We all have different definitions of what true love is. Some people find it in fairytales, some in Shakespearean sonnets; others believe it is merely a phase and true love doesn’t exist in the real world. But once you find true love with another person, you’ll know it’s real, because there’s nothing else quite like it. Even if you can’t quite say what true love is or what the characteristics of love are, there’s a good chance you’ll know it when you feel it.
Above all, being with someone you truly love should feel effortless. As Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist and founder of LoveVictory.com, previously told Elite Daily, someone who’s experiencing true love will often feel at ease. “Healthy, lasting love finds its own ‘cruising gear’ where you feel fulfilled, happy, positive, and sure of your choice of partner,” she said. Even if you dealt with some speed bumps along the way, once you settle in with your true love, the ride should be pretty smooth sailing.
Not sure whether you have true love with your current partner? If these characteristics sound familiar, then there’s a good chance you’ve found the person with whom you’re meant to be forever.
True Love Makes You Feel Loved & Secure
Once you’ve found true love, you no longer need to worry about facing judgment or criticism. You can feel free to be exactly who you are around the person you love without having to censure yourself, as you may have when you were still getting to know each other. "'The one' makes you feel loved and secure,” Lesli Doares, couples consultant and marriage coach at Foundations Coaching, previously told Elite Daily. “You are able to be yourself and feel accepted. They make you want to be your best self, and they bring that out in you.”
True Love Goes Deeper Than Attraction
Likewise, when you truly love your partner (and aren’t just in love with them), then you’ll love and respect everything they are in return. As love and relationship coach Kailen Rosenberg previously told Elite Daily, “Love means I deeply care. I deeply respect. I have a desire to protect. I see the depth and value and truth of who that person is and I value that. There is a calm, a knowing, a strength ... Real love has genuine care and concern for the person you love.”
True Love Provides A Constant Companion
Though there should be attraction involved in true love, it should also feel like you’re dating your best friend, and once you find that person, you’ll want to share every experience with them, both good and bad. According to relationship and dating coach Nora Dekeyser, “Love eventually turns into a true partnership between best friends that are also attracted to each other.” With that person, you’ll rarely feel bored and you’ll never feel alone.
True Love Improves Your Outlook On Life
Even after the honeymoon phase, a relationship built on a foundation of true love will make you feel like a happier person in all aspects of your life. "A meaningful marker of a relationship's health is observing what it brings out in you and in your life," clinical psychologist Dr. Rebekah Montgomery previously told Elite Daily. "When we are in healthy relationships, we are often happier and healthier. Healthy relationships have that nice balance of making us feel accepted and challenging us to grow.”
True Love Is Built On Mutual Respect
One of the most important qualities of real, lasting love is respect that is mutually felt between partners. “[Respect] supersedes lust and puppy-dog love; respecting your partner is vital if you want your love to be a forever kind of love,” Alessandra Conti, matchmaker at Matchmakers in the City, previously explained. If it's true love, you and your partner will seek out each other's opinions on everything that is most important to you.
True Love Gives You A Clear Vision Of The Future
Perhaps the most telling sign you’ve found true love: You can’t imagine a future without your SO in it. As behavioral scientist Clarissa Silva previously explained to Elite Daily, someone you love usually feels like your “ideal partner because you already know they will complement your goals and desires and assist in fulfilling your dreams.” And when you look to your future, you know they’ll be a part of it.
True love isn’t always easy to find, but once you do find that special someone, make sure you don’t let them go.
Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist and founder of LoveVictory.com
Dr. Rebekah Montgomery, clinical psychologist
Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist
Lesli Doares, couples consultant and marriage coach at Foundations Coaching
Kailen Rosenberg, love and relationship coach
Nora Dekeyser, relationship and dating coach
Alessandra Conti, matchmaker at Matchmakers in the City
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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