The answer is no. Love is a combination of dumb luck, timing, and a lot of hard work.
Relationships are messy, they are hard, and they are full of potholes, but in the end, it’s worth it to find someone who can be your support system. As my Dad on many occasions has said about my mom, “Yes, your mom is crazy, but she is my crazy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Go ahead and say awe, yes, my dad is absolutely adorable.
People try to put a formula to finding love especially when things fail, one may start thinking if only I did this in the relationship, maybe it would have worked. Think of all the articles that say “9 Sure Fire Ways to Make a Successful Relationship.” One of my co-workers even told me she Googled, how to make my boyfriend commit. Another time, she admitted she Googled how to make my boyfriend a good boyfriend. If there was a step-by-step instruction book, no one would be single and all the love advice columns would become a dying industry.
A friend mentioned that maybe she was just having bad luck with love. At that point, someone at the party mentioned that she should start being friends first and then fall into a relationship. Essentially, he built a flowchart to find the right person, but in all honesty, there isn’t a perfect formula. Love is not an “if, then” formula, it’s more like a test kitchen where you experiment and in the end you don’t know if the dish will be good or bad.
Karen truly believes that love is about timing. There is a lot more ingredients that goes into the recipe for a successful relationship, but the main ingredient is timing.
Some people have a successful marriage who met for a month, while others date for 10 years and are divorced within 2 years. Karen sees this day in and day out and she will tell you, love comes in unexpected ways.
Think of love like cooking a dish, you have your spices, main ingredients and the directions. But even if you follow the same recipe to a tee each time you cook, the outcome turns out slightly different and the same concept goes for relationships. Just because you follow the steps that you’ve seen work in another relationship doesn’t mean it will work for you because people are unpredictable. As we grow, we change, we want different things, we make errors, and we have flaws.
From many of our conversations, I have asked Karen what she thinks is needed to make the perfect dish.
Recipe for Love
- A touch of spice to keep the relationship alive
- Chemistry- Emotionally and physically.
- Common Interests
- Separate Hobbies
- Compassion for one another
- Live your life. You should never stop living your life. Don’t put your dreams on hold hoping to find someone. The right one will come along when the time is right. Take that dream job, take that trip to Europe you’ve waited for, and start crossing things off your bucket list.
- Be happy with you. If you aren’t happy with you, how can someone else be happy with you? You should be comfortable to be alone before adding someone else in your life.
- Once the person appears in your life; Be guarded and then embrace it. This is completely contradictory, but when you first meet someone make sure to take time to learn about each other early on. If you feel like this person is worth the risk, worth the possible pain from breaking down the walls you have built to protect your heart, then make sure to put 100% of your heart into the relationship. One of the biggest reason relationships fail is because one person has one foot in, while the other foot is moseying to see if the grass is greener on the other side.
- Determine your priorities. If your career requires you to work 80 hours a week and you choose to put your relationship second, it will suffer. You get as much from a relationship as you put in.
- Work through the obstacles like an adult. As my sister tells me at times, use your words. It’s acceptable to walk away in the heat of the moment, but once tempers have faded, come back to a central location and discuss the problem and find a resolution together.
- Enjoy the small things. Everyone wants a grandiose gesture, who doesn’t want someone to propose to them at the top of the Eiffel Tower? But along with treasuring the grandiose gestures, appreciate the small things in a relationship. It might be brushing your teeth together, cooking, or even slow dancing to a song in the middle of the night.
- Be in the moment. Don’t forget to enjoy each time you are together. It is easy to get carried away with the future, what if’s, could be’s, but there is no guarantees for the future. What you have is the moment you are in, so make the most of it.
Love is about meeting someone who wants the same things in life as you at the same time. You might meet someone who is fantastic, but it doesn’t work out because they are focused on their job, they don’t want to date anyone seriously at this point in their life, they just came out of a bad relationship. It’s all about timing.
Once timing falls into place, the rest is up to the effort you put into the relationship. Just like cooking, the fresher the ingredients in a dish, the better it will taste in the end.
So next time, if something goes wrong, it’s not always something you did. Sometimes, it’s just wrong timing, but as my mom always says the person you are meant to be with will show up wherever you are when the time is right.