In lieu of Valentine’s Day, I loosely considered a piece about love, as cliche as it may be. The more I thought about the relevance love has with college life, the more I realized that college is a time when students are not only learning and earning their way into their future career but a time when they may meet and fall in love with their future spouse; both have equal significance.
If it is love we are talking about, it may be wise to expect the possibility of meeting someone at college you could marry. If that expectation is a possibility, it may also be worth training your eye and heart on how to look for someone with substance and rectitude, someone compatible, and someone who will love you for your special qualities and personal character. So if marriage is in your future, longevity, growth, and faithfulness will be qualities of it.
The problem with so many young adults, myself included, is that it is difficult to distinguish the love we may have for a person from our emotional pull toward them. For many years, I believed that feelings were everything one would need to maintain success in a relationship. Sadly, I found out that that is not the case. True love is dependent upon the existence of specific attributes or qualities within the relationship. How we feel toward that person is extremely temporary and relative to our emotional state.
Humility is the most important attribute to look for in a person you might want to date. Pride and arrogance, a selfish, self-seeking attitude can destroy friendships and relationships. You yourself also have to self-reflect and realize that too much of “me” will make you lonely. Apart of loving is serving the other, but it has to be mutual.
You also want to look for someone you know you can depend on for truth and reliability, someone who has the ability to communicate his or her needs as well as help you to communicate your needs without making up stories or “beating around the bush.” Call it truth in love.
To find someone that has the capacity to know things in a critical sense surrounding your relationship and the world around them is important. I’m not suggesting someone who is really smart in academics, but a critical thinker, someone who will take the time to know who you are and know who they are.
Honor and good character is also a very important quality to seek out in an individual. The antonym of integrity is dishonesty. How appealing is it to know that your mate is dishonest? Where would that leave you and the future of your relationship? Measure your own integrity. Are you honest and of good character?
Spending time with one another is important and should not be diminished, but it is also important not to shrug off your other friends and acquaintances for the sake of a relationship. It will only alienate you in the future.
College for students is a temporary hovering of common direction. You’re not going to stay in college the rest of your life. Finding a mate that has a mutual sense of bearing is crucial. This can also apply to preferred family structure (kids, no kids), places to live, whether one wants to travel or not. Make sure you are both going in the same direction.
Finding a mate that shares your same beliefs and passions is another extremely important element. Our personal and spiritual beliefs tug at our soul. They are what we cling to when the world doesn’t make sense to us. When you choose to be with a person and that person doesn’t share in what is most special and personal to you, how can you possibly justify the relationship or convince yourself that it will last?
I have taken these concept from a friend, who has had a successful marriage out of school. He used an example of a box of chocolates:
In each box of chocolate, there are so many varieties and each of us choose based upon our preference of which is the most desirable. However, if you start taking out the ingredients, the nuts perhaps, or the caramel, maybe the chocolate, or even the sugar, how desirable will the chocolate be?
Qualities in a relationship work the same as ingredients in a piece of chocolate. A relationship can become increasingly more undesirable when the important qualities are stripped away or maybe weren’t there in the first place. These qualities go deeper than whether he or she is attractive, whether he has money or a nice car or whether she has nice legs and makes you feel good about yourself when you walk around campus. The truth is those things may, well, they will fade away over years, and then, what will you be left with?
While you can, be attentive to different types of people and their innermost nature. Have patience as you grasp these concepts, and remember, college is a time to learn and to learn about love.
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