Are you in love or lust? Here are a few signs of true love, to help you decipher the difference between the two.
“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
And there, my friends, is one way to tell if you’re really in love: you’re looking in the same direction as your partner. You need to be focused on the same life goals if you want to stay in love for the long haul.
If you’re still wondering if you’re in love or addiction, you may find Is It Love or Is It Addiction? helpful.
Here are five ways to tell if your love is the real thing…
5 Signs of True Love
Your experience goes beyond your feelings
Be honest: do you like talking to your sweetheart? If you weren’t sweethearts, would you be friends? Can you see yourself accepting his or her foibles and weaknesses just as they are right now, in 10 or 20 years? Infatuation is defined by obsessive feelings and how you feel; true love is about how you act towards your sweetheart, and how he or she acts towards you. It’s not about feelings – if you’re in love, it’s about your actions.
You have similar life goals
If your life goals include living in Africa and your sweetheart’s goals involve staying put, building a home, and raising a family…then you might have to have a conversation about the future. I’m reluctant to say this, but it’s a myth that “love conquers all.” Infatuation is about short-term desires; true love is about long-term life goals and plans. One way to tell if it could be true love is if you’re both willing to compromise so you can both achieve your life goals.
A reader recently asked about declaring his love to someone who is moving away. If you’re in a similar boat, read Starting a Relationship With Someone Who is Leaving the Country.
You have the same core life values
Do you have similar spiritual, moral, or ethical beliefs? Relationships in which one partner is, for instance, Jewish and the other is, say, Muslim, make it difficult to forge a strong life together. Of course, if you both have lukewarm spiritual beliefs, then it may not matter if they’re in opposition…but if you follow your faith faithfully, you’ll need to address it sooner or later. Infatuation and love addiction ignores spiritual differences; true love makes your spirituality stronger.
You feel accepted and good about yourself
Do you feel good about who you are and where you’re going in life when you’re with your sweetheart? When you’re not with him or her, do you feel secure, confident, and happy with your relationship? Infatuation often involves feeling insecure, self-conscious, or unhappy about who you are; true love is about feeling supported and accepted.
One sign of true love is whether you can disagree without feeling unloved.
Rebound love isn’t an issue in true love
Sometimes people fall into relationships because they feel insecure or sad about a previous relationship breakup. If you’ve recently broken up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, read 5 Tips for Avoiding Rebound Love. Infatuation is about attraction for the wrong reasons; true love involves accepting and loving your sweetheart because of who he or she is.
How do you express your feelings of “true love”? Read 65 Ways to Say “I Love You” Without Words.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.