Is love real? Are all those romantic poems and love quotes written genuinely from the heart or are they just an illusion of something unattainable?
Are human beings capable of experiencing love as it is depicted in movies or is all of this just a big lie sold to us to make us feel less miserable? Wait, what is true love, and does it even exist?
Love is a complex concept that can’t really be defined by words. That’s how you know it’s real.
Love is a feeling that you get when you impatiently wait for your loved one’s reply or when those butterflies in your stomach go wild when they kiss your forehead. Love is also feeling confused and not knowing if it’s real or not.
Love is so powerful that there aren’t simply enough paragraphs in the world that perfectly define its essence. Today, we’ll try to fix that. The following paragraphs are written in an attempt to simplify love and celebrate its divine complexity.
Is Love Real Or An Illusion?
The other day, when I was in a cab, Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” made the awkward silence extremely bearable. The lyrics are still ringing in my ears:
“I wanna love you;
And treat you right;
I wanna love you;
Every day and every night…
Is this love, is this love, is this love;
Is this love that I’m feelin’?
Is this love, is this love, is this love;
Is this love that I’m feelin’?”
When the song finished, multiple questions occupied my brain, such as Is love fake? Is true love real? Does real love exist? Wait, do I really love him? What if I’m experiencing infatuation and not true love?
Suddenly, Lady Gaga’s “Perfect Illusion” lyrics started to mix with Bob Marley’s: “It wasn’t love, it wasn’t love. It was a perfect illusion (Perfect illusion)…”
So, I decided to do my research. Here’s what I found out based on my personal experience (and of people close to me) and data I found on the internet:
Love is real, but it can’t really be defined. You either experience it or not. You either know it’s true love or you don’t.
If you ask me, there’s no gray area here. Things are actually pretty simple: We fall in love and we either stay in love with that person or we fall out of love, and that’s the reality.
If you can express feelings of love, then you know it’s real.
Romantic love is the most natural feeling in the world because love feels easy. Of course, challenges are inevitable, but most of the time, love feels like breathing.
Is breathing real or an illusion? Hmm… The real question is: Is anything real nowadays? Just because we can’t see or touch love doesn’t mean it’s not real.
Love is a feeling and it’s a powerful one. It can trick you into doing things you never thought of doing, and it can make you question your sanity and reality. Love is real if you believe it is.
Is Love At First Sight Real?
Is love real? Yes, it is. But, is love at first sight real?
Whenever I try to imagine the concept of falling in love at first sight, I think of this: A man and a woman on a street looking each other in the eye and realizing that they know each other even though it’s their first encounter.
Time stops. All the other people around them become invisible, and it feels like a real-life movie. But, is it really so? Let’s find out.
There aren’t many studies on love at first sight, but here’s an interesting one from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Researcher Florian Zsok and his team discovered that love at first sight happens rarely.
In their study, such love was based primarily on physical attraction. Basically, what two people are experiencing is lust and not love at first sight. However, through time, this lust turns into something more meaningful and that’s when we can officially call it ‘love at first sight’.
So, is love at first sight real? Yes, it is real, but it is based on physical attraction, and every single one of us experiences it differently.
In case you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing it or not, here are a few signs of love at first sight:
- An urgent desire to know more about the other person
- Lust is accompanied by a feeling of comfort, curiosity, and hopefulness
- Consistent direct eye contact
- Being unable to stop thinking about that special person
Is Love Scientifically Proven?
Yes, there is actual science to love because when we fall in love, there are some changes that happen in the biochemistry of our brains.
Many studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, they all go through the three stages of love. Each one of these stages is driven by a unique blend of brain chemicals:
- Lust: Lust is governed by the levels of testosterone (men) and estrogen (women) in our bodies.
- Attraction: Attraction is governed by adrenaline (fight or flight), norepinephrine (alertness), dopamine (pleasure), and serotonin (happiness). When combined, these chemicals are responsible for feeling euphoria, skin flushing, sweaty palms, and increased heartbeat.
- Attachment: Attachment is driven by oxytocin and vasopressin. Oxytocin is known as the ‘cuddle’ hormone, and that’s the reason why people begin to feel closely bonded to each other. Also, this is the hormone that drives the bond between mother and child.
If you’re still asking yourself, Is love real, now you know for sure that it is because if it isn’t, we wouldn’t be able to scientifically prove it, right?
Some of you might think now: There is no such thing as love. It’s your brain playing tricks on you. Well, maybe you’re right about it.
You can call it ‘love’ or ‘brain playing tricks on you’, but we all know that it goes far beyond simple neurons, pheromones, and chemical reactions in the brain.
These chemicals explain why it is so painful to break up a romantic relationship (especially a long-term one). Heartbreaks hurt because losing someone you love is almost the same thing as going through withdrawal.
Does Love Last Forever?
This is a tough question. I daresay that it’s even more complex than the question, Is love real? Well, happily ever after endings in movies are a completely different thing than real-life romances.
Love can last forever, but it doesn’t have to. It all depends on how people look at it. Love as a powerful emotion supported by brain chemicals can last. It’s when two people create a deep connection that it lasts for years.
It is the more time they spend together, the more connected they feel to one another. However, love doesn’t always equal compatibility, nor does it mean that it’s meant to last forever.
If one partner suddenly learns that their significant other is no longer the same person they once fell in love with, things might change.
Love will still exist as brain chemistry, but it will change all the time. Love lasts forever, but the intensity changes. All this depends on both the internal and external factors of two people who are in love.
What Is True Love?
Is love real? If yes, then what is true love? The series of never-ending questions will haunt me long after writing this (Just kidding, a.k.a. trying to spice it all up with a little bit of humor.)
Regardless if you’ve already experienced it or still haven’t, yes, true love exists.
And no, true love is not (only) posting selfies with your significant other on social media. It is unconditional love that consists of fully accepting one another and the ability to be your true selves when together.
It’s the kind of love many of us chase after because it’s reciprocal, uplifting, and inspiring.
How many times have you asked yourself that famous question: What is love, really? Have you ever fallen in love with someone, but were unable to express in words why you like that person so much?
If yes, then that’s how you know it’s the real thing. It’s when you feel deep down in your heart that they are your soulmate, but you cannot prove it to anyone or yourself with neither words nor actions.
If you’re interested in the concept of true love in romantic relationships, here’s how to recognize it:
True love is not demanding
You know it’s true love when both partners praise each other’s uniqueness and never ask one another to change (drastically).
Such love accepts flaws and imperfections, giving you enough space to express yourself and be who you really are.
Waking up without any makeup, not shaving a beard for some time, and sharing tears and happy moments are all priceless experiences that make your bond even stronger.
True love comes naturally
If you’re asking yourself too many questions about your relationship, your partner, and your future together, then something is not right. Then, you know you’re probably not in love.
When you’re truly in love, everything feels natural, and you know you’ll always be there for each other no matter what happens.
You’re no longer afraid of the future because you know you have each other’s back even if the whole world is against you.
It is reciprocal
True love doesn’t support only giving or only receiving. Such love is reciprocal and balanced, and it makes sacrifices for each other’s well-being.
You know you’re in a loving relationship when you’re focused more on giving than on receiving. When both partners feel that way, balance is created. That balance is called real love.
It is based on friendship
In order to experience real love, you need to be friends with your partner. This includes spending quality time together, sharing jokes, talking about things that annoy you and things that inspire you.
Real love means sharing passions and understanding each other’s dreams. True love is based on friendship because true friendship lasts forever.
It is committed
Being truly in love with someone means not wanting to be with anyone else but them. You know it’s unconditional love when nothing and no one can replace your loved one.
No matter how attractive other people are (both mentally and physically), you simply don’t feel the need to be with others. Why? Because they are not your significant other, and you know they would never be able to make you as happy as them.
True love lasts
True love lasts because when you truly love someone, you’re ready to work through anything just to stay together. It lasts because both partners fight for it day after day.
Neither serious nor trivial problems can destroy real love’s balance because couples’ determination, love, and respect for one another are stronger than any obstacle out there.
You know it’s real love when you no longer ask yourself that one question, Is love real? because you finally know the answer to that question.
True Love vs Fake Love
If you’re still not sure whether what you’re experiencing is real love, here are the differences between true love and fake love:
|TRUE LOVE||FAKE LOVE
|You trust each other.||There can be doubts.
|True love is always open and honest.||Fake love is all about games.
|True love appreciates you for who you are.||Fake love tries to change you.
|True love is self-sacrificing.||Fake love is self-indulgent.
|True love enriches your life.||Fake love can make your life harder.
|True love forgives easily and unconditionally.||Fake love seeks endless bitter, hurtful vengeance.|
|With true love, you picture a future together.||With fake love, you’re not sure about your future together.|
|True love gives from the heart.||Fake love wants something in return.|
|True love is about romantic intimacy.||Fake love is just about physical intimacy.|
|True love liberates you.||Fake love controls and manipulates you.|
|True love listens.||Fake love only talks.|
What Are “The 5 Love Languages”?
You have probably heard about the 5 love languages concept by Dr. Chapman. These love languages include affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts. Each one of them is equally important, and helps create the needed balance in a relationship:
Words of affirmation
This love language includes spoken words, praise, and appreciation. You can make your loved one’s day by sending them inspiring love quotes, love songs, cute texts, I miss you quotes, saying I love you, etc.
The goal of words of affirmation is to make your loved one feel special and appreciated. You can do this by complimenting them or simply expressing your feelings in various ways.
Spending quality time together means giving your loved one your undivided attention. Indeed, the most precious thing you can give to someone you care about is your time.
This means taking a break from your cell phone, maintaining eye contact, and actively listening to their every word.
This love language expresses love in one of the most intimate ways, and it helps you establish a deep connection.
People with this love language express love through physical touch. This includes holding hands, subtle touches, giving your special one a massage after a long day at work, etc.
Physical touch also includes long cuddling sessions (my personal favorite) because there are many reasons to cuddle as often and as much as you can.
Acts of service
This love language includes little acts of service such as helping with the dishes, random chores, making them coffee, helping them with different tasks (especially when they ask you to).
Doing little things for your loved ones is one of the most romantic ways to express your ultimate love and affection. In the end, it’s the little things that matter the most.
Gift-giving is a symbol of love and affection where time and effort invested in the gift is as equally praised as the gift itself.
People with this love language don’t expect expensive gifts, but they pay more attention to what’s behind it because there lies the true appeal.
Real Love Quotes
There isn’t a better way to depict what real love really is than with heartwarming real love quotes. These quotes will help you understand what it feels like to love and be loved truly:
1. “True love lasts forever.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
2. “True love doesn’t happen right away; it’s an ever-growing process. It develops after you’ve gone through many ups and downs, when you’ve suffered together, cried together, laughed together.” – Ricardo Montalban
3. “True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.” – Honore de Balzac
4. “Real love is always chaotic. You lose control; you lose perspective. You lose the ability to protect yourself. The greater the love, the greater the chaos. It’s a given and that’s the secret.” – Jonathan Carroll
5. “Loving someone and having them love you back is the most precious thing in the world.” – Nicholas Sparks
6. “True love brings up everything – you’re allowing a mirror to be held up to you daily.” – Jennifer Aniston
7. “True love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And, if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
8. “True love is choosing the many things a person did right rather than the one thing he did wrong. True love does not keep a record of wrongs.” – Unknown
9. “Love is pure and true; love knows no gender.” – Tori Spelling
10. “True love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion. It is, on the contrary, an element calm and deep. It looks beyond mere externals, and is attracted by qualities alone. It is wise and discriminating, and its devotion is real and abiding.” – Ellen G. White
11. “True love that lasts forever… Yes, I do believe in it. My parents have been married for 40 years and my grandparents were married for 70 years. I come from a long line of true loves.” – Zooey Deschanel
12. “True love does not only encompass the things that make you feel good, it also holds you to a standard of accountability.” – Monica Johnson13. “True love is knowing a person’s faults, and loving them even more for them.” – Unknown
14 . “True love is finding your soulmate in your best friend.” – Faye Hall
15. “I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But, I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow, the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.” – Cassandra Clare
16. “Two things you will never have to chase: True friends & true love.” – Mandy Hale
17. “Love is not an equation, it is not a contract, and it is not a happy ending. Love is the slate under the chalk, the ground that buildings rise, and the oxygen in the air. It is the place you come back to no matter where your headed” – Jodi Picoult
18. “I believe in the immeasurable power of love; that true love can endure any circumstance and reach across any distance.” – Steve Maraboli
19. “It is only with true love and compassion that we can begin to mend what is broken in the world. It is these two blessed things that can begin to heal all broken hearts.” Steve Maraboli
20. “Love without sacrifice is like theft.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
21. “True love doesn’t need proof. The eyes told what the heart felt.” – Toba Beta
22. “True love is not a hide and seek game: in true love, both lovers seek each other.” – Michael Bassey Johnson
23. “True love is taking the risk that it won’t be a happily-ever-after. True love is joining hands with the man who loves you for who you are, and saying, “I’m not afraid to believe in you.” – Cara Lockwood
24. “My heart is set as firmly as ever the heart of man was set on woman. I have no thought, no view, no hope in life beyond her; and if you oppose me in this great stake, you take my peace and happiness in your hands and cast them to the wind.” – Charles Dickens
25. “To be deeply loved means a willingness to cut yourself wide open, exposing your vulnerabilities… hopes, hurts, fears, and flaws. Hiding behind the highlight reel of who you are is the real you, and that person is just as worthy of love. There is nothing more terrifying or fulfilling than complete love; it’s worth the risk… reach for it.” – Jaeda DeWalt
Is love real? If you can express feelings of love for someone, then you know it’s real. True love comes naturally and it is reciprocal.
Such love doesn’t play games, and it is not selfish. When you truly love others, love will find a way to love you back the same way. That’s how you know it’s real.