The enchantment of love encompasses various emotions like warmth, safety, comfort, joy, and excitement, all of which are linked to the ‘spark’ we desire to experience with someone special. It’s a feeling that allows us to melt away as we gaze into our loved one’s eyes, feeling comfortable, at ease, and at peace.
However, love is not just limited to these feelings and emotions; it requires action too. As powerful as these emotions are, they must be complemented by genuine and deliberate actions that reflect the same sentiment.
To put it differently, love alone is not sufficient. Or love is not all you need! Because it is essential to have mutual respect, trust, effort, commitment, and consistency in a relationship.
So, let’s explore some of the actions and behaviors that are indicative of genuine or supreme love.
Placing their partner’s needs before their own
Prioritizing their partner’s needs over their own is a behavior that shows true love. Even above their own needs.
While it’s true that relationships should ideally involve equal give-and-take, the fact remains that when two people commit to spending their lives together, they’ll face all sorts of challenges. This includes illnesses, injuries, tough losses, career ups and downs, and more.
During such trying times, it’s essential to put your partner’s needs before your own, as an act of love and support.
What if your partner is going through a significant health issue, and needs you to take him or her to frequent doctor visits or assist with their care at home? It’s not something anyone hopes to think about, but the reality is that it could happen to any of us.
When you commit to spending your life with someone, it means standing by them through thick and thin. This includes supporting them during difficult times, just as they would do for you. While it may not be a pleasant thought, it’s a crucial aspect of a committed relationship.
You cease to entertain thoughts of what it would be like to be with someone else
Let’s switch gears from the intensity of the first point and discuss something that occurs earlier in the journey of love.
In today’s world, it’s typical for people to talk to or contemplate dating multiple individuals while they are single. They might be messaging people on dating apps, connecting on social media platforms like Instagram, or attending social events where they meet new people.
That’s a fantastic approach to explore and discover what you’re looking for, and ultimately find someone who is the best match for you.
As you engage in these conversations, one person may gradually stand out and capture most of your attention. Gradually, you lose interest in talking to other people, and they drop off one by one.
You start investing more time with this particular individual, even though you may still wonder about other potential dating options and if you’re missing out on better opportunities.
However, a day eventually arrives when those thoughts fade away. You no longer contemplate what life would be like with someone else because the future path with your current partner appears more apparent, and they are there with you every step of the way.
Discussing (and preparing for) the future
When you’re still uncertain about the place of this person in your future or your true feelings for them, you’re unlikely to make irreversible travel plans three years ahead or even discuss holiday plans.
However, if you’re beginning to fall deeply for them or have already fallen in love, you are no longer doubtful about their place in your future.
There’s no longer any reluctance to plan ahead because neither of you have any intention of leaving. You can have open discussions about how you want your life to unfold because your paths are now merged, and your lives are interwoven. It requires deliberate consideration and communication to determine what you both desire.
When you experience true love, these are the discussions you’ll not only be willing to engage in but also eagerly anticipate.
Engaging in each other’s hobbies and passions
Although having common interests with your partner is a plus, it is not a given. While it’s good to have separate hobbies and activities, it’s also enjoyable to share your passions with your significant other.
When you develop feelings for someone, you desire their presence in your life as frequently as possible. You want to share the things that bring you joy, and you also want to witness them experiencing the things that bring them happiness.
This involves participating in their hobbies or activities, even if they don’t particularly interest you.
Even if you’re not particularly fond of knitting, going to art galleries, watching a show you dislike, or anything else that your partner enjoys, you do it anyway because their happiness brings you joy (and vice versa).
Sharing vulnerabilities and intimate secrets with one another
A solid foundation of trust is crucial for love to flourish, and one of the most significant ways to demonstrate trust is by sharing one’s deepest thoughts, fears, desires, and experiences with another person. These intimate aspects of ourselves are not only related to sexual matters, but also personal matters that are close to our hearts.
These pieces of ourselves are something we would never reveal to just anyone. Building such a high level of trust requires effort and time, and it cannot be given easily.
This level of trust is not easily attained, and it can only be earned through consistent behavior over time. This means being reliable on a smaller scale, opening up in return, and keeping promises. It’s only when love is present that this level of trust can be achieved.
Shift the focus away from prioritizing sex
Don’t worry, don’t get too anxious. We didn’t say they don’t care about sex anymore.
Actually, having a healthy, consensual and active sex life is crucial to the success of any long-term intimate relationship.
However, sex is not the primary focus, and that’s the distinction.
Those who have experienced long-term relationships know that while sex is important, it’s not sufficient on its own. Instead, emotional intimacy becomes the primary focus. This entails communication, spending quality time together, going on adventures, having fun, building a life, and expressing each other’s wants and needs.
As a result, emotional intimacy is strengthened, which can lead to a deeper physical connection, enhancing physical intimacy.
When we place too much importance on sex, it could indicate that we’re not interested in the intellect or personality of the other person, or that we lack long-term compatibility.
While sex is undoubtedly an essential part of a relationship, it should not be the sole focus. It can be compared to the icing on a cake; it adds to the overall experience, but it cannot sustain the relationship on its own.
You both live as your true and complete selves
A client tells their therapist, “I feel like I can truly be myself around her”. The therapist is asked if this is a sign of love. Indeed, it is a significant indication of love, as it shows a sense of comfort, trust, and vulnerability in the relationship. It involves sharing your true self with your partner, trusting that they will love and accept you for who you are, just as you love and accept them.
Your values, opinions, beliefs, visions for the future, worldviews, and identities may not all align seamlessly, and you might not even like every aspect of each other, but that’s okay.
In fact, you might not even like everything about yourself. What’s important is that you accept and embrace your partner in their entirety – their past, present, and future.
By embracing every aspect of your partner, you create a safe space for them to reveal their true selves, without fear of judgment or rejection. It allows them to be vulnerable, to remove their masks and filters, and to show up authentically.
When both partners can be their true selves without feeling the need to perform or pretend, and when they feel loved and accepted for who they really are, that is when true love is present.