7 signs of true love in a relationship, according to psychology

Let’s set the scene: You’re in love with someone (maybe new, maybe not) and it’s going well. You think, is this it? Is this true love? 

You look for signs from the universe, a directive, if you will. Something along the lines of “If they do this or that, then they…” 

You look at the other person and constantly ponder if what you have is true and special. 

Yet you’re still confused. 

Let’s talk about that. Hopefully, this can help clear the air or at least lead you closer to an answer.

Here are 7 signs of true love in a relationship, according to psychology.

1) You stay respectful even during arguments

I think it’s a mistake to think that true love only needs love. True love is a mixture of all things that would make you grow as a person. 

Yes, there is love, but there’s also trust. There is kindness. Loyalty. Consideration. There is care. There is compromise. 

And there is also respect. Respect that is ever so present, especially in moments of tension. 

Respect is necessary for a relationship to grow. It’s healthy for it to be present in a relationship. It’s not wrong to say that it’s necessary for true love to exist.

Love that exists without it is an attempt to control. 

2) You resolve conflict healthily

Continuing from the first point: healthy conflict resolution. 

It’s easy to say things you don’t mean when you’re angry, and so a healthy conflict resolution is a good sign to look out for.  

It shows respect, it shows that the other person can stay kind (or at least civil) in moments of anger or disagreement. 

And it prevents resentment from building up. It shows effective communication, too. 

All building blocks of a healthy relationship. And true love? Well, that should be healthy, too. 

3) You see a future with them

Let me be cheesy for a second and remind you of Adam Sandler’s song “Grow Old With You.” 

“I wanna make you smile

Whenever you’re sad

Carry you around

When your arthritis is bad

All I wanna do is

Grow old with you”

As cloyingly sweet as this is, it shows the naked truth of intention. Intention to grow old with someone; to stay with them through ups and downs, sickness and in health.

And I’m not saying marriage, I’m not saying forever, but what I’m saying is the long run. True love is greedy in a way that you’d want to be with them more. You’d want to build a life together, whatever that entails for you. 

True love seeks the future.  

4) You are vulnerable with each other

“No matter what type of relationship we’re talking about—be it friendship, familial, or romantic—vulnerability is key to fostering a closer, deeper, and more authentic bond with another person. It keeps us honest with each other and ourselves, breaks down walls, eliminates the potential for miscommunication and misunderstandings, and allows us to be wholly ourselves.”

Why Vulnerability in Relationships Is So Important, Wendy Rose Gould 

If you can’t be vulnerable with your partner, reflect on why that is. Are you shy? Is the relationship too new that you can’t do it? 

Or are there fundamental problems present? Do you feel like you can’t? Do they not open up to you even when you’re asking? Are they not willing?

And so, vulnerability is a good sign to look out for, it shows that love can grow and not exist only in one moment. 

5) You understand each other’s shortcomings and work through it together

pic1723 7 signs of true love in a relationship, according to psychology

Continuing from the previous point of vulnerability, let’s talk about understanding each other’s shortcomings. 

Because love? It’s a choice. 

Every single day you need to consciously make a decision to love the other person. And with knowing each other’s flaws, it’s not always going to be an easy decision to do so. At some point, you’re going to get on each other’s nerves (see #1 and #2). 

And true love is not something you stumble upon, at least I believe it’s not, true love is something you work on—consciously and consistently. 

True love takes time, true love takes intention. 

6) You are truly committed

I just mentioned that love is a choice, but you know what else it is? 

It’s also a lot of work. 

You need to want to be there, with them, in that relationship. Day in and day out. You need to want to build and fix whatever comes. 

To be in each other’s corner when the world gets a little too tough. You need to be committed to this because it’s going to be overwhelming at some points. 

You need a partner, not someone to carry even while you’re already drowning in the overwhelm.

True love is found in that partnership of mutual support. Commitment should be more than just a label, it should mean showing up for each other no matter what. 

7) You are good for each other

I think this one goes without saying: You need to be good for each other.

I don’t care how obsessed you are with each other or how all-consuming the feelings are, if it’s toxic then that’s not true love. Love is often used as an excuse for unhealthy behaviors, but true love shouldn’t lead you astray. 

Love is difficult enough as it is, why add toxicity to the mix? If you’re not growing together, then what exactly is it you’re doing? 

Fairy tales depict true love as this forget-the-world-because-we-have-each-other type of deal, but between the lines lies the work necessary for a happy ever after.  

And I think you deserve a happy ever after, too. 

Final thoughts

Love, in its many forms, can exist in just as many shades of truth as there are shades of any particular color. My point is, there is no one-size-fits-all in it.

But here’s the thing: What you endure dictates what you get. Love follows that logic, too. 

You may not see all of the signs listed here happening in your relationship, but this is not a checklist. Rather, a guide. 

What you need to remember though, is that a lot of these are the bare minimum. At the very least, do not shortchange yourself. 

Yes, true love can be more than this or a little less than this, but it shouldn’t be too little. At the very, very least, you deserve the kind of love that is respectful, trustworthy, and kind. 

You deserve love that is good for you and good to you. 

The kind of love that wouldn’t confuse you. You deserve the kind of love you’re sure of and is sure of you. 

May that love find you and may that love stay.

Picture of Michelle Marie Manese

Michelle Marie Manese

M Manese is a part-time creative writer, illustrator, and full-time fangirl hoping to find her way within the Content space. She makes art here: @michellemmanese

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