Some swear that true love exists, others think it's impossible to find, and others mock those who say it even exists. Yet others remain cautiously optimistic—on one hand, they think it would take a miracle to find it, while on the other, they pray and hope it comes their way.
Many people can give you a definition of what real love is. To most, it is an emotion that binds two people together in eternal bliss despite the trials of life.
But what makes true love stand out from several other kinds of love keeping most relationships together?
The Definition Of True Love
Even philosophers have tried to find out what true love means. Many people have simplified the definition and will tell you that real love is a bond between soulmates.
In other words, destiny knows these people belong together, and when they finally find each other, real love binds them to each other for good.
Yet others believe true love is a reward for sticking it out through thick and thin.
Whatever the case, real love is not like any other kind of love you know. This emotion is much more intense, and it goes much deeper.
Not even common hardships of life can uproot it once it has germinated.
Most importantly, real love manifests itself through selflessness, loyalty, and excitement. Each of the partners puts the needs of the other partner above their own.
Also, when you have real love for someone, you are always yearning for the next time you will see them. You want them beside you all the time.
Finally, real love requires immense loyalty from the partners. Even the thought of betraying them brings you anguish.
These three factors separate true love from other kinds of love. Typical loving relationships can lack loyalty, selflessness, and even the excitement that comes with spending time together.
The Truth About True Love
There is actually a scientific justification for the existence of true love.
In the presence of this deep emotional connection, the other person makes your serotonin levels rise, which makes you feel excited and puts you in a better mood. As a result, you feel that you matter and enjoy a greater level of self-esteem.
There is also a greater release of oxytocin, which deepens the feelings of attachment you share with your lover. Vasopressin also kicks in and amplifies these feelings.
Dopamine also plays a role by making you feel pleasured and satisfied to have this partner in your life. So, the brain rewards you for having this person around.
Then there's norepinephrine, which makes your heart race and your palms sweat because of the excitement you get from being around this person.
But is that all true love is: a biochemical mental reaction?
Is True Love A Destiny?
There are people who believe this love is given by destiny. Science says these people are less likely to find it.
Then there are people who think you have to put in the work to achieve real love.
In short, some people believe love is found by random chance, while others think it has to be nurtured.
The truth is that both of these factors play a role.
Even when you have found the love of your life through blind luck, you will need to make an effort to keep it alive.
And also, those who believe true love can be created out of thin air by total strangers putting in the right effort mistakenly dismiss the significant role chemistry plays in relationships.
At the end of the day, you cannot force yourself to love someone with everything you've got, despite how good they are to you. At the very least you can tolerate them, but that barely meets the minimum threshold for true love.
True Love Is Not Perfect Love
This is where many people go wrong. They fall in love naturally and easily, but when the relationship hits a few bumps, they think it was never meant to be.
Such people delude themselves that real love is perfect.
No relationship is perfect, not even if it is held together by true love. It's easy to fantasize about how perfect your relationship can be, but that will never be a reality.
All relationships take effort because they cannot run on autopilot.
What True Love Is Not
To the outside world, a couple can seem to have real love when in reality there's no love between them. These are usually the kind of partners who believe real love is created through carefully calculated actions.
But let's be honest, such people are just going through the motions.
Partners fall into these unhealthy patterns for reasons such as fear of loneliness, the future, and conflict.
How To Know True Love Doesn't Exist
1. Lost Identity
When you cannot figure out who you are anymore, know that love no longer binds you to your partner. When in love, your independence and identity are enhanced so you become the best version of yourself you could ever be.
Losing your identity shows you have put aside the things that make you unique for the sake of the relationship, which is never a good thing. You do everything together and it's "we" all the way.
2. The Intimacy Is Gone
When love is gone, the closeness you feel to your partner will no longer be there. Some people think this is just another stage in a relationship, but it's not.
When intimacy goes, partners can actually make an effort to avoid being intimate with each other by avoiding eye contact, communication, and even sexual contact.
When love is alive and well in a relationship, there is usually lots of excitement and unpredictability for the partners. It does not matter if you have been together for months or decades.
Falling into routines shows that the willingness to try new things with your partner is gone. Instead, you have both adapted certain roles and have stuck to them with no interest in doing anything more.
Why Real Love Takes Effort
You can believe in destiny and soulmates all you want, but without the right effort, true love will never manifest itself in your relationship.
Studies show that even with real love, you have to make an effort to keep the relationship going forward.
In one such research, no differences in brain scans of couples that had spent months together and couples who had spent decades together with regard to the effects love, motivation, and pleasure have on the brain were found.
The secret is that the older couples had worked to maintain their love.
And with that, let's explore the characteristics of true love.
1. Times Flies
When with someone you love, time flies. In fact, you don't feel its impact.
After what seems like minutes together, you can realize you have spent hours together. Even after spending decades together, you will feel like it has only been a couple of years.
Passion can never die out in a relationship founded on real love. Strong passion keeps the relationship going even when the hard times come.
When boredom finds its way into the relationship, then things go wrong.
A relationship needs to have some give and take, and sometimes you have to give all you have. That selflessness is important for real love to flourish.
Reciprocity is also important in this regard. If one partner gives and the other only takes, then the relationship is toxic and can hardly be said to be based on real love.
For real love to exist, both partners need to have their independence. Partners cannot lose their independence and still believe love holds the relationship together.
Without independence, the partners need each other, and that puts a lot of strain on the relationship. Neediness creates expectations, and expectations become burdens, and burdens create resentment, which drives away real love.
A relationship should not get in your way of achieving your goals in life. Instead, it should help you attain these goals more easily.
Love, when true, should make you a better version of yourself, and that means giving you a chance to chase after your dreams and ambitions.
6. You Accept Each Other Completely
When you love someone for real, you don't hold their flaws against them. At first, you might not have seen these flaws, but over time, you saw them and it did not make the person any less important to you.
You still feel the relationship is worth it despite all the imperfections you see in your partner, and they clearly feel the same way.
7. You Don't Mind If The Whole World Knows About You
If you feel you have to hide your lover, then the love you share is a little lacking. Once you have real love, you couldn't care less if the entire world knows about it.
In fact, you are excited to introduce the person to your family, even though there's a chance they might not approve of the relationship. Quite simply, you don't care if you have to take on the whole world to be with the love of your life.
8. You Don't Hold Grudges
Yes, you will piss each other off from time to time. However, while some people will hold grudges over such matters and avoid each other for days, you don't.
People who truly love each other resolve conflicts quickly and at the earliest opportunity. The partners don't bottle their feelings and let them sully the love they have for each other.
9. You Can Have Fun Doing Nothing
People who love each other don't have to go out on fun dates to have a good time. Even when sitting next to each other, they can have the time of their lives.
This level of comfort only comes with true love. You simply enjoy each other's silence more than anything you can imagine, and things never get awkward.
10. You Feel You Matter In The Relationship
In an unhealthy relationship, you will feel inadequate in one way or another. When you and your partner have real love, you can feel that your presence in your partner's life matters.
You will feel your opinions, contributions, love, affection, and sacrifices all count for something. Not all relationships can make you feel worthwhile, but when real love is involved, you definitely do.
True love is very real, but it won't fall on your lap and remain there without your effort. The initial attraction only gives you a chance to find out if you have found your real love or not, but from there, you have to fan this elusive flame of passion yourselves.