If you’ve experienced love before, you’ll know it’s all-encompassing. But, what is the true definition of love, and how do you know when you’re in it?
In the words of Foreigner back in 1984 *ask your parents*, “I want to know what love is, I want you to show me.” Yes, a band of men with very bad hair sang those exact words. Even now, all these years later, we’re still asking ourselves what the true definition of love is. What does it actually look and feel like? Yes, the dictionary defines it, but it’s not really enough to explain he overwhelming flood of emotions that we feel, is it?
What is the true definition of love? And why does everyone define it differently? Honestly though, the reason? Because it’s different for every single person who experiences it.
What is the true definition of love, and what does love mean?
Explaining love is like trying to explain why water is wet – it just is! There are different kinds of love – romantic love, family love, friendship love, love you have for the things you do. Every single type of love is valid and real for you.
It’s entirely possible that you experience it in a different way to someone else in your life. We’re all unique and that means we recognize, experience, and feel love in slightly differently ways too.
However, there is some common ground at last. The true definition of love is quite blurry, but many people put it down as:
– The ability to understand and accept another person as they are, completely
– Wanting the very best for a person and helping them to be the best version of themselves they can be
– If it came down to it, you’d sacrifice your own happiness for theirs
– Wanting to build a future with that person
– Seeing the good and bad parts of someone and loving them anyway
– A deep connection and a feeling of being whole
As you can see, the true definition of love is wide-ranging and you might have a different idea of what it is to you. For most people, however, the above statements ring true. You want the best for that person and hate to see them struggling or suffering, and you’d sacrifice your own happiness to ensure that they’re smiling.
Love in all its types has these definitions, whether we’re talking about family, friends, or romantic love. When we love someone or something, we want it in our lives and become attached to it, to the point where being without it is painful.
What does love feel like, is it even real?
Is love real? Yes. However, as mentioned, love is different for everyone. It’s possible that you’ve never experienced that completely ‘sweep you off your feet’ type of love. You might never, or it might be just around the corner, but you will experience your own version of love in a way that’s right for you.
The true definition of love isn’t about Hollywood depictions. It might not come into your life, knock you down to the ground, and swing you around several times. Maybe it’s more of a calm and gentle feeling for you, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less worthwhile or any less meaningful.
What does love feel like? Again, it depends on the person! For me, love feels comfortable and warm. It’s like going home, it feels safe. However, I’ve also experienced love that was dramatic, overwhelming, and at times I felt like I couldn’t breathe. To me, that kind of love wasn’t the best; I loved that person, but it was a toxic kind of love because they didn’t love me back in the same way and didn’t want the same things as me.
Can you see how love can be different, depending upon the circumstances?
The true definition of love is when two people are aligned. That’s when the rollercoaster of emotions stop and everything becomes still and cozy. When that happens, many people falsely believe that they’re falling out of love or that the passion has left. That’s Hollywood’s fault.
True love doesn’t have us feeling sick every day, wondering what’s going to happen. It doesn’t mean constant arguments and screaming at each other. It’s not about being unable to eat over the long-term because you’ve always got butterflies.
We’re told that we should always go for butterflies because that means it’s special, but those butterflies don’t last beyond the infatuation stage. When love takes over, the butterflies actually feel like their work is done. That’s probably a very good true definition of love – when the butterflies settle down and contentment takes over.
Love feels comfortable, but it also feels like you would do anything to protect that person. In many ways, that’s what it means to love someone. It means that you would sacrifice yourself in some way to ensure their happiness, health, and safety. It means that while you don’t stop doing the things you enjoy or dedicate your entire life to that person, that you want them to become the very best version of themselves that they can be.
It’s easy to be taken over by love, allowing it to swallow you whole and put your own wants and needs to one side. It’s important to remember that you’re just as important as the person you love. If they love you, they’ll probably be doing all they can to ensure your needs are met anyway. Keep that balance – you’re just as important!
The strongest signs that define the meaning of love in a relationship
Now we’ve debated what the true definition of love is and know that it’s a very blurry subject to pinpoint. How can you tell that you’re actually in love? There’s no firework-laden moment when it happens, and sometimes it actually creeps into your life without you even noticing it until a few months or even years later. Let’s look at some signs that you might actually be in love.
#1 They’re the ones who make you feel better. If something happens to you, or you just have a bad day, they’re the ones who make you feel better and bring a smile to your face like no one else can.
#2 You value their opinion. Even for something as simple as wanting to know if your outfit looks good, you value their opinion over everyone else’s. Although, remember that your own opinion is just as important too!
#3 When they’re ill or upset, your heart literally aches. If you see your love in any kind of pain, it’s almost too much for you to bear. You want to take their pain and upset away, even if you know that you can’t. That’s probably the true definition of love, right there.
#4 You’re their biggest supporter. Whatever they do in life, you’re their biggest cheerleader and want them to succeed beyond everything else. It makes you feel proud of them whenever they do well.
#5 When you’re with them, you feel your best. You’re happier, lighter on your feet, smile more, and generally feel your best when you’re around them. They take away your worries and help you to feel content.
#6 If you’re away from them, you don’t feel right. While it’s normal to be away from your partner in some situations, if you are away from them for any length of time, you feel like something is missing, and it doesn’t right itself until you’re reunited.
#7 You know that you would do anything for them. The term “anything” should be taken with a pinch of salt here, but if asked to do something, you would consider it. Of course, it depends on what that thing is but you would move heaven and earth if you could.
#8 You see your future with them. When you look forward, you see them in your life and see the two of you together, building a life. That future doesn’t have to be the traditional type, but if they’re in the vision you have, that’s a good sign.
#9 You feel upbeat and more positive. When you’re with them, you just feel happy and upbeat. They inject a sense of happiness and joy into your day, and it’s a great feeling to have.
#10 You’re not going through emotional rollercoasters all the time. Don’t worry if the ups and downs slowly ebb away. This is normal! It means you’ve moved past the ‘not being sure where you stand’ stage. You’re now in love, happy and content. Of course, love can still make people crazy occasionally, but this shouldn’t be the overriding theme.
#11 Despite all of this, you fear losing them. Despite feeling calm and comfortable, you still have a slight worry in the pit of your stomach that one day this will all end and they’ll be taken away from you.
Again, this is normal when your emotions are so strongly invested in another person. Push that worry aside and focus on the life you’re building together.
Do you think you’re in true love? How does it feel for you? The true definition of love is different for every single person. Those who experience love in any guise, it’s a special thing indeed.