What Is True Love? Figuring Out If You’ve Found The One

Medically reviewed by Arianna Williams, LPC, CCTP
Updated May 1, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

The concept of true love has intrigued poets, philosophers, and everyday individuals for centuries. It’s a term that evokes deep emotion and brings images of fairy tales, romantic movies, and eternal commitment. But what does it really mean? How do you know if you’ve found “the one”? True love is often more complex and multifaceted than the romanticized portrayals in pop culture. 

This article will explore the concept of true love, providing insights to help you determine if you’ve found that special connection and offer guidance to nurture and grow that love in your relationship.

How can you tell if you’ve found your true love?

Characteristics of true love

True love goes beyond the grand gestures and poetic words found in literature. It’s not just about fireworks and sparks; it’s about genuine connection, respect, trust, and understanding.

While each relationship and connection will vary, some key characteristics of true love often include the following.

Mutual respect

In true love, both partners recognize and value each other’s individuality, opinions, and feelings. They listen without judgment and show consideration for each other’s needs and wishes. Respect in true love means treating each other with kindness and honor, even in disagreements.

Deep connection

True love fosters a connection that goes beyond the superficial. It’s a bond that often involves understanding each other’s core values, beliefs, and life goals. This connection creates a sense of companionship, where both partners feel they’re on the same team, working towards common dreams.

Trust and honesty

Trust is the bedrock of true love. It means believing in each other’s integrity and having faith in each other’s intentions. Honesty, in turn, nurtures this trust. Being truthful with each other strengthens the bond, even if the truth is difficult to face at times.


Empathy is the ability to deeply understand each other’s feelings. In true love, partners try to understand each other’s perspectives, feelings, and needs, providing support and compassion. Empathy helps partners to be more patient and tolerant with each other.

Unconditional support

True love means standing by each other’s side. Whether in success or failure, happiness or distress, partners in true love support each other’s highs and lows without conditions or reservations.


Commitment is a conscious choice to stay together and make the relationship work, even during challenging times. It’s not just about loyalty; it’s about actively investing in the relationship and nurturing it.

Common growth

True love often encourages personal growth and self-improvement. Partners in a loving relationship motivate each other to become better individuals, supporting each other’s ambitions and helping each other reach their full potential.


Acceptance means embracing each other’s flaws and imperfections. True love doesn’t seek to change the other person but accepts them for who they are, acknowledging that nobody is perfect.

How to know if you’ve found “the one”

Recognizing that you’ve found “the one” can seem like a profound realization, yet it might be elusive or challenging to put into words. Let’s explore some signs that may indicate you’ve found that special person with whom you have a deep, meaningful connection.

Comfort and safety

When you’re with “the one,” you might feel a sense of ease, comfort, and safety. You can be your authentic self without fear of judgment or criticism. There’s generally a feeling of home, a place where you’re understood and accepted.

Research suggests that feelings of love reduce stress and provide various health benefits, including lower blood pressure, better sleep, and more.

Healthy communication

Communication with “the one” often feels natural and effortless. Even in disagreements, you find ways to understand each other and reach compromises. Your conversations are meaningful, and you’re not afraid to discuss your feelings, fears, or dreams. If you are not seeing eye-to-eye, you want to make an effort to reach a mutual understanding while remaining respectful during the conversation.

Same goals and dreams

You and “the one” likely have aligned life goals and a vision for the future. Whether it’s career paths, family planning, or personal growth, you work together towards these goals, supporting each other along the way.

You overcome challenges together

Life is not without its challenges, but with “the one,” you face them together. Instead of tearing you apart, hardships tend to strengthen your bond. You become a team that can weather any storm, learning and growing from each experience.

Mutual admiration and inspiration

You admire each other’s qualities and find inspiration in each other’s strengths. There’s usually mutual respect and encouragement that pushes both of you to be better individuals.

Intuition and gut feeling

Sometimes, knowing you’ve found “the one” is an intuitive feeling, a deep inner knowing that this person is right for you. It’s a connection that feels different, more profound than other relationships.

Your happiness is their happiness

You find joy in each other’s happiness and strive to make each other’s lives more fulfilling. Your partner’s successes feel like your own, and you celebrate them together.

They make you want to be a better person

Being with “the one” encourages you to grow and improve yourself. You feel motivated to be the best version of yourself, not out of pressure but because of their positive influence on you.

You think long-term

When envisioning your future, your partner is an integral part of it. You make plans together, considering each other’s needs and desires, and see a lasting future together.

How can you tell if you’ve found your true love?

The difference between infatuation and true love

Love is a complex and multifaceted emotion that can take various forms. Two of the most commonly confused types are infatuation and true love. While they might seem similar at first glance, especially during the early stages of a relationship, they are fundamentally different in many ways. 

When determining whether you are experiencing infatuation or true love, keep a lookout for these differences. 

Characteristics of infatuation:

  • Duration - Infatuation is often a short-lived, intense emotion. It can feel overwhelming and all-consuming but typically fades over time.
  • Focus - The focus of infatuation is often more on the self and how the other person makes you feel. It’s about the pleasure, excitement, and gratification the relationship brings you.
  • Idealization - Infatuation often involves placing the other person on a pedestal, ignoring their flaws, and creating an idealized image of them. This can lead to unrealistic expectations.
  • Emotional Roller Coaster - Infatuation can bring intense highs but also significant lows. The mood of the relationship can change dramatically and unpredictably.
  • Physical Attraction - Infatuation often centers around physical attraction and desire. While these elements can be present in true love, they are typically more pronounced and prioritized in infatuation.

Characteristics of true love:

  • Duration - True love grows over time, deepening and becoming more profound. It’s a lasting connection that continues to thrive as you grow together.
  • Focus - The focus of true love extends beyond self-gratification. It’s about mutual growth, support, respect, and understanding. Both partners are invested in each other’s happiness and well-being.
  • Acceptance - True love means accepting each other’s imperfections and loving the whole person, flaws and all. It’s a more grounded and realistic view of each other.
  • Stability - True love brings stability and consistency to the relationship. While there may be ups and downs, they are typically navigated with mutual respect and communication, avoiding extreme emotional swings.
  • Emotional and Intellectual Connection - True love involves a deep emotional and intellectual connection that goes beyond physical attraction. It’s about common values, goals, and a genuine understanding of each other.

Nurturing true love in your relationship

Even if you consider your partner your true love, keeping a relationship takes time, effort, and commitment. Making sure you keep communicating with regular, open, and honest communication can be important to understanding each other’s needs as you grow together.

Spending quality time together can also help foster closeness in a relationship over time. You can do this by engaging in the same activities and hobbies or simply enjoying each other’s company.

In addition to this, regularly expressing gratitude and appreciation can help keep the love fresh and vibrant and each partner feeling valued in the relationship.

As you progress in your relationship, therapists or relationship coaches can offer professional insights and guidance tailored to your unique relationship.

Benefits of online therapy in relationships

Online therapyfor relationships offers increased availability and flexibility for individuals and couples, allowing you to seek professional guidance regardless of location and schedule. The convenience of being in your own home can create a relaxed environment conducive to open communication while also potentially reducing costs. Online platforms, like Betterhelp and Regain, often provide additional tools and resources to supplement therapy sessions.

The benefits extend to long-distance relationships, providing joint sessions and ongoing support even when partners are in different locations. From addressing daily challenges to deeper relationship concerns, online therapy’s location independence, affordability, comfort, and specialized help make it a valuable resource in the modern, connected world. It breaks down barriers to entry and ensures that more individuals and couples have the therapeutic support they need.

The efficacy of online therapy has been an area of growing interest and study in mental health care, particularly as technology continues to advance. Research suggests that online therapy, also known as teletherapy, can be just as effective as traditional in-person therapy for relationship counseling.

Efficacy of online therapy

The efficacy of online therapy has been an area of growing interest and study in mental health care, particularly as technology continues to advance. Research suggests that online therapy, also known as teletherapy, can be just as effective as traditional in-person therapy for relationship counseling.

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“I am so happy I got paired with Ruthie Brooks. My sessions with her have been a positive and insightful experience.  As a result, I can see my relationships improving and I have a better understanding of myself. She is very professional, kind, and great at what she does.”


True love is a profound and beautiful connection that goes beyond mere attraction or infatuation. It’s about respect, trust, empathy, and growing together. While recognizing true love may not always be easy, understanding its characteristics and nurturing them in your relationship can lead to a deeply fulfilling and lasting connection. Whether you believe you’ve found “the one” or are still seeking that special bond, online therapy can help you navigate changing emotions and cultivate long-lasting relationships.
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