How To Tell If You're Actually In True Love (Or If It's Just "Ego Love")

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How To Tell If You're Actually In True Love (Or If It's Just "Ego Love")

Many people confuse ego love with true love because attachment to someone can be easily misunderstood as love. We’re literally bombarded with the images of relationships based on control, manipulation, and co-dependency.

But this is not the only way to experience relationships, in fact, this old pattern of relationships is slowly changing. More and more people experience soul-based relationships rather than ego-based and these people are changing the paradigm for all of us.

Before I tell you what the difference is, I want to emphasize one thing: if you’ve been experiencing ego love then there is no judgment. Because we’ve all have.

It’s part of our evolution, and when we play out all our ego-driven choices with someone else, we can finally take ownership of them.

Remember that everything on this planet is about growth and evolution. We’re the students of life, and thus we have to experience many different polarities to embody the wisdom we’ve so sorely earned. No one is better than the other, we’ve all made mistakes, but when you learn from them, then they’ve fulfilled their purpose — to help you master your lessons.

RELATED: There Are 8 Types Of Love — Which One Are You In?

The Difference Between Ego Love And True Love

When you love with your ego and fear, you can be easily convinced that you love the other person. And you do at some level. But it’s not the free sharing and expanding love that has no claims and fear-based battles.

We all have to learn to release all the littleness we've placed on love.

Out of pain that we’ve experienced, we put so many roadblocks to love which don’t belong there. Thus we all have to learn to love with open and expanding heart again. And not just in the romantic relationships, but learn to love the life itself this way.

The Ego Love (also known as fear-based love)

Let’s start with the ego love because it might be easier to relate to. The ego love is the love of a person who hasn’t yet entirely found themselves.

When you don’t know who you’re, you believe that you can’t feel whole and complete without someone (or something) else. There is a void in your heart that scares you. The only fleeting moments when you don’t feel this void is when you’re with someone else who loves you. Therefore, it’s so comforting to be loved as you receive what you refuse to give yourself.

Often without realizing it, you believe that if you’d have someone else to be here for you, you’d become whole again. And perhaps, at the beginning of your relationship, it can feel like that. Yet somewhere deep down you believe that you’re not enough. Even for yourself. 

You think that you can fix everything by gaining someone’s love and attention and the moment you find them, you’re afraid that they’ll leave. Because subconsciously you believe that no one can love you (as you can’t honestly love yourself).

Thus, you begin to manipulate and control the other person slowly. You’re driven by the fear that if you’d be just yourself, they’d leave. Therefore, you need to do something to keep them, and you always worry that if you’d give them freedom, they’d be gone.

This is the ego love that is based on your fears and lack of self-love. When you don’t feel whole, it’s almost guaranteed that you experience ego love.

It’s an illusion of love that wants to restrict and own someone. The same might be true for your partner, and thus you experience endless battles and arguments where you each play out your hidden beliefs about yourself.

RELATED: 15 Signs You're Not In Love, You Just Hate Being Alone

The True Love (also known as soul-based love)

This love feels completely different than the ego love, and I think that you can only fully grasp its magnitude when you experience it.

You’re ready for a soul-based relationship once you’ve done some inner work and you know yourself, and you feel whole. 

It doesn’t’ mean that you have to be perfect 24/7. It’s more about recognizing your shadow side and working on it consciously rather than expecting that someone else will fix it for you.

You turn from a little insecure self into a grown-up person who knows all their aspects and takes full responsibility for them. Because your age has very little to do with the fact if you’re emotionally and mentally mature or not.

Your deepest shadow parts can’t disappear by themselves without you actively participating. And your partner’s responsibility is not to save you or fix you.

When you love someone with your soul:

  • you always support them in their dreams
  • you trust them
  • you give them the freedom to be and do what they want
  • you expand and grow with them without trying
  • you can be your true self with them, and they can be with you
  • you always wish them the best (even if that would mean they leave)
  • there is equality between you
  • you both take care of your own mess (they can help you if they want but there is no expectation on your side)
  • and most importantly, you feel expanded with them as oppose to feel like you need to hide and shrink (as in fear-based relationships)

True love doesn’t hurt.

Pain and hurt is also a sure sign of ego love. Because when you believe that it’s the other person who is the source of your unhappiness, you’re definitely not in a soul-based relationship.

It’s the illusions about love that hurts. The partner in the ego-based relationship helps you to see your own shadow so you can work on it and then become whole. Whereas, in the soul-based relationships, you both grow but not through pain but instead through awareness and being present. You also don’t have any power-battles and blaming games with each another.

In whichever relationship you’re, remember that you always get that what you need the most at the given moment. So embrace it fully and learn from your current lessons. It doesn’t mean that you have to stay in a dysfunctional relationship, sometimes part of the teaching is to leave.

RELATED: 8 Unromantic (But Real) Signs You've Found The Love Of Your Life

Sylvia Salow is an author, public speaker, and a life coach encouraging people to grow into their potential by moving past any fears and mind limitations so they can create life which they deeply desire. She is an author inspiring people to follow their inner call. You can join her FREE Monthly Challenges here. You can watch her TEDx talk on How to Find Your Life Purpose here.

This article was originally published at Sylvia Salow. Reprinted with permission from the author.