We love to love. We love to be in love. We love to be loved.
Nothing else in the world makes us feel as alive and inspired than falling in love. But love can also make us crazy and irrational with just as much intensity.
The things we do for love can be downright ridiculous, which somehow all seems to change when you meet 'the one.'
Idealized by society for generations, irrational and dramatic love plays out in life as much as it does in romance novels.
Harley Quinn and the Joker, Romeo and Juliet, Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil, Rhianna and Chris Brown, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, Bonnier and Cylde, Frank and Monica, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, the list goes on and on.
There's nothing like the rush, the excitement of the ups and downs. But that's not real love.
What makes dramatic love exciting isn't the thrill of love, but the thrill of the unknown. Not knowing when you'll be happy or sad, whether or not the days will be the same fuels the thrill. It's not real.
Relationships like this are spewed into our heads and built up this toxic, deadly, and sometimes physically abusive relationships. Yet, love really isn't like that at all.
Here are the 7 things you learn when you find out what love truly is:
1. Love is dependability.
Always there when needed, your partner is supportive through everything -- even the unexpected.
Life is a struggle for everyone sometimes, so your partner needs to be the person who is always there, the one that has your back no matter what comes flying your way. If you fall, they catch you. They help you grow as a person, forever standing in your corner and fighting for what's best for you.
2. Love is support.
Your partner through it all, lovers should build you up, not break you down.
They're always your #1 fan, there to hang in your corner or back you up when you need. But they also know how to be a supportive spouse. This means taking care of the dishes when they're too stressed and busy with work to scrape the plates, show your partner that you have confidence in their abilities and don't micromanage their efforts, listen when they just need to talk, and offer guidance when they don't know what to do next. When they fight, they ask how they can fix it -- not who's to blame.
3. Love is truth.
Truth is reality, and sometimes the truth hurts.
Your partner will not only build you up, they will be honest with you. The news isn't harsh to hear because you know deep down that your partner only wants the best for you. Their only goal is to help you, and they'd never hurt you on purpose.
4. Love is comfort.
Lovers tell each other nearly everything, from poop talk to deep lifelong secrets.
They're comfortable sharing their love together, and that includes the gory details. There's nothing wrong with trying to maintain some romance or refraining from belching loudly in front of the kids at the dinner table, for example. But no matter how long you hold off in a relationship, you will eventually see your love do some gross stuff. Partners will eventually fart in front of each other, so make sure you feel comfortable being yourself.
5. Love is happiness.
Couples know that while they might not be happy every second of every day, they are happier together.
Having a partner makes life already a bit more awesome overall, maybe not every day. Happiness is not possible at all times, and no one is ecstatic every second of the day. But through petty fights and life's hardships, having each other makes life better. Like the comfort we feel knowing someone has our back, we're happier for it. We're stronger and better in love.
6. Love is calm.
Sorry, but butterflies aren't a real sign of love.
The tickling in your stomach is anxiety, which only means that you're nervous. What about your partner should make you nervous? Comfort, on the other hand, is the single most important reasons why friends often wind up becoming lovers. When we're comfortable, we're free to be our true selves and allow someone else to fall in love with who we truly are. Your partner should make you feel relaxed, at home in a way you've never felt before.
7. Love is communication.
Communication really does make a happy and successful relationship, be that romantic, professional, or friendly.
It takes constant work. But when you live with someone for a while, it can be easy to fall into assuming your partner will know what you're thinking. You think they get you, so they'll know why you're angry without voicing your expectations before fuming into angry bursts (silent or deadly).
It's also easy to fall back on the people we love during hard times and take things out on those closest to us because we think they won't leave. Not fair, but true. Good, healthy communication can help you work out issues and relay how you feel.
Have you ever been in love? How did you know it was real love? Share your experiences in the comments below.