Movies -- and the rest of pop culture, for that matter -- do a great job of glamorizing love. And they don’t just glamorize it; they also make true love appear accessible.
Most romance movies include a resolution: Love is found or saved, and the two people involved go on to live happily ever after and all that nonsense.
While these movies might be enjoyable to watch over the course of 90 minutes, they also are a gross oversimplification of what goes into true love.
Thanks to the silver screen, many of us know what love looks like, but we aren’t always sure of what it actually is. And even when we find someone we might really like, the uncertainties that remain can confuse us.
In today’s society, being single for too long is a negative thing. So after a while, everyone wants to find love, and we take certain proactive measures to find it. We believe that if we make ourselves available enough to receive love, we’ll undoubtedly find it because that’s how it happens in the movies.
In reality, strictly following what we see in the movies only leaves us trying to make something out of nothing. True love takes time and patience, and it very rarely comes around when you’re looking for it the most.
That being said, when it does come around, it’s impossible to mistake it for anything short of the real thing.
Here's how you know you're in love.
If you think about the other person constantly, you're in love. If thoughts come and go, you think you're in love.
When you're in love, you see your partner everywhere, even in the most obscure places, like when you hear some random song on the radio or see a street sign that reminds you of your first date.
No matter what you do, everything will come back to that one person. And when this happens, it’s usually love.
If you're selfless, you're in love. If you're using your partner to fulfill your desires, you think you're in love.
When you love someone, you care about that person as much as you care about yourself. You want to cater to your partner's needs as much as your own. You want to do what someone else wants instead of just thinking about yourself.
Real love requires that you keep each other’s best interests in mind. It’s deeper than lust or infatuation.
If you willingly make sacrifices, you're in love. If you don't want to change for someone else, you think you're in love.
Love results in sacrifices. However, the main difference between making sacrifices for someone you know you love and making sacrifices for someone you may think you love is how much you mind.
For someone you know you love, you won’t mind making sacrifices. In fact, you’ll probably want to make them. But for someone you think you love, sacrifices are like chores.
To say that love doesn’t change you is a lie. Love should change you, and it should change you for the better. If you don’t find yourself willing to make these changes for another person, then it’s probably not love.
If you aren't forcing things, you're in love. If you find yourself making too much of an effort, you think you're in love.
A lot of people hit a certain age and decide that it’s the right time to “find” love.
Maybe a few of their friends have gotten married, or they’re just bored of being alone. Whatever the reason, people can start searching for love out of desperation. And they find themselves forcing it.
But that’s not how it works.
Love has a way of finding you when you least expect it. It happens naturally. In most cases, if you force yourself to find love, it likely won’t result in something genuine or sustainable in the long term.
If you feel unconditional affection for your partner, you're in love. If his or her quirks bother you, you think you're in love.
When you love another person, there’s very little that person can do to prevent you from feeling this way.
You love your partner as a person -- not who he or she may appear to be, not the person he or she acts around friends. Flaws that people think are gross are qualities you’ll see as normal.
If you find yourself wavering in and out of attraction, you probably don’t fully love your partner the way you think you do.
If you think you're in love, you're not in love.
This is most important.
The main difference between truly being in love and thinking you’re in love is "thinking" itself.
There’s no thinking in love. When it’s real, you won’t find yourself asking questions or contemplating about whether or not it’s lust or simply infatuation. You’ll know -- almost immediately.
Love should mean certainty. If you have any doubts about whether or not you love someone, chances are you probably don’t.