What Is True Love? 13 Characteristics Of Real Love

You know you are in love when you have no doubts or questions about it.

Reviewed by Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, Ed.S., LMFT
By Harini Natarajan, Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner

Defining the characteristics of real love can be difficult as it takes many forms. You form this pure and innocent bond with your nearest and dearest ones.

However, lately, we seem to have lost the meaning of this emotion. Sadly, so many people are now out of touch with their souls that confuse negative emotions like possessiveness and jealousy with love. The meaning of genuine love lies beyond such emotions. True love and affection are life-changing experiences for anyone who has experienced them. There is no limit to what they can do to your soul, mind, and body. As a result, we end up pinning for love all our lives.

If you are confused about whether a deep-seated affection for someone is love or not, we have what you need. Take a look at this list to understand what true love means. Keep scrolling!

What Is True Love?


1. Love Is Unconditional

Though it is pretty self-explanatory, many people find it difficult to understand what unconditional love really means. Honest love is always unconditional. When you can love a person completely without expecting anything from them, it is unconditional love. In fact, you may not even expect love and attention from them in return. You are simply grateful to the universe for their presence in your life.

2. Love Means Putting The Other Person’s Needs Before Your Own

While people may at times behave inherently selfish to survive in this difficult world, this does not serve you well where love is concerned. If you don’t instinctively feel like putting the other person before you, it is a relationship of convenience, not love. When you fall in true love, you genuinely care about the other person’s happiness even more than your own and will go to any lengths to make them feel valued.

3. Love Means Never Having To Be Bound To Expectations


Sure, we all want others to behave the way we expect them to. We want them to be more caring, more affectionate, more outgoing, smarter, more ambitious, or more attentive. But, all of these are expectations. Expectations are nothing but your requirements for loving someone, which is contrary to what true love is. Real love has no expectations. The focus is on you loving them, and that is enough for you.

4. Love Means Letting Go Gracefully

Love does not require possession and has no room for jealousy. It allows people to be free. It does not require holding on tightly and crushing a person’s wings in an attempt to keep them close. True love does not want to own, but to nurture.

5. Love Is Synonymous With Empathy

Man empathising with woman is a sign of true love


Empathy is the ability to understand a situation from another person’s point of view. Love has deep empathy. If you truly love someone, the thought of hurting them will practically crush you. You can’t bear the thought of them being sad or hurt. You want them to feel good and be happy and prosperous.

6. Love Means Being A Part Of A Team

True love is nothing but perfect teamwork. You need to know when to take control and when to fall back and allow your partner to take over. When two people truly love each other, their strengths (and weaknesses) come together and help them work like a team. They know when to be quiet and when to say the things that are required to be said. Their goal is to work together like a perfectly tuned instrument to achieve their goals.

If you’re interested in building a prosperous relationship with your partner, check out this course from mindbodygreen.com! Aptly named How To Have The Greatest Relationship Of Your Life, this instructional video class is designed to help you create a meaningful and sustainable relationship. It will help you find loving ways to communicate with your partner and find true love with each other. Check it out here!

7. Love Makes You Feel Content, Not Anxious


Many people think being in a relationship equals love, but sadly, that is not the case. Just because you are in a relationship does not necessarily mean there is true love between you two. If there is constant fighting, jealousy, possessiveness, or verbal, emotional, or physical abuse, that is not love.

8. Love Understands And Accepts Differences

We are all different. Even identical twins are not identical! We all have different experiences that shape our perception of the world. Real love does not consider other people wrong just for being different. When you truly love someone, you accept their differences.

9. Love Means Growing Together

True love always results in personal and spiritual growth. It is a natural process that is essential for getting closer to your true self. Every living thing needs to grow to survive – plants, animals, and human beings. It promotes natural growth that fills our life with happiness and fearlessness.

10. Love Does Not Recognize Ego

Where there is love, there is no ego. This is not about the fights – every couple fights, whether they are in love or not. It is about making up. It is about finding it hard to be apart from each other, no matter who is at fault. It is about fighting for each other, not against each other.

11. Love Means Having Mutual Respect


It is very important to have genuine respect for one another to sustain true love. Otherwise, you will get judgmental and dissatisfied. Mutual respect can only develop from giving each other space for personal growth and never ever crossing the line, no matter what happens.

12. Love Heals

Love heals. No matter how deeply you have been hurt, the power of true love can heal you and help you find happiness again (1). Love makes you feel safe and protected. You feel at peace with yourself and the world. When you are in love, you feel at home with your loved one, no matter where you are.

13. Love Provides Companionship

As humans, we seek companionship and nothing but support from our partners. Lovers stay by each other’s sides no matter what and through thick and thin – for life. True love celebrates the good times and provides a shoulder to cry on during the bad times.

You only find true love when you are at peace with yourself. You can’t find love or happiness by chasing people or emotionally blackmailing them to be with you. It comes when you are completely comfortable in your own skin and grateful for the little things in life.

Decoding love has been the subject of many literary and artistic creations. For centuries, humankind has pondered over the characteristics of real love and has come up with nuggets of insight. True love entails putting the other person’s needs above your own and being empathetic towards them. Real love is all-encompassing and makes you feel peaceful and content. Furthermore, it does not allow space for negative emotions like jealousy and ego. So, if you are in true love with someone, you will unconditionally honor and care for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a man fall deeply in love with a woman?

Emotional security, a sense of attachment, and support from a woman make the man fall for that woman. A man appreciates a considerate woman and may get attracted to those with shared values. However, these preferences may vary from person to person.

Key Takeaways

  • True love can be life-changing and enriching for your soul.
  • Real love does not judge someone just because they are different – it celebrates their uniqueness.
  • True love is unconditional – it has no expectations, it makes you feel content, and it helps you heal and grow.


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  1. The biochemistry of love: an oxytocin hypothesis
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Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill

(Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist )
Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Family Business Consultant. She holds degrees in Marriage &... more