Mystery Solved: This Is What True Love Feels Like
There are as many answers to the question “What is love?” as there are people on earth. Babies know what love is, toddlers know what love is; teens, adults and old people know what love is. Hell, even animals know what love is, and scientists will probably find a way to prove that plants can love too in the not-too-distant future.
But knowing that you’re feeling something and being able to put it into words are two different things entirely. So we turned to our esteemed writers and faithful readers to ask them what true love feels like to them, and boy did they deliver. Read through their experiences, thoughts and emotions — and see if you recognize your own situation.
1. True Love Is Cleaning Up A Trash Bag Of Watery Puke
I first knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my fiancée when we spent a day holed up in a cheap Bangkok hotel as she vomited prolifically.
It was day three of a month long backpacking trip through Southeast Asia and she had ignored advice to avoid raw vegetables. As I looked at her peacefully napping after another bout of retching, I realized there was nowhere else I’d rather be.
True love is cleaning up a trash bag of watery puke not just because you know that person would do the same for you without question, but because it doesn’t occur to you to do anything else. It’s wanting each other when times are good but needing each other when things go south.
– by AskMen writer Adam Kovac
2. True Love Is Peace Of Mind
Peace of mind, warmth, calmness. No need to rush somewhere.
– by AskMen guyQ user KenAdams
3. True Love Is A Weight Being Lifted Off You
I remember when I realized that I was in love… My heart beat rapidly but my breathing was slow… It seemed like everything around me went from black and white to bursting with color… When he hugged me it felt like I just wanted to freeze time. To stay in the warmth of his hug and never let go.
I was no longer stressed and instead felt like a large weight had been lifted off my chest. It felt like we were the only two people in the world. It’s a feeling that you’ll never forget…
– by an anonymous AskMen guyQ user
4. True Love Feels Like Being Home
Feeling deeply in love gives me strength — it makes me feel like I can accomplish things that scare me (true self-love has the same effect). I realized I was truly in love when I started picturing having children with my boyfriend and I felt super certain and happy about it (two of my exes spoke about having a family one day but I knew deep down that I didn’t truly “see it”).
True love goes beyond the initial passion, it feels like being home — you are a team and go through life’s ups and downs as partners. Also, being truly in love is freedom — it never feels restrictive. You could be anywhere else but you choose to be in that partnership over and over (I believe it’s normal to experience doubts in the long run but staying in love is a choice: It’s way too easy to fall for someone but it’s more challenging to nurture love long-term, and that’s true love to me).
– by AskMen guyQ user Anouare
5. True Love Feels Like Security
True love is going to bed with him next to you and knowing that no matter what, no matter how hard life beats you down or how hopeless you feel, that he will still be there in the morning.
– by AskMen writer Shawn Binder
6. True Love Is A Glowing Sensation
A warm, glowing sensation, spreading through the body.
Even doing totally mundane things together like the supermarket shop, becomes meaningful. Every decision you make has new significance because it impacts someone very dear to you.
Life becomes interesting in new ways. You feel very present, and yet you plan for the future. You feel more responsible, because you’re looking out for someone, and yet more childlike, because love is very playful.
Something tangible is there, and a lot of more trivial things that once held your attention, fade away into insignificance.
It puts things into perspective.
– by AskMen guyQ user Sedgewick
7. True Love Takes Time
True love is nothing like what you see on TV and in movies — but, I don’t believe in love at first sight, so I’m biased. Real love doesn’t explode like a bomb, it illuminates a room like a candle; It’s steady, warm, inviting, and real. True love takes time to put together and put into motion, sort of like building an airplane — there are so many moving parts and so many different things that need to work in unison to make it safe and long-lasting.
It always needs attention, but can always be relied upon. I don’t think you really know what it’s like until you feel it and realize everything you’ve felt before is barely a sliver of what you feel when you’re in love. It’s trust, it’s harmony, it’s humor, it’s a real human connection that makes you feel like you’ve known someone your entire life.
– by AskMen writer Jeremy Glass
8. True Love Is Empathetic, Consistent, Kind, Diligent
I’ve been in love a few times, and I think my definition of love has changed so much over time and will likely continue to change. From 2006 to 2013, it was with my high school boyfriend.
Obsessive and unhealthy and unconditional (which isn’t a positive trait, in my opinion), our days were defined by whether we loved or hated one another more that day. The following year, it was a whirlwind long-distance love for 12 months with someone wherein the circumstances were doomed from the start, but we treated each other well and he showed me that tumultuous ups and downs are not intrinsically tied to being in love.
That’s why, when I fell in love the following year with someone who became abusive after a few months, I didn’t romanticize the shittiness of it. I just left. I knew love didn’t have to be chronically exhausting or boundlessly passionate, nor did my inability to maintain that specific relationship translate to an inability to maintain any relationship.
Now, to me, even though I am not in love with anybody at the moment, it could mean things as simple as knowing to hold my hand when a loud noise happens because I get anxious, or eating breakfast in the kitchen while we read each other’s work, or me not planning them a surprise birthday party (even though I love parties!) because I know they’d rather just see a movie. Empathetic, consistent, kind, diligent — it’s probably cliche, but those are what I want the next time I fall in love.
– by AskMen writer Sam Escobar
9. True Love Feels Like A Bruise On Your Heart
I do recall the first time I realized I love my now husband. I was just sitting waiting for him to come have pub lunch with me, and watching him wend his way through all the people, I I was overcome by a physical reaction. It felt like a spreading bruise at my heart warm and just a little tender to the touch.
– by AskMen guyQ user Wilde
10. True Love Feels Like A Pregnancy Scare
A few years ago I dated an artist who was supremely talented and a wonderful soul, but we were totally incompatible as people, so I broke things off. Unfortunately, we were extremely sexually compatible, which mean that we went almost a year after after the breakup meeting up a few times a month to hook up.
It was an emotional nightmare, and at one point we had a pregnancy scare. Neither of us was old enough to be a parent, but in that moment, I realized I was actually excited by the possibility we’d always be in each other’s lives in some way if we had a child together. That might have been the closest thing I’ve ever felt to the kind of love they show in movies.
– by AskMen guyQ user unphazed
11. True Love Feels Like Nothing… (Yet)
I really wish I knew. I have loved, but I’ve never been in love.
– by AskMen guyQ user DEMASIADO1980
Did we miss anything? Add your true-love take here to continue the discussion.