What do you think of love? Is it possible to love someone without ever meeting in person? Or does it sound crazy? Have you ever watched a reality show“90 days fiancee?” Set that show aside, there are a lot of people out there who fall in love every day with people they haven’t met yet.

This isn’t a happily ever after story.

What if I tell you, even when you meet someone in person, the whole “chemistry” thing that everyone talks about is nothing more than an “illusion” or is it? let’s find out.

So, we meet our match and see a couple of positives traits and then project onto them along with everything else we think we want in a partner. After the initial romance fades away, we begin to strip away the fantasy and see our date clearly.

Sometimes, there is enough goodness in the relationship that we choose to accept each other’s faults and give real love a breeding ground.

On the other hand, when we come across something we don’t like, we make the mistake of thinking the other person has changed or lied to us about their true nature, that feeling strips us from the faith that we had in our abilities to make the right judgment and choices for ourselves, our neurotic chemical imbalance send waves of mixed emotions and throughs racing through our minds, what if we were wrong about that person we may also be wrong about other things in our lives, this process of disintegration forces us to learn about ourselves more than our love interest.

At the end of the day, love is something we all choose to do, regardless of whether we receive love from the person we chose to love. 

If you live in Ireland you’d remember the “beast from the east 2018” that bought a massive snowfall to Ireland in late February all the way to mid March and there was a shortage of bread in the whole country, Sigh! It was that time when I chose the comfort of my bed over making another snowman in the middle of the road. I spent my afternoon browsing profiles of women on a dating app, wondering if my soulmate could actually be a swipe away until I got a “super like” notification with an overlay that I couldn’t see due to being a free member.

That day I ran out of free likes and I left it at that, it wasn’t until a few days later I hopped on it again and while swiping I got “a match” with the same woman who “super liked” me a few days earlier.

I initiated the conversation and we talked for hours that day, a few days afterward we promised to meet and have a loaf of bread each, Kid.

We waited for the weather to get normal along with everything else, meanwhile our story escalated fast and before we met there was a “love bomb” dropped onto me.

To tell you the truth, I was pretty happy about it, she was pretty, we got on well and she was everything I had imagined in a woman of my dreams, therefore I told my family, friends, and anyone who wanted to hear that I found “The One.” Oh ya!

Eventually, the snow and grandiose population of snowmen disappeared from every corner came the day to meet in person, we hooked up (not your kind of hook up) in Costa and things changed. She was not that sweet caring and loving woman she was through the screen.

She was extremely nervous which she said was down to the cafe being mobed by people, besides that I found her extremely impulsive and jittery to the point that I forced my self to trim our meeting short so she could find her lost nerves back.

After we left I was given a myriad of excuses oozing out of every single pore she had in her body, much of which was completely opposite to what she barked out while we were together, once I mirrored those thoughts she distanced herself, within a week it was all over.

It sucked! I was heartbroken and embarrassed, and turning 36. I could try to get over it and find another woman, or pause, for once, and reconsider my approach to “online dating” and my romantic relationships.

So I decided to look into my beliefs on love, and write about my discoveries, not to mention the number of people I came across, my journey into research and this is the sauce that I came up with that has 5 main ingredients. 

#1. THE STORY AFTER ALL IS, WELL… A STORY!

I’d always fall in love with the self-painted-picture of the person, although people may refer to it as the fairytale and not with what I was actually experiencing.

It’s very much engraved in our society and culture, even as children we hear from our parents and guardians to bring to the forefront the concept of “happily ever after.” Unless you are the 1% who actually did make it and is genuinely happily married to your “teenage sweetheart”, you are probably not going to have Prince Charming or a Cinderella story.

I strongly believe (based on a ton of evidence) that forming your relationship with unrealistic expectations is a recipe for disaster, I lived to find out. Seeking intensity within a dream of getting married, having children and jetting off to the Bahamas, in reality is tempting.

Here is what I discovered, the intensity is everywhere, but I was looking for it in the present moments, in the first touch, in her smile, in my first cooking and dining experience with her. So what helps us to abort our premature feelings of such fairytales? Only if we can identify those fairytale qualms as soon as they hatch in your thoughts by feeling your body as a vehicle to here-and-now.

#2. “YOUR NEEDS” ARE JUST “YOUR NEEDS”

I now understand the need to find out what I really want from my partner, not what my mother and friends need or expert from her.

For a while, success was at the top of my list. Now the reality is, I couldn’t care less if my partner was career-driven when compared to whether she was loving. I quickly came to this realisation that I was more worried about what others thought than how I wanted to do things and feel what I wanted to feel.

In taking my time, and reflecting on what Suleman needs, I came up with these 5 characteristics:

  • Kindhearted & Friendly
  • Loving & affectionate  
  • Hold similar values as me
  • Willing to put in the effort for me
  • Sense of humor (yes men want that in women as well)

Consistent behavior would be a bonus. Needless to say, every man is likely to have a different set of ‘checklist’ for what he is looking for in the woman that he would consider potentially.

But don’t forget, a relationship is supposed to be a lifelong partnership for this to work, both people have to see value in the other person. It’s not all about your own wants, desires and needs either. The best advice I can give you is to write down the top 10 things that you want in a partner, and circle the ones that are NOT influenced by others, then drill them down to 8, then 5 or even 3 (its up to you) and come up with ways to see if you can identify them in your potential dates.

#3. DONT CONFUSE ROMANCE WITH LOVE

Love isn’t in Instagram photos, bigger rock, eternal promises or the poetic statements. Instead, love is in the details of our everyday lives! It’s in the boredom of our lives. It’s when you wake up with a backache and your partner lays you back down so they could rub it for you, it is when problems arise and they do, its how you respond to them, it is in the honesty and truth you live by every single day. In other words, love is acceptance of someone’s messiness, details of which take time to be seen, and so does love. It takes some time to build up, you cannot gather nine women to produce a baby for you within a month.

Love is the everyday little things. Yes, flowers are nice (if your partner is into those) but if you can sit together and have nothing to say or do for hours and still be content that screams of love that’s matured the right way by going through the correct aging process.

#4. IT IS’NT THEM, ITS YOU!

After your honeymoon phase is over you are left with the work to do. And it’s the same work if you keep on trading in one partner for another, you still end up having to go through the same route all over again.

Your relationships put your problems right in front of you and there is no escaping them, you should choose to see and acknowledge them and get to work on them with your partner.

I myself is guilty of blaming my failures in relationships on not finding the right person or on a deficit in my partner. I had the choice to repeat the same cycle with my latest heartbreak by calling her every name under the sun and move onto someone else to have the same possible outcome. But I chose to understand why I attracted someone like her.

Low and behold, it turns out, my thirst for love and affection leads me over and over to desire intensity and immediacy. So by identifying this issue that I have makes me aware of when I am about to go to the same path, at the same time it affords me the luxury to be open about it when I meet someone.

#5. VIRTUAL IS JUST VIRTUAL

In this day and age technology made it extremely easy to hide behind a screen while engaging in full-on romantic relationships. You can block someone by unmatching with them when the conversation gets uncomfortable, you can tell someone “you love them” over a text and walk away from it the next week by ghosting on them.

I personally learned that pursuing a relationship virtually for extended time periods puts you on a journey to a brittle failure. Understandably, when you’re single your tempted to get these dopamine boosts virtually, Stop! Think again and reconsider.

You must NOT deploy any means to bypass your awkwardness, and vulnerabilities to fly straight to the good phase of the relationship, it’s like expecting a seed to bear fruit without willing to let it go through the whole process of plowing, watering, and waiting for is harvest season.

Our Conclusion

One of my biggest fear was not meeting “the one.”

Since then, I came to truly value the journey so far, there has been a time where I have become more self aware, preparing myself for a healthier relationship and hopefully a lasting one but more importantly, I now know the real secret.

#SHOUTOUT: On a closing note, I would like to stress that you always have a free choice, whether you are single, in a relationship or married to blame the other for the hardships and problems or else you can look within yourself to identify issues that are lurking within yourself and work on those by accepting them first so you can learn and grow.