Ancient Greek philosophers identified four forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, storge), friendly love (philia), romantic love (eros), and divine love (agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Non-Western traditions have also distinguished variants or symbioses of these states. Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.
Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.
Love may be understood as a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.
Signs That You Have Found True Love
True love is about the way you perceive someone. If you can step outside of your ego and see the value in someone else and the value in forming relationships with some give-and-take, then you can develop the mental attitude towards someone that results in a loving bond that can’t be broken.
#Nothing Is Hidden. People who are experiencing true love don’t hide stuff from each other. They openly share their lives because they want to share their lives with that person. That is a part of being in a loving long-term relationship with someone. You don’t want to hide anything from them because you want them to share in your life – the good and the bad – and understand what you experience.
#You Don’t Play Games. People who are living in a state of lust, a false sense of admiration for someone, or a total sense of selfishness, will play games. When you are thinking more about yourself and your needs and pleasure than someone else, you are not in a state of true love and you will do ridiculous things with a lack of seriousness and respect for the other person.
For instance, if someone feels like they want to keep someone in their lives, solely for the purpose of fulfilling a need they have, then they are going to play games in order to do that. Someone pretending to be pregnant or suicidal in order to keep someone are just two examples of games that are not a part of true love.
#There Is Complete Respect. If you have found true love, then you will give and receive respect. You will respect them for who they are and what they do in the world, including with you. You will see the good in them. You will treat them as a human being and view them as your equal, not your superior or someone who is lower than you. And, they will treat you with the same level of respect.
#You Care About Each Other’s Welfare. When you have found true love, you care about each other’s happiness and health. This means that you don’t try to hurt their happiness or health in any way.
For instance, you don’t abuse them, physically or mentally. You don’t put them down, stress them out, or make them feel bad about what they do. Instead, you support them and make them feel good about themselves and what they do. You encourage them to do things that make them feel happy and healthy. And you do things for their happiness and health without them always having to ask you to.
#You Don’t Focus On Their Flaws. This is not what a lot of people believe it to be. I hear many people (many in my direct life) who say that their abusive relationship is what true love is all about because they are willing to look past their partner’s faults and accept them for who they are. They are willing to take the physical and mental abuse, but it shows their partner just how much they care. That’s not true love, that’s being a victim. Accepting someone’s flaws means accepting that they are not perfect. It doesn’t mean accepting that they treat you poorly.
A flaw is something that they have not perfected yet, such as a weakness in putting their laundry away or a lack of commitment to things that could really benefit their lives. It is not something that they do to you to make you feel bad or hurt you.
#You Are Kind. When you feel true love with someone, you are considerate, generous, and friendly with them. You don’t try to hurt them; in fact, you don’t ever want to hurt them. You are concerned about them and show concern. You think about their needs. You are affectionate and patient towards them. You don’t speak harshly or use mean words towards them.
I find many people are kinder to strangers than to their loved ones. How you treat others compared to your partner is something to think about when you are considering whether you are feeling true love or just in a relationship with someone who you take out your frustrations on.
#You Are Dedicated To Improving The Relationship. What is true love? It is a dedication to someone and your relationship with them. It is the willingness to do things and compromise for the betterment of the relationship. It is the willingness to put the relationship above other things and remain committed to making it happier, healthier, and more fulfilling. You do this because you recognize that the relationship is already making you a happier and better person, so staying dedicated to improving it is just a no-brainier.
This doesn’t mean that there won’t be issues in the relationship. Humans have emotions, and those emotions can interfere with a relationship’s happiness. But true love is the willingness to work through arguments. You don’t think about breaking up or moving on. Your desire is focused on making things better and working through the anger, hurt, or annoyance that is happening so you can get back to a happy relationship.
#You Keep Your Promises. A promise to someone you truly love has a lot of weight. Promises are an extension of trust. When someone you love promises to do something and breaks it, then they are breaking your trust on some level. This is why someone who truly loves you will inform you of the times they can’t make their promises instead of just leaving you hanging in the dust, and vice-versa.
#You See Things From Their Perspective. When the relationship is about you, then your perspective is all that you see. But, when you are in a relationship with someone you truly love, you value that person enough to see things from their perspective.
For instance, you can see their true intentions, instead of labeling what you think their intentions are. You can also see where they are coming from and why they need or want what they do in their life, instead of judging them for needing or wanting something different than you.
#When They Are Happy, You Feel Good. When they smile, you feel happy. When they are experiencing joy, you feel joy too. When they are feeling loved, appreciated, or on top of their game, you feel good. Even if you are unhappy with yourself, you feel a sense of appreciation that they are feeling good. That’s what true love is really all about. You value them so much that you want them to be happy in life and free from suffering.
Moreover, you don’t feel envious when they are experiencing greatness in their life. For instance, you don’t get upset that they are making more money than you or having more luck than you. Their value doesn’t decrease or increase depending on how much success they are having – or how much success or failure you are experiencing.
#You Are Willing To Stay During The Tough Times. Your partner gets sick, physically or mentally. They are struggling with a life crisis that has pushed them into a different state of being. They are struggling with finding themselves. All of these times can be tough, but if you are experiencing true love with someone, you will stay, support, and find ways to help them through their tough times.
This doesn’t mean that you take abuse from them. You may truly love them, but if they move into a place where they are not truly loving you, then you shouldn’t put up with that. However, if they are trying their best and treating you with the respect that you need, then you should be willing to stay with them through their through their tough time, even when everyone else turns their back to them.
#Give and take in love. You give to the relationship wholeheartedly, without any desire or expectations of getting something back in return from your partner to justify your actions.
#Pure happiness. Just watching this special person smile or laugh out loud fills you with intense happiness, even if you’re suffering or having a hard day.
#Pain and anger. You get terribly hurt when your lover upsets you, but their actions never anger you. You may get annoyed or frustrated now and then momentarily, but you just can’t stay mad at them for long because staying mad or giving them the silent treatment hurts you more.
#Sacrifices. You make sacrifices for their happiness or wellbeing, even if they may never realize it.
#The right effort. You go to great lengths and make an effort to improve the relationship, and play a conscious part in trying to please your partner and make them feel loved and special.
#You can’t ever hurt them. When you’re truly in love with someone, you can’t even imagine hurting them, emotionally or physically. Payback is a strong human instinct, but true love makes you completely selfless.
#You keep your promises. When you make a promise to them, you stick to your word even if this person will never find out if you broke their promise. When you experience true love, your moral conscience becomes very strong when it comes to this one special person.
#We. In a perfect relationship, it’s good to have your own space to grow as individuals. But at the same time, if you truly love your partner, you’d see them as a part of your life. When you think of your future, you can’t help but see them by your side.
#You share their burden. And you do that even if you don’t really have to. You can’t bear to see this special someone suffering. If they’re dealing with some issue, you’re always willing to offer them a helping hand even when you have your own difficulties to look into.
#Pride and jealousy. You beam with pride when they achieve something, even if it’s the same thing you failed at. You may get jealous of a friend who outdid you, but when you love someone, jealousy never enters the picture.
#Suffering. You’d be willing to suffer, just to see them happy.
#Their perspective. Everything you do, you keep your lover in mind and think from their perspective, be it about planning a surprise party or hanging out with your own friends after work. You don’t ever want to hurt your lover, so you always think from their point of view before making any decision that involves them in any way.