Many people spend their lives searching for that ONE TRUE LOVE--that one love that will satisfy all their human longings and fulfill all their needs. For most, that is expected to be created by one relationship that completes them and satisfies all of their love needs for the rest of life. They believe in what is known as their SOULMATE. Some actually do find this SOULMATE—this person who truly understands them and loves them unconditionally and appreciates their idiosyncrasies and laughs at their jokes and vibes with them and is fun to be with and enjoys their company and remains devoted to them throughout the rest of their lives—and on and on. But is this even possible for everyone? Can there be someone who just shows up from out of nowhere and stays forever without drama or difficulty? Is this SOULMATE the key to lifelong love?

Well, in pursuit of Mr. or Ms. Right, many find themselves settling for Mr. He’ll Do for Now or Ms. Fill in the Gap. Many even stop at Mr. Wrong and I’ll Make Him Right or Ms. Cute Enough. Not everyone knows how to pursue this mystical character called their SOULMATE. Even if they did encounter their potential SOULMATE, misperceptions and unrealistic expectations might cause them to miss out on the opportunity since the person may not appear to be in the “right package.”

Lifelong love is not found through an accidental meeting in a grocery store somewhere. The best way to find it is to prepare for it. For some, that means joining with that special someone who becomes their SOULMATE but for most it means becoming that special someone to be joined to. This is true for both men and women—we all have work to do to prepare ourselves for the blessing that is to come in the form of someone else to love.

Here are some tips to consider in doing the work. For some this will be review, but for others this could be a six-month process. Your job is to get things in order.

Put God First

He made you, He loves you, He wants first place. One of the ten commandments says, “…thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” First, know your God. He has great plans for you and your love life. He also has guidelines for your safety while on the journey to your lifelong love.

Second, love your God. Give to God what is God’s. Practice loving Him and being loved by Him. He is the best lover on earth and He loves you unconditionally. Doing the love thing with God is good practice and may show Him that He can trust you with that special someone He’s been saving for you to love.

Third, be honest with your God. Stay connected! Develop a really clear relationship with Him that includes speaking to and hearing from Him. Tune totally in to Him. When you mess up—just admit it. Take the time to confess it so that you don’t develop a wall of separation between you and your God. Simply practice returning to base. Your heavenly Father is the safest place to be yourself completely. Trusting Him is practice for trusting your lifelong love.

Put Self Second

Jesus said it this way, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and strength…and love your neighbor as yourself.” First, know yourself. Know that you have a responsibility to be the person that God created you to be. He likes who you are and He has already seen who you can develop into. Agree with Him and make great plans for your own life. Make great plans for your LOVE LIFE! If you were emotionally scarred somehow in your past; admit it, connect to God and allow yourself to go through the healing process. This will prepare you for healthy lifelong love. If you have personal work to do in a certain area, do it. Someone with temper issues who winds up with someone who also has temper issues may be asking for trouble. Understand that certain people will be good for you and others will not. God is a matchmaker. He knows how to make a match. In the card game of concentration, players have to turn over a few cards before they find two that look alike. Be patient and know that God knows what’s best for you. He’ll let you know when you’ve found a good match.

Second, love yourself. Be an example of how you want others to treat you. Know that what you say about yourself is more important than what others say to or about you. Don’t let yourself fall in love with just anyone. If you turn over a mis-match, be willing to put it back and try again. Don’t just call it a match because you came across it. Go back to home base and see what happens next. Your lifelong love will have certain qualities that make them a match for who you are now as well as who you are becoming. Take the time to see what synergy is created when you two are together. That is a sign that can be trusted.

Third, be honest with yourself. Recognize that you are growing and learning with every decision and every circumstance you find yourself in. Sometimes you choose well, other times—not so well. Whenever you make a mistake, just deal with it and move on. Don’t beat yourself up about it (or anybody else for that matter); just decide to use your newfound knowledge to make a better decision next time. Having the flexibility to recognize when a change needs to be made and making it is a quality that your lifelong love will appreciate.

Put Others Next

After you have loved the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength and after you have gotten your love relationship with yourself clear…now you can love your neighbor. Your lifelong love will enter your life as a stranger or a new person, first. As your relationship begins to grow and develop you will recognize them as someone special, but their first introduction to you will be simply as someone you’ve never met before.

When it comes to new people, first, and foremost, believe the truth about others. See them through clear eyes. Know that they are already who they are. What you see is what you get, regardless of what they say they are going to do in the future. Your addition to their lives will only improve them if what you contain pushes them closer toward their purpose in life (not your idea of their purpose in your life). The converse is also true. Their addition to your life must propel you toward your purpose in life as well. If not, you may have to re-evaluate the relationship. If your job involves traveling and they hate everything related to traveling, your being joined together may cause more friction than harmony. Be willing to let go and move on.

Second, be loving toward others. Having a habit of being loving toward others will instantly be an open door to this special someone. Allow them to be in your presence without you attempting to change or fix them. Remember that God loves them the same way He loves you. If it just so happens that the Holy Spirit convicts them while you are around then that’s His business. Your lifelong love will enjoy you more if you practice loving them rather than judging or correcting them.

Third, be honest with yourself about others and act accordingly. Be honest with yourself when you discover various things about others. If you like what you see, then move forward. If you don’t like what you see, believe it and move on. Don’t park there and tell yourself that you can pray that problem away for them. Give them the freedom to work out their own salvation around their difficulties. You can wait patiently for the results and then sign on the dotted line later. Remember, when you marry someone, they are only more of what they were when you were dating. If you can handle who they are and love them as they are in their current state, any progress they make in any area is just icing on the cake.

Know What You are Doing

Finally, preparing for lifelong love is a process. When you have your expectations of yourself and others in order, you have a better chance of recognizing where you are on the journey to lifelong love. Be aware of what you have to offer when it comes to being a SOULMATE for someone. Hone your skills and face your challenges. Have your list of must have’s and can’t stand’s ready so that you can evaluate potential matches and differentiate a potential friend from a candidate for lifelong love. Remember that your heavenly Father is participating in this process and He is the best source of confirmation for your progress. He loves you first and is actively preparing for you to not only have lifelong love but to be the answer to someone else’s quest for lifelong love. God is a matchmaker and He always wants the best for you.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Torri L. Griffin, LPC practices Love Coaching in Atlanta, GA and holds love seminars for singles, couples and groups. She is also a motivational speaker and the author of "My Little Book of Wisdom, Volume 1: 52 Lessons I've Learned from Living Life." For more information on Life Long Love contact her at wisdom@LoveLivingLife.com or visit her website www.LoveLivingLife.com.