This Is What Real Love Feels Like When You Are Actually Honest About Everything

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couple by a window with baby

What is real love like? When you ponder this question, what comes to mind?

A scene from a romantic movie? A wedding? A scene from your life? Do you still believe in real love?

Real love stands the test of time. It’s when two people accept one another, warts and all, and commit to a life together. They weather the storms and enjoy the tranquility of the good times.

In order for real love to flourish, being honest in a relationship is key. Both partners have to be brave enough to be themselves, so they can share all of who they are with each other.

When a couple is actually honest about everything, they continue to evolve and grow together, rather than apart.

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Here are the 7 ways when being honest in a relationship leads to real love.

1. You know what makes each other feel loved.

Most people treat their partner the way they want to be treated, instead of finding out what their partner needs from them. You may even find yourself arguing about what they really need from you.

Be honest about what you need and ask for it. Be willing to give your partner what they want and need. As long as your needs aren’t in conflict with each other, you can make each other feel loved and cared for.

If your needs are in conflict, you can work together to create a win-win situation, so you both get what you want. It takes a little more effort and creativity, but it's most definitely worth it.

But constantly compromising with each other is the death of passion, so you want to limit meeting in the mediocre middle.

Maybe you like to receive gifts, but he expresses his love through physical touch. Or maybe she wants to hear how much you love her, but it’s much easier for you to fix things around the house to show your love.

Know what makes you feel loved and ask for it from your partner. Also, be curious about how your partner feels loved and be generous in giving what they really need.

2. You learn how to take responsibility for what's yours.

One of the most important tools for a healthy relationship is understanding the responsibility equation: "When someone has a problem with you, it's their problem. When you have a problem with someone, now it's your problem."

Are you taking responsibility for your partner’s mood or behavior? Do you blame others when you make a mistake or don’t behave well?

In order to be honest in your relationship, you must first be honest with yourself. Know your triggers, wounds, and become aware of your strategies for giving and receiving love.

Creating healthy boundaries means that you don't take responsibility for what doesn't belong to you. Your partner’s moods and actions are not your own, so never treat them as such.

By keeping healthy boundaries, you can have space for your relationships to thrive.

3. You discover how to create connection, even during conflict.

Why are people so drawn to creating intimate relationships? Because creating a connection is a basic human need and you feel most connected in a healthy relationship.

You want another person to get you and understand you. Most of all, you want to belong and know that your partner has your back.

You create connections through authenticity. Being authentic means you are sharing your experience: Your emotions, thoughts, ideas, and even your fears.

Allowing yourself to be fully seen requires some courage and practice, particularly when there's a conflict ensuing.

Many conflicts happen when one or both of you are not being authentic. The good news is that conflict shows up to bring the two of you closer together.

By sharing your inner world and being honest and authentic about what's going on with you, you create an invitation for your partner to share their own truth.

A connection doesn’t require the two of you agree. But, it does require that you're authentic and allow yourself to see your partner’s point of view.

4. You feel compassion for each other.

Judgment is the biggest block to sharing real love with another. When you're judging your partner’s thoughts, feelings, or actions, you're creating a wall between the two of you.

The only way to release judgment is to discover compassion for your partner’s behavior. Everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have.

If you or your partner is not feeling very resourceful, then you will not have the best strategies.

Give yourself and your partner some grace. Life can be difficult at times, and during these challenges, you may not always make the best choices.

Have compassion for your own bad strategies and work to develop better ones over time.

Just remember that change takes effort over time, so don’t expect perfection right away. Effort counts for both you and your partner.

5. You clean up your messes as you go.

Avoiding conflict will never deepen the connection between you and your partner. Conflicts and disagreements show up in every relationship.

Part of being human is to accept that you will sometimes be triggered. So, learn to be OK with your human nature.

Avoiding problems just leads to bigger issues over time. The little annoyances become bigger frustrations that can erupt into even bigger conflicts.

Don’t be like a volcano and spew lava all over the place when you can’t contain the pressure any longer. Release the pressure by speaking your truth.

When there's something between the two of you, clean it up immediately. Say what you need to say, and then let it go.

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6. You discover your shared dreams, values, and goals.

It's not common interests that create a lasting bond. Love doesn’t last because of chemistry and attraction.

Real love lasts because the two of you are on the same page. You want the same things from life. You may have different strategies for getting there, but you know the two of you are rowing the boat in the same direction.

Having shared dreams, values, and goals is the glue that makes real love last through trying times. You won’t discover shared values by just having conversations about what's important to each of you.

You discover your partner’s values over time by seeing how they spend their resources.

Be open and honest with yourself and your partner in why you spend time on certain activities. You’ll discover whether or not the two of you really are on the same page.

7. You have a commitment to healing and growing old together.

A healthy relationship grows stronger with age. Couples grow apart because they don’t give attention to the relationship.

When you're honest about everything, you have an opportunity to heal many of your wounds together.

Through this healing process, you’ll grow closer, your love will grow deeper, and you’ll create the fuel to make your love last.

You're not responsible for your partner’s healing, nor is your partner responsible for yours.

However, you can create an environment where you learn to love and accept each other exactly as you are, not expecting or needing each other to change.

This kind of acceptance is one of the most healing experiences you will ever have.

When you're honest in a relationship, love ages like a fine wine and stands the test of time. You create an environment of openness and trust that enriches your life and your relationship.

So, avoid the trap of growing apart or evolving in different directions by sharing your truth and by being curious about your partner.

Your reward will be a deep, lasting real love that will grow even better over time.

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Orna and Matthew Walters have been soulmate coaches for over a decade and helped thousands of readers create long-lasting love. Download a complimentary copy of their ebook, "Recognizing Mr. Right," along with a guided program on self-acceptance from their website.

This article was originally published at Creating Love On Purpose. Reprinted with permission from the author.