The feeling of loving someone and being loved by them are two of the best things we experience as humans.
Whether our love is directed toward family, friends, or even animals, it's a totally fulfilling feeling.
That said, falling in love with a soulmate is unlike any other type of love. I was never a big believer in the idea of "the one" before I met my husband.
In fact, I never even liked being in relationships. When I met him, though, something clicked, and I realized I had finally found the relationship that fit me.
True love, though different for everyone, carries certain common markers with it. Here, I talk about some of the ways you can know if your love is real.
1. You Would Never Intentionally Hurt Them
Real love means that you would never do anything to hurt your partner.
When we're in relationships that may not be our best fit, we often act in petty ways. Although most of us never want to intentionally hurt someone else, getting angry or hurt in a relationship can bring out our worst sides.
In my prior relationships, I would often completely stonewall the other person, shutting down any possibility of a conversation — even though I knew it would hurt them. I selfishly wanted to do just what was right for me, not what was right for us.
With my husband, though, I'm the exact opposite: I love to communicate with him and would never intentionally shut that down, nor would I intentionally hurt him in any other way.
2. You Naturally Want What's Best For Them
In the right relationship, you'll realize that you're always rooting for your partner and that it comes easily.
I am my husband's biggest fan and biggest support system. I always want only the best things for him, and I am often trying to think of ways to make sure he only gets the best things, including constantly wanting to make him feel happy and loved.
When you experience real love, you'll also experience a natural desire to make sure that your partner gets all the best things in life.
3. You Don't Worry About Failing Around Them
Failing at anything is an deeply ingrained human fear that we all have. In the right relationship, however, you won't worry about this at all.
Although I'm a Type-A, perfectionist, high achiever that used to panic at the thought of failing in even the smallest of ways (heaven forbid I even got an A- in school), that fear completely dissipates with my husband.
In fact, because I know our love is real, I feel comfortable to take more risks and fail even more, since I know he's by my side.
With real love, the fear of failure melts away.
4. You Implicitly Trust Them
Real love means real trust.
Trust is vital in a relationship, and in the perfect one for you, you'll automatically trust your partner.
I trust my husband more than I've ever trusted any other human in my entire life. He continues to earn this trust every day, with the way he treats me and cares about me. But I knew our love was real when I realized I trusted him endlessly.
5. You Don't Constantly Worry About Them Leaving
A lot of us have a common fear of abandonment. But in a relationship where your love is real, that worry over being abandoned will slowly fade over time.
I'm one of those people who had an awful fear of abandonment, and despite years of therapy, I never really figured out why.
In prior relationships, I would push people away on purpose before they could do it to me (the idea being, of course, that I was protecting myself). With my husband, though, I don't feel the need to do that anymore because I know he's right where he wants to be — and that he wants to protect me, too.
6. You Have More Patience Than You've Ever Had
Patience is a virtue — not one that many of us have, though.
I'm not the most patient person in the world... well, that's an understatement. In fact, I get stressed out very easily and generally have a pretty short fuse.
But with my husband, even though I haven't suddenly transformed into a saint, I do have a lot more patience than I've ever had. The stuff that used to bother me just doesn't anymore because it all feels good with him.
7. You Don't Question It
Sometimes, cliches become what they are because they are true for so many of us: When you know, you know.
Falling in love with my husband hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn't looking for it, and I wasn't even sure if I wanted it. I realized very early on, though, that it was real, and it was unlike anything I'd ever experienced before. And that alone made me want to marry him.
When you experience real love, you'll be able to recognize it for what it is.
Real love doesn't come along a lot, and some people believe it only happens once in a lifetime. When it does, though, these signs will help you recognize that it's meant to be.