Love is an Investment for Life


When it comes to lasting romantic love there is often a lot of discussion around not ‘settling’ for less than you deserve.

While I agree that it is good to be clear on the important qualities one desires in a potential life partner, I sometimes see people passing up what appears to be a really positive relationship opportunity because the person under consideration doesn’t meet all of their carefully considered criteria.

It is also important to take into consideration that people grow and change. Since all of us are a ‘work in progress’, it is important to figure out the core qualities you truly desire in your life partner.

I have talked with quite a few women and men who are still lamenting over the one that they let slip away.

How does this happen?

One possible explanation may lie in the fact that we are a very materially based society.  There is therefore some tendency to view romantic relationships as if they are as easy to replace as your car.

Some folks even refer to the initial stages of dating as ‘test drives’!

You know, the idea that if things don’t work out with your ‘current squeeze’, you can just trade him/her in for a newer or at least different model.

This is why I always recommend both being selective about who you decide to date and giving adequate time to get to know each other before moving on.

What’s occurring to you as you read this?

Another important consideration is sexual intimacy.

The ‘sexual revolution’ of the sixties had a huge impact on western society’s views regarding pre-marital sex.

From a purely psychological perspective, sexual intimacy complicates the decision making process, especially around the complex issues of personal commitment.

My advice is to go slowly here.

Friends first is my motto.


Because premature sexual intimacy can really confound our capacity to make good relationship decisions.

I have found this to be true for both men and women, although women generally have a harder time emotionally integrating multiple casual sexual encounters than do their male counter parts.

Having fun, enjoying good sex, and the excitement of the chase all have their place in romantic pursuits.  However, as we age our bodies change and life has a way of testing the depth of our commitment.

Be careful who you give your heart to.

What’s popping up for you?

Getting crystal clear on these and other deeply personal issues is critical, if one wants to stay out of the land of relationship regret.

Romantic Love as a long-term investment

When it came to the love of my life, I realized that I wanted and needed a person with certain core qualities that would pay steady ‘dividends’ as we journeyed together through life.

I have been with my wife for over ten years and we have been happily married for 7 and ½ years.

I was willing to do my due diligence to be sure that I ended up with a person who met my five most important criteria: Spiritually awake and active, giving, joyful, playful, and healthy.

I also realized that relationships and people grow and mature.

I see my relationship with my wife as a long-term investment.

I know now that I choose wisely, as our relationship has stood the tests of time, moving, aging, sickness, extended family issues, unemployment, self-employment, etc.

What about you?

Some questions for your reflection follow:

  • What four or five core qualities do you absolutely have to have in a life partner?  It’s perfectly fine to start with quite a few desirable qualities and narrow your list down to 4 or 5 ‘must have’ qualities.  In fact, I strongly recommend this approach.
  • How do you envision your life unfolding with your life partner?  This is nice one to journal on for a week.
  • What investments are you making in yourself to enhance your future with your life partner?  Some simple investments are regularly reading books on conscious relationship, communication, and human intimacy, to mention a few. 

I would be remise in my duties if I did not also mention retaining the services of a personal coach and mentor who specializes in guiding folks through the maze of relationship issues.

  • What sorts of ‘relationship enrichment’ activities do you imagine sharing with your life partner?  Eg., couples’ retreats,  communication classes, special trips, etc.
  • How will support your life partner in times of stress and sickness?  How would you like to be supported in such times?

I encourage you to take a moment and jot some ideas down.

I hope that this discussion has been thought provoking.

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1 Comment »

Comment by Stephen Light
June 19, 2012 @ 5:27 am

Hi Ron

I love your insights and provoking questions. I believe it is too easy to just give up. If we looked at what is really important, could we be different?

Thank you for hitting my heart again.

Love & Courage

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