How to tell if you're experiencing true love or you're just scared to be single

When it’s been a while since you last got some romantic action, you can start to operate under a haze.

Strict standards drop, red flags are ignored, and you’re so keen to get involved that you fall hard and fast.

How do you know when you’re truly, madly, deeply in love, and when your brain is tricking you out of desperation?

The key is to pause and take a moment to reflect – then ask yourself these questions…

Can you be your true selves with each other?

Are you totally relaxed and being yourself? Or do you feel like you have to put on act to make the person you’re dating like you?

The latter is a major warning sign that what’s happening isn’t real love.

Love coach Persia Lawson tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I’ve spent far too much time on dates (and even in relationships) trying to be the person I believed the object of my affections wanted me to be, rather than who I actually am.

‘The reality is that faking it like this is only sustainable for so long; sooner or later you’re going to be found out, and it will inevitably affect the dynamic of the relationship in a negative way.

‘When it’s real love, you instantly feel you can be yourself around the other person, which means that if they do fall in love with you, it’s the authentic you, not an idealised version.’

Do you respect each other?

It’s easy to spot the big stuff – do they respect you enough to be kind, caring, and not dismissive – but the little things are important too.

Love and relationships psychotherapist Heather Garbutt asks: ‘Do you and your partner treat each other with respect at all times? Are you both reliable and trustworthy; sticking to plans and arrangements you’ve made?’

If someone is always late or bails on plan, that shows a lack of respect for your time. If they make jokes about your body or your insecurities, they don’t respect your feelings. If they do things you’re not comfortable with, they don’t respect your boundaries.

Don’t ignore these sorts of red flag.

Are you making excuses for them?

Get really honest with yourself. When you tell your friends about the person you’re dating, do you find yourself constantly justifying why you like them, or having to put an expert PR spin on their behaviour?

That’s a clear signal that this isn’t a relationship built on genuine love, but a need to not be single.

‘It’s not true love if you continue to accept any bad or hurtful behaviour from the other person, making excuses to others and yourself because you’re too afraid to leave the relationship and go it alone,’ says Heather.

Do your friends and family approve?

This links in with excuse-making.

Your partner doesn’t have to be adored by everyone in your life, but if the majority of your circle think they’re a bad match, that could be a red flag.

Persia explains: ‘Sometimes we’re so blinded by our infatuation with a new partner that we cannot see how totally wrong they are for us.

‘Our friends and family can be far more objective, however. First, they are not emotionally invested in the relationship like we are, and second, because they know us, and so have a legitimate perspective on who is likely to make us happy.

‘While your opinion is ultimately the most important, don’t shun advice from loved ones who really do have your best interests at heart.’

Can you see this person in your future?

‘When it’s true love, you can’t stop yourself from picturing your future together, because it feels so exciting and expansive,’ says Persia.

‘On the other hand, if it’s not a good match, you avoid thinking about the future because you know the relationship probably has an expiry date.

‘This inconvenient truth means you’ll have to endure a breakup at some point, which is why you tend to dismiss the voice for so long.’

Are you genuinely interested in each other’s opinions?

This is pretty key. Are you both showing an interest in and a respect of each others values, interests, and opinions?

Do you actually care what they think? If not, they’re not a real love match, just someone filling a partner-shaped hole.

Does it feel like you’re putting in equal effort?

Heather says: ‘One-sidedness will also always spell disaster, if your partner seems emotionally unavailable or if you find yourself constantly contacting them, rather than enjoying a mutually engaged relationship.

Are you thinking about dating other people?

It’s natural to experience attraction outside of your relationship, but are you giving romance with other people some genuine thought?

‘When it’s true love, your focus remains solely on the person you’re with, because even in the rocky phases, you know they’re the right person for you,’ says Persia.

Do they inspire you to be a better person?

True love will enable you to become the best version of yourself.

‘If the connection between you and the person you’re dating is a healthy one, you’re more drawn to their inner qualities than their external markers of success, which inspires you to become a better version of yourself as a result,’ Persia says.

Are you ignoring that little voice in your head?

Here’s what it comes down to. Tune into how you’re really feeling, and listen to that inner voice if it’s telling you that something’s just not right.

Only you can know for sure if a relationship is built on genuine love or is sitting on the shaky foundations of a desperation to not be alone.

‘So many of us are consumed by the need to be in love and convince ourselves that we are in a loving relationship when in fact, we are just clinging to another person to avoid our own company and having to face up to the fact that we don’t love ourselves and suffer from low self-esteem,’ says Heather. ‘To have a healthy, truly loving and lasting relationship with someone else, it’s vital that we tackle this issue first.’

Get honest with yourself, and don’t ignore the truth your mind is telling you just because it’s scary.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

Rush Hour Crush – love (well, lust) is all around us

Visit Metro’s Rush Hour Crush online every weekday at 4:30pm.

Tell us about your Rush Hour Crush by submitting them here, and you could see your message published on the site.

Source: Read Full Article