Are you in love or lust? Is it true love or infatuation? Here are a few signs of true love, to help you decipher the difference between the two.
If you’re still wondering if you’re in love or addiction, you may find Is It Love or Is It Addiction? helpful.
The answer to the “is this true love?” question is that it is probably a little of both. In that regard, this book is for anyone wanting to improve important love relationships, whether they are with children, parents, friends, peers, siblings, partners, or lovers. Love addiction is an inclusive term in that it includes men and women, both heterosexual and homosexual, who have been referred to as “addicts” and “co-addicts,” “codependents,” and “love avoidant.” It is for the single and the coupled. Love addiction may or may not include a romantic high or intimate addiction.
Here are five ways to tell if your love is the real thing…
5 Signs of True Love
“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.
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.
You aren’t on the rebound
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 about avoiding love on the rebound. Infatuation is about attraction for the wrong reasons; true love involves accepting and loving your sweetheart because of who he or she is.
I welcome your thoughts on true love versus infatuation, but I can’t offer relationship advice. It may help you to share your experience here, though. Writing can bring insight and help you see your relationship differently.
To learn more about the signs of true love, read Are You Really in Love? 8 Signs of a Serious Relationship.