I went through this a lot when I was younger. I wouldn’t say what I was feeling at the time wasn’t love, but it just wasn’t a love that could last through time. It was selfish, centered around my own needs. The love I was in was an immature love.
I was a late bloomer when it came to love. I had to “grow up” and become a full person in my own right before I could experience true love.
Each one of us is born with the desire to be loved and cared for; it’s something that never goes away. We may lose our hair and the trim figure of our youth, but the need and desire for true love doesn’t diminish with time. As Frank A. Clark says: “A baby is born with a need to be loved and never outgrows it.”
There are more than 3 ways to know if you are experiencing true love, but these 3 are the building blocks of every strong, committed relationship. They’re also the qualities I had to make a priority when I was looking for the man I wanted to share my life with.
How you can be sure it’s true love:
- You fight well together. This means you know how to disagree with each other without causing irreparable damage to the other person. In other words you don’t threaten to breakup or walk out just to get your way. You don’t use cruelty as a weapon hurt the other person. We all say things in anger at times that aren’t pretty and we regret, but it’s needs to be a rare event and not a pattern of fighting. Being able to disagree and discuss differences with respect and openness is necessary for a happy relationship.
- You feel safe. Dr. Phil says it best when he refers to your partner as “a soft place to fall.” God knows dealing with everyday frustrations and the craziness of the world is stressful enough. We don’t need any added pressure from those closest to us. If you can’t feel safe to be you and to express yourself in your relationship, you’re probably not feeling true love. Love can’t grow unless it nurtured with kindness.
- You accept each other as you are. An important indication of true love is when you can stop judging the person you’re with and see them as a unique individual with their own frialties and quirks. Judgment is one of the biggest destroyers of love and connection. Mother Teresa said it best, “If you judge people you have no time to love them.” When you judge another, the tendency is to want to change them. This is a way we tell ourselves we’re right and the other person is wrong. If you want to be right about everything you will never be happy.
True love has a special feeling about it, a sense of non-attachment. It’s a blessing that let’s us transcend our ego-based need for love and move into a place of giving love that is free from selfish motives and is unconditional.