How to tell if you are really in love ...

  • OK, you think you have found 'the one'. Or maybe you think you loved and lost 'the one' in the past. But is/was it really true love you are feeling or something else that maybe won't last or is unhealthy or just nostalgia/loneliness? Oh the number of relationships that are based on a fantasy ... let's get real now!

    Here are some 'symptoms' that people mistake for love -

    “They’re always on your mind”
    This is infatuation. If someone’s “always” on your mind, you’re not focused on other Really Important Things. And that’s a problem. Real love fits into real life, rather than usurping it. It’s calm, not overwhelming.

    “You crave them” or “can’t get enough of them”
    See above.

    “They’re your ‘everything’”

    “You see them in your future” or “When I imagined my future partner, they were always in the background of my imagination helping me out with whatever I was doing. My future just didn’t really make sense without them around.”
    Well, I mean, damn. You fantasize long and hard enough, you can see anything in your future — like I could imagine moving to Switzerland to be a goat farmer. That doesn’t mean I should. The problem is that we’ve made “love” into a game of escapism, and measure potential partners by how they fit into that fantasy. That’s not love. So, sure, see them in your future — but not because they “complete the picture.” You can and must do that for yourself.

    “They’re the person of your dreams”
    See above.

    “You always want them around”
    Ha. Hahaha. Clearly you have never been in a (healthy) long-term relationship. You should want to see this person in your life. But love isn’t always wanting to be together. Sometimes you need a minute or two to yourself. Sometimes you need to work or do other things. Or, damn, just be. Don’t think it’s not love just because sometimes you want space.

    “You’ll do whatever it takes to impress them.”
    Well. That’s scary. You're trying too hard. Loving isn’t “impressing.”

    “You’re scared” - of losing them, of never being with another person … the list goes on. But healthy love doesn’t involve fear of loss. That’s attachment. It also doesn’t involve fear of “never being with another person.” I don’t even know what that is. Low self esteem? Lack of conviction?

    “You’re jealous”
    This is attachment again, not mature love.

    “They’re beautiful.”
    This is worship, not love. (Also: you’re an idiot.)

    “They’re kind.”
    Well. Glad you’re getting your emotional needs met. But this just means that they are deserving of love. It doesn’t mean that you are loving them.

    “You just know!”
    Well. Thanks for the most unhelpful advice ever. To everyone who’s ever said this: really? Don’t perpetuate nonsense and call it “romance” just because you don’t have suitable answers.

    Tread lightly with:
    “They’re the best part of your day” or “Seeing my lover is always the highlight of my life.”
    The difference here is probably what the rest of your day looks like. Good: If you’re happy with your life and your partner adds to it, then congrats.You win. Bad: If you’re unhappy and using your partner as an oasis or lifeline, then you need to get your act together.

    “You prioritize them”
    Good: you actually care about their wants and needs, and prioritize them in a way that doesn’t tear you down
    Bad: you compromise your own wants and needs, or base your value on your ability to “keep them happy.”

    How to know you LIKE them as a person:
    They’re different than everyone else
    Rad for them
    You like more than their looks
    Congrats, there may be hope for you yet.
    You want them to be happy
    Great. I want happiness for most people.
    You’ll try new things with them
    You found someone with whom you’re comfortable, and whose company you enjoy. Good for you.
    They inspire you to be a better person
    Role models have that effect on us, too. That doesn’t mean we love them.

    How to know you LOVE them:
    (1) You know because you decide. You don’t feel love. You DO it. It’s an act, not a feeling. It’s a moment by moment decision and re-commitment. You know because it’s deliberate and conscious.
    (2) You know because you DO the act of loving. You invest. You exert effort. You don’t knowingly do harm. You aren’t vengeful, petty, manipulative, or jealous. Their needs never seem irritating. You aren’t grabby with them, their time, or their affection in return. You are secure without demanding constant reassurance. You prioritize their viewpoints. You learn their love language. You think in terms of their interests, not yours, and their needs are your own. You support them. You back them. You care and take care. You accept, and you allow.
    (3) You know because you do the act of loving even when you don’t want to. Because everyone thinks they’re in love when it’s clear skies and calm waters, but watch them when the storm hits. You know because you love even when you’re pissed. It’s love if you don’t “fight;” you disagree. You love if your objective is reaching an agreement, not picking a winner. You love if you don’t get defensive, insecure, or manipulative. If you don’t keep score. If you don’t hold grudges. If you don’t “take back your love” as punishment. You love if you seek to understand before being understood; listen and honor what they share - and you don’t double down with your own issues. If you act like you’re on the same team. You listen. You compromise. You apologize. You forgive. You know because you love even when you’re hurt. Especially honoring and respecting their wants and needs even when they include “breaking up.”

    What we should really be Googling is “how to love,”not “how to ‘know’ we’re in love.” We like to differentiate between “being in love with” and “loving” someone. But “being in love with” is infatuation, and infatuation means nothing in getting real love. So if what you want is real love, then “how to” is all that matters. You “know” because you decide. It’s love when you do it. All the time.

    Article by Kris Gage

  • @thecaptain
    another interesting article
    thank you
    So I was not in love as I was not thinking of him/them all the time; crave their company all the time; he was nothing like my dreams.
    I do not know how to be other than myself: But I was scared of being without a partner or family again.
    I did dream about having children with them, creating a home and a family all the things I did not have in my life.
    I made time for them in my life trying to be available to join them in what they wanted to do. I knew their negative points and still enjoyed being with them. I trusted him with my life and felt that I was empowered.
    I invested everything in the relationship, I did not push for commitment as I believed that if they were interested that they would talk about the future. They never did.
    I have come to realise that if you were not loved as a child then you will not be loved as an adult. Dreams of being with someone who will committee to bring up your children together is just pie in the sky.
    For someone who grew up by themselves and spent all their lives by themselves, love. family and companionship is pie in the sky. You lean to love in childhood.

    But I enjoyed his company and hoped we could be life long friends/brother. To begin with I was insecure afraid I would be left alone.

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  • @kross90
    love you reply
    😗 😽 😘 😚 😙 ♥ 💗 💞 😍 😻

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