A powerful emotion, love transcends time and space, moves mountains and often defies reasoning. Love is what lets us accept others for who they are, in spite of flaws or shortcomings. When you find love in your life, you’ll strive to keep it but it’s only natural that you’ll also want to know the experience is both real and enduring. “Counterfeit” refers to the experiences that may seem real but are in reality insincere or feigned expressions of love, illusions that can deter you from finding and sharing real love. To avoid the pitfalls of counterfeit love in your relationships, this article will help you explore the ins and outs of real love, in all its glorious forms.
Look for trust. Trust is love’s most basic foundation, ensuring that a relationship stands strong. Trust needs to be earned to establish ongoing confidence––it’s not a given just because of who you are or what you’ve professed. It is by opening yourself up to love, by letting yourself become vulnerable and trusting that the other person will not hurt you that you truly discover love in letting another person into your inner world. It’s a feeling that lets you close your eyes and trust that person to believe in you and will catch you should you fall.
Learn perseverance as love’s virtue. This is the virtue of standing and pressing on despite the odds. When you love someone truly, you enter into a deep commitment and a very close friendship. Real love means that no matter what happens, you remain there for the one you love. In return, the person you love will also stand by you when the chips are down. At the end of such a trial in your lives, both of you find that your love grows stronger for one another, as you understand one another even more deeply. Paradoxically, in persevering, you also learn the art of letting go. You let go of petty worries and silly little concerns in order to be supportive of the person you love and to stand up for his or her needs. Ultimately, perseverance allows you to fully embrace that person for who he or she truly is, a quality more valuable than any other.
Be aware that love is never selfish. Instead, love is about knowing how to give and to receive back in return. When you love, you give of yourself, unconditionally. You give your time, consideration and support out of love. In turn, you find pleasure in reaching out and just being there for that person, expecting nothing in return. Your expression of love differs according to your individuality; each expression will be unique and worthy in its own right. It’s not the amount or the value of love that really matters, but the way that it motivates all that you do and how you throw your heart into caring for others.
Know that love is kind. Kindness enables you to see beyond what the biological eyes take in. You look at happenings in life with sympathy and empathic understanding when you practice kindness. Love is kind and encourages you to respond to life with goodness and thoughtfulness. Gentle and comforting, taking a loving, kind approach in your relationships helps to establish mutual respect and a realization on both sides that each person is being listened to and taken into account fully.
Know the difference between jealousy and envy as one of love’s expressions. Love can be jealous at times but it’s certainly never envious. Jealousy and envy are closely related in meaning but they’re definitely different in outcome. Jealousy is an occasionally legitimate emotion in response to the fear of losing someone you love. However, it should be under your control because, like fire when it becomes uncontrollable, it can result to mass devastation and loss. Only use jealousy as driving force to challenge yourself to become much better in keeping your love ones by your side and never taken for granted. Envy denotes a longing to possess something awarded to or achieved by another. It is when you become bitter and resentful of someone’s success and achievement, making you feel uneasy at the sight of another person’s excellence or good fortune. It is accompanied with some degree of hatred and a desire to possess equal advantages. Love is never envious but might sometimes show a little controlled jealousy when threatened.
Look for endurance. Love is not easily angered but it does abide, even through times of suffering. If you’re truly loving another person, you’ll learn to endure difficult situations and crises, including times when it seems like things between you need fixing badly. Endurance allows you to forbear the challenges that others can raise when acting thoughtlessly or unkindly. Endurance lets you look beyond out-of-character behavior, difficult attitudes and challenging transition periods to still stand by the people you care about. Suffering in love teaches you wisdom and widens your understanding of how people can change over time and yet still be the same person you have always loved. Love helps you to discover and realize over time that people bring their own mindset, cultural upbringing, values and principles to bear on their behavior and attitudes and that through such recognition, you learn to listen without judging or taking sides. Through love you learn to let people be who they are rather than seeking to change them to your own preferred ways and you make adjustments without necessarily agreeing or conforming to their preferred way. Instead, a loving relationship is based on acceptance.