14. When You Can Be Yourself
This probably sounds trite, but "love" is work. How hard you're willing or want to work on a relationship at it's worst is a good indication of if you're in love versus just infatuated with someone. Infatuation dies when things get hard, but love will want to keep working to preservere (oh man, this does sound trite...but it's true). Stick with me here, despite sounding like a self help book:
Being in love is being selfless, patient, and basically looking at the worst of someone along with the best and going "yep....that's for me." Infatuation feels a lot like love, especially with how media plays it out. Idealization and thinking someone is "perfect" isn't love. If you have someone who you can be 100% yourself around, and they have the freedom to do the same, you're getting closer. If you find your happiness in wanting to make the other person happy, it's a fairly good indication you really are in love. It's really mostly about wanting to put the other person first.
HUGE words of warning, though: I feel like society, especially for young females, is more in love with the idea of love versus the reality of it. Being in love is about being selfless; however, it is NOT at the cost of giving up all that you are.
The key to a loving relationship is that the person you're with is also willing to work just as hard as you. They will respect your boundaries, try to meet your needs, and have respect for who you are as well. The relationship needs to be balanced with both of you trying to give your best to the other person, otherwise the potential for manipulation can be pretty high.
I've been married to my best friend for almost 6 years and we've been together for 8, and this advice was the BEST we were ever given as a couple
15. 'The Honeymoon Phase Never Wore Out.'
Man, I found real love for the first time in my life last year. I'll try to explain it. I knew instantly that there was something special between us. Literally the first time we went out, it was like we had been together for 10 years.
All I wanted to do was be around this person. It didn't matter what else I was doing, I simply couldn't get enough. You feel like if you could just stay with them forever, that life would be pretty great.
I'm a pretty argumentative person, but in love I don't fight. Because I don't care if I win. I just want things to be exactly how they are. So I don't yell and I don't get angry. I might get hurt, but never angry.
It was very obvious I was in love because the honeymoon phase of the relationship never wore off. A year later and it's just as amazing if not more so than when we first started. I have no doubt that it will stay this way forever. She's just...my other half. I don't want to ever date again. This is the one and I couldn't be happier. She might not be perfect but she's perfect for me.