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Does True Love Exist? 21 Signs to Recognize It & Make You a Believer

You are wondering, “does true love exist?” or does it only exist in fairytales? Here is proof that it exists, what it is, and what it is not.

does true love exist

So, you’ve been burned by what you thought was love. You call BS on true love and vow never to fall again. But maybe you still wonder, does true love exist? Or is it just relegated to the category of the tales of Santa Claus and unicorns?

The psychology of true love

As the saying goes, “love is patient, love is kind …” and that is so true. The psychology of love shows us that true love can conquer everything and accepts people unconditionally. This means letting go of mistakes in the past and moving forward.

In a relationship with true love, neither partner holds on to anger or uses anything against the other. It is deep and enduring through the years.

Does true love exist? The big signs that prove it does

Why not read up on these ten things, and feel those long-forgotten butterflies in your tummy? Maybe you’ll find by the end of the list that you believe in true love once more.

1. Old married couples

Getting married in a grandiose wedding with an orchestra playing all the world’s love songs is one thing—actually fulfilling that lifelong commitment is another. Anyone can say they love their partners, but until you stand by them through the tests of fate and time can you truly make true love come alive.

When you look at old married couples sharing a walk, holding hands, and looking at each other like their first date was yesterday, all your cynicism dissolves at the sight of enduring love. [Read: 15 ways you’ll experience what real love feels like]

For the romantic, love may be all love songs and flowers and kisses. However, for the realist, it is the silence, the fights, the holding on through the years despite all odds that proves true love does exist.

When you see old married couples, you’ll know theirs may not be the perfect fairy tale relationship. But they stuck it through with each other, choosing love above all—and that is the genuine kind of love that is so rare to find. [Read: Experienced words of advice from a couple who have been together for 59 years]

2. Literature

Literature provides you with a profound window into the heart and soul of the writer and how he or she perceives the world.

Literature, whether fiction, poetry, or any other, paints a picture of the depths and vastness of true love. From the characters of the story to the way the plot unfolds, you see how true love can be so real, so genuinely heartfelt, even through books.

Such literature also moves and inspires you, as well as millions of other readers. It teaches you so many things about true love that you never even knew possible. [Read: 30 most romantic quotes from books and literature]

3. Music

True love moves you, inspires you, and changes you for the better. Ever heard a sonata or a ballad that brings tears to your eyes? Ever go to a concert and feel a sense of euphoria? Or go to a concierto and be moved to your feet with heartfelt applause and admiration due to the sheer beauty of the music to your ears?

If you haven’t experienced true love for yourself, you feel it just by listening to a musician play his guitar, stroke the keys of a piano, or sing their heart out. Through music, you feel their love as if it were your own. You can experience true love, as well as passion, with every note and melody.

True love uplifts you and stirs deep emotions within you. Music is a beautiful expression of that love. You’ll be surprised to see the breadth of available music that expresses the pure and exquisite feelings of true love. [Read: Falling in love: 50 perfect songs to enjoy that rush]

4. Art

Much like music and literature, other forms of expression, such as art, show you that true love does exist. Whether it is a mural from centuries ago to a modern abstract painting you happen to glance at on the street, art is a deep and immense proof that true love exists. Even if you haven’t experienced it for yourself.

Artists have the power to translate their own feelings of true love—its loss, the happiness, its fleeting or enduring quality, or the chaos it sometimes brings—through whatever their medium is.

Whether it’s with paint and canvas, spray paint and the wall, or multimedia, believe in true love because someone felt it and captured it for you to experience it yourself. That’s the way art works—to show you there are indeed multiple faces of true love for you to revel in. [Read: Am I in love? 21 signs to decode that fuzzy feeling]

5. Married Hollywood couples

We’re not talking about some fairy tale Hollywood marriages that fell apart like some Greek tragedy. While the showbiz industry has been stereotyped with its instant marriages and divorce dramas, you’ll be dumbfounded to see that amidst all the glitz, glamour, and gore of Hollywood, there are those with living testaments to true love.

Many Hollywood marriages stood the test of time *and the flare of the paparazzi* and are shining beacons of true love, such as the marriages of Tom Hanks, Danny Devito, Michael J. Fox, Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, and Goldie Hawn with Kurt Russell, as well as David and Victoria Beckham. [Read: Bits of love advice from famous Hollywood couples]

6. Arguments and fights

Any relationship will have a substantial amount of tumult. It doesn’t mean that just because people love each other, things will always be perfect. In fact, it is during these downs in life that you measure the depths of love and say that it is indeed true.

However, let’s not confuse this with emotional and psychological abuse or physical violence. These are products of manipulation and a power struggle within a relationship, which is not what true love is all about. 

Arguments, disagreements, and conflicts are inevitable in any relationship, but true love overcomes these difficulties and rises above them in a healthy, productive manner.

True love comes up with solutions and resolutions, and those in real loving relationships thrive and develop as a couple and as individuals through these growing pains. [Read: Relationship arguments – 23 dos and don’ts to remember]

7. Differences

Imagine a couple who has been together for many years and is still happily in love. They may have many differences. In fact, they may even be each other’s total opposites. And yet, they are still in love after all this time.

True love doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t choose who it visits. Even if you imagine your future spouse in your head, you’ll be surprised that fate has something totally different to give you—but it works.

True love is not about being the same and drowning in a homogenous mass of being an identity-less couple. Accepting and understanding each other’s flaws and differences makes true love so exceptional—and rare. 

So, if you see a loving couple who are total opposites, ask them why they’re still together. You may learn a thing or two about true love. [Read: How to accept your differences for relationship success]

8. Acceptance and forgiveness

While fights are mere bumps in the road toward long-lasting love, forgiveness makes it so much more profound. Like Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, relationships ravaged by trials and disagreements can only be more beautiful when you make amends and forgive each other.

True love is a strong commitment, a promise to be there for each other through whatever comes your way. You don’t have to be married to make such a commitment. 

It is through those dark hours of pain and the loud bickering that true love shines through—because you chose to look beyond all that and see that the love you have for each other is bigger than the things that try to tear you apart. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for happy love]

9. Your brain

If the above points aren’t enough to convince you, look inside your brain. In a study, scientists scanned the brains of couples while they showed them pictures of their loved ones. The brain scans revealed viewing pictures of the people they love caused significant chemical reactions in their brains.

The brains of individuals who have been together for 20 years or more showed similar chemical reactions to those who have—wait for it—just recently fallen in love! 

Scientists show activities in the ventral tegmental area of the brain are responsible for feelings of euphoria or pleasure and addiction. [Read: Mind games: How your body’s chemistry affects love]

They also show activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with thinking, memory, and reward. And while science can’t still explain why romantic love happens and how it can be maintained, the studies revealed clues on what is necessary for love to last. This can be to love your partner like your love was brand new, every day.

Still, the brain also reveals similar reactions between new love and infatuation, so take special care to differentiate between the two.

10. You 

Look in the mirror, and you’ll see that true love does exist. You have a desire motivating you to pursue your interests, career, passions, and other things. [Read: Reasons to love yourself first before falling in love]

This desire moves you, and from this intangible desire, you make things possible; you make things happen. Aside from self-love, you have an inner fire burning within you that is living, breathing proof of true love.

Difference between true love and infatuation

For most people, infatuation can feel like true love, but it isn’t. True love is something that is developed over time – much past the infatuation stage. First, let’s define the two words. [Read: Am I in love? 30 signs to read the fuzzy flutters after infatuation]

Infatuation is a feeling of being completely lost in the emotions of the person you desire. It’s an intense feeling of deep affection. 

On the other hand, love can also be a feeling of deep affection. But on top of that, you also feel content and confident. Both partners communicate and negotiate. True love requires a lot of selflessness. 

Signs it IS true love

Just in case you don’t know what true love is, here are the signs to look for. [Read: 21 secrets to be a happy couple that’s truly in love and envied by all]

1. Not having expectations

Everyone has expectations of their partner. In other words, they want them to act as they want them to. But that’s not true love. If you truly love someone, you will let the other person be themselves without you changing them. You love your partner exactly the way they are – flaws and all.

2. Takes personal responsibility 

When you truly love someone, you take responsibility for your actions. If you accidentally hurt them, you apologize and understand that you did something wrong. You never blame them because you know you aren’t perfect. You just want to make your partner happy.

3. No jealousy

You might think that jealousy shows that you really love someone, but that’s not true. Jealousy is a form of fear – not love. And when someone feels jealous, they fear losing the other person.

When it is true love, neither person fears losing the other because they are perfectly secure in their union. [Read: How to recognize the signs of jealousy in someone and guide them out]

4. Love is an action

Most people think love is a feeling. They think that it’s similar to feeling like you’re high on a drug and you never want to come down. While that can be true, love is also an action. You have to show your partner that you love them. As they say, “talk is cheap.” So, true love shows their feelings through action.

5. Empathetic 

Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and seeing a situation from their perspective. This is something that people who are truly in love can do. They want to see how their partner looks at life, not just their own perspective.

6. It makes you feel good, not bad

You might think you’re in love, but if your relationship is not making you happy, then it is not true love. Love should make you feel good, not bad.

So, if you have any bad feelings associated with your relationship, that is not true love. True love makes you happy. [Read: 80-20 rule in relationships and why it’s so important for happy love]

Signs it is NOT true love

Now that we know the signs of true love, let’s look at what is NOT true love.

1. Control

If one or both of you are trying to control the other person’s actions, then that is not true love. You are not accepting them for who they are. Instead, you are trying to control their actions to conform to your desires, not theirs.

2. Blaming

When you don’t truly love your partner, there is a lot of blaming. It’s natural for couples to fight, but if you are blaming each other and not taking personal responsibility for your actions, that is not true love. 

3. Possessiveness

Possessiveness is something that a lot of people think is associated with true love. They think this because “if you love someone you should hold on to them,” right? Actually, the opposite is true. Real love holds on loosely and allows their partner their freedom. [Read: Possessive relationship – signs you’re in one and how to change it]

4. Selfishness

Each person needs to put their partner’s needs before their own. If someone puts their needs first, then that is not true love. When you really love someone, you care about their needs just as much – if not more – than your own.

5. Feeling bad

In a relationship in which the couple is not truly in love, there are a lot of emotions that make them feel bad. From jealousy to resentment and everything in between, if don’t have true love, then you will feel bad the majority of the time.

[Read: Real signs of true love in a relationship]

The world is full of evidence of the existence of true love, big and small. So does true love exist? Well, you don’t need grand gestures of love like in the movies. You can see true love in those quiet, mundane moments—if you only know where to look.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...