The truth is that if we’re not sure about this, whether deciding to allow a friendship develop into something more or taking the decision to get married, we could be making the mistake of a lifetime. These are some of the pointers to help recognize that special person. They are by no means comprehensive and I will not presume to speak for everyone.
1. They’re in your future: This means that when you visualize your future, say 10 to 20 years ahead, you can actually see yourself with this person. They can fit into or support your long term personal as well as professional goals. You also share the same core values that will make living together enjoyable.
2. They become number one in your priorities: We all have our priorities in life, even though these might change with time and situation. Love usually happens at different times for most of us depending on our seasons and when we are ready. So when you fall in love, that person comes at the top of your to-do list and you cannot get them off it.
3. You welcome compromise: Love is a feeling of togetherness and mostly leads to two people spending lots of time in close proximity. You find that with love, a relationship has less disagreements because each person is happy to give in during times of disagreement; and even when you do find yourselves on completely opposing sides, you make up easily afterwards. The beauty of love is that it allows you to see the minuses and overlook them, because what you see at the end of the day is the person you love and not their quirks. Remember love should be for better or for worse.
4. You want to spend time together and they make you feel good: You’re happy and feel high, songs and books begin to make sense, the world is more beautiful. So you want to spend moments together, you talk, go out – to eat, to movies, plays, etc. Being in love makes these periods an enjoyable one for both people, something to look forward to. You also enjoy quiet times together, because there will be down times when none of you is in the mood to go partying and the like.
5. The pain of the past is healed: Love heals and when you do fall in love, there is the tendency that you begin to forget any pains you may have in the past, either from childhood or any failed relationships. It may just be that the person you’re in love with is happy to hear you speak about such pain, or you can be your real self around them, or they give you the support you need to seek adequate help.
6. You worry about their well-being, you want to know all about them: When you fall in love, the object of your affection burrows into your heart. You find that you begin to care about their welfare. Have they eaten, is their car running well, do they have their finances sorted? You ask more questions, you are happy to squeeze time out of your hectic schedule to meet their friends, family and co-workers. You ask the mum their first words, at what age they walked, you name it.
7. There is chemistry: Of course! LOL…Maybe I should have said this one first? Chemistry is a big part of love because we’re all sexual beings and being able to express ourselves through love-making is one of the glues that hold relationships together. However, you have to realize that sex has to be within the context of marriage. There should be no issue of one person coercing or forcing the other into something they’re not ready or willing to do. You should not change your values to satisfy the other person.
8. They can affect you deeply in their actions: Who doesn’t know this? There’s the saying that those you love are the ones with the power to hurt you the most. Yes, and this is why some of us are so scared and afraid of falling in love. Not because we’ve been hurt before, but because we do not want to open ourselves to future pain. So love is a decision, a choice you make to take that risk.
9. You can be yourself with no pretense: If you cannot do this, your love might not be able to last or sustain itself. Most of us wear masks on a daily basis, at work, school, church, with strangers and outsiders. When you fall in love, you want to make a space where you can come home and feel calm and relaxed without worrying about pretending to be what you’re not. At the same time, you find that you are willing to change for the better to please them, so you upgrade your wardrobe, improve your hygiene, party less so as to spend more time, etc.
Finally, these are just some of the ways to recognize love, many more abound. Also, love is personal and for each individual, there may be a different experience. However, love is also universal, so if you see that your love is very different and in a way that negates what others experience, like various forms of abuse, control, etc, then it may not be love.
I hope no one finds themselves in this situation and have the support to help them get out if they do. True love is beautiful and no matter what happens, remains the thing we all search for. May we all find and experience true love.