True love is wanting the absolute best for someone, even if what is best for them is to not be in a relationship with you. True love wants them to soar, and not be weighed down by anything that doesn’t fully serve them. True love is unselfish. True love serves the person being loved on every level.
So if you find yourself thinking “I have never wanted better things for a person than I do for them… ever” then there’s a very good chance that you have a clean, authentic love for this person… and if you’re lucky enough for them to also want to be with you, then you have found something beautiful and resilient.
2. Peak and valley vs. Slow growth over time.
Does your love slowly grow with time or does it slowly fade away with time?
Research has shown that over a sixty-year period of time, ‘passionate love’ spikes in the first 6-12 months of a relationship and then peters off rapidly, whereas ‘companionate love’ only grows with time. I wrote about this particular phenomenon in my article Kindling vs. Coal: How To Know If Your Relationship Will Last.
3. You fall out of love with them when the chemical rush is over / You never stop loving them and cheering them on whether you’re with them or not.
Put simply… your feelings of being in love either ends, or it doesn’t.
In order to have a long-term relationship work, you and your partner need to have physical, emotional, and intellectual compatibility.
If you have one or two out of the three, your intimate partnership will undoubtedly always feel like something is lacking or unfulfilling.
So if you find your love feelings fading away rapidly after you get spit out the other end of the initial infatuation phase, then you were probably only ‘in love.’
But if you feel a more grounded, resilient kind of love for them that will always be present for them, regardless of whether or not you are fighting, in the same room as each other, or even in a relationship with one another, then you’re more likely to be actually loving them.
Remember, true love doesn’t grasp. It doesn’t say “I will only love you if you are mine/if you ‘make’ me feel loved 100% of the time/if you act in this specific way that I need you to.”
True love liberates. It makes the person that you love more themselves than they’ve ever been. It helps them move towards their authentic selves and away from their masks, should-thinking, and compromising.
The first several months of a new relationship can feel like when a riptide takes you under during a surf session. The water tumbles you around for some unknown amount of time where you don’t know which direction is up, and then it eventually spits you out, gasping for air. Once the infatuation phase is over, you can see with clearer eyes as to whether or not you want to continue on in the relationship.
I could write twenty dichotomies for you to chew on and journal about, but ultimately, you know it when you feel it. Your heart is currently and will forever be the foremost expert of what decision you need to make. So listen to it. It knows the answer to every question you have.
Dedicated to your success,
Written by Jordan Gray Originally appeared in Jordan Gray Consulting