Real love opens up its arms and embraces you without conditions.
Real love is the water and you are the flower; you will never die of thirst.
Real love keeps its promises, is humble and forgiving, and expands with your happiness.
Real love is a campfire that never goes out and will always keep you warm.
Real love lights up when you walk in the room and misses you when you’re gone.
Real love makes mistakes but doesn’t repeat those mistakes, especially if they hurt you.
Real love expands with your growth; it wants to see you succeed.
Real love enables you to sleep well at night knowing that you are safe in its arms.
Real love does not ask you to make yourself smaller so it can take up more space.
Real love is not threatened by your brilliance or your ability to change and adapt.
Real love does not ask that you stop shining your light; it does not demand you live in darkness.
Real love does not ask you to shrink so that it may stay comfortable.
Real love does not demand your silence.
Real love is not insecure, needy, or devious; it doesn’t scheme, bully, or deceive.
Real love won’t kick you when you’re down; it won’t blindside you; it doesn’t talk behind your back.
Real love won’t take up all the air in the room while you are suffocating in the corner.
Real love won’t mask itself in an illusion that is of our own creation. No matter how long we make excuses for someone who is purposely inflicting pain, no matter how many apologies we accept, no matter how many mistakes we overlook or how many crimes we forgive, our desperate search to find real love within an abusive relationship is a dead end. Because real love does not exist within the darkness of abuse. It cannot exist in the same realm as power over and control of another human being. The love we feel for the one who is hurting us may be real, but it is not being returned and therefore cannot wholly exist in the presence of another’s debasement.
Real love soars and is the wing beneath our wings, while abuse disguised as love sinks and brings us to our knees.
Real love is full of integrity, character, and serves your best interests, while abuse disguised as love will lie, cheat, and steal until you are reduced to nothing and can’t get up off the floor.
But you don’t need me to tell you any of this.
You don’t need a list or to check off what applies one by one. Just like I did when I was deep in the darkness, you already know. If you’ve been fighting the truth of your situation, it’s only because you don’t yet want to know. But the facts are clear for you to see. It’s just a matter of asking yourself when you’re ready to leave this pain behind and find your way to the light.
Where Real Love is waiting for you.