Finding True Love

Illustration by Barbara Salsberg Mathews​ My wise four-year-old friend, Zeppelin Diclemente, tells me that "true love is in your heart and it creates your whole body."

I actually met my true love when I was a student at university in the early 80s. We met at the dance hall. He was the DJ, playing every song I requested.

He had a great smile and I felt comfortable with him. I filed that away not thinking much about it, because he was not at all my type. At the time, my type was tall, dark and emotionally abusive. I once was a hormone-riddled youth, with shaky self-esteem, in search of true love. Finding true love wasn't easy. I often made my love decisions based on my heart and groin. More often than not, I sold myself short with one disappointment after the other.

One day I said "Enough!" I decided then to use my head along with my heart and groin to find my love.

To understand my past dating patterns I made a spreadsheet. Some categories included:
  • Who asked out whom
  • Who paid for the outing
  • How the dates were
  • How these individuals treated their mothers

I discovered that all my dates were either unavailable or unable to be there for me in my hour of need; many also had negative relationships with their mothers and eventually treated me negatively as well.

Next, I defined the top 10 qualities I realized I needed in my partner to be happy in a future relationship. Some of these included:
  • A good sense of humor
  • Kindness
  • Intelligence
  • Organizational skills
  • A healthy relationship with their mom
  • Someone I could be happy growing old with

I made a cue card for each quality and its description. Each night before I slept and upon waking, I'd read these and visualize how I'd feel when I had my "Someone" in my daily life. After I went out on a date I'd evaluate how it went, keeping in mind my list of top 10 qualities.

During my waking hours, I'd focus on my health, career and studies — areas where I had some control. Doing this helped me feel stronger inside.

Years later, my future true love met me again. I asked him out as a friend and found myself falling in love when he did a triple summersault rolling down a hill at a park, landing clapping with his feet. I thought he was an even bigger child than me! When I met his mother, and saw how much they enjoyed each other's company, I realized with my heart, my groin, and my head that he had became my new type — funny, blonde, and kind.

I've been married now to my "Someone" for almost 35 years. I still feel lightness in my heart and grounded in my body when I'm with my true love. Zeppelin was right.

Illustration by Barbara Salsberg Mathews

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