We have romantic fantasies, fueled by society, yet we rarely think about what makes them work.

Similarly, the idea of having a baby, we think of the giggles, and the trips to the park. Reality is you may have triplets, your baby has colic, won’t take a bottle, 4 hourly feeds or has special needs. Yet, this is being a parent. But it’s a shock if you don’t think about it and commit in advance.

True love includes both big and small acts.Very important is to share common values Because love is action, love is work, and love is a decision.

These life choices, while wonderful, are hard work. Most things of value are. Every day, couples get divorced. Every day, fussy babies are ignored or worse, mistreated, because the responsibility inherent in marriage and parenthood wasn’t appreciated before taken on.

To love and be loved in a positive and healthy way isn’t effortless.

True love means saying “no” to urges. True love means being conscious rather than hurtful, being helpful rather than selfish, acknowledging your partner’s needs, and being faithful. True love includes both big and small acts.

It doesn’t take work to be in a dysfunctional relationship, people do it all the time. Oh, the ennui of taking another emotionally hostage or allowing the same for yourself. It may be chaos, drama, and decimation—but it’s familiar.

To really love someone who really loves you is to be emotionally healthy, supportive, and caring. It’s a partnership, a compromise, and acceptance. Real, true love amplifies while dysfunctional love contracts. And yet, that which amplifies comes with work and responsibility both to self and to each other.

There are 10 things you can do that will almost guarantee success:

1. To find the right person, you need to be the right person.

If one partner wants to change and the other doesn’t, it’s not a relationship anymore.

2. Know your boundaries. 

This isn’t about losing the other person, this is about not losing yourself. A person who abuses you in any form is unlikely to change.

3. True love is about healthy communication. 

When you talk with your partner, talk to them how you would like them to talk to you.

4. True love means goals and desires – both yours and as a couple. 

If you both want to be happy, find out what the other partners goals are for the future and support each other.

5. Be proactive in all your relationships.

Make choices about relationships and friendships, even those with relatives. Don’t let friendships or professional connections just happen or continue if they no longer meet your needs or violate your boundaries. Be with those who are loving, respectful, honest, and open.

6. You aren’t a victim. 

You have control over your life. People stuck in unhealthy relationship are stuck in denial and rationalization.

Are you telling yourself or others stories about being taken advantage of trying to generate sympathy? Stop. Victimizing yourself isn’t attractive to healthy people.

7. Live with purpose. 

Spend quiet time alone each day. Think about what you need in life to feel better or do better. What’s missing for you?

Go to the gym to re-energize, relieve anxiety, and get strong, you give yourself an immeasurable gift. When you eat healthy to fuel your body, you can be present in mind, body, and spirit for your family, friends, partner, and yourself.

8. True love doesn’t hurt.

Loving relationships are consistent. There will always be times of inadvertent hurt or disappointment. That’s life. It’s not always smooth, but if you work at it it works.

True love helps you with life, it’s not what makes life more difficult. Love is support in a difficult world. Everything in life is not an argument or a challenge. Emotionally healthy people don’t live that way.

9. True love loves us as we are and wants us as we are. 

If someone asks you to give up interests, hobbies, friends, a job, or anything that makes you who you are, that’s not true love. And, it’s not healthy.

Life is about balance. Because life is busy, you may adjust how much time you give your interests and loved ones. But it’s important to maintain the fullness of who you are, just as your partner does the same.

10. Finally, true love is an action from you and to you. 

Act it and insist on it. Every day, whether in a relationship or not. For non-love relationships, such as those with friends, co-workers, even acquaintances, respect is the action from you and the action to you. You deserve to be treated with love and respect in all your relationships.

Real, true love is work and when you understand that, you’ll be less likely to go in and out of relationships in which you’ll experience anything but love. Use your time out of a relationship wisely. Build what you need to be in a healthy relationship. And then, go out and make it. And it will be real, true, and wonderful.


We have romantic fantasies, fueled by society, yet we rarely think about what makes them work. Similarly, the idea of having a baby, we think of the giggles, and the trips to the park. Reality is you may have triplets, your baby has colic, won’t take a bottle, 4 hourly...