Fans of the movie ‘The Princess Bride’ will remember the scene where Westley and Buttercup are parting ways, and the princess wonders if she’ll ever see him again. He says, “Hear this now: I will always come for you.” When she asks how she can be sure, Westley tells her, “This is true love—you think this happens every day?”
As rhetorical questions go, most of us would agree with the implication. It doesn’t happen very often, let alone every day. People frequently fall in love, but how can they know if it’s true love or something less (fleeting attraction, infatuation, a short-term romance)? If you’re wondering what characterizes true love, consider these points:
1. You’ve stopped wondering if there’s someone better out there for you. If you’ve been searching for your soul mate for a long time, you know when it’s time to stop looking.
2. There’s only one person you want to flirt with. Singles are used to flirting, subtly or overtly, but now you’re interested in charming only your partner.
3. You do things to bring happiness to your partner, without expecting something in return. The only motivation to give is because you want to enrich your partner’s life.
4. You trust the other person with your most vulnerable secrets. It’s not easy to be completely transparent, but true love gives you the courage and safety to be real.
5. You are excellent collaborators. True love leads two people to work together as teammates and partners in the most important aspects of life.
6. The joys far outweigh the struggles. No relationship is without problems, but true love brings many more highs than lows.
7. You don’t feel the need to change the other person. You accept your partner as he or she is, while encouraging growth and development.
8. Your partner inspires you toward greatness. The best lovers know how to spur each other onward and upward.
9. You sailed through the infatuation stage and are going strong. The early stages of romance can be misleading, with all the supercharged emotions, but true love grows deeper even as infatuation fades.
10. You’ve overcome obstacles. Love must be tested by adversity to know if it’s sturdy enough to last over the long haul.
11. Laughter comes easily and often. Abundant humor is a sign that two people share a similar perspective on life and feel the freedom to be silly together.
12. You don’t feel the need to hide your quirks and odd habits. When someone loves you for who you truly are, you don’t have to pretend in any way.
13. You negotiate with win-win as the goal. Life is full of compromises, and true lovers seek solutions that satisfy both of them.
14. You think about growing old together and smile at the thought. Looking ahead can sometimes be frightening, but there’s nothing you can’t handle with your true love by your side.
15. You feel blessed every day. Deep-down gratitude for your lover—and your good fortune at having found each other—continually brightens your life.
How do you describe true love?