Beyond clichés, discover the unexpected signs you found true love in a relationship. From subtle gestures to shared silences, these signs validate your connection!
When I left an abusive relationship I was a young, single mother. With BIG hair! (It was the 80s!) I thought it was too late for me to ever find love again.
When will I find love? Will I ever find love? I wondered. True love. Long love. Love that lasts. The man I’d one day put my comfy slippers on and grow old with. Who’d be my companion and partner in crime?
First I had to be still within myself, recover and heal. Build my self-esteem first before I considered dating again. Dating when insecure, dating too soon would only attract the wrong type of partner. I had to be whole within myself first. If you’re wondering yourself:
Will I ever find love? Does true love even exist?
Yes, it does. Yes, you can and you will. But, find and heal yourself first.
Related: 7 Ways to Improve Your Relationship
Finding True Love
When I wasn’t even looking, true love, found me in the form of this man! We’ve recently celebrated our 30th Wedding anniversary. We’ve had a happy married life. He’s my true love.
Friends and colleagues have often observed us together and said:
You’re so lucky! He’s such a good man.
I hear that a lot.
I know how lucky I am. The man I married before him almost killed me. That amplifies his kindness all the more. Our relationship is nothing like that toxic one I had in the past. This is true love. True relationships are hard to find.
How do you know you found true love? 8 signs you found true love
1. You trust each other
Nothing is hidden. You can be honest with each other. Vulnerable without fear. Have total trust that if you reveal your weaknesses and flaws, they won’t use it as a weapon against you later. The more vulnerability you share, the greater the trust between you.
This is how you forge a true connection. Longtime love grows.
2. Your happiness doesn’t depend on each other
When I was in an abusive relationship my happiness depended on my ex’s moods and behavior. My highs were euphoric when he told me he loved me, my lows were deep when he abused me. I had low self-esteem.
Abusive relationships are codependent ones. Two insecure people who are both looking to the other to make them happy. This is not a recipe for true love. A love that lasts. When your happiness depends on others you are hostage to external fortune. Your life feels out of your control.
Only when I filled that void of not feeling worthy could I find someone who treated me as such. I had to love myself first, find happiness within. Unless I did I would go on to repeat the pattern. Find me in another dysfunctional, unhealthy relationship.
Related: 10 Signs of a Healthy Relationship
Two adults can have a healthy relationship. But, only when they are healthy and whole within themselves.
They have strong self-esteem and a sense of self-worth. Their happiness does not depend on the other. They are complete as individuals and happy if they’re alone. Finding each other is a bonus. The icing on the cake. Together they’re even stronger than the sum of their parts.
3. You can let each other go
You don’t play games. You don’t need to. There is no need to control.
As you are secure within yourselves first, you don’t feel threatened to let each other go. You don’t fear they’ll abandon you. There’s no jealousy, as you have complete trust. You can love each other unconditionally. You’re not afraid to let each other go. To live your life and let them live theirs the way they choose and makes them happiest.
My husband and I have a lot in common: our core values, dreams, and goals. But we’re also different. I love that he has his boy time, cycling, and training with other guys for the extreme sporting events he loves. He doesn’t mind if I go out for girly nights with my friends.
4. You respect each other
What this marriage has taught me is love is a verb, not a noun. It’s not enough to tell someone you love them if your actions don’t say the same. My ex was good at saying the words I wanted to hear. But he never walked the talk. His actions were the opposite of what he said, leaving his words as empty promises.
My husband’s words and actions align. What he says is what he does. He shows me respect. He treats me with kindness. We’ve had some difficult times along the way, of course. What has always brought us back on track, though, is demonstrating our love. Being kind. Treating each other with respect.
And that’s not just with each other. When I hear him talk to others about me, his face lights up a little. He always says nice things. I do exactly the same.
5. You’re happy when they’re happy
This is not the same as your happiness depending on theirs. It means if they are happy within themselves and strong, you don’t feel threatened. You’re delighted. If a new promotion at work excites them, you celebrate their success with them. If others tell you how fabulous they look, you don’t get jealous. You agree.
Aren’t I the lucky one?
6. Your arguments aren’t psychological warfare
When I was with my ex I walked on eggshells. I never knew when he would lash out at me. If you’re experiencing gaslighting you’ll know what I mean when arguments are like psychological warfare. It shouldn’t be like that.
In a healthy relationship, it is safe to vent, get angry, or irritated with each other. You can have differences of opinion, as you can also see each other’s point of view. Once the dust has settled, my husband and I are able to apologize if we are in the wrong. Usually, it’s so out of character for us to fight, we end up laughing our way out of them anyway.
7. You’re friends as well as lovers
I find this funny at times how one minute we’re best mates, the next romping between the sheets. You think:
Shouldn’t this feel weird having sex with my best friend?
But it doesn’t. It works. We don’t just love each other, we like each other. That’s the moment I knew my relationship with my ex was not true love. Or love that lasts. I loved him, but I realized I didn’t like him anymore. We didn’t don’t have much in common.
My husband and I have a strong friendship and our core values, beliefs, and goals are aligned. He brings out the best in me and I bring out the best in him. We’re strong on our own. Together we’re formidable.
8. You’re there for each other
Especially when the chips are down. I always joke to my husband that he vowed to love me in sickness and in sickness, my health is that bad. It’s more than that though. We’re there for each other no matter what.
There are times when I’ve needed him to be strong for me. Others when he’s not afraid to let me take the reins and give him strength. There have been moments where we’ve been under huge pressures and stress together. Like when I had to close my television production company down. When the Global Financial Crash made things tough. At the same time, his company dispatched him to Shanghai. If he didn’t go he’d lose his job.
We lived apart for two years until we could financially get back on our feet. But we supported each other, got through it, and came out stronger.
Happy Married Life
The biggest difference in my relationship now to the toxic one with my abusive ex is it’s effortless. I’m not saying we’ve had to work at it. We have, of course.
But when you are aligned with each other, have huge respect and unconditional love it does feel that way. Effortless. I can’t tell you how incredible that feels. Not to mention how nice it is to have someone to grow old with. Although I will add that we’re too busy having adventures to put those comfy slippers on just yet.
Will I ever find love? Will I ever find true love? A love like that? I hear you asking. Yes. It’s never too late for love.
Find Happiness Within
Put you first. Build your self-esteem. Love yourself and find happiness within. Only when you are complete, good, and true to yourself, will you be great in a relationship. Don’t date when you are still insecure. Be still and work on your sense of self-worth first. It is key.
If you’re in a relationship right now, why not try my love test? My online quiz: Is my relationship good enough for me? (You’ll also get all my new videos and posts direct to your inbox).
Ask yourself: Do I deserve better? Is this a relationship that’s healthy and will last? If not, don’t waste your precious time and energy on it. Life is too short.
Have you found true love? A good relationship? Or happiness after an abusive relationship? Let us know the signs of finding true love in the comments below.
Written by Vivian McGrath Originally appeared on Unbeatable Printed with permission from the author