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The characteristics of true love in my view, speak to the visceral experience inside when we're relating in another person's presence.
To the age-old questions: Do we have one love match? Do we find true love?
No! Together, we create it.
Here, I've distilled the core, or at the gut-level characteristics. While some may seem contradictory, I don't think so. What they are, is a paradox.
Then again, life itself if is a paradox! So how appropriate is that. Hope you enjoy. ☺
What is true love? What does it feel like? Imagine when all of the following things are in place... how it will feel inside. Are the possibilities endless, an energetic pulling up? There it is! How true love with a soulmate feels.
What I mean by Self-ishness is both people in a relationship putting themselves first in a healthy way. Why? So they have the inner resources and energy to extend themselves lovingly to their beloved. Without this sweet tension of selfishness, a relationship may end up co-dependent and unbalanced, with one party giving way too much, and neither getting what they really need to grow at a soul level. That's why it's on my list of key characteristics of true love.
What a beautiful word! This is treating another as an entity that's incredibly precious, creating a safe space for both partners to explore themselves and each other. One of the yummier characteristics of true love. When we cherish, we appreciate what we have without taking it for granted. We each feel supported because each put the other's safety first and the relationship becomes a playground for the heart and soul. How to do this? Find and share the things you truly appreciate about one another — often.
True love isn't perfect rosey harmony all the time. In fact, it supports and encourages our growth, even if that means a loving kick in the butt if we need it (I do not mean flinging expectations, nagging or nit-picky criticism). One of the characteristics of true love is that partners look out for each other. They also don't let the other off the hook, encouraging each to grow and stretch their comfort zones. When we're lovingly supported in this way, we become happier with ourselves. When we lovingly support our sweetie in this way, respect blooms and we're more secure in our relationship.
Sometimes, life happens and we fall down — or we're pushed. We may get the flu, get laid off or just have a bad day. Or we might experience a devastating loss. When we're stripped of the defenses we thought we had, we feel incredibly vulnerable. The real-deal characteristics of true love act as a salve, where both partners have the capacity to nurture one other. Chicken soup. Holding hands. Listening. Gentle touch. Taking care of things for a while. Women are natural nurturers, but men? The good ones are. That's why one of the most important questions for women to ask themselves before committing is: “Can he nurture you?”
I have a friend who when she's most herself, jumps up to touch the branches of trees, exclaining in child-like glee: “Tickle-tickle!” Her partner was drawn to this energy early on. Childish? Not. She's an MBA and he's a lawyer. As for me, don't tell anyone, but I talk to ducks. ☺
Can you freely express youself in your relationship? Can you be silly, sad, clueless and competent? Sexy and strong? Arty and analytical? Child-like and serious? Angry and accepting? Creating a safe space for self expression is one of the juicy characteristics of true love. Such expression is dampened by the likes of (ick) criticism, sarcasm and judgment. It's buoyed up beautifully by acceptance, gentle humour and curiosity.
“My intention is to create a deeper connection and understanding between us...” Great words to use, expecially in sensitive conversations. When we each have the intention to connect to our partners, rather than competing or furthering our own agenda, we can move mountains together. Holding the intention of connection is truly one of the characteristics of true love. Challenging conversations are softened, breakthroughs are made, compromises are found — with true love intact.
“I feel as if I've known you forever...” These are sticky romantic words if they're said without heart, but to those who have really felt this type of inexplicable comfort or ease in another's presence, not only on the first date, but years later, it's definitely one of the characteristics of true love. What the comfort means is that our energy bodies are compatible, co-existing in our lives and our beds, in a way that feeds each of us, instead of draining. Karmically, there's likely a past life love, too...
“Sweetheart, I am not the enemy.” We may want the same things, but sometimes ego-driven power struggles and unconscious defense mechanisms can get in the way. We're human after all! One of the characteristics of true love is treating each other as partners who seek ways to collaborate and cooperate in a win-win manner, rather than powering over one another and focusing on the sapping ‘win-lose’ energy of getting our own way. Cooperation is also one of the hallmarks of soulmates.
How do you handle relationship conflict? Is it one endless power struggle after another? Do you fight fair? Are you both able to display anger in a way that doesn't cut the other off at the knees? One of the characteristics of true love is resolving conflict in a way that's truthful, without resorting to righteous blame or personal character attacks. Not to say that it's fun — or easy. But in the end, conflict is expressed and resolved quickly and cleanly, clearing the air... so that you can get on with true love.
The only match for someone who does not know how to receive, is someone who does not know how to give.
Read that again — slowly. Where do you fit? Where does your sweetie? I've left one of the most important characteristics of true love to the last: two people who both have the ability to give and receive in a relationship, creating equality, fairness and balance. I say a big ol' YES'm to that one! ☺
How to find true love – Six strategies you can do today... that you may have never considered.
Definition true love – Following these wise ideas are a great first step to creating a soulmate whether you're dating... or seeking solo!