Searching for signs of true love has occupied and often frustrated people probably since the beginning of our existence.
Love is something we all crave and it manifests itself in a variety of different ways.
The heart was made to be broken
Some of us recognise the signs in others very quickly, soon respond and form loving relationships.
Others, no matter how hard they seem to try, either find it difficult to get a partner or if they do are constantly in and out of relationships and find themselves no further forward.
I suspect that if you are in that latter category you need to look inside yourself very carefully.
Most people tend to look on the outside, but the real answers are always within.
Just as if you wish to acquire a friends you first need to be a friend, if you wish to acquire a lover or a loving relationship, you first need to give love.
I have a young Scandinavian friend, who I will call Hans, now in his late twenties and has had scores of lovers.
He is a good looking, personable young man and attracts them like bees to a honeypot.
But he is confused about his love life. On the one hand he would like a stable relationship but, on the other, he cannot resist the temptation to play around.
If he loved shopping as much as he loved women I am sure he would be a kleptomaniac.
Until I heard from him a few days ago, I had hoped that he was settling down with a girlfriend who had lasted rather longer than the others.
Then I received an email from him to say that he had broken up with Helga almost three months’ ago.
He added, “She is the best girlfriend I ever had. We are still in contact since my love for her has not decreased, but I do not have the energy to be in a relationship. I am in general very confused.”
I really don’t know what the definition of true love would be for Hans, or whether he would ask does true love ever exist? I think at present he still doesn’t know how to find true love.
He went on to write that he had recently been to North America where he rekindled a friendship with a beautiful woman he had previously met in England.
He went on to say, “To cut a long story short, our romance flourished once again and now I kind of miss her.
“It might seem strange but I actually care for both of them. It is like chocolate and strawberry ice cream – I like them both, mostly Helga; she is still my chocolate.”
I was sorry to hear he was still confused. I suggested that one day soon, if he really wished to settle down, he would have to decide if he really liked chocolate best of all.
There is, of course, no reason at all why he cannot still like strawberry provided he can resist the taste and feast only on chocolate!
Ultimately, Hans will have to decide what are his true values. How high on his hierarchy of values are stability, true love and fidelity?
Whatever we say, we will always live in accordance with those matters that are highest on our hierarchy of values, and what we do will reveal those true values more than what we say.
Sometimes it is said that true love will never fade. It may be that Helga would put up with a lot to keep Hans but if he pursues his current course he may find that chocolate and strawberry don’t mix, and even if Helga’s love does not fade, it will surely lose its lustre.
Sally’s situation is not so different. She has had a variety of girlfriends over the years but always comes back to Jenny.
Now I cannot say if this is a course of true love. One day I hear that Sally and Jenny are living together and another day that they have broken up.
Then it is not long before Chrissy, Roma or Angie have moved in (or out) and then Jenny is back. To Sally’s friends it is quite confusing.
Not surprisingly, you may feel, Sally’s mood fluctuates wildly, usually depending on whether Jenny is living in, when she is full of the joys of spring, or has left, when she plunges into depression but says it is best for both of them.
When you started reading this article you may have sought a true love definition or sought to identify how you were manifesting true love.
But love is not really about words, is it? It is more to do with feelings and actions.
Let’s deal with feelings first. If all you seek is casual sex and nothing more, that is fine.
It is for you to work out how important that is to you and whether it is congruent with your highest values.
There will be plenty out there with similar desires who will accommodate your physical needs.
Just remember that as you get older pure, physical attraction fades. Not only may you find it harder to attract the partners you desire, but you yourself may not be so desirable either.
If, on the other hand, the feelings you wish to satisfy are wider than that and you desire a long term, stable relationship including children, you may have to think a little more.
Read the following paragraphs and perform the exercise. Find a quiet place and close your eyes.
Take a couple of deep breaths, let them out slowly and relax.
In your mind’s eye stick a large flag into the ground where you are now sitting and see and feel yourself floating upwards until you can see the flag way down below you in the ground.
That flag signifies the present moment. Now decide which way for you is the past and which the future.
Looking one way you can imagine your past stretching way back. Looking the other, you can see it stretching way into the future.
Float back along your timeline above your past. If there are any unhappy moments or periods, skip quickly over them and don’t dwell there. What you are looking for are happy times.
If you have already had a happy relationship, pause there for a moment and allow yourself to drift down into those happy moments.
Recall all the good things you saw and felt. Look at all the good things that worked for you then.
Leave those times immediately if you are about to encounter any unhappy moments and float straight up again.
When you have gathered all those happy memories float back along your timeline until you see the flag in the ground signifying the present moment.
Then start travelling out along your future timeline, taking all your happy memories with you, until you see yourself having settled down into the relationship that you desire, maybe with children or grandchildren running around.
Bathe yourself in those feelings for a while and then retrace your steps to the present moment observing all the things that must have happened for you to reach that position.
That will help to establish in your mind what you need to do to get where you want to go.
No-one else can tell you the signs of true love. When someone says, “I want true love”, only they can know precisely who and what that means to them.
It will be different for each and every one of us but the basics are the same: it is not about dominating, taking and demanding; it is about caring, sharing, nurturing and giving.
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