True love is magical. True love is mystical‒Right? Well, kind of. But it’s more than that, as anyone in a relationship can tell you. Read on to find ten things you need to know about true love.

1. True love is not about finding yourself in another.

Don’t fall in love, or think you’re in love, just because you want to find yourself. Your identity is not to be someone’s other half‒it’s to be yourself! Don’t get so swept up in your partner that you become them. You don’t need to be the number one fan of their favorite band or read all the books they read. Keep your interests and hobbies and you’ll be more interesting to, and interested in, your partner.

2. Self love is the best way to find true love.

It sounds like a cliche, something your mom and girlfriends told you every time you were crying over a broken heart, but it’s true‒you must love yourself before you can love anyone else. Be comfortable with yourself, even when you’re having a bad day. Know who you really are, deep down inside, and know what you want to do with your life. Being in love with yourself and having your life on track are not only incredibly self-satisfying, they’re really attractive qualities to a partner.

3. True love is not demanding.

Your partner should never ask you to change if you’re truly loved. And if you truly love your partner, you shouldn’t expect him to change. You got into a relationship because you liked each other, and you grew to love each other as you are. Why would you need to change someone you love so deeply? Accept them as they are, and you’ll get that consideration in return.

4. True love allows you to be yourself.

Being yourself in front of your partner can seem scary at first. Waking up without any makeup on, and your hair a mess? What about him seeing you when you’re sick‒runny nose, bloodshot eyes and all. It’s something you want to avoid as long as you can. But you shouldn’t feel that way. When you’re in love, even the worst illness is a beautiful experience because it’s worth it. Your partner helping you through a messy episode or kissing you with morning breath is a major step towards your future, and it shows how much he truly loves you.

5. True love comes naturally.

Do you have doubts about your partner? Are you not sure they’re right for you? If you’re asking yourself too many questions about your partner, your relationship, and your future together, then you’re probably not in love. When you’re truly in love, you don’t question anything. It feels natural to be with your partner, and you know you can work through anything to achieve that future you’re dreaming of.

6. To get love, you must give love.

You can’t be in a loving relationship if you hold back. You can’t use love as a bargaining chip. Don’t tell your partner you love him only when he does something good around the house. Don’t give him the cold shoulder if he makes a mistake. You have to love him all the time, regardless of his words or actions, because true love is unconditional. If you give your partner this much love, you’ll get it‒and more!‒in return.

7. True love is based on friendship.

So many TV show relationships are based on friends who fall in love over time. It’s a great premise, and a nice daydream, but life isn’t TV. You don’t need to be best friends with your partner since kindergarten for love to last. But you need to be friends with your partner. You need to be able to talk, to share jokes, and to enjoy each others’ company. Over time, the physical passion may fade, but true friendship will last forever.

8. True love lasts.

Think back to those casual relationships where your significant other wiping his nose on your bath towel was enough to end it. Those relationships are immature, and whatever you thought you experienced wasn’t love. When you’re truly in love, problems like this are just small bumps in the road. No problem seems insurmountable. You’re more than willing to work through anything, just to stay together.

9. True love is committed.

It’s human nature to be attracted to other people, to allow your head to be turned by an attractive passerby. Don’t let this make you feel guilty. As long as you’re committed to your partner, your relationship is fine. When you’re truly in love, you don’t want to be with anyone else. You can’t imagine spending your time without your sweetheart.

10. YOU are the love of your life.

Don’t forget that you need to love yourself. Self love is important, but it’s not something you should achieve and then throw away once you’re with your partner. You must stay in love with yourself for your entire life. If you start to dislike yourself or what you’re doing, you need to change just enough to stay on track, to stay true to yourself, and to stay in love with yourself.

Why not learn from the wisdom of others who have found their paths to “True Happiness?” 20 Motivational Quotes about Life that Lead to True Happiness

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