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5 Signs of True Love – How to Know When It’s the Real Thing

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.

Signs of True LoveIf 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?

Signs of True Love

5 Signs of True Love

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.

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25 thoughts on “5 Signs of True Love – How to Know When It’s the Real Thing”

  1. Thanks for your thoughts on true love, Jeff! You have a beautiful website, and I’m grateful for your words here.


  2. The most common source of problems in marriages is that the couple misinterpreted their mutual feelings of attraction as love. This normally results in the couple trying to keep up appearances after about 5 years, and wondering where the love went.

    It is important to know that attraction is an emotional feeling that may fade, while love is a promise that has nothing to do with attraction. Love is a promise to do 4 things.
    1. To accept everything that you know and do not know about him now.
    2. To accept him as you both age – for better of worse, richer or poorer, sickness or health for as long as you both shall live. Even if he is disfigured by an accident or crippled by illness, you accept him.
    3. To forgive him later. Since neither of you is perfect, you both depend on each others’ forgiveness.
    4. To encourage him to improve. This 4th one gives purpose to your relationship – otherwise it will get boring.

    If you are both ready to make and keep these promises to each-other, then you are ready to love. When you keep them, you demonstrate your love for each-other.

    Source: Attraction is a feeling. Love is a Promise. by Grenville Phillips, president of Walbrent College. (Loveisapromise.wordpress.com)

  3. Dear Love and Lost,

    If you and this guy have a real connection – if it is true love – then you will be together! If it’s meant to be, it will happen. You can’t do anything to make it happen, other than to be open to opportunities to get to know him better and to be yourself with him.

    He may be going out with one of your friends right now, but that will change. Many people date, and later realize they’re dating the wrong person! Finding true love takes time, and experiencing what it’s like to be with different people.

    I know I’m not being as helpful as you’d like, but I don’t know what to tell you — other than be patient. If this is true love – if you have a real connection with this guy – then he will see it too. I don’t think you should do anything like try to break up his relationship with one of your friends. I think that’s wrong, and will come back to haunt you. It’s bad karma!

    What do you think – what would you like to do? How would you like to approach this guy? Should you tell him you’re in love with him?

  4. Dear Laurie,
    I have this guy I have met at school who I knew I liked the first day he sat down at my table. But here odds the problem when I decided to finally pursue the relationship. He started to go out with one of my friends i was really let down but he had no knowledge of me liking him so they have been going out for two months. I can’t just stop liking him I really do think it’s love. When we sit down together there is a connection and I know he feels it too. I really don’t know what to do can you please help me??
    Thank you so much!!

  5. I think we can know the person loves us by how they treat us. Love cupid, does he want to spend more time with you than the other girls in his life? Does he respect you, and seek you out? Does he treat you well – and differently than he treats others?

    Sometimes the best way to figure out if it’s true love is to be bold, and ask where he thinks your relationship is headed. It’s risky, though!

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