Perhaps the most wonderful and lovable thing about ‘love’ is that it doesn’t have any single and specific meaning or definition. Its definition and meaning changes in every scenario, case, and setting that surrounds it.
Almost everyone you come across will define it differently in their own unique way. Some people would say it’s a feeling, some would say its respect; some would say it’s an emotion; whereas some people would even simply say that ‘love is love’.
So whether love is a mix of emotions, words, feelings, or all three of these or any other words combined, it is definitely hard to give it a universal definition.
But broadly speaking, one thing about love is for sure very clear. Which is though love may be hard to define on its own, it does have a few attributes or characteristics that can be used as general meanings to define or let’s say explain it.
These general attributes or meanings of love help us to understand the relationship dimensions of love as well which further enhances the meaning of love in each and every individual case. It also helps us understand the true meanings of love based on the role and responsibility of each person in each case.
While we may have become short of words and our effort might seem to lack in some corners, we still managed and tried our best to compile a list of attributes of love and cases where relationship dimensions play an important role in altering the definition of love in each scenario.
So without delaying any further, let’s begin with attributes of love.
Attributes of love
To begin understanding what love actually is, we need to learn its attributes or characteristics. Once you are well-versed in these, you can clearly figure out if the bond that is holding you in any kind of relationship is actually true love or merely some form of toxic love.
1. Love is always natural, consistent and requires no efforts
Any form of true love should never be a tough choice to attain. True love exists naturally and does not require anything extraordinary to mark its presence.
In other words, it is simply effortless and easy to do a thing. It remains consistent throughout, no matter what big or small hurdles come in its way. True love never sleeps and thus it never needs to be awoken.
So if you think that you always need a spark to ignite love, it is either not true love or you are probably overthinking about it and making it complicated.
Remember that love complications in relationships do arise but on their own. Hence your efforts and energy should serve to settle them, not create them.
2. Love is the ability to accept
If you think that the words perfect and love are synonymous, then you are completely wrong. Because chances are that you might never find someone perfects and instead loses the chance of finding true love as well.
Believe it or not, no one is a perfect package. Desiring to find the perfect person when you yourself are imperfect is a fictitious approach which only seems realistic in fairytales, stories, and movies.
Thus, the essence of true love lies in the ability to accept the other person with all their pros and cons. If it is true love between any two persons, then they may not be perfect individually but they will definitely be perfect for each other.
3. Love means trust
Trust is again one of the primary pillars of love. Trust lets you give space to the other person to feel comfortable in making their decisions alone. When no trust exists in any relationship, love is also not present because instead of having faith in each other, each individual feels susceptible to each other.
Trusting the other person in any relationship with whatever choices they prefer to make and without any interference when waiting for the things to take their natural turn is what trust is all about.
4. Love favors mutual growth
When you are willing to divert your efforts and energy towards achieving goals that will benefit the mutual growth of each person in a relationship, it means you are in true love. Thus, encouraging and motivating each other is the key to attain mutual growth.
5. Love requires waiting, especially for the right time
Getting into a relationship is good but it can sometimes end up in being the worst decision. Many people do not wait for the right time and rush into another relationship as soon as possible.
This can be either because they want to move on and try to quickly forget the sufferings and dilemma of their last relationship, or because they feel insecure and immature being alone.
In such cases, it is always advisable to take a break from things and analyze what went wrong. This way not only can you repair and resume your last relationship, but also understand the mistakes that you made in it so not to repeat them in your next relationship.
6. Jealousy is not love
Many people tend to think that because they get jealous of the other person in a relationship means they are in love. This actually is not true.
Jealousy clearly and in its entirety does not signify love. Jealousy arises when you feel insecure and fearful of the achievements of the other person.
True love is about giving space to the other person and being happy with them and for them whereas jealousy acts totally opposite to this.
7. Love is about being grateful and contented
Relationship issues and complications in the love life of people arise when they stop being grateful and content with what they are getting and instead expect more and more from the other person.
True love requires for each individual person in a relationship to show gratitude with what they are getting. True love is more about the quality rather than the quantity of what is being given to you. Being satisfied in love is really important.
8. Love is about giving back without being asked
Being grateful and content is one thing. But love is also about giving back to the other person irrespective of their desire and demands. Perhaps surprising the other person with small gifts and little gestures whether it is any special occasion or not, can show how much deep in love you really are.
9. Love means giving each other a chance to communicate
When something goes wrong or misunderstandings arise in any relationship, true love requires that without rushing forward to draw conclusions and pass judgments over each other, each person should get a chance to openly communicate their side of the story.
Mind it that in most cases it is judgments and not opinions that make even easy to solve issues turn into worst problems.
Having a chance to openly communicate any misunderstandings and ask any questions to clear all doubts becomes more important when the source of any relationship problem is none of the people in the relationship.
Rather it is some outsider that spread false accusations or presented their opinions as facts, which led to this incident.
10. Love is allowing privacy
Just because you are open about sharing everything related to you with the other person does not necessarily mean that the other individual should also act in the same way.
While being open to sharing and trusting the other person with your secrets is an admirable act, allowing the other person the freedom to keep any secrets they don’t want to talk about is equally commendable.
11. Love is being selfless
True love is when each individual in a relationship is completely ready to support the other person in their goals especially when both persons might have any conflicting ones.
This means that being selfless and giving the other person the opportunity instead of availing it yourself signifies how much you consider the objectives of the other person important enough for the mutual growth of both.
12. Love is about becoming companions
Of course, each day and every moment during your relationship will never be the same. There will be good times and bad times. There will be calm weather, dust, rain, and storm also.
So to pass through all these tough and harsh times and no matter what challenges you come across, true love requires being willing to accompany each other at all times and under each circumstances.
Relationship dimensions of love
While all of the above mentioned attributes tend to be present in love, it is worthy to mention that these characteristics do face some limitations and restrictions based on the relationship dimension of love.
We have here highlighted just three of the most important relationship dimensions of love to show how any single attribute of love would act differently in a different relationship dimension.
Husband & wife
No married couple can wish to have a successful and stress free life together if they lack any of the attributes of love mentioned above.
From their decision to get together to getting married and starting a family, no couple could afford to miss these characteristics of love.
These attributes are synonymous with paints that any artist would need to color the picture of a happily married couple.
This becomes easier to understand when someone invites you to their wedding ceremony and you get a chance to practically see the altitude of happiness and love that a newlywed couple is thriving with.
By paying close attention to their wedding wows, you will understand the literal meanings of its each and every word.
Parents and their children
Have you ever thought about why parents love their children so much? Well, this is probably because parents consider their children to be a reflection of themselves.
There is no doubt in saying that if there is anyone in the entire world that loves and is completely honest with their children are parents.
No other person no matter how loving and caring they might be cannot even come close to sharing the love, bond, and affection that parents have for their children.
Parents are the only people whose love for their children cannot be measured. They selflessly want their children to progress as high as possible and become the best version of themselves.
While there are times when children seem to interpret their parents’ love as not having all the above characteristics such as acceptance, privacy, and communication, there are certainly no bad intentions on the parent’s behalf underlying these limitations.
Their never ending love for their children sometimes surpass these attributes of love as they sometimes become fearful and over-protective.
Similarly, many children find it impossible to share their secrets with any person other than their parents. Especially children of single parents tend to be more close to them. They find great comfort and support from their parents. They idealize them and also consider them as their best friends.
Even though many siblings during their childhood find it hard to adjust with each other and are often seen fighting over petty issues, they are the second closest relationship anyone could ever have in terms of having a true love bond within any family after parents.
In many cases where the parents are usually out-of-home for work or if they have separated or passed away, younger siblings consider their elder ones as an equivalent of their parents.
And quite similar to their parents, elder siblings consider their younger ones as their core responsibility, much willing to give up anything for their happiness just like their parents would do.
While you might be fortunate to find all the true love attributes in your relationship, it is important to know that there is a thin line in most cases that differentiates between real love and toxic love.
If you think that you are being willingly and repeatedly asked by the other person in your relationship to compromise on the integrity of any one or more of these characteristics of love, and you often feel like hating or leaving the other person but are unable to do so, these can be clear indications of a developing toxicity in your relationship.
So either you decide to run away or sort to resolve it, never ever ignore it. This is because the emotional pain that arises from toxic love could sometimes take years to bring normality to your life.