Every day, we are assaulted with representations of “love” in the shape of love songs, TV episodes, romantic comedies, and novels. Without a question, love is the most universal human emotion. But what does it actually mean to love someone?
If you’ve actually been in love, you’ll understand how different it is from the fictional relationships we’re compelled to watch. It’s not black and white; it’s a million shades of grey. And what love implies vary from one individual to the next, as well as from one relationship to the next. But how can you tell if you actually love someone if there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution? Let’s discuss: 16 signs – The Love is REAL!
What is the difference between love and in love?
Today, many people in your life are likely to love you: relatives, children, friends, your hairdresser, and so on. And, while you like these people, you wouldn’t describe them as “head over heels in love,” would you?
This indicates that there is a considerable difference between the two. Similarly, you can love but not love the person with whom you have a romantic relationship.
So, what does it mean when you’re in love with someone?
There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Sure, you’re attracted to each other sexually, but you also share a strong emotional bond and a desire to build a future together. You understand that appearances fade and that you will still love this person as much as you do now when they do. You want to discuss your most private thoughts and feelings with this individual since you’re entirely honest and open with them. When you’re with them, you feel at ease. When you’re in love, you have compassion, kindness, and generosity. The words “commitment,” “safety,” and “respect” all come to mind.
What does love in a relationship imply?
It’s possible that the above description applies to you, but it’s also possible that it doesn’t. Because we are all so different, this is the case. We all have different interests and needs in a relationship, and we all speak different love languages, thus our definitions of love varies slightly.
Similarly, as we become older, our perceptions of love and our needs are likely to shift. What you valued in your twenties might not be what you value today in your thirties, forties, fifties, or beyond. That’s not to say you weren’t in love when you were younger, or that you weren’t as enamoured with your partner as a couple celebrating their wedding anniversary.
Here are 16 signs to understand the love is REAL!
1. You feel deeply connected
One of the things I’ve discovered is emotional attraction and the primary triggers for men and women to be deeply linked. Emotional attraction is essential for a relationship to progress from the honeymoon stage to something more meaningful and long-lasting.
But what does it mean to be deeply connected?
You’ve been friends for a long time. You’ve talked about your passions, ambitions, values, strengths, and fears. You know each other perhaps better than anyone else. If you wound up on a game show asking questions about each other’s likes and dislikes, you’d walk away smugly with the big prize.
2. It feels emotionally charged
What does it mean when you love someone?
One of the indicators is that you’ll have a strong want to be with them. You miss them when they’re not around, and every time you see them, you want more. They’re always on your mind, whether you’re at work, hanging out with pals, or going grocery shopping. It isn’t, however, the same as infatuation. They’re on your mind in a more subtle way. They don’t interfere with your concentration; instead, they serve as a soothing background hum that calms you.
3. You feel secure
When you’re initially falling in love, you’re constantly dressed to impress and on your best behaviour. It’s not that you’re putting on a show; rather, you want to look and feel your best around this person while concealing any flaws or turn-offs. As long as you stay loyal to yourself, this is normal.
When the persistent desire to “impress” dies away, you’ll know you’re in love with someone. It’s not that you don’t care or want to put forth an effort; it’s just that you’re more comfortable among them. You don’t have to be concerned about his reaction to your bare-faced appearance first thing in the morning. If you have spinach trapped between your teeth by accident, you know he won’t break up with you.
Finally, you are at ease with the realities of a long-term, committed relationship on a daily basis.
4. You want to build a future together
You know it’s the real deal when you see each other in your future and are dedicated to building a life together. In my 7 Little Love Steps, the seventh and last step is to connect the relationship with a shared life vision.
So, do you have frequent conversations regarding the future?
Do you make plans for the coming weeks, months, or years?
Can you see yourself living with, marrying, or having children with this man (if that’s your goal)?
It can be helpful to turn things around and ask yourself, “Can you fathom life without him?” Not because you’re afraid of being alone or having to start again, but because your life would be worthless if you didn’t have him.
5. You want him to be happy
The difference between loving someone and being in love with them is that you’re no longer just thinking about your own happiness; you’re also thinking about theirs. Because when you’re in love, you feel the same way your partner does. His contentment becomes your contentment. His agony becomes your agony.
If you go out of your way to make him happy and find yourself getting delighted when he gets excited, it’s more than love.
But keep in mind that there should always be a feeling of balance in a healthy partnership. You should be able to sense his desire for your happiness, and he should be giving it his all.
6. You fully love & accept each other as you are
Everyone has flaws and weaknesses, and being in a relationship brings these flaws to the surface. If you only love your lover when they’re in a certain mood or performing in a certain way, your feelings for them are conditional. You’re not over over heels in love with them; you’re head over heels in love with whatever they say or do.
So, what exactly does it mean to love someone unconditionally?
True love is when you love and accept someone for who they are, flaws and all. Because while no one is perfect, no one needs to be in order to be loved.
7. It feels permanent
Your sentiments for someone get engraved in your essence when you fall deeply in love with them. This is one of the reasons you can love someone long after you’ve broken up. It’s also one of the signs that you’re head over heels in love with this person, not just with them.
There’s nothing about your connection that makes it feel weak or fleeting. The bond you share has grown to be an integral part of your life and identity, as well as a continual source of joy and comfort.
8. Your relationship requires more effort than it did before
It’s easy for things to feel smooth while you’re in the honeymoon phase of a relationship. You don’t dispute because you’re virtually always on the same page, and it feels natural.
A real relationship, on the other hand, does not evolve and change in this way. You’ll have disagreements, prioritising each other will be more difficult (especially if you have children), and it will take more effort from both of you than before. However, when you love someone, you do it because they are essential to you.
9. You have set and respect each other’s boundaries
On one end of the scale, there’s adoration and being in love, and on the other, there’s codependency. This happens when you both lose your independence and merge into one person, which is not a healthy dynamic.
To avoid this, it’s vital to set personal limits in terms of time, space, and values, as well as to define and respect them. Both of you should be able to have a successful career, an active social life, follow your passions and hobbies, and have some much-needed alone time. You’ve found true love when you actively encourage each other to grow and have full lives outside of your relationship.
10. What does it mean to love someone? You support each other
Isn’t it true that the line “for better or for worse” appears in almost all wedding vows? In long-term relationships, this is especially true. When you’re at your lowest and highest points, you’ll run across each other. There will be difficult moments, arguments, and unexpected obstacles thrown your way by the cosmos. To love someone unconditionally means to be there for them at all times and to support them no matter what.
That means you console him when his favourite TV show is cancelled and he sobs like a BABY. After the heel of your favourite pair of shoes snaps while you’re out on a date, he piggybacks you to the car.
11. You’re able to navigate through conflict
You’ve probably seen friends or celebrity couples claim on social media that they never fight with their partners. These people, on the other hand, are lying to you outright.
It’s natural to have disagreements with the people you care about most, whether it’s your partner, parents, children, or best friend. The important contrast here is that when it’s pure love, you don’t allow minor squabbles push you apart. You can effectively communicate, solve problems as a team, and do so in a polite and respectful manner. Rather than tearing you apart, these “fights” can often bring you closer together as a couple.
12. You’re genuinely interested in each other’s lives
One of the main conclusions of The Gottman Institute’s research is that showing interest in someone’s life is a timeless and universal way to show your love for them. After months, years, or even decades with the same person, it’s easy to forget to do the small things you used to do when you first started dating, like asking each other how your day went. But when you check in with someone like this, that’s what it means to love them. Love blooms in the most insignificant of conditions.
When was the last time you inquired about the personal lives of your partner? When was the last time someone asked how your day was going?
13. You notice what each other needs
You recognise and respond to each other’s needs. This will always be a delicate balancing act, with times when one of you will need to give a little more and others when the other will need to contribute a little less.
If your spouse has a side company and you know he’s been stressed lately, you could surprise him with a spa day. Let’s say you’ve just had a major operation and need to rest a little more than normal, so he takes on more housekeeping.
These simple, thoughtful gestures can make a significant difference in a relationship by displaying your concern. You must, however, pay close attention in order to do things that are important to your partner.
14. You practice accountability
You’ll quickly realise that egos have no place in a serious, long-term relationship. It’s not about being right, earning points, or pointing fingers. True love includes admitting your flaws, apologising (and actually meaning it), being humble and vulnerable, and making a conscious effort to do better once you’ve made a mistake.
To be honest, these things are unpleasant, but that is what being responsible for oneself entails. When you make mistakes or fail to fulfil expectations, it’s equally vital that you hold each other accountable. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about holding each other accountable and calling each other out when you’re not being your best self.
15. It feels like a real partnership
When you feel like you’re in a genuine partnership with someone, it’s another sign that you’ve found true love. You’re on the same team, you work together to solve problems, and you’re looking forward to embarking on this incredible journey called life. You give and receive in equal measure, you’re dedicated to fostering your bond, and even the fiercest storm couldn’t keep you apart.
16. When you’re in love, you focus on how you make them feel
One of the best ways to determine the difference between loving someone and being in love is how you react to the question “why do you love them?”
If your statement is solely about you, such as “I love him because of how he makes me feel when we’re together,” you love them but not unconditionally.
You’ll be more concerned with how you make someone feel when you’re in love.
Conclusion: are you searching for real love?
I hope you now have a clearer picture of what it means to love someone. It’s fine if you’ve finished this article and realised you’ve never been truly in love. Long-term partnerships take continual energy, attention, and nurturing in order to grow. It won’t always be easy (trust me), but if you’re both willing to put in the work, you’ll form a strong friendship that will last a lifetime. It won’t be as fiery or spicy as when you first started dating, but it will be true, strong, and beautiful all on its own.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on what it means to love someone honestly. Please share your ideas in the comments section below.