Ah yes, the plight of all fools: falling in love.
But, falling in love doesn't have to be difficult. Love comes in all shapes and sizes, and healthy love is the most valuable.
That being said, before you recklessly dive head-first into falling in love with someone, you should take the necessary steps to decide if this is something you should go after. After all, the wrong decision can lead to a messy, devastating situation.
Step 1: Know What You Want
If you're looking for a long-term relationship, it's important that you know most of, if not entirely, what you seek in a partner. What you want can range from general things (such as compatibility) to specific things (like physical attributes or personality). You should never feel ashamed for having preferences! Remember, you should choose someone you absolutely want, not someone you're just settling with for the sake of it!
Step 2: Stay Away From Toxic People
This one can be a bit tricky. Oftentimes, toxic people will find their way into your lives by masquerading as the perfect partner, and people all around you will tell you to be alert! You should always listen to the advice of a trusted individual if they tell you that the person you may be considering is a toxic one. Love is blind! Important things to watch out for include how they treat other people, what kind of habits they have, and how keen their commitment is.
Step 3: Always Value Your Own Happiness
Important to the success of any relationship is how happy two people are with each other. If you're in a relationship in which you're not happy, then logic follows that you will continue to be unhappy in that relationship. You should never have to force yourself to be with someone.
Step 4: Listen to Your Heart (and Your Body)
Oftentimes, before we consciously realize that we have fallen for someone, there will be physical symptoms of it. Butterflies in your tummy, heart palpitations, shaky hands, and general nervousness are all common lovesick symptoms—especially if they happen when you think about that person!
Step 5: Don't Be Afraid
This is always the hardest step. Depending on your past, love can be a challenging venture. Whether you're new to love or have been in love multiple times, trying to find love again can be difficult for you. Remember that it's okay to date until you find someone you love, or to find love on the first try. Love is unique to everyone.
Step 6: Evaluate Your Choices
It's always important to incorporate self-reflection into your decisions. In order to avoid disaster, always be sure to evaluate the current choices you've made and options you currently have. Additionally, if it's helpful for you, talk to someone you trust for advice.
Step 7: Recognize Your Own "Version" of Love
Love can mean different things to different people, especially in how it's executed or what aspect of the relationship takes priority. It's important to acknowledge what you personally think love is, or what kind of version of love you find desirable. For some people, that may include platonic love or polyamory. There are multiple ways to love, so you should be sure to find someone with a love that's compatible with yours.
Falling in love is far more complex to be condensed into seven general guidelines, but these seven are arguably the most important. Falling in love is about finding someone you want to be with and find happiness with. Falling in love can be a gradual progression, or it can hit you all at once. Just remember: never settle for someone purely because you think you have to. Always strive for your happiness.