While we all want to feel like we know what love truly is, often the feelings of infatuation or lust can be mistaken for love.
This confusion can become extra complicated when we rely on movies, music, and television to tell us what to expect.
Romantic movies often have the characters professing their love for each other very early on – which rarely happens in real life. Sure, you can feel strongly about a person and foresee the opportunity to have a loving relationship with them, but having a loving relationship is not the same as being “in love”.
When you are truly in love with someone, you’ll see past their flaws.
This isn’t the same as being blind to their flaws. The old adage “love is blind” is, essentially, a lie. True love means that you see the things that are wrong with them and you love them anyway. Infatuation would lead you to believe that your partner is perfect – when true perfection doesn’t exist. Love means that you know they’re not perfect, but you remind them you’re not going anywhere anyway.
When you’re truly in love, they’ll probably irritate you to no end.
Infatuation means that you’re never bothered by anything your partner does, and you never want to spend time away from them. But when you’re actually in love, you’ll definitely need some time on your own. Being able to look past their flaws undoubtedly means that there are things they do that aggravate you to no end. It’s healthy to spend some time apart.
True love goes both ways.
Many people speak of unrequited love – but the idea that you can be truly in love with someone and they’re not in love with you is a bit silly. Obviously, you can love someone and not be loved in return, but the notion of “in love” itself implies a bond. If that bond isn’t there, you’re not in love – you’re being used.
Falling in love is by chance – staying in love is by choice.
You can’t really help who you love. You can influence it a bit, but it pretty much runs its own course. However, if you want to stay in love with a person, that’s not going to happen on its own. You have to work at it every day to ensure that things continue to get better. True love takes a great amount of effort to maintain, but if you really care about the person (and their effort matches yours), the choice to continue putting forth the effort will be obvious.