Think you?ve finally found ?the one?? These are the critical signs you should be looking for.
Image by @NickBulanovv via Twenty20
by: E.B. Johnson
True love is hard to find these days and even harder to keep. We have to make it through a lot of wrong partners to get to the right ones, and even then it can still be difficult to tell if what you have is real. Just when you start to get comfortable, things can seem to head south. How do we cultivate true and lasting love? How can we tell it?s real, or when it?s just a waste of our time?
Thankfully, when we?re truly in love, there are a few key signs we can look for. From letting go of expectations, to radical acceptance and support ? the people that truly love us for who we are show up and make their presence known. Stop settling for someone who doesn?t see you or value you for the beauty you bring to this world. Reshape your definitions of love and through that, discover how deeply your partner truly loves you.
True love is hard to find in the modern age.
Modern society is complex and nuanced, with an array of pressures and stresses that can make it hard to align ourselves and stay balanced. This superficial society puts a lot of emphasis on our outward appearances and the material lives we build, but it doesn?t always put enough emphasis on real love and where our ideas of this love reside in the soul.
In order to find real and lasting love in our lives, we have to reshape our definitions of love. Rather than seeing it as a race or a set of mile markers, we have to see it as the chance to radically see, value and accept someone with whom we can build a common future.
Love isn?t about setting expectations or traps. It isn?t rushing to the finish line or hitting some perceived societal goal. It?s finding someone who wants the same things from life as you; someone who sees you for who you really are and decides to build a future with you anyway. True love is supportive, it is understanding, and it is patient. Above all, however, it is fulfilling, and it is equitable. Build more stable and lasting relationships by knowing the signs of true love.
Common signs they?re really in love with you.
Though we might typically think of love in terms of grand gestures and dramatic displays of passion, it?s far more nuanced than that. When someone truly loves you, they drop their expectations and see you as you are. Think you?ve finally found the one? These are the signs they?re really in love with you.
True love doesn?t live in-thrall of expectations, or impossible standards that make it difficult to trust and connect with one another. We have to let go of our expectations and see and accept our partners and spouses for who they truly are. True love has no expectations. It?s the ultimate ?as is? contract. It is unconditional and without limitations. If you?re really in love, stop trying to change the other person. If that?s not acceptable, it might be time to walk away and reflect.
No need to hide
People in the midst of genuine love no longer feel the need to hide things from one another. They share their lives openly because they want to, and they?ve learned that the going is easier when you can share it with someone else. If your partner has made you forget your insecurities, or you find yourself living in a blissful state of mutual respect that allows you to express yourself freely ? it?s a sign that you?re dealing with someone who truly values you for you are.
Letting go of pettiness
True love has a funny way of making all our pettiness disappear. When you share a genuine connection with someone, all those nasty fears and insecurities seem to flutter away. Rather than feeling jealous or possessive, you feel calm and secure. Rather than feeling envious or fearful, you feel empowered and confident. True love leaves you reassured in who you are as a person and allows you to let go of those negative emotions that can be so damaging to your internal and external worlds.
True love means showing up, and it means doing it all the time?not just when it?s convenient or when there?s something to be gained. When you need your partner, they?re there, and they?d do anything to make sure you have what you need, or that you feel supported. A person who truly loves you is one who shows up ? undeniably ? without fail. They don?t make excuses and they don?t shift the responsibility with they get it wrong.
Push for improvement
Love can be one of the most transformative powers on this planet. We would do almost anything for love, including bettering ourselves through diet, exercise and even internal growth. We cannot change ourselves to gain love, but love finds us when we decide for ourselves that we want to be better. We can change our perspective and develop an empathy over time that is fathomless. When we?re happy, we feel good; and we keep our promises. We cannot change ourselves to gain love, but love will find us when we decide for ourselves that we want to be better.
Empathy as a rule
True love means empathy, and that doesn?t end when we get our feelings hurt or our expectations disappointed. When we have finally met the right person, we will find that they are always in our corner. They have compassion for us, and they try to see things from our point of view. Someone who is truly in love doesn?t get angry and doesn?t blame when things go wrong. They embrace that deep inner love and tap into their empathy.
Looking toward the future
Take a second and think about your current relationship. What will it look like 10 years from now? Or 20? When we?re in love, we look to the future and we make plans. If your partner talks future plans with you, it can be a sign that they?re truly connected on a deep and lasting level. They want to make plans and they want to look toward the future with you. This is because they know that the future you share with them is compatible and they know that they?re ready to commit to you.
Critical signs they aren?t really in love with you.
Just as you must recognize the signs of true love, it?s important to know when you?re settling for far less than that sort of real and lasting affection. Don?t stick around for heartache, pain and chaos. Know the warning signs of a partner who doesn?t truly love you.
Constant pain and heartache
Constant pain, heartache and conflict isn?t normal in any relationship ? and it certainly isn?t indicative of true love. Behaviors like cheating, abuse, emotional demeaning, etc are all signs that the person that you?re dealing with doesn?t truly love you. That?s because when we actually love someone, we value their comfort and safety as much as our own. Therefore, safeguarding it and doing everything we can to consciously avoid damaging those things.
Forced into a box
Do you feel forced into an ill-fitting box by your partner or spouse? Feel as though you have to pretend to be something that you aren?t? If this is the case, you might be dealing with a partner who is more in love with the idea of a relationship than you. When it comes to true love, we feel no need to shape our partners or change them. We accept them for who they are and what they bring to our relationships.
There is a difference between true love and delusional optimism. This toxic outlook occurs when we refuse to acknowledge any faults or work toward any resolutions. There?s only a problem if you talk about the problem. So things fester and emotions turn inward ? until you?re dealing with two people who are soaked in regret and contempt. Wanting the best for your relationship is one thing, but true love takes work. Not blind optimism and a refusal to see things for what they truly are.
Becoming an object
If you feel as though you have become an accessory or an object in the relationship ? it?s a certain sign that what you?re experiencing is not love. This happens when you feel as though you?re picked up and put down when it?s convenient, or possibly when a point needs to be made. You don?t feel seen or valued for who you really are. Affection is hollow in this type of relationship, and fulfillment is lacking (on both sides).
Why we settle when we know it?s not love.
We settle for a partner who don?t love us for a number of reasons and all of them are toxic. A crucial part of learning to recognize true love is understanding why we accept less love than we deserve in the first place.
Need to be ?loved?
If you are someone who had a fraught or traumatic childhood, you might find that you are someone who chases a lacking sense of love in adulthood. Our parents and caretakers set the standard for what we see as ?love? and we pursue those standards for the rest of our lives. This toxic need for love transforms our relationships and can cause us to become victims of our own warped understandings; as we settle for partners who don?t love us for who we are, or accept us for what we want.
Are you someone who finds validation in the opinions or favors of other people? Maybe you are looking to prove someone wrong or looking to outwardly validate yourself through a romantic relationship? Whatever the reason, seeking this validation can land you in poor partnerships that are fraught with chaos and turmoil. Only when we learn how to rely on our own judgement and approval, can we find the freedom to attract the right people into our lives.
There are many people out there who stay in toxic or ill-fitting relationship due to the perceived ?fear of missing out? that so often comes with being single. Society pressures us into romantic relationships, and without one it can feel like you are somehow an outcast or less-worthy. You begin to believe that you?re missing out on key experiences that are providedonly to couples. This can compound insecurities and force you into relationships that are ill-advised and full of heartache.
Low self-esteem is one of the most common reasons that we find ourselves settling for relationships that don?t suit us, or partners that don?t really love us. It?s impossible to find true love when you can?t recognize that love in yourself, but we often look outwardly for what we should be tapping to inwardly. If we want to find true and lasting affection and support, we have to see who we are and love that person first; bolstering our self-esteem and confidence.
The best ways to cultivate true and lasting love.
Once you see love what it is, you can focus on cultivating more of it in your life and in your relationships. Let go of your old definitions and start embracing the fullness of who you are. Love is something that is cultivated from the inside out. Use these techniques in order to cultivate this love across your life and partnerships.
1. Focus on wholeness within
It?s impossible to build a stable and equitable long-term partnership when you are dealing with inner chaos and pain. The turbulence of our inner emotional world goes a long way to shape our relationships. If we want to be better partners capable of loving and being loved (truly) then we have to focus on cultivating wholeness from within.
Don?t look to someone else to save you or make you feel as though life has meaning. Those things are your responsibility, and no one else can provide them for you. It?s not fair to expect a partner to carry your emotional baggage for you.
Work to be whole. Work to heal the pain of your childhood and past relationships before building a life with someone else. Healing is a powerful thing, and it allows us to come to our partners as better, more well-adjusted versions of ourselves. Work to form a clean slate and cut ties with your past. If you want real love, be present in the now and focus on wholeness and love from within.
2. Know who you are
Before you can give someone your uninterrupted affection, you have to know who you are and what you want from life. Only when you know who you are (and fall in love with that person) can you show the full extent of your beauty, strength and resilience to someone else. Don?t expect someone to reveal your inner truths to you. Know who you are so you can love from a place of honesty and strength.
Stop running from those parts of you that make you feel vulnerable or insecure. Embrace all of who you are and see the unique value you to bring to a partnership.
Believe in yourself and you will encourage others to believe in you. Love yourself and you make it that much easier for other people to love you. Knowing who we are is truly powerful and revealing that person allows us to attract the people who compliment that unique individual. Don?t run from who you are. Love that person and use that love to cultivate better romantic love.
3. Expanding concepts of love
As we grow and age, we are fed a lot of different ideas and perspectives on love. Among these are flawed outlooks, which can lead to toxic relationships and broken hearts. In order to find true happiness in a relationship, we have to expand our concepts of love and redefine the way we see real and meaningful connection.
Before you leap into someone else?s idea of a romantic relationship, take some time to reconsider your own ideas on love. What does the perfect relationship look like to you? What do you honestly need from a partner in order to feel as though you are being seen, valued and supported?
Expand your ideas on love and let go of those ideals and standards that no longer serve you. You aren?t beholden to the relationships of your parents or your grandparents. You aren?t even beholden to society?s standards. Get real about what true love means to you and understand that you have a right to be loved precisely as you desire. Equality is key for a balanced partnership.
4. Practicing radical acceptance
Radical acceptance is one of the greatest skills we can master, and it can dramatically transform our relationships and the way we see things like love and intimacy. Only when you fully accept your partner for who they are can you truly love them and adore. The same goes for your partner. Until they radically accept all of you, they can?t truly love you.
If you?re committed to someone, commit to loving them for who they are ? not who you want them to be. Love their weaknesses as much as you love their strengths and encourage them to be a better version of themselves while never scorning who they are in the present.
It?s important to note here that to accept someone radically is not to condone those parts of them which are toxic or harmful. It is possible to love someone without enabling them or allowing them to get by with bad behavior. To accept someone is simply to acknowledge that you will see the good with the bad without running away at thee first sign of hardship.
5. Letting go and moving on
Learning how to let go and move on is powerful, especially when it comes to redefining the way we see love and the people we share that love with. No matter how you care for someone, they?re going to get things wrong sometimes. To love them doesn?t mean ignoring those things, but neither does it mean clinging to those mistakes and disappointed expectations forever.
Let go of your expectations and embrace your partner for all that they are now, all that they were, and everything they will be in the future. Stop seeing your love as a bar-line to be met, and start seeing your love as a lifeline to be shared.
Move on from the conflicts of your past and seek resolution rather than justice or some sense of retribution. To love someone means to commitment to them; beyond the good days and the bad days, and beyond our anger and our temporary resentment. Start seeing the little hiccups as what they are (a pit-stop) and pursue true love by learning how to let go and move on.
Putting it all together?
True love often looks a lot different from what we imagine it to look like. It?s not hurtful or possessive; it doesn?t rush us or force us into boxes. Deep and lasting love shared between balanced partners is patient and it is rewarding. It?s accepting, and it is fulfilling more than it is demeaning. You can cultivate this quality of love in your life by reshaping the way you see affection and yourself within the equation.
If you want the perfect partner that loves you no matter what, strive to be the best possible version of yourself and seek wholeness first and foremost. Heal the pain of your past and figure out who you truly are. When you know who you are, you allow others to see that authentic person too. Expand your concepts of love and see true and lasting connection for what it really is ? two people coming together to build a life together and a mutual future. Accept yourself, but accept your partner too and let go of any expectations that are holding you both back in judgement and contempt. Beyond that, learn how to let go of those little things which keep you both from holding back or opening up. Some conflicts, hangups and insecurities aren?t worth sacrificing the future we?re building with a person we can believe in. Redefine your definition of true love and change the way you see the world.