May 25, 2016 Blog No Comments

love2This week I observed another friend fall in love. It’s glorious to watch that joy unfold. To see the smiles, the wonder, the delight and romance of discovery be played out in front of you is a gift.

Finding love, true love, is a dream for most of us. This is the sixth friend, of all different ages, I have watched move past the struggle with unhappy and unfulfilled relationships to step into what seems to be the “Magic Kingdom of Love”. What does it look like, what qualities make it different?

It was eight years ago that I made a clear decision that I wanted to find true love. Three years later, my life changed so substantially my friends watched in wonder. Since then, Lee and I have been aware that we are role models of a sort. We give people hope.

What makes love, true love, so significantly different? I have talked about it with Lee and surveyed some of my friends, who like me, have brought love into their life. I think there are clear criteria that separate it from other relationships that get carried along over time without much joy, passion and noteworthiness.

Here are 4 qualities of true love that I think separate it from other relationships.


Don’t we all secretly want to be adored? Adoration implies a depth of love that honors the very essence of a person. It means we are understood, appreciated, admired, respected, and held in high esteem. There is a degree of reverent devotion to it.

Being adored with equal reciprocity is not only essential, it is more powerful. It cuts through any imbalance and struggle that power inequities in a relationship create. When the feelings of adoration are shared by both partners, it deepens the bond. With equal adoration there is a sturdy platform that will carry a relationship the distance, through thick and thin.

Adoration requires maturity and strong self-esteem. To love another person with full acceptance means you are not seeking something for yourself, you are simply in a state of appreciation for the other. When it is a shared experience, it also implies that you know your worthiness to receive the same in equal measure. There is balance.

True love both adores and is adored – it honors the essence of love.


It may seem so obvious that trust is important in a relationship that we miss the nuances and complexity of it. Trust goes beyond the expectation and hope that your mate is faithful, reliable, honest, truthful, and responsible to you and the terms of the relationship. It also includes an openness to one another without judgement.

With true love, trust includes the comfort that comes from the lack of judgment, which allows us to personally expand and grow. When we are able to expose the more vulnerable, tender parts of ourselves without fear, it creates an emotional freedom and openness that is not always possible or wise in other relationships. This freedom allows us to explore and expand ourselves.

The more we honestly express ourselves, the more we obtain a deeper level of intimacy and love. It is a self-perpetuating cycle of deepening growth, expansion and bonding. Yes, there’s risk to exposing yourself, but when people are unwilling to go there for fear of being hurt, that closed door will ultimately create a chasm in the relationship that perpetuates the lack of trust. With true love, the openness is what ultimately sets us free.

The complete trust of true love fosters emotional openness and freedom to expand ourselves.


What brings people together in true love – is it the bonding of similarity, opposites attracting each other or does it matter? What seems to be crucial is the ability to share interests, passion and values, along with good communication to navigate any of the differences.

True love shares interests and experiences that nurture and enhance the relationship, deepening the bond with each other. A strong attachment creates the confidence to allow time apart to enjoy separate interests. Even with differences in interest’s, good communication and compromise helps navigate potential conflicts.

True love partners may grow individually, but they don’t grow apart. The shared values and good communication becomes the bond that allows a relationship and each individual to grow and expand. While parallel lives is a sad reality for many people who aren’t able to verbally navigate the gulf of differences, it is not a feature of true love.

True love has strong connections and good communication which allows the relationship and the individuals to grow.


We all come into a relationship with our unique past, present and future dreams. It is the melding and blending of each of these that becomes the creation of the third entity – the relationship. A relationship has its own identity, its own energy and its own promise.

True love honors each other’s gifts and dreams; it honors the individual while enhancing the entity. The more each person is adored and trusted with a strong connection, the more the relationship flourishes. The growth of the individual within the relationship expands the relationship itself. The quality of the relationship is always a reflection of the ability to enhance and support the growth of the individual.

In true love, nurturing the relationship is always a priority. Even as each person grows, relationship needs are considered first. While there may be compromises, they accommodate and expands the boundaries of the connection. In this way, the third entity grows along with the individuals.

A relationship is always greater than the sum of the parts.

My mother always refers to her husband of 67 years as “My Beloved”. While It’s an old fashioned term that’s become a family joke, we also know it’s powerful truth. She has loved him for a lifetime and it was equally shared. There may not be a higher standard of true love than this phrase which implies equal adoration, complete trust, a strong connection and their identity as a couple that commanded everyone’s respect. As old fashioned as the saying may be, we aspire to say it ourselves!

If the search for true love is something you’d like to explore, I welcome your inquiry. We all deserve to find it, claim it and live it! My Transformational Coaching helps people step into what serves their best interests. You can find more information on my website at and request a free consultation to determine if it would be helpful for you. I look forward to hearing from you.Tag PhotoAdd LocationEdit

Written by Connie Milligan, LCSW
If there is anything I’ve expressed that speaks to you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at my email, connie [at] conniemilligan [dot] com