KNOWING WHEN YOU’RE IN LOVE
By Alice G.
Have you ever tried checking the internet – in any search engine – for the best ways of telling if you are in love? If yes, you would agree that the results offer no real guidance or explanation, and many times you end up with meaningless replies… all pointing to either lust or infatuation, rather than true love.
Some experts describe it as – “Chicken love”. Chicken love? Well, imagine a man who loves chicken so much, such that he finds it easy to eat chicken at the slightest opportunity. He will not hesitate to declare his love for chicken when he is asked about it. However, in reality, the man never loved chicken. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have them for a meal. If he truly loved chicken, he would find a means to keep them close and give them pure love. So, the correct description of his relationship with chicken is that HE LOVES THE WAY HE FEELS when he eats the chicken.
While love will make you feel at your best, there is much more to it than just good feelings. Love is also capable of making you feel terrible. Loving relationships aren’t always smooth as you’d want them to be. Perhaps, most people aren’t aware of this or don’t want this part of love. So, they bail once the going is a bit tough, rather than staying and fighting for the love that started the relationship in the first place. But love comes in a package … its beauty is truly amplified when it becomes about committed people giving all they can make it work.
This brings us to the question – what exactly is love?
The answer is never easy. Many times we think we have the answers, but we end up confused… There are times we take obsession for love (and vice versa).
Let’s begin with “What Love is Not”
“He is always on my mind”
This is normal, especially during the early stage. But that doesn’t mean you are in love with him. You are just barely getting to know him. Snap out of it.
“He’s all I’ve ever wanted and more”
Sorry, but I need to bust your bubble here. This is what you call a “love fantasy” at its best. No one on earth will ever be your everything. Your emotion may seem like it, but it’s delusional to believe someone can fill that gap we all have. You need to change your mindset if you are in this situation. You’d be putting too much burden on that person if you believe that. This is called infatuation.
“I can’t imagine losing him”
Infatuation is linked to obsession… and obsession comes with fear. This feels like love because of overwhelming emotion, but it’s not love. There is always a sense of trust and safety when a couple exercises true love. So, if one leaves another for good, it just may mean it was never going to work out in the first place.
“He makes me smile and happy”
There is a big concern if your only source of happiness derives from your partner. Sure, happiness and laughter are contributed by being in love, but it should never be the only source of happiness.
“Follow your heart”
This is another delusional advice you get. We used to hear this all the time in pop songs and movies. It sounds really romantic and all… but we have our mind for a good reason. One time, my heart led me into a very unpleasant and toxic place in my life where my mind had to desperately work hard to get me out of. So much for following my heart.
Having discussed what love is not, let’s get into what love is actually is.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU LOVE SOMEONE?
1. You Choose to Love Them
Falling in love is easy. When you have found a right person, you’d naturally fall in love as gravity would pull you. But it’s what you commit to doing “while” and “after” you fall in love that defines love. You choose to love continually even when gravity seems to push you away.
Choosing love can be both easy and difficult, depending on the situation, but when love is true, you end up standing by your choice. Even when it gets rocky, you stay and fight rather than bailing. Love is beyond gravitated feelings – it is more of a decision.
2. Love is A
Love translates into action. You can see this in action by typical parents continually giving and doing acts of love to their children… much more than children to their parents. By this act, it shows that parents love their kids much more. So for the children, they are more of the receiving end of that love. Lucky them…
You will be naturally inclined to give to someone when you love that someone. Love makes you want to give them all that you have. It’s not just the material things. It’s giving to them spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and even physically.
You take time to find out the best way they want to be loved, and you love them as such. You find a way not only to say the words but also validate them through action.
I know… heavy stuff. That’s why love is so complex, sacrificial, and beautiful.
3. You are a Team Player
Love is when you are on the same team. A team player doesn’t try to put her/his needs over the other. It’s not about proving how correct you are. Sure, you get mad and face conflicts here and there, but when they come, you fight to reach a resolution. Love should drive you both to the issue, NOT against one another. There is no “getting the other person back” because that would be the opposite of love.
True love fights to build a stronger relationship, not to claim individual victory. You are a single unit-team and love is the core purpose of your partnership.
4. Love over Like or D
There are times when you don’t have what it takes to even like the guy… but if choose to let your love remain, that’s true love. That’s because you’ve reached loving them without conditions. It’s no longer “I love you because you make me feel great.” It’s, “I choose to love you for who you are.”
It takes a lot of (painful) practice, by the way. This means at times your pride doesn’t exist because you consider his needs foremost. Sometimes you say sorry first. Sometimes you listen more than you speak. Sometimes there is a compromise you have to make. Who says love is easy?
When in love, “you” is ultimately replaced by “us.” So instead of making it all about you, there is another person who has different wants and needs than you. Those wants and needs that are NOT yours, are NO LESS valid or significant.
True love makes things beautiful.
So, you need to ask yourself this: “Do I know how to love?” Being in love is important, but it is even more important to learn how to love the right way. I realize this is a life long lesson, but it sure is a good start if we’d learn to broaden our perspective on what true love is.
A man might be very into you, but he may hesitate in fully committing himself to you. Do you know what makes a man see a woman as “the one”? Do you know what inspires him to commit for life? If not, read this next: The Strangest Thing Men Desire