True love is hard to find, but love isn't. The problem with finding “true love” is, it's too complicated to effectively explain. But, we try anyway.
We hear stories of it really working out. We take pieces of those stories and see where we can make them apply to our own lives. One couple says they met in middle school. He couldn't keep his eyes off her. Now, if that happened to us, we'd think we found true love. But, we probably haven't.
It's a trap. We have defined every type of romantic relationship between sexually attracted partners as simply “love.” Love has come to mean too many things, and we so often mistake it for the ideal love we see in movies or other people's relationships. But like any other type of relationship, love has nuances.
There are all kinds of love we can fall into, but we have to learn to differentiate them from true love. It will be helpful to acknowledge these nuances when any type of relationship begins so that the expectations don't get set up too high. Ultimately, the relationship could end in extreme disappointment.
1. Comfortable Love
Of course, there is comfort in true love. But, comfortable love only provides comfort. We find solace in being near another person when life feels unruly.
There's nothing wrong with that. Cuddles are great, but so is Netflix.
The issue is when you attempt to take a comfortable relationship off the couch and into an uncomfortable situation, like your cousin's wedding. If the thing that keeps you with this person is primarily the comfort of having a warm body at the end of the day, and you suddenly take that away, the relationship is left with no foundation.
Be comfy in your comfortable love, but also be sure to acknowledge it for what it is.
2. "Something New" Love
Your last relationship left a bad taste in your mouth (literally and figuratively). So, you have the urge to wash it out with something new.
Great. It's probably time to branch out from what you've previously been going for. Get to know someone who is different from you, but don't expect the first one to stick.
You've probably deviated from your norm so much by finding the exact opposite of your normal type that you've gone too far. Experience this person, move on and find a balance between this one and the last one.
3. Necessary Love
If you've ever lost a loved one or even come close to it, you know the importance that can be placed upon the people you still have in your life. You may need someone to be there for you when you're lost in a traumatic event and can't be there for yourself anymore. This love gets particularly messy when too much of your emotional stability relies on another human being.
If both partners have experienced the trauma together, it's easy to fall for one another. That person suddenly feels like the only one who understands what you're going through.
4. Bored Love
Nothing has happened in a long time. So now, you're very bored.
Life can be redundant. Love is pretty exciting, even in its worst moments. Boring love can really shake up your routine, though. If you picked this person because you were bored – and he or she happened to ask at the right time – it probably won't last. You'll get bored again quickly.
5. Insecure Love
If you've lived with some insecurity your whole life and someone comes and relieves you of some of that burden, it's a wonderful thing. This person is suddenly allowing you to live free from a major concern. This is very healthy, but only if it's not the foundation for the whole relationship. Any of these elements of love can be found in the elusive true love, but if you want things to last, there has to be more to the relationship than that.
6. Sex Love
Love at first sight is almost always lust at first sight. Sure, you've heard stories of it working out, but you've been ignoring all the stories where it turns into a never-ending, sex-crazed fight-fest.
Go ahead and have that wild, new sex you've been craving. But, don't set yourself up for failure by expecting it to turn into an emotionally fulfilling romance when the sex cools down.
Have fun and enjoy these adventures in your partnership. Just don't invest all your hope in these relationships, as they're not what you're looking for. True love is that rare and captivating bond between two people. Knowing when you haven't found it will also help you know when you have.