In this post, I explained how all experiences—good or bad—are found within. More specifically, I proposed the idea that the grandest feelings like love and happiness are contained within…and that every outside experience is a conduit that brings forth your best feelings. But does this explain love shared in dating and relationships? What is true love? And how do you know if you have it—when you got it?
Today I want to help you navigate the concept of what true love is and what it looks like. So that, we can unpackage the elusive fully:
1. True Love Is Reflected In The Relationship You Have With Yourself
And in this case, your partner’s relationship with themself. Humans can only give out what they give themselves. Moreover, the spectrum of value versus devalue influences our projection of our self-perception.
We seek out partners who awaken a part of ourselves and experience.
For example, when we operate from a place of pain and self-hatred, we are only exercising the strength of that experience. Through confirmation bias, our attention will be blind to anything which arises an uncomfortable objection behind the experiences unfamiliar to us—including the experience of self-worth and self-love.
True love’s foundation is rooted in self-love first.
2. True Love Is About Mutual Respect
True love is about having the capacity to respect another. Considering the previous point, respect for yourself allows you to know where your boundaries and parameters are. Knowing these clearly allows you the permission to express them openly and unapologetically.
Since most arguments in relationships are based on miscommunication, knowing yourself is respecting yourself. And allows you to be the type of partner who kindly asks and expresses their needs—in a loving but firm way.
Mutual respect allows you to appreciate your partner as an individual—and holds them accountable for it. Meaning, they can be the sole reason for demise, disappointment, or argument; and yet, you don’t feel guilty for bringing their actions or attention to their awareness.
Because when you create an environment that is loving—yet firm—true love is a space you enter as mutually consenting adults….with the standard you will be held accountable as such.
3. True Love Is Patient
Miscommunication can get ugly. Really ugly. Patience is how you utilize your most valuable commodity: your time. Being able to sit mindfully and present with your self—and welcoming your partner to do the same with you—is what true love is.
Most people are afraid of themselves. They are afraid of accountability for their actions & the work they need to do to evolve. And more importantly: they are afraid of their potentials and possibilities.
Have you considered—for some—the scariest thing to be is dependable, loyal, and loving?
True love is loving the journey and patience of welcoming and integrating someone important into our lives. Moreover, as long as respect, commitment, and loyalty are being served—they have a seat at your table.
4. True Love Is Commitment—Every Day
I’ve noticed how some operate on the belief that once they secured “a title” with someone: exclusive; boyfriend/girlfriend; fiancé/fianceé; husband/wife; significant other; partner; etc. That the work is done.
News flash: it’s not.
True love isn’t contingent exclusively on titles being expressed or a relationship status update on social media…it’s about the choices you make afterward. There WILL be days your feeling and emotion of love may not be the same as yesterday, only to be above the moon later. Our emotions and feeling of love waxes & wanes—just like the moon cycle.
Emotions are fickle at best. They aren’t static. Sometimes they can be influenced by circumstantial events; poor night’s sleep; stress from work; etc. And because emotions can be influenced by outside variables, trust them, but also rely more on the actions chosen.
The result of your life is based on the cumulation of choices.
5. True Love Is Based On Integrity
The integrity of yours and your partner’s. Since commitment is something you do every day, relationships and true love is based on your daily truth to integrity.
For example, if true love is based on treating another how you’d want yourself to be treated, what you choose & exhibit to your partner—and especially what you do behind their back—shows the degree of self-love you really have for yourself.
Ultimately, experiencing a relationship with integrity is a gift we give to our partner…and to ourselves. Because it’s an investment: if there is ever a breakup, you are giving yourself the gift and added insurance of a guilt-free healing period.
6. Because True Love Is About Having The Least Guilt Possible
You know the feeling of forgiveness and how good it feels to be forgiven? Say, you did something really horrible and you were doomed to be haunted by your actions afterward.
To think this wouldn’t affect the quality of your life afterward, it’s short-sighted. And wrong.
For instance, when I was younger I heard of the term “you can’t run away from yourself”. When you exist in a constant state of denial of the gravity and weight of your actions, you are only exercising that muscle: denial.
Aside from exhibiting immaturity and lack of responsibility, it weakens your ability to grow and have real control of your life. Denial has control: not you.
True love is about existing from a guilt-free conscious. No, life isn’t about everything you can get. Life operates on a balance of giving and taking. And it has its reckoning for those who are unable to ever feel content or who give fully into all their impulses.
7. True Love Isn’t Always About Length-Of-Time
Some couples have an amazing long experience with each other: full of incredible memories; challenges to overcome; but most of all, life-long lessons and moments. Not all of us will have the person we have by our sides forever.
And yet, it’s not to say it was a waste.
Notably, when we are fully changed because of this person—either because it brought us closer to loving ourselves and self-respect; lack of maturity compatibility; lack of similar positions on the monogamy/polyamory spectrum—we are not the same person before entering.
Some will have to heal afterward. No breakup is easy. But if in some way it has made you a better person—including to yourself—you’ve become enriched from the experience.
True love* is not about the never-ending romance; finely edited and curated social media pictures; lust beyond our comprehension; or a Disney fairytale come to life. True love is hard-work; a test of might and integrity; and even—a test of character.
Because when we love another, we are revealing the love we have for ourselves. And how that method of expressing it has been conditioned by our past experiences.
No, not everyone grows up in a loving household and loving families. There are some who are born into strife and hardship. Maybe that is your partner. And maybe that person is you.
However, if we understand that we are complete and whole beings trying to give meaning—a sense of purpose—to the love we contain inside, then half the work is done. We can make choices that honor and reflect that.
After all, the best discovery is realizing the wealth and abundance of love you have inside you. Carried with you, in every experience in life, waiting for the opportunity to be shared outwardly.
Choose love. Always.
Be Well & Vibe Well,
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