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Looking for Real Love: Five Signs You’re Ready to Find It

Updated on October 10, 2016
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Sadie Holloway is a workshop facilitator who teaches interpersonal communication skills to help people strengthen their relationships.

How do you know if you are really in love? How can you tell if he is the 'one' you have been waiting for? When you understand the definition of real love, you'll have the answer!

Couples who have found true love know how to enjoy quiet, comfortable moments together.
Couples who have found true love know how to enjoy quiet, comfortable moments together.

Real love. It’s so sweet, isn’t it? Who doesn’t dream of one day meeting that special person they’ll spend the rest of their life with?

Some people think that finding real love takes a long time. Some people believe that real, lasting love evolves over time as you get to know someone more deeply and intimately. They think that real love is as much about enjoying the journey as it is about arriving at the destination.

Others believe that real love can happen in an instant and that it's possible to meet someone for the very first time and know you’ve found the one person you're meant to be with.

Whether you believe that finding real love takes time or you believe it can happen in the blink of an eye, there are some things that set real love apart from other types of romantic partnerships.

Here are 5 signs that you’re ready for real love, and real love is ready for you:

1. The most important thing to know about real love is that it can only be found in a relationship that is healthy. If you aren’t sure what the signs of a healthy relationship are, read Do You Know the Signs of a Healthy Relationship? And remember, being able to recognize the signs of a bad relationship is just as important as recognizing the signs of a good relationship if you want to find real love that lasts.

2. Real love means that your partner makes you feel secure, safe, and cared for. That doesn’t mean that you're totally helpless and that you need ‘protection.’ It simply means that you know the one you love has your best interests at heart. Your individual well-being is important to each other and you want each other to feel safe enough to express yourselves in ways that feel healthy and life-affirming.

3. You’ll know that you have found real love when you can accept each other just as you each are. This type of love is also known as unconditional love. Anna Karenina author Leo Tolstoy said, “When you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.” To find real love you need to love the real person, and that includes all of his flaws and imperfections.

4. You open yourself up to finding real love the moment you start really loving yourself. It may sound trite, but you can’t truly love someone else unless you truly love yourself. Real love finds those people who know who they are inside and out and who have fully accepted their own imperfections. Why? Because when you can’t accept and love your own flaws, how can you accept and love your partner’s flaws?

5. Real love means you stand up for yourself and ask for what you want without fear of rejection. Can you assert yourself without feeling guilty or worrying that your partner won’t want to be with you anymore? Knowing how to communicate your needs, and believing that what you think and feel is valid is an important aspect of a healthy, loving relationship.

Having realistic expectations about what a real relationship looks like will help you find love faster. But if you’re wrapped up in thoughts of romantic, happily-ever-after, fairy-tale love, then your love life will be just that, a fantasy, a dream that never comes true. But, if you can have a realistic take on what it means to live in the real world—the real world of bills, and mortgage payments and bosses who want you to work on your anniversary, then you have a shot at finding true love. You and your significant other have to live in a world full of real-life demands that will challenge you both. Real love lives in the real world, not in a fantasy land free of stress and outside pressure.

Finding real love means knowing that you and your partner will have ups and downs, highs and lows, and that you are willing to work on those challenges together, as a united couple. Why do you think wedding vows include the line “For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health”?

Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Here’s some really good news about what will happen when you do find real love: You’ll live longer!

Being happily married to your true love has also been proven to be good for your heart, not just your romantic heart, but the one that pumps your blood and keeps you alive. Here’s what the scientist discovered in a 2012 study of 500 American men and women undergoing heart surgery: patients who were married were three times more likely to survive the first three months after heart surgery. (Source: Lunau, Kate, How Marriage Can Save Your Life)

© 2015 Sadie Holloway

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