Are you wondering whether you’re in love?
Perhaps you’re thinking about telling your partner you love him, but you’re not sure what this really means.
Maybe your partner has said he loves you and you’d like to gain a deeper understanding of how he feels.
Either way, you’re in the right place. The article below contains eight definitions of true love.
However, before we dive into this guide, it’s important that you read the next few sentences carefully.
I recently discovered a little-known aspect of male psychology which has a huge impact on how men feel about their romantic partners.
It’s called the ‘Hero’s Instinct’.
This psychological trigger releases deep feelings of purpose and self-importance inside a man. Naturally, he becomes more affectionate and devoted towards women who make him feel this way.
Discovering this ‘cheat code’ for the male mind transformed my relationships. It is now common for men to OBSESS over me very quickly (read my personal story to learn more).
This is an easy skill to learn, yet so few people seem to know about it. This is your opportunity to make him feel like no other woman can.
If you are hoping to make a lasting impression on your man, I recommend you learn more about how I discovered the ‘Hero’s Instinct’.
In the meantime, read on for our definitions of ‘true love’.
What Is True Love?
Perhaps the most commonly written about, sung about, conjectured about sentiment ever on the planet is, what is love. Love is a many splendoured thing, a film title, a song lyric used by numerous singers, the epithets about love are endless but do they take any of us any closer to understanding exactly what true love is, and does it really exist?
The general consensus of
opinion is that true love really does exist but it is tricky to define. Rather than attempting to do this in words,
it is perhaps easier to work on traits or characteristics, examples or
scenarios. And then at the end, we can
deal with the raft of doubting Thomas’s as there are always vociferous voices
claiming that true love is just an illusion.
So the early passionate and heady days are passing and you think this one is a keeper. Your love seems to be blooming in all the right ways but how do you know if it is real love and when will you know that? Here are eight indicators that will turn the dial up on the real deal, the more you spot in your relationship, the closer you are to true happiness.
1. True love is never jealous or possessive
is utterly selfless, it is about putting that other person before you and your
needs and above all else. It shouldn’t
even be a conscious decision, it should just happen naturally.
There is no
room in real love for possessiveness, jealousy, control freakery and
selfishness. Don’t confuse overpowering
attention and claustrophobic control with selflessness, it certainly ain’t
that. Controlling another person is
borne out of insecurity and warped tendencies and is dangerous territory. What might seem flattering at first can
develop insidiously into something deeply dangerous and is to be avoided at all
is about freedom, not possession. A
caring partner will never force you to ditch your friends, change how you look,
move jobs or stop seeing your family.
This is the hallmark of a possessive and controlling lover. For sure, everyone experiences doubts and
insecurities and sometimes that can manifest in behaviour or reactions which
fit this bracket. But by and large, this
should be the exception, not the rule.
Jealousy and possessiveness are negative emotions which have no part to play in real love. True love is uplifting and is based on trust and freedom. So whilst it might make your chest swell with pride as your guy floors another in a bar for trying to chat you up, these are not emotions to endorse or be proud of. The true recipe for real love and long-term happiness is trust and lots of it. Loving anyone is about allowing them to be free. You are still your own person even if you are in love and you should be allowed to grow and develop both as an individual and as part of the relationship. Love ultimately is the absence of fear because fear is centred around need and it is this which gives rise to possessiveness and jealousy.
2. True love is accepting people for who and what they are
As part of
the controlling debate, true love does not seek to change someone but accepts
them for who they are, what they are, how they look. “I love you just the way you are” so “don’t
go changing, try to please me” are some of the most famous song lyrics on the
nothing wrong with wanting to look nice for your guy or wanting to impress him,
landing that job promotion, helping a family member out. Quite rightly, he should be proud of you and
its perfectly normal and natural to want to elicit feelings of appreciation and
pride in your lover. However, one person
trying to change another, altering their behaviour, what they look like, who
they see, is not about love but control.
someone for who they are is actually about empathy. This is a trait which is fundamental in all
human interrelationships but is never more important than when you are in
love. Accepting someone for who they are
is recognizing their right to be a unique individual even though they are in a
loving relationship. That sense of
individuality should not be countered.
True love respects the fact that each of you has a right to your own
private opinions, emotions and thoughts.
This should not threaten the other person and make them feel insecure or
of opinion are perfectly acceptable within a loving partnership, just because
you are in love doesn’t mean you have surrendered your character and
personality – you should not be a carbon copy of one another and indeed,
opposites attract as often as not.
Allowing others to be different is the variety that is the spice of life
and is a huge part of the success of a loving relationship between two people
who may be quite contrasting.
3. True love is needing not wanting
It’s easy to confuse need with other feelings in a relationship. You want to be with your lover 24/7, is that desire or need?
being needy is a negative emotion based on fear and insecurity. It can result in possessive and suffocating
behaviour as destructive tendencies increase.
This is totally opposing to wanting someone in your life.
study of economics, a need is described as essential for survival whilst want
is classified as being on the basis of desire and it may, therefore, be
unobtainable. The words are often used
interchangeably. If your lover tells you
he needs you, that doesn’t have to have a negative connotation; it’s just
semantics and he probably is trying to demonstrate how much he wants you and
how important you are to him. Remember,
its’ only language and, after all, actions speak louder than words.
To put it a
different way, needs are usually physiological whilst wants and desires are
psychological. If your guy is becoming
needy then this is probably a sign that the relationship is not necessarily
that healthy. If you think of a need as
unconditionally necessary then you can see that this cannot form the basis for a
fundamentally healthy and loving relationship.
Need is about co-dependence and whilst this may have a place in other
loving relationships, i.e. child and parent, it does not really have space in a
4. Actions speak louder than words
about what you say but words can be cheap, we have all been in a situation with
a guy who promises the moon and the stars but then just doesn’t seem to
deliver, is never there when you want him, is unreliable and thoughtless and
lets you down. It’s not long before we
realise that he says one thing and does another.
requires attention and work, it has to be nurtured in order to grow. That euphoric Cloud Nine feeling won’t last
forever and actions – grand and simple – are the mortar that puts the bricks
together and constructs something solid and long-lasting.
love is a way of life, it involves putting someone else’s desires and needs
before your own. It is about having them
as a priority on your list for the day, about not taking them for granted. Love can involve grand gestures and who
doesn’t welcome the surprise weekend break away in a romantic hotel or a couple
of last minute flights to somewhere hot and exotic.
equally, love is about the smallest of gestures, popping a note in his laptop
case because you know he has a big presentation that day. Love is about finding your favourite bottle
of white chilling when you get home from a difficult day at work. Love is about holding a door open or walking
on the outside on the pavement. There is
no set guide to actions, no defined list of tick boxes which takes you to the
top and awards the status of ‘real love’, it is just something you know when
you see it and feel it.
5. Real love has myriad forms of expression
One of the
reasons love is so hard to define is that it manifests in many different
forms. Love has been represented in five
love languages in a book entitled, The
Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
He details what he considers to be the five key elements of love:-
- The giving
could equally apply to parental love and familial love as well as romantic
love. Interestingly, he does not include
sex, desire or lust. ‘How I do love
thee, let me count the ways’ from Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1803-1861)
is used repeatedly at weddings and for Chapman’s list of five, there are
probably many more which could be added.
actually consider romantic love a modern invention. In focusing on this element
alone of love, there is a danger of missing something more deep and
meaningful. The classical masters, Plato
and Aristotle, most prominently but amongst others defined different types of
love. ‘Eros’ is passionate or sexual
love which is probably closest to the modern concept of falling in love. It is depicted as a type of madness. Then there is ‘philia’ or in simple terms,
friendship and virtue. The best philia
is born out of eros so it is the bond of friendship that lovers have between
each other. This is what Plato cites as
the gold standard, it operates on a higher level than lust and desire.
of love are discussed such as the rather unfortunate sounding ‘storge’ which is
seen more in the context of parental love but does have a level of familiarity
and dependency which has a relevance to romantic love. And then there is ‘pragma’ from which we
derive the words, ‘pragmatist’ and ‘pragmatic’.
This is practical love over a longer-term period and one should hope
that eros will eventually develop into pragma.
6. Real love makes you feel good, not bad
should make you feel warm, appreciated, safe, secure, cherished, nurtured and
above all, loved. Real love should make
you feel tender and open to other people, not just your partner.
If you are
experiencing real love, you will feel considerate, tender, gentle and
respectful to your partner. You are
concerned for their welfare and tolerate their flaws with patience and
indulgence. But did you know that true
love can also make you kinder and softer to those around you? This maybe your family, work colleagues,
friends or even complete strangers.
deep down happiness and fulfilment can make you kinder to other people, it is
pervasive. Conversely, if you are
usually content and happy go lucky but your friends and family remark on the
fact that you have changed, then this might be an indicator that love is not
making you feel good.
not only make you kinder, friendlier and more open but it can also inspire you,
make you feel invincible, empower you to take on challenges you would never
have considered before you met that person.
Courage and motivation come in spades and you develop a kind of energy
and drive on the back of which you can achieve some amazing things. Of course, you don’t have to climb Mount
Everest or conquer your fear of flying just because you have fallen in
love. Many people just revel in the
intense feelings of optimism and might, it’s like a drug-induced high that goes
on and on.
They do say
that the love of the right person can make you the best possible version of
yourself and this is one of the ultimate ways to test out the depth of your
feelings and whether your love affair is real or fake.
7. Real love really is a biological process
those sceptics who deny the existence of real love, there really is a chemical
process which occurs in the human body to underpin this claim.
attachment to another human being releases chemicals in the brain such as
serotonin, vasopressin, dopamine, oxytocin and norepinephrine. These hormones are real chemical messengers
and create the physical and emotional feelings that occur when two people are
falling in love. This is what they do:-
- Serotonin – heightens
mood in a similar way to drugs
- Vasopressin –
this hormone is responsible for the feelings of attachment and belonging
- Oxytocin – this is
the biggie and underpins the real biology of physical attraction. This hormone is released during kissing and
cuddling and strengthens the connection and bonding process between two people
- Dopamine – revolves
around reward and desire and centres on the pleasure felt during the
interaction within a loving partnership.
This might emanate from kindness, touch or going out on a special date
- Norepinephrine – this hormone is responsible for some of the physical
manifestations of falling in love including clammy palms, a racing or
fluttering heartbeat and feelings of lightheadedness
A lot of
these physical processes in the brain are similar to the effect produced by
taking drugs like ecstasy, probably why it was given that name in the first
place. So love really is a drug and for
those who deny the existence of real love, there is actually biological and
chemical evidence to prove them wrong.
Scientists have studied and categorically proven a real physiological
basis to the human condition of falling in love and being in love.
8. You are in it for the long haul
vows talk about the eternity of love ‘for richer for poorer, in sickness and in
health’ and a real sign of true and meaningful love is sticking with someone
when times get tough.
person would up and leave if there were financial problems or a health issue
and of course, selfishness has no place on the stage that is true love. It’s easy to be with someone when times are
good, there are no pressures or work problems, no family difficulties or
shortage of money. But do you still feel
the same way when things are not looking so rosy?
about cherishing that person and caring about them more than you do
yourself. Many relationships don’t
survive the pressure of difficulties and fragment and break down. To be fair, some crises are truely awful like
the terminal illness of a child. But if
it is just you and him, your love will be tested in challenging times and real
love will not be found wanting.
is about putting your partner’s needs before your own, of focusing on their
welfare rather than your personal life and of not even considering the impact
that these difficulties might have on you.
It shouldn’t occur to you that there is an exit door at these troubled
times. Love is about having your
partner’s back through the good times and the bad.
ironically, testing times can deepen love and act as a litmus test of your
commitment to one another. A relationship
which has to survive the fire can be forged into an even deeper bond and become
literally as strong as steel. It can be
a huge vote of confidence for a couple even though no-one would wish
difficulties upon themselves.
Are you a
If you are a non-believer in the state of true love then
quite possibly, it is because you have never experienced it. It is simple really, sceptics state that is a
myth, an illusion because they have never felt real love for themselves.
There have probably been as many pop songs written about the
fact that love doesn’t exist as those penned which try to define it and
champion the cause of true love. Some
people fall out of love with love after numerous failed relationships and bad
experiences. I guess as any desired and
cherished thing, real love can be a rarity and it could be a matter of chance
whether or not we meet the right people in our lives.
One of the difficulties is that love is so romanticised and
idealised, represented in films as some sort of warm, fluffy and pink
status. In fact, real love is hard work,
gritty, challenging, scary and a whole host of other things besides. Have we all been too influenced by the
idealised view presented in the movies and when relationships don’t match this gold
standard, we reject them as not the real deal?
For many who reject the idea of real love, they also cast
aside the concept of a lifetime partner or soulmate. Don’t let one or more bad relationships sour
the true goal of real and meaningful love.
Perhaps you just haven’t found the right person yet.
So yes, in conclusion, true love does exist, there is just
too much evidence to the contrary.
Doubters and cynics are shaped by their own bad experiences and to some
degree, jealousy and resentment toward those who are happy in love. There is even a basis in science to support
it. This list of 8 reasons or
characteristics can easily be multiplied many times over. Write your own list, get your friends to
write theirs, they will all be different and all will be correct and
viable. So to those who say true love is
a fable, a myth, a made-up device of modern media, I would say, you just
haven’t found the right person yet.
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