General Question

RayaHope's avatar

How do you really know when it's true love?

Asked by RayaHope (5118points) 1 month ago

I’ve been told I’m too young to really know, so what can I look forward to knowing for sure? Should I try to avoid it until I’m older?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

27 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

You don’t. What you feel at age 17 can change a year or two later. Or more. And it often does.

All you can do is work hard (with the other person) to remain in love. And hope that things work well for the long term. Heartbreak is part of growing up.\

Having said that, 17 seems far too young to find a forever person.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

It’s not something that just happens. Honestly, it’s made through years of work. What you feel first when meeting someone new is best described as emotional velocity. You don’t love the person (yet) you love the feeling. That feeling wears off quickly. Real love can take a decade or longer and it’s not a passive thing, it’s work. A lot of work. Knowing this early will save you from untold amounts of trouble.

rebbel's avatar

Love is a verb.
You need to work it (both).

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I recommend a good book that will help you understand the neurobiology of dating and love. Wired for Dating. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0197SJP2O/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_3FWGF76EKEE2SHWBV73G by Stan Tatkin. He explains very simply what happens to us when we fall in love. He also explains attachment styles to help you understand yourself. He wrote another book called Wired for Love that I also recommend.

Forever_Free's avatar

It does not matter on age really. Only time can tell. Take your time. Learn about yourself. Friends First.

There is impermanence in everything.

Some reading suggestions
The Art of Living By: Thích Nhất Hạnh
The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

Not my forte. Not and never have been a love / relationship expert. Best of luck and top of the mornin’ is about all I can say.

janbb's avatar

I am a woman of “a certain age” and I have no idea what true love is. Love is love is love – sometimes it lasts and sometimes it doesn’t but don’t ever sell yourself short for it.

kritiper's avatar

You can’t know unless you’ve been in (regular-not true) love and then REALLY been in love, like I have.
I knew a guy who had been married for 30 years, raised a family, then got divorced. Then he met this one girl and BOY did he fall in love! He said he never felt for his wife of 30 years like he felt for this girl!!

RayaHope's avatar

@kritiper I’m not sure how someone could be married that long, raised a family, and was never in true love. But I am happy that he did finally find it.

RayaHope's avatar

@Nomore_Tantrums I am so sorry, I don’t know if you ever wanted to be in love but I do hope that you find it someday. I should talk, I had a bf but we never really clicked. I see love in so many videos and movies and can’t wait to get to experience that one day.

Brian1946's avatar

According to relationship guru Dean Martin, there are several indicators of true love (amore):

When the moon hits your eye
Like a big pizza pie, that’s amore
When the world seems to shine
Like you’ve had too much wine, that’s amore

When the stars make you drool
Just like a pasta e fasule, that’s amore
When you dance down the street
With a cloud at your feet, you’re in love

When you walk in a dream
But you know, you’re not dreaming, signore
Scusami, but you see
Back in old Napoli, that’s amore

Apparently you have to be in Italy, or a figurative Italian restaurant to know. ;)

RayaHope's avatar

@Brian1946 That sounds like a menu. That is supposed to have something to do with love? lol

Zaku's avatar

Love exists. So do many other motivations and feelings and ideas. Different people say different things about love, and have different experiences.

A pretty common experience, however, is to have some amount of experience with romantic or sexual relationships, and then to be surprised to find that interacting with someone is quite different than any past experiences, in a good way, which some people may label “true love”, but each relationship is different, and few if any are static.

seawulf575's avatar

What is your definition of “True Love”? There are several kinds of love. There is the infatuation love where it is all new and exciting. There is the erotic love…the physical excitement and attraction. There is being in love with the idea of love. There is the deeper love…the love where you care fully about the other person, where you look forward to seeing them at the end of the day and get equally excited when you catch sight of them during the day. When you want to share your deepest thoughts, hopes, fears, and desires with them. But that kind of love usually comes after you have slogged through some or all of the others and have peeled off those layers of the onion.

RayaHope's avatar

@Zaku I don’t really have much experience with physical stuff, I never actually had gone all the way with my ex-bf. I am I don’t think I’m ready yet. I wanted to know what to look for, I guess so maybe I’ll recognize it when it happens.

Brian1946's avatar

I’d say this describes at least one aspect of true love:

“I would think that two people that are happily married should be in it for each other and big decisions like new jobs, buying a house, and moving to a new city should be a shared experience long before those kinds of decisions are made. A mutual discussion(s) to know what both people think about this long before settling on a plan. Marriage should be a shared experience with both being equally important in the decision-making process.”

RayaHope's avatar

@Brian1946 You mean I actually got something right? How come I can see others’ problems but not my own?

Zaku's avatar

@RayaHope In my experience, I’d say my version of “true love” from myself, is when I feel a glow of great care and well-wishing and delight that the person is alive and well, and that I care about their well-being much more than my own happiness (even if that might mean I sometimes decide it’s best to not engage with them romantically).

That of course just describes one person’s feelings of love toward another. The relationship between two people is then something else.

Smashley's avatar

People just say True Love is a thing. It’s not.

What people are trying to tell you is not to complicate your life while you’re a young adult. You won’t appreciate it now, but even the little choices you make have a way of following you. Your best shot at fulfilling your career potential is now, and most people who choose relationships early have at least some regret about their career or education.

It’s hard for people to tell young adults to fuck without fucking themselves over, so they made up some fiction about true love. At least it’s a bit better than the bullshit ancient morality they used to throw around about sex outside of marriage being evil.

Truthfully, love is always complicated, and most of the time, it doesn’t work out long term, especially when you are young, so people try to encourage young adults to focus on themselves rather than shaping their so-important years around long term relationships.

In my opinion, relationships are pro-social work too. Yes, they don’t pay as well, but the benefits are good. But, truthfully, it’s a lot easier to figure that part of your life out when you’re financially independent.

RayaHope's avatar

@Smashley I am trying to focus on my education and future career but it can be so hard at times to stay away from certain feelings. I am saving myself for if I ever get married and serious with a boy. The pull gets tough though but I need to stay focused on my schooling.

Smashley's avatar

@RayaHope Indeed it is hard, especially when every part of our biology is screaming at us to get busy. That’s probably why so many people are so bad at it. It is easy to become fixated on a thing that is denied to you, so I can’t recommend abstinence as a long term solution. I dislike young adult hookup culture because it lacks affection and young people tend to be self-centered in a way that can be quite cruel when another person’s emotions are involved. I guess I’m an advocate of low stakes relationships when you’re young: experience the joys and pains of love, while always checking yourself that you’re doing what’s best for yourself too. Don’t even consider moving for love, or picking schools, or changing jobs, and definitely don’t make any babies or contract a life altering virus. Acknowledge that your early relationships will most likely not last more than a few months, enjoy them, the tremendous highs and devastating lows, while figuring out how to balance a relationship and your career goals. And if that balance is too hard sometimes, err on the side of career.

Thankfully, there are no rules, and no right and wrong way, only advice based on the experiences of people who aren’t you.

We mean well, but the decisions are really up to you.

janbb's avatar

@RayaHope Their advice is kind of similar to what I was getting at.

RayaHope's avatar

^^ I know I am getting some very valuable advice from you “jellies” here (I still feel funny calling you guys jellies) I think of you as a friend(s) and I am forever grateful. Sometimes I just wish I could be all grown-up so I can avoid all the pitfalls of growing up. I know I need to work on my education as number one and myself. Thank you all so much, I am eager to learn as much as I can.

janbb's avatar

@RayaHope One thing to know is that the process of “growing up” never ends and you’re never fully baked. It’s a lifetime of learning.

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