How to Be in Love (True Love)
Step 1: Is This Love?
How can you tell if it’s love?
Let’s say you’ve known this other person or been in a relationship with this person for a while when you realize that the attraction and magnetism you feel for them is stronger than anything you’ve experienced before.
You want to spend all your time with them. They fill your daydreams. You can see big things in your future. Everything in the world would be much better if they were by your side. And they feel exactly the same way… right?
It is important to determine what you are experiencing, whether it is love, lust, or just a mild case of indigestion. Check out the crude flowchart below: (Click here to view larger, or click on the “i” on the upper left hand corner.)
You are experiencing a connection of your soul with someone else’s. You want to share your life experience and be the other person’s friend. Love is a pure, passionate, and profoundly tender bond with another.
You are experiencing intense desire or craving for self gratification, mostly sexual desire. The only feelings of concern for your partner are directly linked to what they have to offer you. You can feel an immediate attraction to this person and the intensity can feel a lot like love.
If you are just friends, you feel very close to this person but don’t experience the overwhelming desire to be with them heart and soul at every moment. You also do not feel any sexual attraction to them.
UNHEALTHY OBSESSION/ INFATUATION
This unrealistic expectation of blissful passion without positive growth and development is characterized by a lack of trust, loyalty, or commitment. A major indication is an unacknowledged lack of reciprocity from the other person.
Indigestion, also known as upset stomach or dyspepsia, is discomfort or a burning feeling in the upper abdomen, often accompanied by nausea, abdominal bloating, belching, and sometimes vomiting. Some people also use the term indigestion to describe the symptom of heartburn.
Step 3: First Step of Love
Is it true love?
And if it is, are you ready for this?
When you’re in love, it can make certain things more difficult, say, breathing. It may affect your ability to concentrate. The world may seem a much brighter place in your partner’s presence, and comparatively dull in their absence. You may feel disgusted at the change in your demeanor, the effusiveness of your sentimentality, the spring in your step, the fluttering of hope in your chest… If the sweet and romantic stuff makes you queasy, you’d better back out now. If you’re able.
I’m serious. This is the only warning you’re going to get.
… Ok, if you’re still up to it, here goes. The first step is easy, just take a deep breath and let yourself
fall in love.
Step 4: The 10 Commandments of Love
According to Harvey and the Moonglows, there are ten simple steps to being happy in love:
- 1. Thou shalt never love another
- 2. Stand by me all the while
- 3. Take happiness with the heartaches
- 4. Go through love wearing a smile
- 5. Thou should always have faith in me, in everything I say and do
- 6. Love with all your heart and soul until our life on earth is through
- 7. Come to me when I am lonely
- 8. Kiss me when you hold me tight
- 9. Treat me sweet and gentle
- 10. And always do what’s right
Seems pretty easy, right? Let’s break it down.
1. Thou shalt never love another
Obviously, it’s not love if you are unfaithful and love other people. If they are truly “the one,” then that’s that. You only get one “one.”
2. Stand by me all the while
Um, not to be taken literally. Though you should want to be by their side all the time. This means be supportive.
3. Take happiness with the heartaches
As most of us have come to realize, being in love and relationships is tricky business. It’s a good probability that you will get your heart broken and your feelings hurt. This commandment advises you to accept the good times along with the bad and be aware that there is always the possibility of heartache.
4. Go through love wearing a smile
This one should be easy. You should be unable to contain yourself. People might stop and ask if you’re ok, thinking perhaps you’ve hit your head and that your grin is stuck there permanently on your face.
5. Thou should always have faith in me, in everything I say and do
Trust each other!
6. Love with all your heart and soul until our life on earth is through
Yes. To be taken literally.
7. Come to me when I am lonely
8. Kiss me when you hold me tight
9. Treat me sweet and gentle
Show affection, be kind, take care of one another. If your significant other is truly your whole world, you should want nothing more than their happiness.
10. And always do what’s right
Uh, this one is tricky. Hopefully you already have a solid moral code of conduct and empathy and can maintain interpersonal relationships without too much trouble. Treat your partner as you wish to be treated.
Step 5: Let’s Talk About Love
Communication and trust is critical. Be honest and open about everything and trust that your partner is also being forthcoming. Don’t go overboard, e.g. don’t tell your girlfriend that her foot odor reminds you of your grandmother, or don’t tell your boyfriend that the only man you’ve seen with more back hair was at a circus. Or, hell, maybe you’re that close. You ought to be able to tell what is fair game and what is taboo, and you should know this because you hang on his/ her every action and response. You should be unable to help yourself from wanting to tell them everything about yourself. You should be fascinated by everything they have to say.
Step 6: Love Letters
When you must be apart, it can be hard not being able to talk to them. I recommend making a journal, or two, that you can write in when you’re away. It can be a reassuring substitute for interaction with the one you love. Write each other cute notes and leave them odd places, like in the refrigerator, written in the dirt on their car window, or even on the sidewalk like this guy.
Be careful with phone calls and text messages and myspace-ing or whatever might get you in trouble at work. While getting fired and staying home together every day might sound like a tempting idea at the time, it does come with some complications. In theory:
No Job = No Money = No Food = Possible Shortened Life Expectancy = Less Quality Time With the One You Love
See? It’s not worth it in the long run. It’s counterproductive.
Step 7: Lovin’ You
It’s easy. Make lists of all the fun things you want to do together and, well, do them. Explore your similar interests, make mix tapes, take photos, make new memories together. Be just as disgustingly cute as you want. Be unreserved. If you two are truly in love, you should enjoy seeing that matching goofy smile on your loved one’s face and watching their eyes light up when you tell them how much you love spending time together. Let them know how important they are to you and how grateful you are to have found your true love, because it’s really quite rare.
Even the littlest things will make them happy, like packing a lunch for them when they’re running late for work, or remembering their favorite song, or making an instructable about the love you share to surprise them on their birthday.
Step 8: Tainted Love
Unfortunately, even true love isn’t foolproof. There is a possibility that even the truest of loves can die due to neglect or misunderstanding. There are several reasons why love might fail:
- Mistaken identity: The object of your affections wasn’t your true love to begin with, maybe only infatuation or lust.
- Fear: You may have been too shy or afraid to pursue your love. You could have been too afraid of being hurt and tried to deny or reject feelings of love. You could have been in denial.
- It’s not me, it’s you: Don’t forget, love must be mutual. If your partner denies that they are in love or is lax and doesn’t make an effort, it can destroy your relationship.
- Chance: There are forces beyond your control that may interfere with your relationship. People change. The world changes. People move, get sick, have a change of heart, die.
- Stupid mistakes: There are some things you can do that are inexcusable, such as cheating or being controlling, that may alienate your partner and damage your relationship beyond repair.
Step 9: I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)
Here are a few important guidelines on whatnotto do in order to maintain your relationship:
- Don’t smother. If you sense that your partner needs their space, give them space, and do so without resentment or whining.
- Don’t be jealous. If you are unreasonably jealous, you are demonstrating that you do not trust your partner. Lack of trust begets paranoia on your part and indignation on theirs.
- Don’t compare. If you must compare and contrast the differences between this and other relationships you have been in, keep them to yourself. While it may seem flattering to tell your new love that they are way cuter and smarter and funnier than your last, they will begin to wonder why your ex-lover is always on your mind.
- Don’t abandon everyone else. Not only is that a contemptible thing to do to your friends, but you need to have those other sources of influence to keep perspective. And someone to hang out with and annoy by talking incessantly about your loved one.
- Don’t try to change them. They are perfect from the moment you met them, remember? Do keep in mind that people change over time and try to accept them for who they are and who they will become.
- Don’t try to have the perfect relationship. There’s no such thing and expecting perfection can only hurt you.
Step 10: Let’s Stay Together
Now that you have found your true love, know that you’re all set for the rest of your lives. Or at least your romantic life is set. Love can’t fix everything. It can’t pay the bills, bring your dead beta fish back to life, make your job suck any less, or cure your strange rash. But the world is a better, brighter place when you know that somewhere there is a person who loves and understands you and is thinking about you even now. Just remember, the world has never seen a love as great and perfect as yours. Who cares if that’s really true, all that “a love like never before” stuff, because in your universe of two, that’s the only truth there is.
“Happy are the loved, happy are the lovers, and happy are those who can do without love.” – Jorge Luis Borges