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What is True Love? 22 Signs of Love to Know if Your Love is Real

Is love real? What is true love? How can you tell if what you’re feeling is love? Look for these signs of true love, and understand what it truly is.

So what is true love really? Can you recognize the signs of true love the minute you see it? Understanding love is like understanding the air we breathe. We know it’s all around us, and yet we can’t see it. So is true love even real? You’ll know exactly how to recognize the real kind of love right here.

Is it love at first sight real?

This is something most people misunderstand, and we need to dispel this myth right away.

[Read: 14 unrealistic expectations that can ruin your love life]

True love isn’t felt in a heartbeat or in a second glance. True love takes time to take shape. And contrary to popular belief, love at first sight isn’t really love at all. In fact, love at first sight is nothing but an infatuation. It’s a strong surge of romantic and sexual emotions that overwhelm you.

Before you wonder what true love is all about and what the signs of true love really are, you need to understand that it’s very important to take things slow in a relationship if you want to ensure its success.

When you first start dating someone or fall for someone at first sight, what you experience isn’t love. As much as you feel like you’re head over heels in love, you really aren’t. You’re just experiencing the first stage of love, a small part in the stages of love known as the infatuation stage. [Read: The 9 stages of love all couples have to go through]

The definition of true love – What is true love then?

If true love isn’t about falling head over heels in love with someone, what is it then?

True love, ironically, can’t be defined. It’s the kind of love many of us chase after, but few truly find or realize it until it’s too late. So what is true love really?

True love is best defined as the kind of love and affection you have for someone that isn’t bound by the laws of human behavior.

Human behavior is simple to understand. When someone hurts you, you get angry with them. When someone gets lucky or gets a better job, you get jealous of them. And when someone shatters your ego or humiliates you, you seek revenge from them. This is human behavior, because these traits are ingrained within us.

But when you experience true love towards someone, your primal instincts and behavior change only towards this person. True love transcends typical human behavior. It makes you a better human being towards a special someone. [Read: What does true love feel like? 20 feelings that best describe real love]

When does one experience true love?

True love always takes time to bloom. What you experience in the first few months or even the first year or so of a relationship is infatuation and sexual attraction. Some even call it the “honeymoon period” of the relationship. It’s when you can’t keep your hands off each other, can’t stop thinking of each other, and can’t imagine living without each other!

As the bursts of infatuation start to fade with the first few arguments and the first few misunderstandings, that’s when love starts to enter the picture. And this is where most couples start to drift away emotionally, or even end up breaking up because of incompatibilities.

If you’re in a relationship where both of you truly understand each other and feel compatible with each other, and most importantly, love each other, chances are, you’re experiencing true love already. [Read: Honeymoon phase – How long before your the sizzle of infatuation fades away?]

Experiencing true love in your life

Is true love a once in a lifetime experience? Not really. You can experience them many times over, and with many people at the same time. You can experience true love with your spouse or your lover, your children and any other person you’re attached to in your life.

But true love too, can fade with time. For most of us, our first love is the first time we would have experienced the purest form of true love. We aren’t afraid to let this special someone deep into our heart and we aren’t afraid to experience heartbreak because we still don’t know what heartbreak feels like. We’re fearless in love and we love passionately with all our hearts.

But when the first romance dies, the true love we had for our first partner too eventually fades, even if it takes years and several new relationships to overcome. [Read: How your first love affects all your future relationships]

And as we enter into more relationships, most of us split into two groups. One that believes in true romantic love and the other group that convinces itself that true love isn’t real. The kind of relationships you’ve had in your lifetime defines a big part in your understanding of, and expectations from, true love.

And if you’re wondering whether true love and romantic love are the same, it really isn’t, even though we almost always associate true love with romantic love. True love is love in its purest form, while romantic love needs sexual attraction to stay alive.

True love can’t be forced

True love has to be experienced naturally and wholeheartedly. You can’t fake true love no matter how hard you try. If a couple fails to pass the test of compatibility in their infatuation stage, it’s pretty hard for both of them to ever experience true love. [Read: 50 relationship questions to test your real compatibility instantly]

On the other hand, if both partners can understand each other and relate to each other, they’ll start to love each other’s company and start to become inseparable. And eventually, this bond will turn into a pure and selfless love that we call true love. [Read: How to stay in love forever and keep love alive in your romance]

The 22 biggest signs of true love in a perfect romance

True love may be hard to define, but the signs to read true love can be clearly seen in every perfect, loving relationship. If you’re in a relationship and want to know if you’re experiencing the purest form of love, use these simple signs of true love to find out for yourself.

#1 Give and take in love. You give to the relationship wholeheartedly, without any desire or expectations of getting something back in return from your partner to justify your actions. You don’t give your partner something, in the hope that you get something back in return. But just the thought of doing something nice for this person fills your heart with happiness. [Read: 15 signs of a taker in a relationship – Are you a giver or a taker?]

#2 They fill you with pure happiness. Just watching this special person smile or laugh out loud fills you with intense happiness, even if you’re suffering or having a hard day.

This may sound pretty hard to imagine for someone who’s not experienced true, blissful love. But when you truly love someone deeply, the empathy you feel towards them make you experience the same feelings of joy or pain they’re experiencing.

how to know if it is love

#3 Pain and anger. You get terribly hurt when your lover upsets you, but their actions never anger you. You may get annoyed or frustrated now and then momentarily, but you just can’t stay mad at them for long because staying mad or giving them the silent treatment hurts you more. [Read: The effective way to give someone the silent treatment in a relationship]

#4 Support them through thick and thin. Your partner will have dreams and hobbies. If you’re truly in love with them, you’ll support their desires, so long as they’re not harmful to you or anyone else. Even if you don’t fully understand their dreams, you still cheer them on and support them to achieve their goals.

#5 You care for them. It’s unconditional love. You care for them no matter what happens. Through injury, illness, or even just hard emotional times, you’re by their side.

This isn’t something that’s easy to do, even when you unconditionally love someone. Your partner may end up going through really hard times that’ll be difficult for you to stick through. But if your love for each other holds strong through it all, that’s true love.

#6 It’s putting away your pride to make things right. You’re going to have disagreements now and then. Any couple that doesn’t have disagreements at some point are either both lying or they’re not truly in love. Generally, the whole point of an argument is to win. But when you love someone, you don’t argue with them to win, but to understand their point of view.

And if you truly do love them, and you realize you’re wrong, you’ll bite the bullet, swallow your pride and apologize to them and learn from the disagreement. [Read: 23 do’s and don’ts to remember when arguing in a relationship]

#7 You make secret sacrifices for them. You make sacrifices for their happiness or well-being, even if they may never realize it. A relationship based on true love is a partnership of two people who are givers.

You may be a taker with most people, but when you love someone truly, you’ll find yourself turning into a giver who takes pleasure in pleasing your partner in little ways.

#8 The right effort. You go to great lengths and make an effort to improve the relationship, and play a conscious part in trying to please your partner and make them feel loved and special. [Read: How to be more romantic – 15 gestures that’ll make anyone melt]

#9 You show your love through your gestures. You can’t expect love to last if you’re never putting in any effort. That fire won’t stay lit unless you stoke it and add something to help it burn. That something is your affection.

When you’re in true love, you make sure your partner knows how much you love them, through words and through gestures. [Read: The 25 sweetest, romantic gestures for everyday life]

#10 You can’t ever hurt them. When you’re truly in love with someone, you can’t even imagine hurting them, emotionally or physically. Payback and revenge is a strong human instinct, but true love makes you completely selfless towards them.

#11 You make an effort even on your worst days. You’re going to have bad days. Some of those bad days won’t have anything to do with your significant other. It’ll be easy to lash out at them in anger simply because they’re there.

True love is about making sure you’re trying to be loving even when you feel far from it. This is really hard when you’d rather mope and seethe in silence. But when you love someone, you may turn to them to comfort you, but you’ll never want to turn your life’s frustrations towards them.

#12 You keep your promises. When you make a promise to them, you stick to your word even if this person will never find out if you broke that promise. When you experience true love, your moral conscience becomes very strong when it comes to this one special person. And your word turns to oak. You stick to your principles, and do everything you possibly can to keep any promises you made to the one you love. [Read: 15 real #relationshipgoals most couples have no idea about]

#13 You lift them up when they’re down. You love your significant other. You want to make sure they’re happy and therefore, when they’re feeling down, you want to help cheer them up. This means you’ll try and try hard to make them feel better when they’re down.

#14 You become selfless. True love is not selfish. When your significant other is having a hard time, you put your own needs aside to help them. Of course, your partner should do the same for you too.

It’s not easy to be selfless, especially when you have a hard day yourself. but just the thought of making your partner feel better, makes you feel better.

#15 We. In a perfect relationship, it’s good to have your own space to grow as individuals. But at the same time, if you truly love your partner, you’d see them as a very big part of your life. When you think of your future, you can’t help but see them close by your side. [Read: How to give space in a relationship and come closer]

#16 You share their burden. And you do that even if you don’t really have to. You can’t bear to see this special someone suffering. If they’re dealing with some issue, you’re always willing to offer them a helping hand even when you have your own difficulties to look into.

#17 You love them for their flaws. Everyone has flaws. Your partner will definitely have flaws. True love isn’t about being blind to those things. Instead, it’s about loving those aspects of who they are, anyways.

If your significant other is always forgetful, you might get frustrated sometimes but overall, you’ll learn to love that about them. It’ll be a cute quirk instead of a hindrance. That’s what true love is.

#18 You remember the little things. There will be a lot of stuff you’ll learn about your significant other. True love is about remembering the small, but very important, details. It’s about knowing they hate pepper on their food and making sure the waiter takes down the order right.

It’s about knowing their dog’s birthday because that animal is one of the best things in their life. Making an effort to know the small things and show that you’ve been paying attention is what true love is about.  [Read: 13 very powerful, yet small gestures that show how much you love someone]

#19 It’s wanting the best for them even if it means less for you. Some people won’t be happy with you. It’s just the truth, as hard as that is to accept. If it’s true love you feel for them, you’ll want the best for them even if that means you’ll be unhappy.

I’m not saying you should give in to someone else’s will and turn into their slave just because you love them. This means that you’re willing to give up on a few things if that’ll make your partner’s life happier or better in some way.

#20 Pride and jealousy. You beam with pride when they achieve something, even if it’s the same thing you failed at. You may feel jealous of a friend who outdid you, but when you love someone, jealousy never enters the picture. [Read: How to stop being jealous of someone else’s success]

#21 Suffering. You’d be willing to suffer, just to see them happy. Of course, while this is indeed a sign of true, unconditional love, you still have to make sure your partner doesn’t ever take these gestures for granted. And if it’s true, mutual love, you’d know deep in your bones that your partner would do the same for you too.

#22 Their perspective. Everything you do, you keep your lover in mind and think from their perspective, be it about planning a surprise party or hanging out with your own friends after work. You don’t ever want to hurt your lover, so you always think from their point of view before making any decision that involves them in any way.

[Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules to ensure you have the best romance]

is love real

Are you experiencing true love?

If you’re in a relationship and aren’t experiencing these true love signs, don’t fret. Perhaps, your relationship hasn’t reached the state of emotional maturity that surpasses physical attraction or the stage of infatuation.

Take your time and test the waters. You can’t fall in love with someone by forcing yourself into the relationship. If it’s not working out, try to understand each other better. And if nothing you do can bring happiness back into love, perhaps both of you would be better off dating other people. [Read: 25 things to talk about to create a truly happy relationship]

But at the same time, if both of you are already happy in the relationship, don’t try to change anything about it. Sometimes, selfless and unconditional love takes a long time to materialize. Remember, you can’t push yourself into the next stage in love unless both of you are ready for it.

As long as your lover and you are happy and understand each other, you’re already experiencing the perfect kind of love!

[Read: Being in love – 15 amazing things only being in true love can give you]

What is true love? I hope these signs of true love and its real meaning has helped you understand what true selfless love really means. And even if you’re not there yet, don’t worry about it. It’s only a matter of time before a happy romance goes the true love way!

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