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What is true love? When you know, you know. Or so they say. Some people believe they’ve experienced true love to the absolute fullest, while others remain unsure that their affections were love at all. Many people claim to have felt what is true love at first sight, to have known instantly the feelings stirring inside them. Other times, people don’t realize it was until they are left heartbroken.
So, what to do? Whether you’ve recently made a new connection and aren’t sure where it will go, or you’ve been in the same relationship for years, here are some universal ways to gauge whether or not your feelings are worthy of using the L-word:
If You’ve Still Got The Butterflies: Butterflies in your gut are traditionally the sign of a newly formed attraction. However, what is true love without those same feelings? If it’s been nearly two years and you still get those jitters when your lover walks into the room or sends you a cute text, it’s a good sign that the connection is still there and going strong.
If You Argue: Arguments, as hurtful as they tend to be, can be a good place to build up your relationship. Some arguments are filled with mean words and fueled by hate, and such fights are never constructive, nor should insults or personal jabs be tolerated in any healthy relationship. However, if you and your significant other have a disagreement that takes a heated conversation to navigate, that’s okay. State your piece, take time to cool off, and reconvene. Once you’re both ready to talk again, look for a compromise, and make sure you both understand where the other is coming from. What is considered true love doesn’t diminish after a fight. Once you’ve laid the groundwork for progress, you can both move forward with your relationship.
If You Feel Free To Be Yourself: Many people lose themselves inside a deep connection to another person. As wonderful as it is to be wrapped up in someone else, it’s important to still be your own person and to feel connected to your own identity. If you can be in a relationship and still feel like you can stand on your own two feet, you’re golden. Additionally, if it doesn’t end up being true love, you’ll need that internal strength to emotionally repair and let love in again.
If You Care: This is basic. If you can look past difficult times in the romance and promise to stick by each other even when you’re at your worst, then you care. If you can understand one another on a deep, personal level and accept the flaws you both will have, while still keeping an interest and providing support to one another, then the compassion is there. If you still care after all you’ve been through, there’s a good shot that it’s true love. [Read: 14 Signs Your Guy Means It When He Says “I Love You”]