Surely, true love requires more than 3 reasons, you may be thinking. I must be oversimplifying things. Maybe I've never really been in love and I have no idea what I'm talking about, or perhaps I'm just a lunatic. Well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but please hear me out before you jump to conclusions. By the time you have finished reading this article, I hope to convince you that, in fact, there are only 3. I know you're dying of curiosity, so let's just get right to the point, shall we?
The first reason to love someone is because of who they are. Of the three reasons, this one is probably the most obvious. We are naturally drawn to those who possess qualities that are important to us. Physical appearance, money, and lifestyle might be important factors for many. Others may place a higher value on thoughtfulness, affection, or intelligence. The list, of course, goes on and on.
The second reason to love someone is because of who they are not. We've all been in situations where some fairly distinct personality flaws have been prominently exhibited by those around us from time to time. Who hasn't at some point elbowed their significant other to say, “I'm soooo glad you're not like THAT!” Some of the more common traits in this category might be unfaithfulness, freeloading, or lack of personal hygiene.
The third reason to love someone is despite who they are. No one is perfect. If it doesn't bother you that your girlfriend clips her toenails in the kitchen while cooking dinner, you might be a redneck or you might be in love—perhaps both. Is it acceptable to be seen with a boyfriend who actually goes out in public wearing jeans and Nikes with argyle socks? Bottom line is, of all the things that are annoying about someone, which ones are acceptable, which ones are deal-breakers, and which ones can be negotiated or changed?
I believe that true love consists of these three key reasons to love someone. If I can say that I love someone for all three reasons, and I can articulate specific qualities in each of these categories, then I have a good understanding of what is most important to me. Please understand, however, that I'm not suggesting that it is necessary to create a master checklist before the next date. If the list is miles long, one may never find true happiness. After all, no one will completely measure up to a wish list that's too specific. However, it is important to understand those traits, qualities, or values that are not negotiable. We all probably have some non-negotiable items in each of the three categories I described above. Spending time with people who meet these basic criteria often makes interesting things happen. Sometimes strengths in some areas make weaknesses in other areas less offensive. Things we never imagined we could tolerate suddenly become acceptable because of the unique combination of strengths that another person brings to the relationship. Also remember that just as important as finding someone who meets my key criteria is making sure that I am lovable, too. We all have positive qualities, but which ones are the ones I want someone to love me for? Are those qualities most evident? Which of my less desirable traits can I improve upon?
If all this seems too confusing or analytical, just remember that there are only three reasons to love someone. With that in mind, I need to go buy some new socks.