9 signs you’ve found true love, according to psychology

Back in 2016, in an interview with Marie Claire, American actress Blake Lively said this of realizing that fellow actor Ryan Reynolds was “The One” for her. 

“I knew he would always be my best friend for my whole life,” she told the media outlet. 

“That was the biggest thing to me. I’d never known anything like the friendship that I had with him. I could like him as much as I loved him.

Do you feel the same way about your person?

Here are nine telltale signs that you have found true love, according to psychology.

1) They take a genuine interest in your life and encourage you to go after your goals 

When tennis icon Serena Williams met her now-husband, internet entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian, she had a sense right away that she was going to marry this man, even though she knew next to nothing about him. 

“I didn’t know his world at all,” she told InStyle (via People Magazine), but I’ve always been tech-savvy. I had a few investments before I met him, and I wanted to know more.”

The two began talking—casually just as friends. 

“I was getting hot when he was talking about it all,” she said laughing. “So after that we just continued talking, and then, I don’t know—I love his world.”

So even though she’s the one with the high-profile lifestyle and the attention always being on her, Williams was genuinely interested in what Ohanian’s life was like and the passion he was pursuing. 

Having a supportive partner makes it easier to pursue your dreams since you won’t have to deal with the added stress of constantly trying to defend what you want to do with your life,” says relationship writer Priti Serai from Love Panky

“A good partner will not only encourage and listen, they’ll also appreciate your motivation and even find it sexy.”

Sounds just like Serena.

2) You complement—not complete—one another

Many of us grew up with the notion that one day we would find our soulmate and that they would complete us. 

Movies, music, and mainstream culture push this fantasy on to us, but many of us are waking up to the fact that a partner can add to our life, not be our life. 

“If you rely on your [partner] to fulfill you, it can lead to an over-dependent relationship where you are not growing as individuals,” says psychology expert Suzann Pawelski

Instead, complementary relationships are about two people who complement each other in ways that make them stronger together, emphasizes Ryne Sherman, PhD

“It is about finding areas where they enhance each other’s strengths, support each other’s weaknesses, and share each other’s values.”

3) You don’t mind each other’s flaws 

Speaking of weaknesses, we all have them. But if you are able to understand each other’s flaws and be accepting of them, then you’re on the right track as far as being with the right partner is concerned. 

“Even in good relationships, about 70 percent of conflicts are perennial ones that never get solved,”

says Alice Boyes, PhD.. “At the root of these schisms are often qualities one partner has (or lacks) that irk the other person.”

Sills says that when it comes to improving the experience of your relationship, it can often be fruitful to become more accepting of your partner’s strengths and weaknesses rather than to continue attempting to get them to change fundamentally. 

The idea of the perfect partner is, quite frankly, a myth, adds Wendy L. Patrick, JD, PhD

“There is no such thing as a flawless relationship, and a paramour who seems too good to be true usually is,” she says. 

“But depending on the strength of your relationship, partner flaws do need to be fatal to a great relationship.”

A psychology study conducted in 2020 on how couples learn to live with each other’s flaws stems from the way we accept others stems from the way we accept ourselves. 

The researchers studied the link between self-compassion and acceptance and they found that increasing acceptance of one’s own imperfections increased the acceptance of others’ imperfections as well—including romantic partners. 

Says Patrick: “Within committed relationships, accepting the good with the bad—both in yourself and in your partner, can foster a healthy, realistic, [and] respectful relationship.”

4) You can be yourself with them 

Licensed social worker Leah Aguirre has an interesting story from her dating days. 

She was out on a date and she remembers giving her date the false persona of a party girl—basically someone who was extremely extroverted and loved to go out and flirty with guys.

“But this couldn’t be further from the truth. This memory actually comes up often for me because I remember being acutely aware at the end of the date that he was not interested,” Aguirre recalls. 

“And what I was most upset by, was how I tried to mold myself into something that was far from who I actually was for this stranger.”

It is pretty darn difficult to be comfortable or secure in a relationship if you aren’t able to be or feel like yourself, says the licensed social worker. 

“I have learned, especially through my practice, that this is a common occurrence for singles as they date, as well as those in relationships. This is a call to action to be your authentic self.”

Real love isn’t about hiding the stuff that truly makes us, us, says relationship writer Brittany Chaffee

“Instead of thinking about falling in love with people because we think they are the best in the world, we need to think about how we love them because they allow us to fully be ourselves.”

5) They’re very good at helping us feel validated 

A deeply committed relationship isn’t always fun and games. You want someone who is capable of being serious whenever the situation calls for it. 

I think that one vitally important value is that they validate you. 

“The understanding and care required for intimacy are fairly straightforward, but key here is a less common concept: validation,” says Dave Smallen, PhD

“When we feel validated, it means we experience another person as valuing our feelings and perspective—they respect our reality as legitimate, even if they are not able to relate to it. To put it another way, they take us seriously.”

For example, when we share a difficult experience with our partner, they should help us feel comforted, especially saying things like: “Wow, it makes sense that you felt that way,” says Smallen. 

“Then we know we’ve felt validated. Another person engaging explicitly with us around our difficult feelings in this way actually helps us move through them.”

6) They are capable of working through conflict with you 

True love isn’t just about the butterflies in the stomach, the proposal, the wedding, and the honeymoon. 

True love really means having a deep, emotional connection that goes beyond superficial attraction, 

says the BetterHelp therapy editorial team. 

“It involves mutual respect, trust, and the willingness to work through conflicts together. A balanced perspective and open communication are key elements in understanding what true love really means.”

True love means you take a mature approach to handling conflict.

These include keeping a balanced perspective, not shying away from heart-to-heart discussions, considering boundaries, and being committed to a common goal of understanding one another on a deeper level. 

7) You’re both looking at your relationship as being long-term

Finding true love means wanting to hold on to it, and make a life of it.

So you naturally think long-term and about the bigger picture of your life, says Arianna Williams, LPC,CCTP

“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.”

8) You truly trust them 

You can’t have true love without trust.

At its most basic, trust allows us to feel secure because we believe that our partner has our back and will be loyal through thick and thin, say Rob Pascale and Lou Primavera, PhD

“It allows us to display our thoughts and feelings openly and honestly, because we regard our partner as supportive and don’t worry that they will judge, ridicule, or reject us.”

Trust is the cornerstone of commitment. 

“It’s only after you feel that you can trust someone that you are able to truly commit to that person.”

9) There is a sense of “coming home” with them 

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld said that his wife, Jessica, has always felt like home to him. 

“It’s not the conversation or the attraction that you feel, it’s just like this comfort level when someone is in your house,” he said.

“When someone comes into your house and you still feel comfortable. I don’t know what this is, but I just know this is someone I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

Seinfeld continued:

“I had had all of these thrills. And I never wanted to get married. I don’t know why, I just never did. [And I thought] ‘If I don’t want to get married and I’m tired of being single, what do I do?’

“Because I didn’t feel that thing with someone that makes you want to go forward. So when I met her I thought, ‘You know what, we could have a life together.’ And so it gave me a life to live.”

Home is where the heart is. 

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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