If You Can Tick Yes to This List, Then It’s True Love

Falling in love is one of the best feelings in the world, it’s like being on cocaine (according to brain imaging studies!) but sadly it doesn’t last forever. Indeed some people cannot sustain relationships because they are addicted to that feeling - they break up with their partners when the feeling ends to find someone new to fall in love with again. The feeling of being in love distorts our thinking, we have found ‘the one’, we feel invincible, on top of the world but only until reality announces its presence. So when we are dating, how do we know if it’s really love? What does true love actually look like?

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We often think of love as a feeling and feelings are always fleeting. You can rarely hold on to one for more than a few hours. So when I talk about love, I mean the state two people, who are romantically involved with each other, achieve that is solid, genuine, long lasting and therefore ‘true’. It is something that emerges through good quality dating and leads to a healthy relationship.

What does true love look like?

Based on observations of people in love and good relationships, from clients who have managed to find love, my own experiences and from research I have read about on relationships, I have compiled the following list of what love looks like.

The more ‘yeses’ you tick on the list, the more ‘true’ the love is between you and your partner. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good enough indicator to test the quality of a relationship. Don’t despair if you are not be able to tick yes to everything on that list, you have to take into account how long you have known each other for. Love grows over time.

But by 6-12 months, you should be able to tick yes to this list:

  • you have no desire to reciprocate advances from other people

  • you become disinterested in ‘other potential mates’

  • your thoughts become preoccupied by the person you desire

  • you often think of ways to make that person happy

  • their happiness becomes a high priority to you

  • you feel elevated in his/her presence

  • they bring out the best in you

  • you have a gut feeling of ‘just knowing’

  • you feel safe, happy and ‘at home’ with that person

  • all these things are reciprocated

  • there is total trust and respect between each other (kind communication)

  • you often spend quality time together

  • there are no secrets between you,

  • but a natural desire for complete openness and honesty

  • there is mutual physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual attraction and chemistry

  • all of the above is consistent over time

If you have been dating for some time and you find that many of the things do not apply to you, perhaps you should consider whether you are in a good relationship.

If you already are in a relationship and there is a dearth of ticks on the list, you might need to do some soul searching about the quality of that relationship.

If you are yet to be in a relationship, this list is a great way for you to keep tabs on ‘where you are’ when you meet someone you really like and floating on 7th heaven.

I know that might sound depressing, but you don’t want to kid yourself and deny yourself a good relationship. At the end of the day a good solid loving relationship is the best thing in the world and you deserve to be in one.

Madeleine Mason Roantree

Dating Psychologist, The Vida Consultancy Ltd

Dating and relationship expert, with an MSc and BSc in psychology, pending counselling psychology doctorate, Cert. in Applied Positive Psychology, plus cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), person-centred and psychodynamic training. Madeleine offers personal coaching and counselling sessions as well as seminars and workshops. Having experience in marriage, divorce, dating and relationships, Madeleine is passionate about helping people to understand their own needs and getting successful results in their personal relationships. She was shortlisted for Dating Expert of the Year 2014 and 2015 at the UK Dating Awards, plus nominated best dating expert in the world at the 2016 iDate awards. She has worked with various publications such as TimeOut, Daily Telegraph, The Independent and continues to blog at LifeLabs. In 2016 she founded the UK Dating Fair, an annual event for singles to get dating advice and meet the best dating experts in the UK, she is open to collaboration and idea exchanges within the helping profession.