How Do You Know When You Are In Love?

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Title: How Do You Know When You Are In Love?

Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D.


Copyright: © 2005 by Margaret Paul


Word Count: 637 Category: Relationships

How Do You Know When You Are In Love?

By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

"How can I know when I'm really in love?" asked Ruby, a clientof mine. "How can I know if what I feel for Jim is really loveor just infatuation? How can I know if this feeling will last?"

Ruby and Jim had been dating for 11 months and were consideringmarriage. Ruby, 32, felt "head over heels" in love with Jim, butshe had felt head over heels in love with Adam, as well as withMark.

"That feeling didn't last with Adam or Mark. How do I know itwill last with Jim? How can you tell when it's the real thing?"

"Ruby," I told her, "the answer to this important questiondepends upon which part of you feels 'in love' and which part ofJim you are 'in love' with."

I explained to Ruby that she can be in love from her ego, or aswe call it in the Inner Bonding process we teach, her woundedself. Or, she can be in love from her true Self or core Self -her essence, her soul Self. If she is in love from her woundedself, it will be about external things and the love will notlast. But if she is in love from her soul Self, it will be aboutinternal things, and it is very likely that the love will seeher through all the challenges that come up in relationships.

"Ruby," I asked her, "What do you love about Jim?"

"I've been thinking about that a lot," she answered. "It's kindof funny some of the things I love about him. I love his walkand his smell. I love the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles,and I love his laugh. I love just being next to him. There issomething about his energy - I don't quite know how to talkabout it - that I love being around. I love his touch. I lovehis kindness and sensitivity and his deep caring for people.Even though he would not be considered a handsome man, I lovehow he looks. There's something about his mouth and the look inhis eyes that just fills me with love. And I love the passion hehas about both his work and his hobbies I love his playfulness.We laugh a lot together. "

"How is this different than what you loved about Adam or Mark?"

"I think that with both Adam and Mark I was pretty much blownaway by their looks - they were both hunks. Both of them werealso very successful and very social. They took me to niceplaces and great vacations. Jim is not as financially successfulnor as social, yet I feel much safer with him. I think that Ialso feel in love with Adam's power in the world. He reallyseemed to have it together and his sense of power turned me on.But he wasn't always nice to people, and he wasn't always niceto me."

"So it seems that with Adam and Mark, your wounded self was inlove with their wounded selves - their more superficialqualities of looks, money and power. But it sounds like with Jimyour essence is in love with his essence. The qualities you sayyou are in love with are qualities that won't go away over time,because they are soul qualities. People can certainly lose theirlooks and their money, but it is unlikely that Jim will lose thequalities that you love in him, especially if you frequentlyexpress your appreciation for these qualities."

"So I really am in love with Jim! This really is different thanmy other relationships. You know, I think I've finally grown up.The more superficial qualities just don't seem to be soattractive to me anymore!"
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