True love is very hard to describe in words, it's one of those experiences that are better had than read about or explained. So what is true love? True love isn't just a feeling but it involves deep feelings of passion, warmth, tenderness, sentiment, and desire for your partner, unconditionally.
These feelings often confuse people since you can still have them for someone you're infatuated with and it's hard to tell the difference especially when the feelings towards this person are very strong. Regardless, true love is very wildly sought out. Everyone wants to find their ‘one true love' and remain in love till death does them part.
However, true love is not only about longevity and it may not be limited to just one person per lifetime. In fact, there are a truckload of things people don't know about true love, so if you're currently in a hot, spicy relationship and you're wondering, “what is true love, really?” then stick around and I'll point out 17 characteristics of true love.
- 0.1 17 Things That Define True Love
- 0.1.1 1. True love is unconditional
- 0.1.2 2. Complete acceptance
- 0.1.3 3. You're comfortable sharing anything with them
- 0.1.4 4. You're comfortable being yourself around your partner
- 0.1.5 5. True love means mutual respect
- 0.1.6 6. You share similar values
- 0.1.7 7. You feed each other's energies
- 0.1.8 8. True love is a partnership
- 0.1.9 9. There are no bad intentions involved
- 0.1.10 10. It's not demanding
- 0.1.11 11. True love is giving
- 0.1.12 12. True love is built on friendship
- 0.1.13 13. True love starts with you
- 0.1.14 14. True love is committed
- 0.1.15 15. True love is certain
- 0.1.16 16. True love is open
- 0.1.17 17. True love is not dramatic
- 0.2 FAQs
- 0.3 To Sum Up
17 Things That Define True Love
1. True love is unconditional
One definition of true love is unconditional love. If your feelings towards your partner come with no strings attached, that's a tell-tale sign that you've found true love. It doesn't just end there, however, these feelings have to be reciprocated. This means that, no matter what the circumstance may be, your feelings don't change towards each other.
For example, if you and your partner happened to go into debt or if you found out he had a drug or alcohol addiction, would you still care about him? Would you stand by him till the problem was solved or managed? If you can honestly say you would, then you may just have found true love.
2. Complete acceptance
Another thing that defines true love is complete and total acceptance. True love isn't just about loving your partner's best qualities, it also means accepting them for exactly who they are. This means that you need to fall in love, care for and accept them even if they hate some of the things you love.
Or they don't agree with certain things you believe in, or there are some things about themselves that they still need to work on.
Acceptance is all about understanding that your partner may never be ‘perfect' but you love them just the way they are. This is also where understanding comes in, you fully understand that they're who they are and you're not trying to change them into who you think they should be.
3. You're comfortable sharing anything with them
It's not worth being with someone who you can't be open and honest or who isn't open and honest with you. When you've found true love, you should be able to honestly and openly discuss anything with the person you love.
For example, you aren't hiding an issue from your past, you aren't hiding certain experiences you may have gone through and you're not afraid to share even your challenges with this person. If it's true love, it means that when you're in a difficult situation, they're one of the first people you go to for advice or the first shoulder you go to cry on.
Healthy communication fuels intimacy and true love should be intimate both emotionally and physically, without fear of being vulnerable with each other.
4. You're comfortable being yourself around your partner
True love should bring out your authentic self and not silence it. Your partner should be able to induce the best version of your true self and vice versa. If you're not comfortable being yourself around your partner, that is probably not true love.
You should never feel the need to play into what you feel the other person expects you to be just because you're afraid to lose them. Or, try to impress them by feigning interest in the things they're interested in, true love means that you're not afraid to be yourself around your partner.
It means that you're able to act and talk in a way that reflects your true and authentic self, allowing your partner to experience you in your entirety and allowing you to experience all of him too.
5. True love means mutual respect
True love can also be defined by due regard between both parties. Being able and willing to respect each other's space, pet peeves, likes & dislikes, wishes, decisions, and beliefs, is a core part of finding true love.
True love can also be a choice; you can decide that you want to truly love a partner and that you won't accept anything less than true, authentic love. This way, you can also decide that you choose to value your partner and everything about them and also decide not to tolerate disrespect from your partner.
However, if you both truly love each other, valuing each other will not be an issue; you won’t have problems giving or receiving kindness. Regard includes care, kindness, thoughtfulness, and compassion. You'd notice that you often empathize with each other, solve problems fairly, you’d be willing to see things from each other's perspectives and sort out issues mindfully.
It's not impossible for two people with completely different values and principles to end up together and actually make things work. However, it may prove to be very strenuous and mentally stressful for both parties.
In most cases, it ends up very badly. True love usually involves two people with the same or similar views, principles, values, and boundaries, coming together to build on those things together.
Our values and morals are what make us what we are, so compromising them could make you lose your true personality. This is why true love involves being on the same page with your partner in terms of distinguishing right from wrong, despite your different family or religious backgrounds.
7. You feed each other's energies
Have you ever been in a relationship where it felt like your partner’s personality was draining you? It's the worst feeling ever! It's healthy to be around people whose happiness levels feed yours and the other way round. With true love, partners feed off each other's happy feelings; pay attention to your emotions, ask yourself if making your partner happy also makes you happy.
Does doing thoughtful deeds, surprising them, and spending quality time with them give you a good feeling? True love is when you and your spouse actually want to bring joy and happiness to each other, not out of duty or necessity but because these actions bring you pure joy.
8. True love is a partnership
True love is commitment, devotion, and complete dedication to each other. It's both partners taking action together as a team to make each other's lives better. True love isn't born from a selfish feeling, it looks out for the good of both parties as a unit.
So if you're in a relationship to fulfill only your own desires or achieve only your own goals then this is not true love. If you're both truly in love, you'd each factor each other in when you're making a choice, or when you're doing or saying anything at all.
Also, with true love, there's no pride or ego. Instead of thinking ‘me' you'd think ‘we', your aim would not be to prove how good you're at things or how right you are, but your aim would be to promote the image of the other person as well as yourself. To make your relationship work, you’d need to think of your partner as your teammate.
9. There are no bad intentions involved
True love always wants the best for the other party, partners always tend to support and root for each other, unconditionally. There's no envy or jealousy when something great happens for the other partner.
Instead, they keep encouraging and supporting their partner. If for some reason you've noticed that your partner gets jealous when you achieve things or they keep fighting for the spotlight, this isn't true love.
When a person truly loves you, they're rooting for your success and they take actions to make sure that you get ahead. The same goes for you too, you'd know you've found true love if you notice you're happy when your significant other is making it; just make sure the feelings are reciprocated.
10. It's not demanding
True love does not have unrealistic expectations, it does not require heaven and earth from the other party, rather it is accepting. Trying to change your partner or expecting him to morph into the prince charming you have in your head is not true love.
The reason you made the choice to be in a relationship with him is probably that you loved him. If this is the case, then you ought to accept him just the way he is. True love does not make selfish and impossible demands nor does it demand perfection, instead it is understanding and accepting of a loved one.
11. True love is giving
Most people get into a relationship with the aim of getting things; either material things, attention, or public admiration. These are very faulty foundations to build a relationship on. No one who truly loves you would turn you into a tool to be used, they won't see you as an object but will view you and treat you like a complete, multi-dimensional human being.
It's also not a loving relationship if either party is afraid of committing to love the other party completely, there should be no fear and no holding back.
Also, true love cannot be used as a bargaining chip; showing care and affection only when the other party fulfills a need. This type of love is very conditional and is nothing close to genuine.
Doing things like giving him the cold shoulder when you aren't pleased with him or telling him you love him only when he gets the house chores done won't do at all. You need to love him at all times, whether you're pleased with him or not.
12. True love is built on friendship
People sometimes take this fact too far, yes it's true that every most meaningful relationship began as a long-lasting friendship. However, this does not mean that you have to be friends with each other since nursery school before you end up with a person. Also, it's not all friendships that blossom into relationships.
However, true love does involve being friends, you should be able to relate with your spouse as a friend. You need to still be able to hang out together, have heart-to-heart talks, dream together, plan together, joke about stuff, and play like kids.
Most older couples have confessed that sexual passions fade out at some point, but what keeps a relationship going is friendliness. True friends stick together forever.
13. True love starts with you
Self-love is something that everyone has probably heard of, or read about in this era. Lately, there has been a new wave of realization by the general public that you can't give what you don't have. If you don't have money, you can't give out money, if you don't have food you can't give that out either and if you don’t love yourself, you can't possibly love anyone else.
Most people view self-love as means to an end, in the sense that they strive to achieve self-love so they can find true love, then they throw out everything they built and learned about loving themselves. This is not the way forward, you need to learn to love yourself forever, not just for a limited amount of time.
Don't neglect the quality time you spend with yourself, don't forget to pamper yourself from time to time, don't forget to invest in yourself, and don't forget to appreciate yourself. This is the only way you will attract and allow true and honest love into your life. It will give you higher personal standards and will make you see yourself in a better light.
14. True love is committed
When we talk of commitment most people's minds go straight to marriage. Marriage is one of the biggest commitments but it's not all that defines commitment in a relationship. Commitment involves putting all your eggs in one basket, being completely in on something.
Lots of people get into relationships with a double mind, whenever things aren't going their way they just focus their attention on someone else or allow themselves to get distracted by multiple other people.
People who have commitment issues have no business being in relationships, they should work on themselves first. You can't be one leg in and one leg out of a relationship, you need to decide to commit to knowing and experiencing your partner in their entirety. It's hard work, but it does pay off, and it yields true and lasting love.
15. True love is certain
You can't and probably won't commit to something you don't believe in. You can't commit to a person if you aren't sure they're worth your time, your love, and your affection. If for some reason you have a bad feeling, before or during the relationship then it's probably not true love.
This is where your intuition comes in, if questions about your partner, relationship, present, and future keep popping up in your head, then it would be wise to pump the breaks on that one first, while you calm down and figure out why your heart is so troubled about these things.
It may even be a ‘you' problem, you may need to figure out where you're headed, what exactly are your life goals and where you'd like to be in five years. True love feels natural and brings you peace. It doesn't feel uncertain, painful, or difficult. When you do find your one true love, you will feel at peace and comfortable enough to build a future and fulfill your dreams with him.
16. True love is open
When you've found true love, you don't feel the need to keep secrets, you're comfortable enough to share everything with your partner. When you have real feelings for a person, you're not only about sharing a home and your body with that person, you're also sharing your ups and downs, your everyday experiences, and all the other mundane details in between.
If for some reason, you aren't free enough to share your secrets with your spouse, there's definitely something wrong. Perhaps, you're afraid to seem imperfect to him or you're afraid that he may not like the real you. If you can't trust him to know both your good side, the bad side, the awkward side, and the embarrassing side, then this is not true love.
17. True love is not dramatic
Playing games with people's hearts has no place in a relationship; it's immature and completely unnecessary. Relationships, where they keep playing games, are mostly relationships built on lust, infatuation, or false admiration. If a person truly loves you, they won't want to hurt you by any means, so they won't risk playing any games or stirring up drama.
Playing emotional games is a selfish act, it's only when you're only thinking only of yourself and your personal desire that you will stoop to emotionally neglecting a person for fun. Playing games is also an indicator that you do not regard your partner, you can't use a person you value for your own amusement.
For example, if a person fakes a pregnancy or fakes a suicide attempt just to keep their partner committed in the relationship, this is a form of drama. This is very far from true love, if you find yourself in this type of situation, whether as the offender or the victim, then you need to end things as soon as you can.
True love is a lasting and deep connection between two lovers who are in a committed, happy and healthy relationship. True love does not just involve passion and affection but also involves mutual regard and understanding between both couples. An example of this is a couple who've been together for 40 years and still deeply love and care for each other.
You'd know you're experiencing true love when your relationship is a give and take. It becomes tiring when only one person carries all the weight in the relationship. Also, if you can honestly tell yourself that you're both happy being with each other then you can say that it's true love.
Most people think that true love takes shape immediately. They picture this whole, “love at first sight” scenario and imagine that things will shape up from there. However, most times this is not the case, true love blooms gradually, it takes time to mature. Sometimes it starts with an infatuation then grows into something deeper.
There's a saying that goes, “true love never dies”, however, this is not entirely accurate. Even the best couples sometimes end up separating because the love has faded out or because it has evolved into something else. People change, circumstances change and emotions follow suit.
Yes, true love exists, but like every real, good, and valuable thing, it may not come easy and it's rare to find. A lot of people mistake love for compatibility or feel that love should be with just one person per lifetime. This isn't true for everyone, some people are fortunate to find multiple ‘true loves' in one lifetime.
To Sum Up
I hope you enjoyed this article, remember true love comes naturally. Don't try to force it or morph not into what it's not, be patient and love yourself first and you'll attract someone who will love you just as much. Please let us know what you think about this topic in the comment section and be sure to share it.
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.