show up on a White Horse and my life will be problem free forever.
No wonder people are not getting married until their 30’s, and people who do marry in the 20’s have a higher divorce rate. It takes the experimentation of our 20’s to realize the Disney definition of True Love is not realistic for a long-term relationship. It’s so easy to belive we are in love when first meeting someone, and the chemical reaction in our brains provides that elated feeling, as if we could take off and fly from the extreme happiness and excitement. But is happy and excited a reasonable definition of love when evaluating a long-term relationship. For some, maybe this is true.
For others, we need a different way to identify True Love; actually I think it’s more like a recipe. Everyone’s recipe is different, because we each have a different lifestyle, personality, and set of goals for our long-term relationship. Supposedly, E-harmony has developed a reasonable method of writing someone’s recipe and matching it a compatible partner. I think we should expand our discussion, especially with young people, to popularize this idea of a True Love Recipe.
- Intelligence Match – This is the most critical item for me. I appreciate and enjoy a partner who is logical in the way that I am and has a similar way of thinking.
- Financial Match – How do you each treat money, earning and spending. Sometimes opposites can balance each other out, or drive each other crazy.
- Activity Match – Having similar interests can be important. After the newlywed phase is over, will each person feel like they are sacrificing their time and happiness to participate in the other person’s activity. I also like having a few things to do on my own, or with my girlfriends.
- Lifestyle Match – Do both people enjoy spending extra money eat at nice restaurants, buying bottled water or Don Perrier, etc. or do they prefer a simple lifestyle? I think we don’t expect to find an exact match here, but everyone probably has a certain range of tolerance. This item could also be viewed as Priority Match.
- Household Chores and Roles – Some people have expectations of who will perform certain tasks and functions (cleaning, paying bills, discipline the kids).
- Child Raising – Everyone will have some differences here. I don’t have kids to know all the items that can come up, but I would want to agree with my partner on how to discipline the kids and how to be a united team in that process.