“What does love feel like?” We feel a range of emotions, but how do we know which one is really love? Wait, how is love even supposed to feel?
What Does Love Feel Like? Well… It’s Not Perfect
It would be helpful if all of us in relationships knew exactly what love is supposed to feel like. If we knew, then we would know if we were in love or if we weren’t. We wouldn’t wonder about it. As a couples specialist I work with a lot of people in relationships who are often not sure about the love they feel.
Some people will be very angry at their mate and tell me all the things the partner does to make them pull their hair out. Then I ask the same person, “Do you think about ending the relationship?” Then they scold me as if I haven’t been listening and then they tell me, “I can’t leave, I love him.”
Other times there will be people who say something like, “We’ve been together for 25 years so I must love her.” It’s as if the endurance is the proof on what love is.
Or how about the partners who say they love their mate yet they are always unhappy, wishing their lives could be different.
We Still Want to Believe in Love, However We Feel
I think in all these cases and for many people, we want to believe in love. We fight for it even when there are difficulties. And it’s often too terrifying to even think of leaving our special person regardless of how we might be feeling.
As humans we do this because we don’t really know what love is supposed to feel like when other emotions get involved. If we are mad at the person we love, can we still love them? If they have disappointed us, are we still in love? If we have been waiting for them to change and they haven’t can we still be loving toward them?
What Does Love Feel Like in Challenging Relationships?
People in challenging relationships often wrestle with these questions, and since there is no norm for how love is supposed to feel, there are no definitive answers to help people know what to do and how to do it. That’s why so many people we know struggle in their relationships. Everyone wants to be happy; they just don’t know how to get there.
Most people who become involved with their special person believe it will work out on the basis of meeting that special person and feeling so great. When we experience real and wonderful love it signals to all parts of our body that this feeling is the best feeling in the world and convinces us that this feeling is love.
What Does Love Feel Like? It’s Not That Initial Infatuation…
We get attached to this great feeling and want to preserve it. We fight to get back to what we felt. We do anything we can think of to get back to that great feeling we all felt in the beginning. This happens to many, many couples.
Unfortunately, in all the years I have helped people in relationships and been in one myself, I can tell you truthfully, no one stays in that beginning phase. All successful couples move on to the next phase of figuring out how the relationship is actually going to work.
What Does Love Really Feel Like?
And this is the surprise to many couples. Most people who fall in love expect to stay in that beginning space for all time. The reality is all of us must learn how to be good partners. We must learn how to be good to the one we love. We also have to learn about ourselves. Are we staying silent instead of speaking up? Are we the only voice talking and not listening to our partner? We must learn about each other and get along.
What does love feel like? If feels safe. It feels peaceful, it feels free. When you create an atmosphere where both of you can live in these feelings, you have created something special that belongs just to the two of you. That’s what love is, and that’s what it’s supposed to feel like.
If You’re Wondering Whether You’re Still In Love…
Read a Book About Relationships
Can’t make it on Monday? Read all about relationships in Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you get a better idea for where you are in your relationship. If it’s not where you want to be, it may help you and your partner get there. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you see things more clearly, mend your relationship, enhance your relationship, or even understand whether and when to move on.