If You Feel These 3 Things, It May Be Love, But It's Not True Love

by Paul Hudson

Love is a beautiful thing. At least, it can be. The problem with love is that it comes in too many shades. So much is left to interpretation, and people often interpret wrongly.

People are foolish creatures. We fail to understand basic principles -- such as the difference between the world outside us and the world inside us.

We fail to separate the physical world from our interpretations of that world. We rely too much on what we sense and what we feel, and too little on what simply is. We rely on our perception, forgetting that this approach is often faulty.

People make mistakes. But have you ever considered why they do this? “Because we’re human" isn’t an acceptable answer.

We’re not human because we make mistakes, and we don’t make mistakes because we’re human. We make mistakes because we aren’t smart enough to avoid making them.

We don’t physically sense the things that we ought to be sensing. We don’t pay attention. And even when we do physically sense things, we don't interpret our senses correctly. Sometimes we don't look, and sometimes we look without seeing.

Love is true love only when we see reality. True love means loving somebody for reasons that actually exist. It happens when our interpretations of our partner (the way he or she treats us and loves us) is backed by evidence.

It is possible to love without experiencing true love. In fact, love that isn't true is the most common kind. Love has millions of shades, but true love has only one. We can always fall in love with our ideas of a person. But true love happens when we love someone for the person he or she truly is.

Yes, love is subjective; it’s personal. What we love about someone is a personal matter. We fall for people when we believe that they possess qualities that will inspire love in us.

But two things end up happening. The first is that we realize our beliefs about this person are false. We misinterpreted.

The second thing that happens is that we begin to redefine what love means to us after we stack up more failed relationships. We redefine the qualities that make us fall in love with a person.

People focus too much on finding someone to love, on giving people chances and allowing themselves to get caught up in all the emotion. They spend too little time crossing candidates off the list.

I understand that you want love in your life, but love alone won’t cut it. You need to find true love.

You need to stop wasting your time with the people that you should know won't work out. And you would know this if you actually paid attention to what's happening.

I know you’re not blind. And you’re probably not stupid. But chances are that you’re making mistakes that you could and should avoid. If you feel these three ways, you're not truly in love.

1. You love your partner for how he or she makes you 'feel.'

Feelings -- or, as I like to call them, “misleading little bastards” -- may be enough to make you fall in love with somebody. But that's only if you’re naive.

Most of what you’re feeling is a physiological response to the other person's physical and psychological qualities (the way he or she loves, acts, thinks, etc.).

A person's looks change over time. I'm sorry to tell you this, but it doesn't get prettier. Just the same, someone's inner self changes too.

If it's the right person, the changes will be less shocking. But people do change over time. If this is all that's keeping you in love, then know that your love will fade.

2. You both want the same things in life.

While it’s crucial to be compatible with the person you're going to share your life with, compatibility isn't everything. Maybe your partner makes you feel incredible.

Maybe this person also wants to live in Hawaii, have three kids and spend days on the beach -- just like you. But your relationship can still fall apart, because that's not what matters most.

Wanting the same things in life doesn’t guarantee total compatibility. Compatibility also means having similar personalities and values. Compatibility extends beyond the superficial. And if that's all you have, how can you call it true love?

3. You're with this person only for the sake of not being alone.

No one wants to be alone. People fear it above all else -- even more than death. They fear missing out on memories and experiences.

They fear that they will leave this world alone, with no one to hold them and reassure them that everything will be okay. But that's not enough of a reason to be with someone you don't truly love.

Ultimately, it doesn't take a lifetime to know if the love you share is true. While people do change, the part of them that makes them who they are stays the same. They improve, but their core stays the same.

This isn't to say that true love is enough to keep two people together. Just like you might be deluded into believing you're truly in love with your partner, you might mistake actual true love when you're face-to-face with it.

People are capable of being stupid, making mistakes and screwing everything up. Believe me. I’ve lived it.

Be observant. Be analytical. Be brave. And, most importantly, be honest.

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