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'When a man loves a woman... ' are the words in the song we are all so familiar with true? Possibly; but for most of us, there has to be more to knowing what's real between you and the person you are falling in love with than a song or others opinions. It is a serious decision to commit your affections and a large part of your life to another person. What are the concrete facts about how to know?
1) Once upon a time we were told if he spends money on you, lavishes you with fine things; he must love you. That was a fairy tale. If he has nothing at all extra to spend on you but thrives when he gets to spend real time with you; that is a sign of real love.
2) A long time ago, someone told us that the man of the house is in charge; the IRS considers him to be the head of the household... unless you are single at which time you assume that position! There is a vast difference between leading the household by offering support and helping make good choices, and being a dictator in your life. Dictators are being abolished all over the planet. The dictator is not in love with anything except personal power over another, like you, and he's definitely not in love.
3) Before women joined the workforce after WWII, they accepted the fact that their man might cheat; it was the way of men... the truth was they did not see an option. Where was a woman to go who had children to raise alone, when the workplace was at best, unfriendly to her? We got a job and got wise; a man who cheats is cheating himself, not you; because he should be out of your life so you don't cheat yourself from the opportunity to enjoy real love. Cheating is a loser's game and does not fulfill the definition of love... not even once.
4) Barefoot and pregnant used to be more than a cliché. It was the preferred method for men to keep their wives or partners in captivity; under control. Today it signifies a free spirited woman who has chosen to have her child alone. Real love gives you the freedom to grow as an individual and even to leave if you choose. Real love releases all the restraints and trusts.
5) Real love is the wind beneath your wings that propels you to soar with the eagles and will never restrain your hopes and dreams; rather, they will always encourage you to reach your highest and best potential.
6) Real loves lights up your eyes, puts smiles on your face and giggles in your speech. You simply cannot hide it. And when a man really loves a woman, he can't wait to show her off to the world! She truly is the light of his life, and he can't hide it.
If you are satisfied that you have honestly considered all of this and no red flags jumped out to warn you; you may be ready to make a commitment to a more serious relationship.
If not, and you sincerely believe you are in love with this man, be honest with yourself. If you have done everything you know to do, and tried as hard as you can try and have done what you came into this relationship to do, you have done your part. It's OK to make a choice, and to achieve your highest and best good your choice should be to look for a better deal! The market is saturated; if you don't, you're going to wish you had!