If you are in a new relationship, it is only natural to wonder if your new relationship will last. How do you know whether or not you have found true love? How do you know if the joy and enjoyment you are feeling right now will lead to a long-term relationship?
Even if you’ve been in a long-term relationship, you may often wonder, “Is this true love or am I settling for less than I should have?”
Do you know what the signs of a healthy relationship are? If you do, then you’re well on your way to knowing what “true love” really is.
Are you ready to fall in love?
True love starts with you and how you feel about yourself. That’s right, you can’t find true love unless you truly love yourself. The capacity to know and feel true love begins when you are able to recognize and accept all of your personal flaws.
• Can you be happy and content being by yourself?
• Do you respect yourself? Can you stay true to your personal beliefs and values? Are you willing to don’t agree with someone, even someone you care about deeply, in order to stay true to what you believe in?
• Do you honor your thoughts, emotions, and opinions?
• Are you assertive? Can you stand up for yourself and ask for what you want?
If the answer to these questions is “Yes!” then you are ready to find true love. And true love is ready to find you! Why? Because if you can’t value and love yourself, then somewhere deep inside, you will always believe you are unlovable, that you aren’t worthy of attention or passion and that no one could possibly fall in love with you.
Finding love that lasts means having realistic objectives for your relationship.
Don’t get caught up in impractical notions of romantic fairy tale love. You and your partner live in the real world, a world that will present both of you with surprising challenges and hard-won triumphs. True love is able to withstand the circumstances that are more complicated than the ideal circumstances shown on TV and in movies. Mainstream media definitions of true love can be biased and sexist when it comes to how “true love couples” interact with one another. If you base your meaning of what true love really means on movies, song lyrics and paperback romance novels, you’ll likely end up frustrated and heart-broken.
Couples who are truly in love have many shared interests and hobbies.
Happy couples have fun together. They share common goals, interests and hobbies. They work together on projects that give their lives a sense of purpose and meaning outside of the relationship.
Common interests that can bring couples together include sports activities (walking, hiking), traveling, cooking, gardening or volunteering in the community. What makes these activities great for couples is that they enhance feelings of self-worth and fulfillment. And we all know that when we feel good about ourselves—when we love and enjoy who we are as individuals—we have more love to give to others. For many couples, shared activities can improve communication, increase the amount of quality-time spent mutually and offer lively relief from some of life’s less-than-fun activities such as paying bills and staying on top of stressful work deadlines.
Here are some other things to look for in a healthy, long-term relationship:
• Strong couples have their own friends and some mutual friends too. True love means that you and your lover both have your own set of friends that you enjoy hanging out with. True love doesn’t mean spending every minute of every day together; it means feeling secure enough that you don’t feel envious or needy if your partner spends time with his or her friends. On the other hand, having a group of mutual friends, such as other couples that you both have anything in common with, is also important to the success of your relationship.
• Men and women in healthy relationships can spend time alone without feeling alone. People who feel loved and secure don’t need constant attention or company from their spouses or boyfriends or lovers. Each person in a healthy relationship should be able to spend time alone doing things that they enjoy without feeling the need to check-in or check-up on what the other person is doing.
• If you are in a true love relationship, you’ll feel that your personality is well known and recognized. People who are in healthy relationships feel that their ideas, opinions and encounters are appreciated. If one person is always trying to change the other person, there is little room for unconditional love in the relationship. The minute one partner tries to make the other fit a certain role or act a specific way, the relationship will start to feel damaged.
• True love means having the bravery to let go of past hurts and being able to absolve one another when one of you makes a mistake. We all make mistakes in life; some mistakes are bigger than others, but couples who are truly in love find ways to talk about those mistakes and move past them in healthy and productive ways. If one partner is regularly reminding the other person about a mistake from the past, the relationship won’t endure.
Couples who find and maintain true love with one another are couples who were dedicated right from the start to dealing with each other with regard, goodness and sympathy.