Real love is as mysterious as any of the seven wonders of the world. Indeed, it is often more. There are some signs we can look for to know, but primarily, real love is simply felt in the deepest part of us and we just know it is right.
Real love changes as we grow and enter different phases of love. For example, my fourteen year old daughter is "going steady" for the first time. I chuckle to myself as I hear them on the phone making plans for a lifetime together and uttering those shy "I love you" salutations. Will they be together for the rest of their lives? Probably not. Is this real love at this stage of their lives? I certainly wouldn't dare be the one to deny it.
The defining qualities of love in a mature relationship will differ quite a bit from this "puppy love" they are enjoying, but hopefully will lose none of the passion and thrill. As we mature, we begin to see love for what it can give, as opposed to what it can get. We want the very best for the one who has captured our heart, and will sacrifice our own wants to help them achieve their dreams.
I am not trying to imply that we give up everything, our own needs must be met to keep our souls alive as well. Real love for two will meet this requirement because the other party will have this same desire to give back to you.
Real love is deeper than physically based lust. If you are with someone and every date has to end, or begin, with falling into the sack in a hot explosion of raging hormones, you may want to rethink this.
How many of us have seen the elderly man assisting his wife across a busy street, or holding her hand as they stroll through the park? Does this sight leave us any doubt that we have just witnessed real love? Most of us will walk away from this scene with a lighter step and a bit of a smile knowing that we have been blessed to see this greatest of human traits.
First Corinthians chapter thirteen, describes love as patient, kind, protective, trusting, hopeful, and perseverant. It further states what love is not. It is not envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking, or easily angered. Real love keeps no record of wrongs, does not rejoice in evil, but rather, delights in the truth.
We all desire it. We are created to need it. Hopefully, we will discover it and recognize it when we do.