Every now and then a client will ask me, “What is true love?” Usually that comes in the middle of our discussion about ego, pain body, transference, and all the other fatal attractions that happen between human beings.

Just because it feels good – even if it seems to feel totally unlike any other experience of love you’ve ever had until now – that does not mean it’s love.

Just because you feel so connected to this person – even if it feels like the two of you have known each other forever – that does not mean it’s love.

Just because everyone you know is saying that the two of you are the perfect couple or meant for each other, that does not mean this is love.

And finally, even if a psychic tells you that you are soul mates or twin flames, that does not mean you have to or should spend the rest of your lives together.

So how do you know what true love is?

I like to go back to a very reliable, ancient source of wisdom to answer that question. From the New Testament, 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, here are three qualities that I call three faces of true love:

“Love is patient.” Okay, that’s enough to keep any of us busy during the challenges of the holiday season.
• Imagine the traffic jams, finding a parking place, and standing in long lines while trying to be patient. Consider how your best friend, lover, partner handles these challenges.
• Can you see and feel patience in this beloved? Or are you nervous, anxious, even fearful when someone or something pushes his or her buttons?
• Have you seen your chosen one throw a tantrum, lose his cool, compromise her pleasant disposition when deadlines were tight, products were out of stock at the store or didn’t work right when they got them home?
• Do you ever feel like you are walking on egg shells around this other person until you can get a feel for what mood he or she is in?

“Love is kind.” Is there kindness in the words and actions of your beloved?
• Do you always feel safe with him or her?
• Does this special person give you sincere compliments and do thoughtful things for and with you? Does he or she know what you like do and where you like to go?
• Does your beloved find lovely ways to surprise you and let you know how treasured you are?
• Does he or she share with others through donations to charities?
• Have you ever seen your special person give a compliment to a hard working clerk at the checkout or thank someone for answering a question in a store?

“Love is not jealous.” Can you enjoy the companionship and friendship of other men and women without your significant other being jealous?
• Is the trust and commitment between the two of you so strong that keeping up with old friends does not strain your intimate relationship?
• Can each of you include each other in these outings and catch up times with dear friends?
• Can each of you pursue your careers and enjoy your accomplishments without fears or concerns about outshining the other or being in competition with each other?
• Do you take the time to find ways to support each other in your personal dreams and career goals or are you each focused on taking care of only your own journey?

How you deal with all of this is how well you can practice what love really means. True love is patient and kind. True love shares and is inclusive. Use those guidelines to measure the words and actions of yourself and your significant other. Then you will come closer to understanding whether or not true love is one of the qualities of your relationship.

Did you find this information useful, inspiring, challenging? Drop a line in the response box below (or click on the comment link in Facebook) and share your thoughts about what true love means to you or what you think about this article.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Janice M. Puta
Author of Pathways: Tales for the Spiritual Seeker
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