The rush of TIFF has come and gone. Most of the events are over and that means a little break in the action! The other night I was looking back over the past week and thinking about the moments that meant the most to me. I LOVED sharing the stage at the Artists for Peace and Justice Gala at Casa Loma with George Stroumboulopoulos, "The Property Brothers" Drew and Jonathan Scott, Paul Haggis and Father Rick Frechette -- who always moves my soul to the core. In total the event raised a record $1.5 million to help fund our free high school that we built for the children of Haiti.
Another great night of memories was a little more low-key but just as moving: Dinner at Montecito with my favourite couple Ivan Reitman and Geneviève Robert. Ivan -- the director of Ghostbusters, among other notable films -- was in Toronto for a special dinner with 50 people celebrating the opening of his new restaurant (Montecito) in the Entertainment District.
Global TV lifestyle reporter Minna Rhee shared a photo from that night -- a candid shot of the Reitmans who have been married for 44 years looking like they'd just fallen in love for the first time. The photograph struck me as a beautiful, simple exchange of intimacy amongst all the stars and spectacle of the festival. It was like a movie scene...but it was real! And it got me thinking, where do people find that lasting "look of love"? Is it something we could all have?
My parents have been married for 45 years and I was with them this past weekend and they are definitely still in love -- they hold hands, tease one another and they have that special gaze when they look at each other when they think nobody is watching. I believe in real love -- I witnessed it my whole life. Here's what I think I know :)
We may need to open up to new experiences, opportunities and interactions. I think one of the most important ways to find love is to give a chance to people who perhaps you normally would not. We all have our "type" and our "list" but in reality this could be limiting our real prospects. Would you want to be passed over for love just because you don't have the right style, or the right colour hair or be the "wrong" height? I know I wouldn't! We all have so much to offer, in our own unique ways. Don't close yourself off to discovering someone else's uniqueness.
Think about life a few years from now. Who would your ideal partner be then? Picture him or her...I bet they may not be the same kind of person you are attracted to today. Our long-term needs differ from our short-term desires. If we're looking for the kind of love that will last 44 years, then we have to think about the future, and who we want to share our life with. It's like an investment; look for potential, possibility and something lasting that grows stronger over time.
Choose someone who is kind. There's so many qualities we can list of our ideal partner, but for me, I truly believe kindness is the most important one. Kind eyes are a real thing; it's a characteristic that permeates into the soul. I would like to think, if you fall in love with someone who is kind, no matter what you go through in life you'll know that they will support you, care for you and show compassion. And ultimately isn't that more important than money, looks or status?
Nice guys finish first...or at least they should! So many of us girls are guilty of going for the "bad boy," just as many guys date girls who don't always treat them as well as they deserve. Yes it can be exciting to have those ups and downs in a relationship but that's not how longevity is built. We need to give the good guys (and girls) a chance. I believe Geneviève found herself a nice guy...and it shows in the tender way he looks at her. :)
Give yourself time to fall in love. Yes, sometimes it happens quickly and we feel it instantly, but most of the time we need to give ourselves the time to actually fall in love with someone. Love at first sight doesn't happen to everyone. Get to know your partner, see how you get on, consider the long-term. Don't rush things and don't worry if you don't feel passionate love immediately. It may be a slow-burning fire for some people, but I believe true love is always a gut feeling built on mutual respect...and when it happens, you'll KNOW!
When you find it you feel whole. Love that lasts is built on communication, trust, loyalty, friendship, kindness, genuine care and thinking of each other before yourself. Our true life partner, the right one, will also make us feel safe, cared for, and like we've just found a part of ourselves we might not have even known was missing. I think when you find true love, you'll feel like the best version of yourself when you are in the presence of your love.
Yes I'm a total romantic, but I do believe the kind of love that lasts is out there. Intimate moments exchanged, looks of love given...these aren't just things we see in movies. They're real and possible for all of us! Love often finds us when we least expect it. And if you're unsure or don't believe me, take your new love out with your best friends...ask them how he looks at you. Your friends always know!
Have you found your look of love? Or are you still looking? Share your favourite moments below or tweet me at @NatashaNKPR!
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