What does real love feel like? Is love even definable? Can you put a single definition of love on paper? Maybe not. Dictionaries define it as “an intense feeling of deep affection.”
But we can have an intense feeling of deep affection for someone who doesn’t feel the same way about us, so in my opinion, that’s not real love.
A lot of us think we want “real love,” but most of us can’t even really define the word effectively. After all, we can liken describing love to describing color – you can’t really “get it” unless you’ve felt it.
Love isn’t just experienced with your logical mind, and yet your logical mind is what attempts to define it. Real love is the result of your intention to love – but it’s very different from your intention to BE loved. Real love is something we “are” rather than something we “get” or share. That’s why it’s so confusing.
Maybe a better definition is that love is a feeling that expresses itself through action and acts of service. It’s what we do, and our intention behind it. It’s not the need for control, or security, and it’s not jealousy. It’s mutual trust, mutual respect, and deep, lasting friendship. It’s finding beauty in one another even in the darkest times in our lives, and loving one another even when it feels hard.
Relationships are difficult. But when we can commit to one another for life, bringing in the deepest parts of ourselves (the good, the bad, and the ugly) – and then accept one another, flaws and all, we can find love. Avoid bad dating relationships, difficult marriages, and inevitable divorce with this advice.
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy.
She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.