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by David Truman

Statistically speaking, few people are ready for love. But we would bet that, ready or not, any person who meets the four criteria described below will quickly learn what love is, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Others will learn at a time yet to be determined -- by them.
People often wonder if they are ready for intimacy, or if someone they love will thrive in matehood. Now, nobody knows for sure what folks will do; people can even head one way, change their minds, and turn around on a dime. We could reasonably say that in love, as anywhere else, success depends on strong desire coupled with plenty of well-directed effort. But here are four truly reliable characteristics of any person who could be voted "most likely to succeed in love":
1. A person who has no higher priority.
You're ready for love when love is TRULY your most important purpose.
Love needs plenty of room to grow. Often, to make room for love, we must de-emphasize or re-contextualize other "priorities" of existence so they do not compete too much. A person who fears that love may threaten all kinds of personal purposes will tend to defend against the "intrusion" of intimacy, setting all kinds of concerns and limits out front. That spells doom for intimacy.
Honestly, love is for those who have grown disenchanted with all else -- people who are weary of the regular round of appointments and disappointments of dreams, schemes, and tragedy. Such a person will make a great resolve: "I pursued power, success, approval, consolation, and gratification, but I needed real love. I now see that real love is worth more than all of those things. From now on I'll give love all the space and time that it needs to grow and flower in me."
2. A person who is willing to let go of preconceptions in the mind.
You're ready for love when you're not attached to your preconceived notions ABOUT love.
Trying to understand love with the mind is like trying to fit an elephant into a teacup. The key to love is to EXPERIENCE it. But we can't even experience love deeply unless we are open to love, and willing to learn about it. For that, we must be willing to put aside the mind and everything our mind thinks -- especially our concepts of love. True love exceeds everything we have known -- except, perhaps, the extraordinary pleasure of occasional moments in which we have slipped beyond ourselves. Therefore, open-mindedness is a prerequisite for would-be lovers.
3. A person who is willing to learn how to love.
You're ready for love when you're willing to do what it takes to learn HOW to love truly.
Neither a couple nor an individual is likely to master love in a hit-and-miss fashion. People are more likely to undermine the relationship trying to save it. What we really need is help -- COMPETENT help.
We can't learn everything we need to know about love from books, movies, radio talk shows, parents, or even astrology. When it comes to learning about love, we need a qualified helper -- someone who loves truly. In the company of those who love freely and well, the reality of love becomes clearer every day, and the door to fulfillment opens wide.
Of course, the best help in the world won't work if we're not open to learning once we find it. TAKE that sacred opportunity!
4. A person who will accept the challenge of love -- and LIVE DIFFERENTLY.
You're ready for love when you're actually willing to CHANGE for love's sake.
When we hear the call to love, we are challenged. We are challenged whether that call comes from an intimate, from books about love, or from living teachers of love. The possibility of real love elevates the spirit, confounds the mind, threatens the ego, thrills the heart of hearts, and reinforces all of the very best in us -- all at once!
All genuine lessons about real love challenge us to escape the traps of conventional mentality -- limited imagination, excessive attachment to personal plans and projects, and fears of love. That's the ONLY way to enter into the real rapture of self-transcendence. To succeed in love, we must take that wondrous dare. We must be willing to grow, change, adjust -- and LIVE DIFFERENTLY.
Who's not ready -- yet
As we said, people who are truly ready for love are in the minority. The rest of us have some learning and maybe some growing up ahead of us.
You are not ready for love when you tend to be highly reactive or you seem to experience difficulties in relationships that cripple your affinity for the other person. You are also not ready for love when you feel so desperate, needy, or attracted to the objects of your affection that you feel compelled to do things you know aren't for the best. BUT...
For all the would-be lovers on earth, we say, "Don't drop your dream! You can make it come true." Then patiently, steadily, devote yourself to life in which you reduce your reactivity, open your mind and heart, develop your positive will, and cultivate the attitudes described above.

by David Truman

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