Do you know what true love is? Is true love what you see in the movies, or is it defined by what you witnessed growing up?
If you can’t define what true love is, you’ll probably have a hard time finding it.
Many define true love by the stuff – white picket fence, fancy car, dog and so on. But that’s a load of crap!
Instead, I like this one:
“True love is not how you forgive, but how you forget, not what you see but what you feel, not how you listen but how you understand, and not how you let go but how you hold on.” – Anonymous
True love, to me, is an imperfect relationship where both partners are trying their very best to stay to together, forgive and forget, and grow together.
It’s when each person takes a turn being there for the other in times of need. There is no “I”, there is just us. There is no scorekeeping. When one of you needs something, the other is just there. Period.
And yes, it can be nasty at times. But, in the end, respect for the other is always king and problems are easily resolved.
What True Love is: Acting as a Team
In the past, I’ve seen the difference between true love and what I thought was true love. That difference can be summed up by an us against the world mentality.
True love is teamwork in grocery shopping, cleaning, child rearing and love making. It’s a give and take where love balances out. You discuss major decisions and power might vary but balances out in the end.
When you work as a team, there’s a feeling of unity and security. You know he has your back and he knows you have his. You’re a we, not two me’s. Your identity includes each other. While you remain an individual, you still identify as part of a couple.
The Good Times Outweigh the Bad
All relationships experience bad times. When there are more bad times than great times, you’re not experiencing what true love is.
True love is about building great memories together. It’s being there for one another when times are tough and being supportive when it matters. During the tough times, there is no question that you’re there for one another. During the good times, you appreciate what you have and enjoy your time together. You build intimacy through shared experiences and use that intimacy to carry you through the bad.
You Know One Another’s Flaws and Choose One Other Anyway
The key word here is choose. He snores, his eye for fashion sucks, and he can’t even hang a picture on a wall. But he tries and that’s what you love about him.
Nobody is perfect, so discovering those flaws and loving them shows that you know what true love is! If you’ve already found someone, great, but if you’re still looking, recognize that you don’t need to find a perfect man, you need to find a man who’s perfect for you, flaws and all.
What True Love Is: There’s No Justice Trap
I dated someone once who looked at the relationship like an exchange of services. If she rubbed my feet, I owed her a foot massage. If I spent time with my friends, I owed her something in return. And, if she cooked, I had to clean up and take her out the next time.
I’ve heard couples with kids talk about whose turn it is to babysit the kids while the other does something away from home. If you feel you’re babysitting your own kids, I’m not sure why you had them to begin with.
When a relationship feels more like a scorecard or tally sheet, you don’t have love. In the case of my relationship, it reached a point when I didn’t want to accept anything from her because I knew I’d owe her something in return.
This takes any special meaning out of any gesture I wanted to make and any gesture she made wasn’t special, but her chance to make me owe her something.
True love balances out. If I do five nice things for my girlfriend, then I did five nice things! I wanted to. She’s worth it. She’ll do nice things back and I don’t want or need to keep score.
True Love Gets Better Later
You don’t hear this definition much, but I find it to be true. True love comes after the early relationship butterflies have flown away and after you’re over wanting to have sex multiple times a day. It comes when you settle into a life where you accept one another for who you are.
You enjoy your time spent together and don’t feel nervous or like you need sex every five minutes. You want to do things together like going hiking in the woods or spending an afternoon at the beach.
True love brings security and protection to the relationship. You can be yourself. There is nothing to hide and only great times to be had. You can plan your future together because there is a future.
You Feel Free to Share Your Vulnerabilities
It is very difficult to share your vulnerabilities. This requires a high level of trust for both of you and the first time you share a vulnerability will be the hardest. How you each respond is crucial to whether there will be more sharing in the future.
The first time your guy shares something that makes him feel vulnerable, respond with caring and acceptance. He needs to know that you still accept him, now that you have seen his weak underbelly. If he shares first, it’s important that you reciprocate, but not immediately. It will seem fake. Do it soon, though because he will be waiting.
What True Love Is: Summary
While these are my definitions of what true love is, the truth is that you won’t tick your way down some list. You’ll know because there’s a feeling that is unmistakable. It isn’t about the things like a house or car. It’s about feeling you get. True love is when he walks into a room and you feel happy. It’s when you read a text from him, you smile, inside and out. True love is when he remembers that you like rosemary garlic bread and he brings you a loaf for dinner.
The important thing to remember, early on in a relationship, is that love isn’t chemistry. Chemistry is essential, but lust isn’t love. Don’t be confused by lust but wait for these other signs to develop. It takes time to build it but it’s worth the wait.
Once you find true love, the key is keeping it! In my best-seller, Pennies in the Jar: How to Keep a Man for Life, you’ll learn many things you and your guy can do to maintain a healthy, happy relationship. The pennies you put in the jar are shared memories. You add pennies when you do things together like exploring a quaint little town nearby or relaxing in a coffee shop on a Saturday afternoon. They’re added when you make a game out of grocery shopping or have a cooking contest for dinner.
Learn how to put pennies in the jar, how to communicate effectively and how to fight fair, all inside this great book!
To learn more about it, click here. To purchase the book, click one of the buttons below.