Love… This feeling can’t be measured or assessed, it can’t be found, it can be only felt. However, sometimes people confuse it with affection, lust, puppy love. If you often contemplate about questions: “What does love feel like?”, “Is love real?”, “What is real love and how can it be described?”, then you are not sure about your relationship and you should dig deep into yourself to understand a true nature of this feeling.
This article provides answers to FAQs about true love. Hopefully, it’ll help you to understand yourself, the partner and the relationship better.
What Does Love Feel Like
Love is so multifaceted, that it’s impossible to derive a formula for love. Though, there are some phases of love, which can be distinguished. A person experiences different feelings during each stage.
Phase 1 “Attraction”
This stage is characterized by certain physical signs: an elevated heart rate, sweaty palms, trembling, sexual excitement, flushing. Dorothy Tennov has coined a special term for describing this phase – “limerence.”
Some people also call this stage chemistry. This is something, which stimulates you to go further with this person. However, some people assume that this stage is characterized by the inability to perceive the potential partner objectively. All you feel is that this person is the best person in the world and you learn new things because of him or her.
Phase 2 “Dating”
Actually, dating is a complicated process. From the neuroscientific point of view, at this stage, different hormones, which are responsible for feeling happy, are released. For men, these hormones are dopamine, vasopressin, testosterone. Dopamine and vasopressin levels increase in response to cuddling, kissing, sex. Testosterone boosts when the man wins woman’s attention and compliments.
As for women, dopamine and oxytocin are released. They arise after the woman becomes sexual.
So, this stage is more about a physical attraction. All you feel is bliss and euphoria and want to make this condition last a lifetime.
Phase 3 “Falling in love”
When you fall in love, hormones of happiness, as well as cortisol – the hormone of stress, are increased. That is why you have some kind of an obsession and can’t sleep and eat properly. At this stage, you feel as if you are capable of anything in this world when your soul mate is near. But one day this time ends and a real awareness comes. The relationship is smoothly flowing into another stage, called building trust.
Phase 4 “Building Trust”
When the euphoria has passed, critical judgment returns. You ask yourself: “Can I trust him or her? What does await us in the future?” Thus, all that you feel at this stage is doubt, indecision, sometimes irritation, anger, sadness, and disappointment. Some couples break up at this stage because the tension is too high for them, whereas others survive this stage and they are likely to be together.
You can pull through this tough situation together only if you learn how to listen, compromise, forgive and sacrifice. When you understand your partner’s pain, meet his or her needs, eliminate negative emotions, you build trust and then your relationship can go to the next level.
Phase 5 “True love”
This stage is not always achieved and not by all people. You have left all quarrels behind, and you begin to notice and appreciate all that the partner is doing for you. You are grateful for small things, you look at the world with other eyes, understand that your partner is the reason why you laugh, and his or her wishes become your priority.
To cut it short, your love is grounded not on neurological excitement, but on moral principles, compassion, respect and trust.
What True Love Is
Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson explains love as a flood of positive emotions shared with another person. So, true love implies cheerfulness and optimism, which are created and shared. However, there are other characteristics, which determine true love.
So, how to know true love? There are some features:
Openness & Trust
There is a saying: “Love is like giving somebody a loaded gun and have them point it at your chest, but you trust that they will never pull the trigger”. So, first of all, true love is unconditional, eternal trust.
Also, openness matters. You are open and always ready to hear a feedback from the partner without being defensive. Dr. Lisa Firestone recommends seeking the truth always. It can be unpleasant for you, but it’ll give you the clue what pushes your partner away. Once you’ve figured it out, you are able to compromise.
You welcome new experiences and always try something new together. True love is motion, and choosing invigorating activities breathes new life into a relationship and make love long-lasting.
Respect For Boundaries And Aspirations
Even when you are in love, you see the partner as a separate individual with his or her own goals and priorities. The spouse isn’t your extension, he or she is an equal partner with a personal space, which should be respected.
The Absence Of Manipulation
True love doesn’t control, it accepts. So, a parent and a child relations aren’t acceptable. If one person tries to control everything and then blames another for being insufficiently responsible or independent, then it is not love.
Acceptance And Understanding
When you’re truly in love, you put aside all attempts to alter the person, you accept all flaws and advantages. You’ve seen all good and bad sides of the partner and welcome him or her. You want him or her to be the part of your life and you don’t focus on the demerits.
On top of that, you always try to understand the person. You never judge, never blame, on the contrary, you always understand and provide support.
Only with the person you love you can be yourself. You show your vulnerability to the person you adore. It happens because you know that he or she will never betray you.
Is Love Real
Love is an ambiguous thing, for each individual it conveys its own meaning. Someone states that love is inborn, whereas someone argues that it is social. Yet, the scientific research shows that the condition, called “in love” triggers activity in certain brain areas.
There are some signs, which show that love does exist, love is real.
- Love isn’t an abstract thing, love is an act of will. Willpower is one of the powers, which make the relationship last. If you love the person, then your willpower helps you to maintain a strong commitment.
- Feelings, which you have for the person, don’t fade away with time. On the contrary, they grow and become stronger.
- Physical and spiritual attraction remains over the years.
- Love unites you. You have common plans for the future, your likes and dislikes coincide, as well as your views and values.
How to Describe Love
Being in love means being active. So, only actions may describe love, because they are active, whereas words are passive. So, how to know about love?
- True love means peace of mind. You feel calm, peaceful, harmonious. This feeling may be compared to the feeling you experience when you lie under a warm blanket in the winter evening.
- You are feeling at home. When you find true love, you understand that this feeling is far beyond only passion. Love is about support, going through ups and downs and staying together even in the sea of misunderstanding. Also, you feel comfortable and free and you’ll never choose to fall for someone else over nurturing a long-term relationship.
- True love means a new vision. You see the world with the eyes of your partner. All you do becomes meaningful for you because you do it together. Each decision is significant because it touches upon your common life. You become more responsible because love is constant work, but in the meantime, you become more cheerful because love is the greatest pleasure
- Love implies unselfishness. You are happy only when your partner is happy. You are able to sacrifice for his or her happiness.
- You love his or her weirdness. Does he or she sing while shopping? It’s ok, sing with them! Does he or she eat only yellow M&M’? Great, let’s eat together! You simply love the spouse even if weirdness is his part.
- The partner is the most beautiful human in the world. You see beauty contest and realize that no one can compare with your lover. Or you see a handsome man and realize that his eyes are dull compared to the eyes of a loved one and notice all shortcomings, even if they are absent. If you love, you do not want others, regardless their attractiveness.
- If you are head over heels in love, you are very attentive. You notice all things, which are special for the partner and remember them. Also, you like making surprises, it shows that you think about the spouse all the time.
- You are best friends. If you feel as if your lover is the only friend on Earth, and you may entrust your secrets without fear, it’s love!
- You are loyal. Not because you’ve been compelled, but because you feel that it’s right with this person. You don’t want to disappoint him or her with your betrayal because the only thing you want is to see partner’s happiness.
- What does love feel like for a woman? Love for a woman is planning the future. When she sees the man as her husband and the father of the kids, she’s truly in love.
- You look at the world from the partner’s perspective. You come to love the hobbies your spouse has.
- You treat the partner with kindness. Your attitude towards the loved one has only these components: appreciation, care, empathy.
- You associate scents with a loved one. The smell of wood and coffee reminds of his perfume, the smell of peonies reminds of your first date, the smell of grass is about your common workout.
- You are ready to do anything for each other because your major goal is to make him or her happy.
- True love is when the lover brings out the best in you and inspires you to be a better person.
Hence, experiencing true love is the most wonderful thing in the world. The life becomes brighter, happier and more cheerful. True love can’t be found, it’s always inside you and it awakens when you meet a right person.
Once you’ve found him or her, then do your best to save this feeling and then a relationship will go a long way.