How To Know You're Getting Closer To A Real Relationship

You start to learn that it really does matter that you know yourself well enough to know who it is you're really looking for. Your list changes to reflect the you you're discovering and learning to embrace in love.  A man and woman are holding hands near the ocean.Don't doubt yourself on this journey. It doesn't matter where you've come from or what you've been through. It doesn't matter how many times you feel you've repeated the same mistakes or how many times you've attracted the same type of guy. None of that matters.

What matters is how each experience brings you closer to what you're really looking for. With every heartbreak, with every disappointment, you learn and you grow. You get to know yourself better and you get a clearer sense of what you're willing to put up with and what you're going to be picky about.

You learn to be more flexible in some areas and less in others. You learn what feels good and what feels awful. You stretch, you constrict, you ebb and you flow. You see things more clearly; the fog lifts just that much more.

You start to learn that it really does matter that you know yourself well enough to know who it is you're really looking for. Your list changes to reflect the you you're discovering and learning to embrace in love. You revise it to reflect what is most compatible with the real you and not some version of yourself that you thought was really you. You begin to understand why being emotionally available and having the ability to commit to a real relationship are the number one and two must-haves on your list.  You begin to see why how he treats you matters more than any item on your list.

You stop making excuses for anyone. You start rightly expecting him to pull his own weight and refuse to keep anyone around who brings you down. You stop expecting someone to complete you and make your life over and instead, you realize what you most want is someone who is a real person who you can have an honest, open, loving relationship with. You start living in reality instead of the fantasy that felt so familiar because you thought you needed to be rescued. You finally see that you don't need anyone to come and rescue you; you hold the key to your own happiness.

You stop beating around the bush and you start coming right out and saying what it is you're looking for. First to yourself, and then to him. You begin to really get that it's only by communicating honestly with any potential new guy that you can both find out quicker if you're on the same page or wasting your time. You stop pleasing. You stop placating. You stop being whatever someone else wants you to be. You stop living up to someone else's unrealistic expectations of you and start listening to that soft inner voice that knows you better than anyone else.

And this time, you actually believe it.


  1. ann says

    thank you for showing me what a healthy relationship looks like. After being in toxic relationships for most of my life i had more or less given up on ever finding true love, but after reading your posts I have hope and peace. thanks for the education about true love.

    • Jane says

      You're so welcome, Ann. I hear what you're saying and my heart goes out to you. It can be so hard to keep that kind of hope alive when you keep finding yourself in toxic relationships no matter how much you think things have changed, but that's why it's women just like you who keep inspiring me to remind you that there is still reason to have hope and never to give up. I hear stories all the time of women just like you who finally found that healthy relationship after so many repeated patterns of disappointment and heartbreak. It is a journey that takes time, and everyone's path and time on that path is different, but know that your time will still come.

  2. says

    Thank you, Jane! I just totally love your blog, your writing and your intelligent insights... Lately I am reading and re-reading your posts, now that I am on my way to getting what I truly want in love...

  3. Michelle says

    Thank you for this post. I think I am struggling with communicating openly about what I want because I am scared he won't be on the same page. I like the part about realizing that we don't need to be rescued. Most of the time I am a strong, independent woman. I don't like asking anyone for help, or want to share my struggles as I sometimes feel that it isn't anyone elses responsibility. But deep in my heart, I think I have this expectation that I will find a guy that will be in my life to rescue me and make me happy. I need to find a way to be happy with me. I am not sure how to accomplish that, but I have read 4 or 5 of your blogs and they are very helpful. Any advice?

    • Jane says

      I struggled so much with this, too, Michelle; it can be so foreign a concept to think that we can be happy with ourselves, especially if we have been led to believe this is selfish or that we need to look outside of ourselves for validation. It helps to recognize these blindspots if we have them, but our biggest work is in getting to know our true selves, finding out who we really are, and then creating a life for ourselves that respects and honors that self. It's in the accomplishments that we never knew we could do, it's in the experiences we never knew we were capable of, it's in stretching ourselves so that we grow stronger and more confident of the beautiful women we all are, that we discover in this process that we can be truly happy with who we are.

      It will be different for each of us, but it's in this discovery of ourselves, our unique passions, our individual dreams and plans, that we learn more about what truly makes us happy within ourselves. Getting involved with different groups, and clubs, and engaging in volunteer work and causes that you are passionate about can all give you a chance to meet new people as well as discover the joy of being part of something bigger than ourselves. Finding out those little things that make you smile and those bigger things that are rewarding over time, can all help you discover more about yourself that make you more comfortable in your own skin.

      The most important thing to remember is to not be so hard on yourself, be patient if it seems to be taking longer than you'd like, and recognize that this is a journey that can't be sped up just because we want it to. You will get there, but it's in the journey, not in the outcome, that we learn the greatest lessons we are meant to learn that change our lives for the better if we are open to seeing what we are meant to see along the way.

      And for right now, Michelle, know with full confidence that if he's not on the same page as you, it's far better to find out early on, than after you've wasted so much more of your time and energy and your beautiful you on someone who's just not there. Heartbreak is never easy, but it's always harder after years of investment in a relationship that was never meant to be in the first place.

      • michelle says

        Well I don't think he is on the same page as me and I have invested 2 years at this point. You are right that it is harder to let go or give up hope that if I wait a little longer he will be ready. He never promised more, and he even told me he wasn't ready for more since he was getting a divorce after many years of marriage. I am not sure I can be happy in the moment anymore because I am fearing the thoughts in my head that he may never be ready. I don't want to rush into anything, but I also don't want to be ok with things never progressing. I was so used to guys falling in love right away & promising the world, that the unknown scares me. But I was also dating the wrong guys, & expecting the word love to make things perfect. I guess I wanted to take things slow, but now I feel like it is too slow if that even makes sense? Like other women here, he says he sees a future with me, but not yet as we do not know everything about each other. The bigger reason is he wouldn't do it if he feels it would be bad for his son. I'm so torn between my heart & the rational/logical.

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