What is true love or romantic love? The truth – everyone communicates and receives love in their own way. You have many different kinds of love in your life. Love for family, love for your job (maybe), love for hobbies, love for pets, and maybe even love for your favorite sports team. But the love you have for your significant other is different. It is special and often the strongest.
The problem that many people have is figuring out the meaning of true love and the signs of true love.
- How do you know you’re in love?
- How do you know if someone is in love with you?
It is important to be able to identify true love and what love is NOT, especially if you are considering taking your relationship to the next level.
What Is True Love?
Anyone can blurt out the words ‘I love you,’ but a person’s actions speak much louder than those words. What is true love? Am I really in love? Is my significant other really in love with me? Here are some of the most common signs of true love.
Sign #1 – The relationship is more important than “winning” or being right
It is normal for a couple to get into arguments from time to time. They will not always agree. However, there should be no derogatory language, low blows, or attempts to hurt your partner. If you are truly in love, your relationship is much more important than “winning” the fight or being right. And even if your partner has done something to hurt you, according to Rubin’s Love Scale, real love means that you are willing to forgive your true love for almost anything. Forgiveness, kindness and appreciation of the relationship are the true signs of true love.
One of the secrets of a happy marriage? You can be right or you can be happy. Get more marriage advice so what.
Sign #2 – Prioritize the needs of your significant other.
Another sign of true love is prioritizing the needs of your significant other. You see, true love goes beyond mere passionate or romantic love to something known as compassionate love, which evokes positive behaviors toward your significant other, such as support, charity, self-sacrifice, and concern for your significant other’s needs even when it comes to costs to yourself.
Compassionate love involves feelings and actions that focus on concern, caring, and an orientation to understand, support, and help your significant other when they are in need. Instead of reciprocating, real love means caring for your loved one’s well-being and needs while knowing that they will do the same when you are in need. True love means giving to and caring for each other without expecting or demanding anything in return.
Sign No. 3 – Deep investment in the growth and success of your life partner.
True love means being deeply invested in the growth and success of your life partner. In order to survive and thrive, everything must grow. If you are truly in love, you want to help your life mate grow. You support your loved one’s life goals. True love will grow together without fear or resistance. If your significant other is successful, you will rejoice in his successes in life and work to help him achieve them in all areas of his life.
However, supporting your spouse is just one way to be a better wife. Learn more in this guide.
Sign #4 – Honesty and Deep Trust
True love involves honesty and a deep trust, and it works both ways. If your partner loves you, he will be honest with you, even about things that are hard to talk about. If you are truly in love, you will be honest with your loved one, even when things are difficult. True love also involves mutual trust. If your significant other constantly needs to know everything about where you are, what you are doing and who you are with, they don’t trust you. And a lack of trust is a lack of love.
Psst, if you’re still single, find a good man who is honest. More about that in this post.
A look at Rubin’s love scale also shows that a sign of love is the feeling that you can confide in your loved one. Are you holding back with your significant other? Are you worried that they won’t confide in you? If so, then this may not be the true love you are looking for in life.
Sign #5 – It goes beyond sex
Literature and studies support the idea that physical intimacy and sexuality are an important part of romantic relationships. The importance of satisfying sex should not be overlooked in a loving relationship. Although sexual activity has long been thought to affect quality of life in men, recent studies have reported very similar results for women. While sex is important, true love goes beyond sex.
Learn how important sex is to a relationship.
In some surprising studies, it has been found that the most desired trait in falling in love is personality, while physical attraction is associated with desire. While a good sexual relationship is definitely important, true love goes beyond sex and focuses on the personality traits such as fun, kindness, humor, and intelligence in the person you love.
Sign #6 – Your significant other’s pain is your pain
Do you feel emotional or physical pain when your significant other is in pain? This is a sign of true love. If you look again at Rubin’s love scale, true love means feeling responsible for the welfare of a loved one, and when a loved one feels bad, you want to cheer him up. You can’t ignore it when someone your true love is hurting, because you are right there with them, feeling their pain. And so you work to comfort them and, if possible, eliminate their pain.
Incredibly, science has found that just touching the one you love helps relieve pain. A recent study found that when an “empathetic partner holds the hand of a woman in pain, her heart and breathing rates synchronize and her pain disappears.” The more empathy the partner has for their loved one, the stronger this analgesic effect and the greater the synchronization between the two when they touch each other.
Character No. 7 – Willingness to compromise
Even if you share many of the same values, you may not always agree on everything. You may have different ideas about what you want to eat. You may have different ideas about how you should spend money. True love involves a willingness to compromise, because when you are truly in love, you feel a commitment to the relationship. Compromise involves working together to reach an agreement that you are both satisfied with. This does not mean that one person gives in all the time. Both partners must be willing to compromise.
While willingness to compromise is an important sign of true love, it does not involve feeling that you have to compromise your beliefs or values for your partner’s sake. It is about understanding your partner’s point of view. It’s about reaching an agreement together, or at least agreeing to disagree, in order to preserve the love you share.
Sign #8 – You work together as a team
True love is about working together as a team. Sometimes one partner needs to step up and help more, and sometimes the other partner needs to take over. That is teamwork. When two people are in love, they combine strengths and work together as a team. Together they can create something very special. They work together to achieve goals and objectives in life.
While teamwork strategies are often discussed for professional development, teamwork is also important for personal development and relationship success. Some of the characteristics of a good team player are communication, adaptability, commitment, selflessness, rapport, enthusiasm, discipline, and reliability. These qualities are an important part of good teamwork in a loving relationship.
Sign #9 – You want to be together even in difficult times
Every couple will go through crises in their relationship, but one of the signs of true love is wanting to be together, loving each other and supporting each other when those difficult times come. Tough times in life cause stress, and stress can be difficult for a relationship. Some of the most common stressful events you may experience are:
- Financial stress (i.e. job loss, medical bills, debt).
- Death in the family
- Serious illness in a partner or child
- Job change
- Have a child
Unfortunately, life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but no matter what stressful events you’re dealing with, true love means providing support and protection even when failures, losses and challenges arise.
Sign #10 – Show Respect
True love means respecting each other. In fact, one of the most important questions to ask your significant other is, ‘Does this person really respect me?’ Respect is about respecting your partner’s right to be themselves. It is about treating each other as equals. If you truly love someone, you will respect and value their opinion and listen non-judgmentally. A partner who respects you will want to be proud of you, listen to your advice, communicate with you, and respect your physical and other boundaries.
Read more: What are boundaries in the relationship?
What love is not
While it is important to know the signs of true love, it is also important to know what love is not and the signs of an unhealthy relationship (signs here). While true love is based on respect, equality and selflessness, unhealthy relationships are based on control and power.
Love is NOT jealousy
Although you may feel a bit possessive over someone you love, true love is not jealous. Extreme jealousy and feeling like you can’t hang out with a friend without your significant other being jealous is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. If you are constantly accused of being unfaithful and your partner gets angry when you are around members of the opposite sex, this is a big warning sign – not a sign of love.
You can learn to deal with jealousy, however.
Love does NOT isolate
True love does not isolate. Someone who truly loves you will not keep you from seeing family and friends or from going to work or school. They won’t delete contacts from your email or phone. They will not encourage you to stay at their home all the time. If someone isolates you from other people, this is an unhealthy relationship that you need to end.
Love does NOT hurt you
Love does not include someone hurting you physically or emotionally. Abuse of any kind is not love. Someone who says they love you should not hit, kick, bite, push, punch or slap you. They should never threaten to hurt you. A person who truly loves you will not hurt you emotionally by constantly criticizing you, blaming you for things that go wrong, or forcing you to have sex against your will.
Watch for these symptoms of an emotionally abusive relationship.
Love is NOT controlling or manipulative
True love will never be controlling or manipulative. If your partner tries to control or manipulate you, or you use this behavior with your partner, this is not true love. Your significant other should not try to control your behavior, your friendships, your clothes or any other part of your life. While compromise is a sign of love, you should not be the one manipulated into giving in all the time.
Avoid men who display these signs of control.
Love is NOT belittled
If your significant other belittles you by making you feel worthless or calling you names, this is not love. Someone who truly loves you will build you up, not put you down. They will help you grow and improve without making you feel worthless or tearing you down in front of others.
Frequently asked questions about true love
FAQ # 1 – Can a marriage survive without true love?
Honestly, the answer is complicated. Many marriages have survived without true love, but they don’t always thrive without it. In some cases, as in the case of arranged marriages, couples enter marriage without love, but over the years they often love each other and have a strong bond. In other cases, couples are passionately in love when they marry, but the flame goes out and they divorce a few years later. For a marriage to survive, love often changes and grows over the years. It may begin as a romantic, passionate love and slowly develop into a compassionate love that allows the relationship to flourish for a lifetime.
FAQ # 2 – Does true love last?
We know that feelings of love cause hormonal changes in the body. When you fall in love, certain chemicals in the body such as dopamine, phenethylamine, and oxytocin play a big role in behaviors and experiences associated with love. When you fall in love with someone, it is often associated with positive feelings, a racing heart, increased energy, and even sweaty palms.
Discover how men fall in love – and how you can make it work for you.
The triangular theory of love, outlined by Robert Sternberg, a well-known psychologist, states that the three components of true love are commitment, passion and intimacy. While over time the hormones associated with falling in love may diminish, it is possible for true love to last if you have commitment, passion and intimacy. However, in order for true love to last, you must continue to invest time and energy to maintain it.
FAQ # 3 – How can you keep true love strong?
As we have just noted, true love can last, but you need to put time and energy into it. When the hormones associated with falling in love decrease (after the honeymoon period), it will take some commitment and energy on your part to keep true love strong.
Figure out how to make your relationship last.
One step suggested to renew true love and keep it strong is to take time to look into each other’s eyes, synchronize, and make that sensory connection through eye contact. Taking time to have fun together, do new things together, and appreciate each other and the good things they bring to the relationship can keep that love strong through the years.