Some people dreamily describe their love stories as destined. Others say their relationships are meant to be after surviving a series of trials. Then, some believe in the concept of “soulmates.” For them, marrying your soulmate is the secret to have a smooth and long-lasting relationship or marriage.
However, the less-romantic kind of people dismisses the ideas of soulmates and destiny. For them, true love is a decision made by two people. Despite differences and problems, a relationship thrives if the couple cooperates in making things work.
So, is true love really a destiny or a choice?
Although I believe that there is a sovereign God who is in control, I personally think that the free will given to humankind includes having the freedom to choose your life partner. Life is a series of choices to make, and that is the same in love.
Here are some of the choices you have to make in true love:
1. It’s a choice to love someone.
True love is a decision. It is not dependent on the fluttering butterflies you feel in the stomach. It is not based on the happiness you feel whenever you are with a person. Instead, it is an everyday choice to be with the person and be life partners.
Also read: 25 Ways to Truly Love Your Partner in a Relationship
2. It’s a choice to stay committed.
Commitment is not an easy thing to maintain. There are times when you feel tired to keep doing what is expected from you. Without choosing to stay committed (no matter how in love you are), your relationship will still fail. No destiny can force a relationship to work if one or both partners are not committed to it.
3. It’s a choice to remain faithful.
Whether you are destined to be together or not, if you could not resist the temptation to cheat on your partner, your relationship would not last. No one wants to stay with a person who does not respect their feelings.
It is not impossible to be attracted to someone else. However, if you truly love your partner, you will choose to do what is right, and that is to avoid feeding your emotions towards the other person.
Also read: How to be Faithful in a Relationship: 12 Ways
4. It’s a choice to forgive.
Yes, humans are not perfect, and you would surely fail or disappoint your partner at some point. Your partner could hurt you too. Without the voluntary decision to forgive and give a second chance, a relationship cannot last.
Also read: How to Forgive Each Other in a Relationship: 12 Tips
5. It’s a choice to give second chances.
As mentioned in no. 4, second chances are given voluntarily. It is all up to you if you would continue to put up with your partner’s flaws. It also depends on you if you continue to trust your partner despite his/her past failures.
You see, you can forgive a person for hurting you. Nevertheless, if you know s/he can do it again, it would be foolishness to keep trusting. It is up to you to stick with a person who is not trustworthy.
6. It’s a choice to stay after seeing your partner’s flaws.
True, unconditional love—not destiny—is the reason why you would remain to be with a person, even after seeing his/her worst side. Some people may choose to stick with their messed-up partners because they believe they were meant to be. However, sooner or later, you would see many of them walking out of their relationships because they could no longer find any purpose for staying.
7. It’s a choice to cooperate.
For a relationship to be successful, the couple must willingly work together. Cooperation in any kind of partnership is essential, mainly if your and your kids’ future will depend on it. No one wants to be stuck in an abusive relationship, marriage, or family.
Many people left their relationships not because they fell out of love but they felt that they were the only ones trying to keep the love alive. Or probably they did not feel heard, respected, or valued anymore.
8. It’s a choice to compromise.
To compromise is to adjust your ways to meet halfway with your partner. Of course, you would know by now that a relationship is made up of two different people. Without the conscious effort to deal with your differences, a relationship will not last.
For this reason, a couple should compromise. Both of you should set up agreements, boundaries, and rules that can help you avoid fights and misunderstandings. A compromise is not always comfortable, but you have to do it if you love your partner.
9. It’s a choice to make sacrifices.
Aside from compromises, sacrifices are often necessary for a relationship. You have to sacrifice the things that are causing havoc between you and your partner. For instance, if your partner does not like you smoking, you would have to decide to give it up or to break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend. If you truly love your partner, surely you would choose to sacrifice your habit.
10. It’s a choice to be humble.
Pride is a destructive force that can ruin any relationship. Naturally, humans are prideful. It takes selflessness to set aside pride to save a relationship. Therefore, couples need to practice humility before each other. Being humble is a choice too.
Also read: How to be Humble in a Relationship: 14 Ways
11. It’s a choice to accept the person for what s/he is.
True love is primarily about choosing to accept a person into your life. It involves the unconditional acceptance of that person’s positive and negative traits. You may want to change your partner, but that does not happen all the time.
12. It’s a choice to avoid being rude when you are angry.
It is usual for couples to fight at times because of misunderstandings and differences. As long as there is respect for each other, a relationship can always survive a fight. However, if the couple would always react with disrespect and rudeness during every quarrel, arguments would be longer and wounds deeper.
It is not easy to remain calm, gentle, and respectful when you are angry. However, to save your relationship, you have to control your emotions and be mature enough to choose your words wisely. Avoid blurting out harsh words that you might regret later.
Also read: 16 Good Ways to be Kind in a Relationship
13. It’s a choice to stay with someone in his/her lowest moment.
It is easy to be with a person who is accomplished, stable, and reliable. However, how about when s/he is not? Is a broken individual also deserving to be loved? It is a choice to stay with someone struggling with life and with whom you do not have security for the future. It is a choice that only true love can make.
14. It’s a choice to grow old together.
Nowadays, divorce is so common that society has started to accept it as part of life. A lot of celebrities have had multiple marriages before they could settle down with someone in old age. The only explanation for this is that many people are not determined enough to fight for their relationships these days. For this reason, many relationships cannot last.
If you want a relationship that will last a lifetime, the choice is all yours. You and your partner should commit to staying together, resolving issues without breaking up, and growing old together no matter what.
It’s a choice to be happy together.
True love requires a lot of choices and efforts to thrive. No relationship stays happy and prosperous just because of destiny. It is a choice made by a couple—a choice partnered with work.
Also read: Is True Love a Choice or a Feeling? Why You Should Work on Both