When you find the right person, you’re willing to take the leap.
Barney and Robin are both terrified of commitment. Neither of them were comfortable with the idea of marriage – but when they got together, their minds started to change. They felt so comfortable together that they couldn’t imagine a future without each other. They decided that they were willing to take the leap and love each other fully, even though it was scary, even though there was a chance they could get hurt in the end. They loved each other too much to let the opportunity slip away from them.
The right person will love the things that your exes hated.
There’s an episode where Ted makes Robin feel guilty about how he didn’t feel needed when they were in a relationship. When she runs to Barney and asks whether he felt needed in their relationship, he tells her no. “That’s a compliment!” he says. “You’re the least needy woman I’ve ever met. That’s awesome! That is what makes you the most amazing, strong, independent woman I’ve ever banged.” Unlike her exes, Barney loves that Robin is independent, strong, and successful. He isn’t intimidated by her. He’s in awe of her. It’s proof that you shouldn’t change who you are to please your partner. The right person will love you exactly the way you are.
Real love is messy.
There are going to be ups and downs. There are going to be good times and bad. No relationship is perfect, but the imperfections can make it even more beautiful. Like Barney says in season ten: “I love our story. Sure, it’s messy, but it’s the story that got us here.” Remember, your person might mess up from time to time. You might mess up too. But if you always treat each other with love and respect, if you are a real team and make each other better instead of worse, then it’s going to work out in the end.
You need to be friends first.
Your partner should be more than someone who has legendary sex with you. It should be someone who knows what to say to cheer you up when you’re crying, someone who shares your interests (or is willing to learn about them), someone who you can be your real self around. Your partner should be your best friend. You should be able to have fun together. Otherwise, what’s the point?
You need to be honest with each other (and yourself) if you want a relationship to work.
Emotional stuff isn’t easy, especially when you’ve been hurt in the past and are scared of commitment. But the right person will be worth the inconvenience. They’ll be worth the struggle. When you find the right person, you’ll stop lying to yourself about how you’re better off alone. You’ll admit that maybe letting someone special in isn’t a bad thing. Like Barney said, “Maybe I want the trouble. I haven’t wanted the trouble in a long time. But with you, the trouble doesn’t seem so… troubling.”