(This article was written by Lauren Martin and originally appeared on EliteDaily.com)
There are a lot of theories about love out there. According to Women’s Health, you need to kiss 15 guys and fall in love twice before finding “the one.” Another source says you’ll fall in love with between two and five men before you get married.
The statistics might not be full proof, but the common thread is you’re never supposed to marry the first guy or gal you meet.
I’m not trying to bash high school sweethearts, but hopefully in between that time before getting married, you met other people, experienced new things, went out on a few limbs and fell in love a few more times.
And no, I’m not just talking about falling in love with different people; I’m talking about falling in love with things.
The soul’s greedy. It wants more than just physical attraction and sexual tension. It wants real love — maddening, all-consuming love.
But not just from one place.
It wants love from multiple angles and six different directions. It needs to be satisfied in several areas before settling down for “the one,” because if it’s missing love from just one place, it will go out searching for it.
When you haven’t experienced the love of other parts of yourself, you’ll question the love you’re getting from someone else. You’ll think the love with your partner is shallow or hollow, when in fact it’s the other pieces that were never filled.
As we get older, meet more people and wonder if the relationship we’re in is “the one,” it’s important to make sure all the other “ones” are accounted for.
That being said, if you haven’t fallen in love these six times, you’re not ready to get married.
1. With yourself.
When you don’t need to pick up the phone, hear anyone’s voice or make plans to avoid missing out, then you’re ready to branch out of the fully blossomed relationship that is with yourself.
Your love for yourself is the most important and significant love there is, and until you’ve dug deep enough and found that love, you’re not ready to accept anyone else’s.
When you accept another person’s love in replace of your own, you’ve signed away the rights to your authentic self.
2. With your job.
Careers are the chest on which we lay our heads. They are strong, inspiring and steady.
For most of your life, your career is what tucks you into bed and wakes you up. It’s what inspires you and feeds you. It’s your baby, your love, your constant stream of happiness, and without it you feel lost and insignificant.
If you still haven’t found the right one, keep looking. It’s out there.
3. With your city.
Before you connect with the person of your dreams, you should connect with the city of your dreams.
You should fall head over heels for the energy and soul of your city. You should love the smell of it, the taste of it and the charm of it. You should know its vices and hidden neuroses the same way you know its charming spots. Its bridges should be the first arms that welcome you home and the last ones you want to leave.
No romance can happen in the bedroom until it happens on the street.
4. With your best friend.
The love of your life doesn’t come at the expense of the love of your friendships. When you love your best friend unconditionally, you don’t need to search for more meaningful relationships — you feel the completely content with being all each other has.
Loving your friends means learning how to love another person without the need for physical attraction and connection. You learn what it means to care for people without even having to touch them.
5. With your dreams.
Unlike so many who came and went, your dreams have stayed. They have been with you your whole life. They are your source of love and attention in your life.
Without your dreams, you’re only half human. Without your dreams, you’re only half living.
You can’t replace a dream with a person. If you do, you’ll only end up blaming them for your broken ones.
When you love your own world, you don’t go out searching for someone to invite you into his or hers.
When you’ve created your own utopia and safe space, you aren’t driven into the deceiving arms of someone else’s. When you have your own life, you’re not going to give it up just because someone offers you his or hers.
Any person who has created a life for him or herself knows that life is the most important one there is. Because these people value their time and their space, they’ll never feel like there isn’t enough room for someone else to come into it, too.