True Love: What Love Is and What It Is Not
The topic of true love has been debated for centuries. Cynics often swear it doesn’t exist, while hopeless romantics think everyone should set out to find their soulmates. With science now showing that true love is not only possible, but can actually last a lifetime, we’ve decided to look at the psychological elements that allow love to bloom or fade.
Let’s start by defining what true love really is:
What is True Love?
Dr. Lisa Firestone, co-author of Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships, often says that the best way to think of love is as a verb. Love is dynamic and requires action to thrive. As Dr. Firestone wrote, “Often, we spend our time worrying about what our partner feels toward us or how the relationship looks from the outside. Even though it feels good to be loved by someone else, each one of us can only really feel our loving feelings for another person and not that person’s feelings for us. In order to connect with and sustain those loving feelings within us, we have to take actions that are loving. Otherwise, we may be living in fantasy.”
At times it may feel frustrating, but it’s actually pretty empowering to accept the fact that the only person we have any true control over in a relationship is ourselves. We are in charge of our half of the dynamic. Therefore, we can choose whether to engage in behaviors that are destructive to intimacy or whether to take actions that express feelings of love, compassion, affection, respect, and kindness. In order to consciously and consistently choose the latter, it’s valuable to look at the characteristics that in more than 30 years of studying couples, Dr. Robert and Lisa Firestone found to be vital to maintaining truly loving.
The father and daughter research team created what they call the “Couples Interactions Chart,” which compares the characteristics of an ideal relationship to those of what Dr. Robert Firestone termed a “fantasy bond.” The fantasy bond is an “illusion of connection and closeness [that allows couples] to maintain an imagination of love and loving while preserving emotional distance.” A fantasy bond forms when couples substitute real love and closeness for the form of being in a relationship. This bond diminishes the feelings of liveliness and attraction between individuals.
Characteristics of True Love vs. a Fantasy Bond
1. Non-defensiveness and openness vs. angry reactions to feedback
To maintain closeness, couples should be open with each other, which means being willing to hear feedback from each other without being defensive or discouraging. Dr. Lisa Firestone advises couples to look for the kernel of truth in what they’re partner is saying. That truth can offer an important clue into ways we may be pushing our partner away without realizing it. Even if we don’t agree with everything, listening to our partner naturally makes them feel seen, heard, and cared about. On the other hand, punishing our partner for being honest and direct with us shuts down communication.
2. Open to trying something new vs. closed to new experiences
A relationship thrives when both people are in touch with a lively, open, and vulnerable side to themselves that welcomes new experiences. We don’t have to love and participate in everything our partner enjoys, but sharing new activities, visiting new places, and breaking routines often breathes new life into a relationship that feels invigorating to both people.
3. Honesty and integrity vs. deception and duplicity
To tell the truth is one of the first lessons most of us are taught as kids. Yet, as adults, there can be a lot of deception in our closest relationships. When we are dishonest with our partner, we do them, the relationship, and ourselves a great disservice. In order to feel vulnerable with our partner, we must trust them, and this can only be achieved through honesty.
4. Respect for the other’s boundaries, priorities and goals vs. overstepping boundaries
To avoid a fantasy bond, we have to see the other person as separate from us. That means respecting them as a unique, autonomous individual. Often, couples tend to take on roles or play into power dynamics. We may tell each other what to do or how to act. Or we may speak for and about each other in ways that are limiting or defining. Essentially, we treat them as extensions of ourselves rather than separate human beings. As a result, we actually limit our own attraction to them. As Dr. Lisa Firestone says, “We treat the other person like our right arm. Then we are no more attracted to them than we are to our right arm.”
5. Physical affection and personal sexuality vs. lack of affection and inadequate, impersonal, or routine sexuality
Affection is a huge part of how we express love. When we cut ourselves off to our feelings of affection, we tend to deaden the relationship. This weakens the spark between ourselves and our partner. Sexuality can become routine or impersonal, and as a result, both partners feel more distant and less satisfied. Keeping love alive means staying in touch with a part of ourselves that wants physical contact and is willing to give and receive affection.
6. Understanding vs. misunderstanding
It’s easy to project onto our partner or to misunderstand things they’re saying, either using them to feel hurt or attacked in old, familiar ways that resonate with us. It’s also easy to get stuck in our own point of view without seeing things from the other person’s perspective. We are always going to be two different people with two sovereign minds, so we won’t always see eye to eye. However, it’s important to really try to understand our partner from a clear point of view. When our partner feels seen and understood, they are much more likely to soften and see our perspective as well.
7. Noncontrolling, nonmanipulative and nonthreatening behaviors vs. manipulations of dominance and submission
Many couples find themselves wrapped up in dynamics where one acts like a parent and the other like a child. One looks to the other for guidance then resents that person for telling them what to do. Or one person tries to control the situation, then complains that the other person is irresponsible, immature, or passive. In order for a relationship to be truly loving, it must be equal. When one person tries to control or manipulate the other, be it by yelling and screaming or stonewalling and playing the victim, neither person is experiencing an adult, equal, and loving relationship.
Learn more about the Fantasy Bond in PsychAlive’s eCourse, The Fantasy Bond: The Key to Understanding Ourselves and Our Relationships
How to Create a Truly Loving Relationship
Now that we know the characteristics of real love, how can we take steps in ourselves to create a more loving relationship? First off, it’s important to acknowledge that despite these clear-sounding discrepancies between real love and fantasy, many people mistake one for the other. They may even prefer fantasy to reality, because it’s less painful to appear connected to someone than to actually feel connected to them.
Many of us become caught up in the fairy tale, the superficial elements, or the form of the relationship (i.e. how it looks as opposed to how it feels). We may fall in love with the illusion of connection or security of the situation offers, but we don’t let ourselves get too close to the other person. That is because, while most of us think we want love, we often actually take actions to push it away. That is why the first step to being more loving is to get to know and challenge our own defenses.
1. Challenging the defenses that limit true love
Many people have fears of intimacy of which they aren’t even aware. We may be tolerant of realizing our dreams of falling in love in fantasy, but very often we are intolerant of having that dream fulfilled in reality. Dr. Robert Firestone describes how being loved by someone threatens our defenses and reawakens emotional pain and anxiety from childhood. He’s posited that both giving and receiving love tend to disrupt the negative, yet familiar, ways we think about ourselves. “On an unconscious level, we may sense that if we did not push love away, the whole world as we have experienced it would be shattered and we would not know who we are.”
For these reasons, the biggest obstacle to finding and maintaining a loving relationship is often us. We have to get to know what defenses we bring to the table that ward off love. For example, if we grew up feeling rejected, we may feel anxious about getting too close to another person. We may not feel we can really trust or rely on a partner, so we either cling to that person or ward him or her off, both which lead to the same result of creating distance.
If we felt criticized or resented in our childhood, we may have trouble feeling confident or worthwhile in our relationships. We may seek out partners who put us down in ways that feel familiar, or we may never fully accept our partners loving feelings for us, because they threaten this early self-perception.
If we felt intruded on in our early lives or if we had an “emotionally hungry” parent, we may avoid intimacy altogether and feel pseudoindependent, or we may subconsciously seek out people who depend on us to meet all their needs and more. Again, both of these extremes can lead to relationships that lack real closeness and intimacy.
The good news is we can start to break these destructive relationship patterns by better knowing ourselves and our defenses. Why do we choose the partners we do? What are the qualities we’re drawn to – good and bad? Are there ways we distort or provoke our partner to act in ways that fit with our defenses? How do we create distance? What behaviors do we engage in that may feel self-protective but actually push love away.
Learn more about the Fear of Intimacy
2. Differentiation from the past influences that no longer serve you in the present
Dr. Robert Firestone has further developed an approach to challenging old, engrained patterns and defenses, a process he refers to as differentiation. This process involves four steps:
- Differentiate from critical, punishing, and destructive attitudes that you internalized in your early lives
- Differentiate from undesirable traits in your parents that you see in yourself
- Challenge the defensive reactions you had (as a child self) that no longer serve you in the present
- Formulating and learning to live by your own values – who do you want to be?
Taking these steps of differentiation allows us to live in a less defended state in which we go after what we really want in life.
Learn more about Differentiation
How to Make True Love Last
Many answers to why love fades can be found in understanding how and why we form a fantasy bond. The fantasy bond is the ultimate defense against love. Even after we’ve dropped our guard and allowed ourselves to fall in love, as soon as we get scared, be it of losing our partner or differentiating from our old, familiar identity, we may turn to a fantasy bond to allow us to maintain an illusion that we are not alone, while preserving emotional distance from our partner. To avoid a fantasy bond, we should avoid the characteristics listed above but also take the following actions.
Actions to break a fantasy bond and become more loving:
- Be affectionate. Find even the smallest ways to make contact and show affection and attraction.
- Slow down and be present. Make time to really talk and listen to your partner.
- Make eye contact. It sounds simple, but we often forget to just look at our partner.
- Try something old. Make time and don’t stop doing the activities you loved to do together.
- Try something new. Don’t just fall into routine. Keep suggesting new activities and be open to ones your partner suggests.
- Break routine. If doing the same thing is deadening your excitement, be open to breaking the habit and making space for spontaneity.
- Avoid passivity and control. Strive for an equal exchange of ideas. Take responsibility for your own actions and don’t try to control your partner.
- Talk as an “I” instead of a “we”. Remember you will always be two separate people and not to overstep boundaries which diminishes attraction.
- Be aware of your critical inner voice. We all have an inner enemy that criticizes ourselves and our partner and undermines our closest relationships
- Do something independently. Just because you’re a couple doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. Don’t give up friendships and activities you enjoy on your own and don’t aask you partner to either
- Communicate what you feel. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. Saying what you want and feel directly helps you avoid passive-aggressive or nasty ways of relating. It also encourages your partner to do the same.
- Avoid the “tit for tat” mentality. Love is an action each of us must choose for ourselves. When we start measuring what we do for each other, we create expectations and breed resentment instead of staying in touch with how good it feels to be loving toward someone else.
- Support the things that light your partner up. Never stop supporting and encouraging your partner to be the most alive and to do the things that make your partner feel the most like him/herself… even when those things aren’t what matter most to you.
- Take actions your partner would perceive as loving. Make sure the things you do are things that matter specifically to your partner. You may love getting flowers, but is that something that would make your partner feel loved?
- Don’t become closed off. It’s much too easy to shut down whenever we feel embarrassed, anxious, disappointed, or triggered by our partner, but we have to fight to not be closed off and push away the love that comes toward us.
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Be careful. Some of these do not apply to high functioning autism spectrum/ASD yet love and connection is very present in action in these relationships with these individuals. Often without eye contact, less affection due to sensory differences and little to no verbal affirmations.
The recommendations on how to feel and act towards your partner is not really possible for ASD people. It is because of doing exactly what is written in this article NOT to do that the relationship with my previous ASD husband could not work out. It only left me as an emotional wreck and him moving on to the same disfunctional relationship with the next victim. ASD’s are not really capable of true love and the wide support for these people is destroying normal peoples’ lives.
You are making a huge generalization when you say that people with ASD aren’t capable of experiencing or expressing true love. You are very wrong. Their experience may be atypical in how their love is shown or perceived, but that does NOT mean they are incapable of truly being in love. The way you speak about the acceptance of “these people” is shameful. “Those people” happen to be loved by a growing segment of the population because others have realized that those on the spectrum, in fact, are valued members of society who are worthy of love and are worthy of being treated with kindness, compassion, and respect.
You are absolutely wrong and also very ableist by stating that autists cannot experience love. We may have to work very hard and long to recognize it, and work on mitigating emotional pitfalls like RSD, but it’s DEFINITELY possible, and quite a few of us tend to love harder than neurotypicals, especially if that relationship is with another ND person. Honestly. What you’re saying is completely ill informed and anecdotal.
Ok love y
True love often has to go through bad phases n challenges in life.If you truly love that person n desire to spend the rest of ur life with them…Then every couple should endure the challenges that life throws at them….Please don’t give up on your partner even if it’s seems impossible to be with eachother..
That is what true love does. If it doesn’t do that, its not true love. There is no middle ground on that. It is or it isn’t
Real true love really existed in the past when the real good old fashioned ladies were around which today it is a very different story altogether unfortunately.
Love is not about the submission of a woman to a man, or vice versa. It is an emotion, and a choice, that affects our lives daily. If what you want is a perfect woman, you will never find it. I suggest strongly that you look within yourself and discover who you really are before you make haughty expectations for others. If you aren’t willing to wait on your partner, why should she wait on you? If you’re disillusioned to women, how will you ever fall in love freely with one? If you’re very sexually experienced, do you really expect to marry a virgin?
Love is not an emotion.
True. It states right there in the article that love is a verb. It’s something you do, not something you feel.
actually its more of a noun than a verb, and one can indeed feel love, the feeling of when you’re in love release all those little happy chemicals in your head. it makes you feel all warm and happy, whether its infatuation or real. the difference is the infatuated kind won’t last you long.
Love, as a noun, is not an emotion per se, but an attraction, acceptance and affection towards someone or something. Hate is a type of repulsion and rejection. The elements of love require some attraction, agreement at some level and communication. The intensity of love can vary based on the level of attraction, agreement and communication. The more you communicate things both partners find positive and agreeable, beneficial and of interest, the more the relationship will flourish. One way love can exist (as in unrequited love) but true love requires mutual communication, mutual attraction and shared interests with some commonality in how each view reality.
Love as a verb is the action of expressing or being in love (as a noun) as we love each other.
True love cannot be known with your eyes but with your heart
Love is indeed an emotion because I can feel it. I doubt you have really experienced to be in love. It is a feeling and an action that is from the feeling itself. You can act without a feeling, and that is not true love. But you can’t feel it if you don’t really have a love for someone.
You described it perfectly.
It may be an emotion and a feeling, heck also a non and I challenge the statement of an action unable to create loving feeling only the feeling being able to create the action… I daily perform actions of love that then fill me with love and loving feelings, in my own relationships, with family, my kiddos, and also my fellow humans I cross paths with… I am a lover and giver and giver and lover they most definitely flow abundantly in either and both directions and I absolutely experience true love consistantly💕
Yes I love and miss so much A
It is a feeling in the core of your being, and if you are lucky enough with love, you wake up every morning with the knowledge that you have done enough for validity of oneself sharing love to the ones who complete them. Carpe diem. ❤️
Pierce, women back in the old days made love very easy to find compared to today. Now most women have their very high unrealistic expectations and standards. May they grow very old all alone with their Cats.
Women in the past had real class compared to the very horrible ones that are everywhere these days. Today feminism is cancer.
I am impressantly involved in a long-distance relationship I am a very attentive person it has been two years a month and a week I am 100% Puerto Rican and she is from Eataly but she lives in Santiago de Chile it is obviously a long distance relationship for now I just turned 44 years old and I am not a child anymore I want to feel truly love that’s why I have not lied to her I tell her pretty much everything and I describe everything just so she would know, pretty much I am trying my best not only because I want true love not like when I was in high school in college I didn’t know anything yes I was hurt and I hurt two women in which I did talk to them and I asked for their forgiveness. In the year 2000 I was involved in a motorcycle accident after graduating from college and teaching nutrition for Cornell University are used to live in Rochester New York in high school and college One thing that I totally dislike is that in Facebook she or some of her pictures she never shows her face only her hair or her hair in her face or her covering half of her face and showing her gray eyes she sent me a couple of pictures through WhatsApp but all of them they do not show her face and I and I always tell her I’m like I don’t like you not showing your face to me I already saw your heart which is the most important thing even though she is a very proud person she says many bad words Innoway I do understand because I thought she told me her ex husband which has only been one treated her you the website Mike call me stupid might say she’s playing with me but I am just going to give it until we meet personally and if she keeps being the way she is and I’ll say goodbye I am a man of my word and a gentleman I change after my accident happened because I was giving a second chance in life and I said I am going to do things right from now on which I have been doing. We both are children of God in which makes me upset because I tell her all of your post on Facebook or your Facebook sorry are we have to do with Christ that’s something that’s another thing they cut my attention but when we speak through WhatsApp she is totally opposite person not the child of God that she makes herself look in Facebook and when she goes out either to that guys house or with her friends or her son she turns the phone off I cannot speak to her she has not introduced me to her friends and she says it’s because she is a very reserved person She also says she is a total woman I Siri you are not acting as a total wine you should show me your honest side just like you showed me your heart even though you hide it many times so I think I know what you believe At least I can say to myself if that ends up happening that I did thanks the right way just like I asked the Lord I love this website there are many things that the website talks about that are happening in my relationship and finally I think I talk too much ever since I became blind eye to that just because sometimes I think that since I am blind I want to describe everything thinking that my girlfriend or the website they are blind also guys I honestly truly love this woman is what do you guys think thank you very much Gabriel angel R working out and singing they are one of my favorite things I still have to get vocational rehabilitation so I could have a degree or paper that says Gabriel angel it’s totally an independent person and knows as if I had self himself I lived for a couple years after my accident by myself in an apartment in Rochester but I still do not have that certificate that says that I am totally independent also vocational rehabilitation would help me and train me for my career thank you !!!
Well my husband and I did marry as virgins. I would honestly have to admit now that in our experience to do this was a mistake. It takes the love and respect and chemistry. Getting to feel that both of you. True love actually hurts sometimes when you are away from each other.
Couldn’t have said it better myself!
This is a classic epistle I have read about love and its meaning. A detailed study of the above, one will find out that there are many who think that they are in love why they are not. For instance, a young man whose parents were opposing the lady he wanted to marry. The young man screamed at his parent, ” if I can’t marry her I will die” In less than six months of their marriage, the same young man again screamed at his parent, “if she doesn’t leave this house, I will kill her” Can one say that the young man and his woman were in love in the first place?
One thing i knew about love is that those who say they are in love, they must be ready and willing to sacrifice for each other and as well as do things that will make the love to grow.
And your comment tells the whole truth right there.
Enjoyed the info. Very informative and eye opening. Best advice I’ve read thus far. I still believe that we are capable of loving Someone for a lifetime. I believe that whatever characteristics and behavior you had when u met, u should consider growing along the same during your lifetime. Yes we change, when we truly love, our moral compass should be pointed in a common direction. Most enlightening thing I learned from this read was to remain an individual.
What I know about true is that love that shares good times together but most importantly when it has the power to over come all the misunderstandings between the two of you only that power can lead to everlasting love. Cause we all break up because we feel we can’t take it anymore and can’t even fight the misunderstandings between us. But true love exists just that it is rare
What you say is true, I am divorcing my husband because I know he is not ready to be in a relationship. He does not understand how a relationship should be. I am the parent and he is the child. And the only routine that he has with me is sex when he comes from work. He does not speak to me, he always runs away when we need to talk about important things about our relationship, even when he has sex with me, when he is finished having sex with me he does not say one word to me, he just goes on Facebook and speak to his friends. I know a lot about love, especially true love, and I give so much to my husband, just to make him happy and feel better, but he never does anything for me. He does not even say hello to me when he comes home from work. Please tell me, do you call that true love, or is he just using me for sex? Because I feel he doesn’t truly love me. That is why I decided to go for a divorce with my husband, and leave him.
It’s so unfortunate to hear that you are heading into a marriage beak out with your husband. However, giving him another chance and involving his friends to discuss matters of his behaviour will also have a positive change. He may admit his mistake and may change.
Otherwise, I have learnt that you can match with me if given consideration.
Real true love happened in the past.
My rational and scientific mind read and agreed with a lot of what was said in this article. However, I am one of those hopeless romantics (as stated) who yearns for more than what life is currently giving. Just today I finished a story which was one of those “love at first sight” kind of romances. I’m currently at a point where I’m close to miserable, not just with my relationship but also the rest of my life in general, and I’m sure that my relationship plays a major role why I feel the way I do.
I have been told so many things in my life and never really had good examples of a “healthy” relationship. Which is probably why I cling to this Hollywood idea of “love at first sight” and undying love for another. I was once told that a relationship should come naturally. Yes you have a few disagreements, but for the most part, it should flow without major issues or effort. Then, there is everyone else saying that relationships take work and nothing comes easy. But how do we know which is true? Are there really relationships out there were the couple have this ultimate connection and never truly have to work too much to keep it flowing? Do we just think that isnt the case because so many have never found that and have just excepted that relationships do truly take a lot of time and effort? Which is real?
That is the question I want to answer. I’m still young and I don’t want to waste my time being miserable or working so very hard to keep up a relationship that in the end, will not work.
Can anyone tell me the truth?
It ebs and flows. At times it will fell effortless and other times it takes effort. The key is to hang in there during the times it’s a bit harder, know it will pass, and truly relish the ride when it’s easy.
Although there are ebbs and flow In a relationship , if a relationship is more effort and work then it is mutually loving and easy going then, I would consider that the partnership might not compatible. Every relationship comes with its issues, baggage and work , but if the good outweighs the bad then the partnership is worth the effort and keeping.
In my experience, love feels easy and joyful most of the time. We have problems that come up, especially when one or both of us are under stress. Those are the times when we work at our relationship, but it doesn’t feel like “hard work” or forcing it, because both of us are trying equally hard. We’re both trying to fix the issues as a team. And the good far outweighs the bad overall. Sending you my best wishes to figure out what’s right for you in your relationship
Love is so uncertain. I married what I though the love of my life. There were great times but a lot of bad times. Be strong this of only yourself be you own person and don’t settle for just love. But honesty,if anyone is ever really honest, . Just love yourself and you don’t need anyone to make you happy just you. I have learned this at age 75. Don’t wait!!
Listen to your heart it will tell u the truth
Love was very easy to find many years ago since women were a lot different back then. Today they have really changed for the worst of all unfortunately.
In what way in your opinion were women like then and aren’t now?
Well women in the past were very old fashioned and accepted their men for who they were back then, and money was never an issue like most women want today. The great majority of women these days want a man with money, and have very high unrealistic expectations now more than ever. So it is really the women today that have really changed unfortunately, and most women back in the past weren’t like today at all as you can see in case you haven’t noticed. Very easy for a man to find love in the old days, since many of us single men really can’t find love today even when we try. That is why our family members were very lucky back then when they met one another.
Actually, marrying a man for money was more common back in the older ages. Women did not make as much money as the men, and they had to marry to support their family and themselves. Thats not love, cuz they did not have much of a choice. Feminism is what made women more independent. That way they could find someone they love instead.You are the problem, not the women.
You are friendship with me
There is no room for hatred in love!
Most women in the past made love very easy to find. Very different women many years ago, compared to today.
Women just will not take bad behavior any more
Most women back in the past had much better manners and a very good personality, something they don’t have today at all unfortunately.
I agree with you, Linda!
True love could be a way of expression or act of giving yourself to someone who understands you with all of you
True love is real but rare. I fell madly in love with my friend’s sister 35 years ago. Both of us have raised children, had unsuccessful marriages. I thought she had a perfect life and I had nothing to offer. Instead she moved from abusive man to abusive man, and lived a poor, tragic life. I married an immigrant woman and raised her to prominence in the community, and she treated me like garbage once she had the things she desired. Now after living 30 years without contact, my true love and I reconnected and we can still complete each other’s sentences. She loved me as well, but thought she wasn’t good enough for me! We’re empathic and everything just flows with us. There are no misunderstandings. We know each other so intimately yet every day each of us finds something new in the other. And these discoveries, whether joyous or painful, bring us closer and reaffirm our love. We really are two halves of a whole. Each of us completes the other. Every day is new and amazing.
You very much lucked out.
Good for you
True love is when you see everything you have ever wanted in someone, and also some things that you didn’t even think you can settle for, but you ended up settling for it, true love is when you know you have many options out there, that can be better for everyone around you, but you chose to be with that specific person, true love is willing to grow with that person and work on your flaws together, give them your hand to be the best version of themselves, and don’t give up, you might have a lot of hard times, relationships are not always rainbows and butterflies, love will show in your actions, how you are dealing with those hard times, and are you willing to give up on that person to satisfy your ego? Or are you willing to accept him and grow with him and help him work on him self to get over his insecurities and traumas? Love talks louder in actions and situation than it does talk in words.
I am literally crying while replying to let u no that if this is what love really is I will pray everyday to have this because I have never ever ever experienced this kinda of love before just pain just pain just pain.
Pain comes with real love sometimes, it’s all good cause it simply love pain, I guess you sometimes have to pay that tiny wonderful pain in order to achieve that great love you are after, nothing in life comes easy, at least not for me, so I tell myself, never give up the ship, just keep on trucking in hopes of arriving at your final destination, true ❤️
I totally agree!!! Love is respect, communication,understanding someone even if you don’t agree, but mostly putting a persons’ needs before your own!!! It’s making a decision daily to act & be that way for that person & not making a choice to leave when things get tough because life is an adventure & it’s not always pleasant, but it’s that person you know you can count on during adventure!!! Just reunited with the LOVE OF MY LIFE after 30 yrs apart & proir to that had began dating at me-16yrs old & him19 yrs old…he had broken my heart, I had broken his later but the connection had ALWAYS been there& now almost 40+ years later we are both elated & understand what love is really about!!! Women be good to men & vice versa! Peace out!
My boyfriend likes and looks forward to doing everything together and consistent intimacy 24/7. I like it too, but if this were to be the case for the rest of our lives, would it be damaging in any way to our relationship?
Yes!!! That sounds controlling. Not a healthy relationship. Be careful and wise.
I love you❤
True love is eternal. It cannot be stolen. True love is responsive,transparent,faithful. It is really difficult to find true low these days. Love is choosing someone again and again. Too busy is a myth, people make time for important things and for what they love.
True Love is knowing when there is so much you don’t know. A gut feeling deep within you that nobody can take away, destiny. True Love always finds a way, it’s not what everyone hopes for it to be.
True Love is knowing when there is so much you don’t know. A gut feeling deep within you that nobody can take away, destiny. True Love always finds a way, it’s
Real true love happened in the past.
True love is a choice. Like I choose to wait for my man to come home from deployment with trust, patience and faith in him. Even if you have doubts you still choose to trust him because you want your relationship to work and spend a whole life for him.
It depends from person to person,it’s a bond felt by the person,It’s just not something called pure, there is more to it,It depends how strong you care and feel for the person more than the person’s feelings for you.
It’s something motherly which you can sacrifice or care selflessly, that’s why very less people can experience love,it also depends on how close and open to each other and how close you are as a partner, so it’s like friendship on deeper levels and you can do everything you want together or at least the person should be on your friend circle or closer and they both fall into same category not different so most importantly it’s not something you will do with your friends and sacrificing your love, because if you really close together you don’t Need to leave your love to do it with your friends
Everything in this article is true – but I don’t know that it is possible to move beyond barriers to love until experience peels back the layers of conditioning. I am with the same man I have – for a better half of a decade- been in an on and off relationship which was formed in a fantasy bond, maintained on a trauma bond. We finally separated for a year and during that time I formed a fantasy bond with another man who, in his willingness to pretend to be my fantasy while secretly degrading me in ways no other has. Seeing who he was and how my fantasy enabled me to participate in such a fake, gross, abomination of love forced me to see that on a deeper level I never loved any man in my almost 40 years… it has always been about me and my fantasies. My partner had his own maturing experiences during our time apart. We reconnected ready to love each other and while we’ve had to practice and notice the old patterns – we’ve peeled them away through healthy interaction. We now love each other with compassion and empathy and protect our bond knowing it requires commitment and effort on both our parts to be self aware, not project and take responsibility for our own moods, habit etc. Love doesn’t fix your life, but you can’t have it until you know that much like a garden, you have to work to dow seeds and weed it for it to bear food.
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It is the great blog post .It is the helfpul and informative blog .I am always read your blog . I like it thanks for sharing this information with us .
When the real good old fashioned women were around many years ago which made love so very easy to find in those days. Men never had a problem back then, and today it is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Men did not have a problem finding a woman “back then”, because men had all the power. Women did not have much of a choice. To the men, they were property, and that is NOT love. And if you think that, you need to see a therapist.
It is the great blog post.It is the helfpul and informative blog .I am always read your blog . I like it thanks for sharing this information with us .
I can’t control my feelings. You a lot to do with why I fell in love with you. I will always love you. I have no choice but to accept that you want something and someone better than me in life. U deserve everything and I hope u find what you are looking for.
Well, as a women, I don’t think that you are fully wrong, but partially yes. It is not only women who have changed, the whole society and its perspective has changed. If you are talking about money, then I must say that yes, there are women who are after money, but there are men as well who are behind women’s money. Just saying that women changed is much hypocrite of you. Then, just think once, if you were back if the last two centuries, when divorce was not taken as a good approach, and your better half was an abuser, would you really want to live with them.
Just a simple advice, stop generalizing how people are, there are different types of men, kids, women and LGBT community people. Also to me arranged marriage is something which I don’t really accept because if I never met a person how will I know what they are like. So, sorry to say this, along with women, men have also changed to worse, many men have become abusers to their wives and children.
Then there are many of us good single men that really do know how to treat a good woman with a lot of love, respect, and commitment. And it is very unfortunate that many of us men just can’t meet a good woman, no matter how hard we try.
Do you think that you cannot find a good woman because good women don’t exist anymore? Isn’t that a little weird that there are so many good men but no good women? Or do you think it is possible that your standards for a what good women is, is a bit unrealistic. Men are calling us bad women because we want to be equal, we want to be treated with respect as people, not as objects. We want to be independent and we want to choose what we do with our bodies. Those are not traits of a bad person, those are just traits of a person who does not want to be controlled by others anymore. If you think that makes women bad, then you might have to look in the mirror and wonder why you want to control women and why you get upset when they want to be treated the same way you want to be treated.
I hope you found your love
The real good old fashioned women were the very best years ago compared to today, which most of them really were at that time. What in the world happened to these women today? Oh i really know, Feminism.
Oh, I’m sorry, does it bother you that women now have the opportunity to vote? To voice their opinions? To have equal rights to men in terms of opportunities and wealth? By definition, feminism is the equality between sexes. Do not blame your relationship issues on women wanting equal rights.
Why don’t you go and get yourself a bunch of cats for pets, sounds like you will need them for company.
What happened is that we don’t want to be treated like we are your property anymore. Because you might not want to believe this, but we are not. Of course the good old days were better for men but have you ever considered that the women back then were not happy? You want us to stay in the previous century while you can go on and excel and prosper? Don’t you think that is a bit unfair? We are not your possessions or your children or your servants or your concubines. We are your equals and you will have to deal with that or go your own way.
The lessons taught in this article is very rich and quite enough to teach anyone in finding a true relationship; but from my perspective, accept this is accompanied by the leading of the most high God, we can never easily find that true love in our dispensation.
Thanks to the author a lot.
Real love really happened many years ago when our family members met one another back then since women were very much old fashioned, and it wasn’t about money at all back then either. Both men and women in those days didn’t have much at all, and had to work real hard on top of it all. Women today now have very high expectations and are very spoiled, greedy, and very selfish, since they just want everything they can get. This is why love is very difficult to find for so many of us men nowadays because of this.
Our family members are real proof when they met one another back then, since now women are the very complete opposite from the past making love not so easy to find for so many of us single guys now unfortunately.
Why does it hurt when you’ve fallen for someone? I’ve been stuck on this beautiful British woman for quite some time:
Of course I’m nowhere near her league and she’ll NEVER give me the time of the day. I’ve tried talking to her but she ignores me so I’ve no choice but to walk away but occasionally view her social media but… it hurts. I know I’m not crazy nor am I stalker. I’m just so attracted to her beauty, talent and that magnificent voice of hers. I know it’s not magic because the first time I laid my eyes on her I was so mesmerized and been stuck on her ever since. I have talked with her a couple of times but that was it.
Because I left her name and url perhaps someday she’ll read this comment and know that somebody is always thinking about her.
I haven’t been in a relationship for quite some time and talk to women all the time so it’s not as if I’m desperate. Just that I’m deeply attracted to her so much but… it’s quite the opposite for her.
With this being said. I like to get some feedback from the author regarding this situation I’m in.
Thank you and I look forward to your response.
thank you for making this, very helpful.
Since most women were very old fashioned and real ladies back many years ago, that made love very easy to find in those days.
it appears from the commentary that a lot of people want to live in the past instead of concentrating on the present
The reason my marriage developed a fantasy bond and failed was more or less because my spouse refused to do their own work. I appreciate the content on PsychAlive, but I find that it puts a tremendous amount of responsibility on the reader in a way that comes across as shaming. I put in so much work for years, and I ate up everything on this site at the end of that relationship, desperately trying to reach the promised land PA describes. Re-reading it now is cringeworthy at how much pressure is put on the party who happens to be reading this. Newsflash: if your relationship has gotten this bad, you have to stop trying to fix the relationship by reading internet articles and actually look at who each of you are. Simple question: is this the treatment you would tolerate in a friendship? That question helped me leave my horrible marriage, and it keeps me from leaving relationships that are in a tough patch but are healthy and good for me.
I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good.Thanks alot!
Hi! I’m deaf. I would know how can I show my true love to someone? 🥲
Take careful against COVID-19!
I’ve been married 50 years. Our marriage has been tumultuous. He was controlling. I stayed because of my only child. Now, we basically live like roommates. No intimacy, nothing. I’m not leaving at this point in my life. I wish I had the same love we shared before, but we just go through the motions. It changed when my health took a turn for the worse!
Love is just an illusion. Most couples get divorced which leads to a lot of hatred. Stay in the real world and stay single
Think about how much you love your child. What do you think is the best representation of that love? When you truly and I mean truly love someone, don’t you want them to be happy no matter how bad it makes you feel. For instance, would you want your child to be miserable just because you do not believe in gay relationships. So your child goes through life living a lie, hiding his truth because you now have taught him love is earned. Love is not something you can earn by doing something for someone to make them love you. True love comes naturally. True love can be painful just as much as it can be blissful. True love is when you are not thinking about how it will make you feel, but how it will make the other person feel. When you love someone or something such as a pet, you cannot stand to see it hurt. The only thing you want when you truly love someone is to see them happy. You are willing to sacrifice your pain for their happiness. If your willing to have them endure pain to make you happy you do not love them. How could you love something that you porposly made then endure pain so you could feel happiness. The perfect example of true love is this: your partner has met someone she feels she truly loves, comes to you and breaks down and tells you she no longer feels love for you, she doesn’t know why, she can’t explain how it happened and you tell her to end it with that person right now. She ends that relationship because she doesn’t want to hurt you. One year later she is severely depressed and has been distant, unloving but still sticks by your side. 5 years go by and she is still by your side miserable. But you are happy as can be this entire time. What would it take for you to let this person go no matter how much pain you will suffer. The answer is “Love”. You will love her in her happiness, you will support her in her happiness, you will not do anything that will cause her pain. Man or women love conquers your selfishness. If that person needs to leave your relationship because she believes she loves this other person, you must let her go with all your blessings. If you were willing to do this, if every man or women could do this I can almost guarantee there would be a high percentage of those we blessed with happiness to return to the partners they left as their eyes were opened to how unbelievably beautiful you are. Would you be able to continue to help that person who left you? Would you be able to keep being positive to that person that left you? What if she left you and she had no means to find a home to live in, could you help her find a house or room to get started in. Could you help her knowing she believes she loves this other person? This is the test of true love!
i need true love
I would Know what True Love Is The Kind of Love I’m feeling isn’t True Love it’s not True Love at all. True Love from Frozen remember.
The debate about love being a feeling or a choice is difficult to answer. I was recently presented by my soon to be ex-wife that she lost the feeling. I decided to do more to make life easier on her and it didn’t seem to make a difference. I felt that she needed to make a choice to accept that after almost 10 years of marriage to be happy by making the other person happy. It usually comes with compromise and in our case we could not figure that out when it came to physical intimacy. We have 2 school age children. We both had our moments of infedility 2 years ago. I thought we recovered well but I believe the damage was still tough on her heart as I was willing to forgive. So forgiveness is my definition of love as long as it doesn’t have to be over the same thing again and again. The choice to forgive is love!
What is it?
Love is patient
Love is kind
It does not envy or boast…
Real loves takes time.
It grows into something with deep roots because you watered it with honesty, kindness, complete removal of your societal mask and you have pure motives. Your heart is open to that person and you are vulnerable.
Real love is takes patience to wait for the right one.
Trust. Mutual love. Mutual respect.
Hopefully you will find it.
Seek and ye shall find.
The Gottman Institute and other research show that using “we” language makes for HEALTHIER, more secure relationships, so I’d like to see a citation on that particular piece of advice.
Real true love is being very caring, loving, committed, compatible, and really being there for one another as well. And being very faithful to one another too.
Hi there, This is Harsh from India. I’m in a relationship and it’s been 2 years but long-distance makes it so hard to keep it refreshed and excited, We both did a few things that should have been avoided and now there are issues that she feels that I don’t even love her but I do actually. Please help me with this how I can change it and make my bond happier and last long. Thank you and will be looking for a reply. Hope
hello. you don’t know me but I just wanna say that loving someone is easy but cherishing them and loving them the correct way is hard but to take the time and spend time with them in whatever communication, physically being there to spend time or to be there for them, through technology, or some sort of communication, do things that she likes, spend time with her as much possible time you have, do things together like baking, reading books, maybe even video games, or watching a movie doing these things to solely focus on her alone, to desire her and have a mutual respect, love and affection for her. Hopefully this helps or if you already have it figured out then I’m happy for you continue to love her equally as much as she loves you
I am dating a guy he doesn’t know any my family member and my mom call me to spend the vacation with her so i ask the guy this is the opportunity to see her and tell her that I’m with you but the guy said he can’t go unless next time so i want to ask does this mean love or what please help me
Dating girlfriend for 3 years.
-she lied about not being in relationship the past 6 years before we met.
– lied about having no sex the lay 3 years before we met.
– few months in I saw texts between a couple of men and her which she then deleted and blamed it that her phone glitched and deleted those text and others (to make it believable)
– have always avoided talking about past relationships.
– the ex she dated 3 years before me was apparently such a terrible boyfriend that it traumatized her, that’s why she didn’t want to tell me.
– then found picture of them two on her phone.
– also found Instagram direct messages she had with him throughout an entire day while she was at work. I found out and she says it meant nothing. That she felt bad. While he takes about kissing her and you know the rest. She did not stop him whatsoever from talking to her as a matter of fact she conversed with him that entire day. I confronted her at the end of her work day. She apologized said would never happen again. Said she deleted because it meant nothing and she doesn’t want something that has no meaning on her phone. But that same night, around bed time, he again texted her asking “wyd” she replied yet! “Going to bed”
Fast forward she always plays what happened down to seem like these things meant nothing, that they’re meaningless!!
To me that’s down right disrespectful!!
She does still have strong feelings for her ex. And her ex still randomly seeks her out, prank calls, left roses on her car. She knows all this but denies it’s him.
We recently broke up for two weeks. While broken up she changed her Instagram caption to “don’t ever look back. True love never dies.” And still has that up even now that we’ve been back together for months.
To me this caption is geared to her ex.
Am I wrong?
This is highly informatics, crisp and clear. I think that everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many things.
True love to me feels as easy as breathing. You don’t have to force it and you can’t fight it. When you think you’re not ready—bam it will hit you because love knows no boundaries. I wonder how many loves you get in this life and if only one remains true. You either have one shot or infinite opportunities. True love is a sacrifice in many ways—whether that’s your freedom, or the ability to put their needs above your own, and even when you’re angry you still adore them and have their best interest at heart. As the bible states, love is not boastful. It does not envy. True love motivates and marvels to see you shine. It doesn’t strive for perfection, love meets you in imperfection. Love is a mystery, described as a feeling to some and a choice to most. Love can’t be put in a box. True love is what keeps humanity hopeful. We all seek true love and I hope everyone has the chance to at least experience it once, if not multiple times in numerous ways. Always remember that love comes and love goes, but the greatest love you should always have is with yourself.