Do you know the difference between real and fake love? Just like any counterfeit object or characteristic, it can be tricky to know and identify the real from the fake. Sometimes, even experts can’t tell what is genuine and what is not.
The fake stuff resembles the real thing in many aspects. The facade can look exactly like the true article. Hollywood sets with their cardboard exteriors are good examples of that. So when it comes to falling in love, if the object of your affection looks good, sounds reasonable, and seems to feel the same way you do, you may not get it that he or she is not what you think they are.
What are the defining characteristics that can signal to you what is real and what is fake? What are the warning signs you need to heed?
Essentially, the fake love fades away as soon as the chemistry wears off. But love endures, showing up in the actions and deeds of the two people.
Here are the signs of fake love:
Fake love, which is chemistry only, lasts anywhere from three weeks to a year and a half and then disappears. Real love loses the immediacy of the chemical rush, but retains chemistry while it grows deeper and calmer. The onset of both kinds of love is marked by obsession. For a period of time, the two people in love cannot think about anything but the other one. They may lose weight, lose sleep, and lose all concept of time. Nothing else exists for them except the other person. When this chemical high wears off, the true picture of the person emerges for them. All of the above involves…time.
Fake love, based primarily on physical intimacy, is what two people assume about each other. They can’t see future problems. Idealized qualities, lives built on fantasy, and a perfect life together dominates their thoughts. Each one insists that the other one is the greatest person they have ever met. The problem is, they haven’t really MET each other yet. They are relating to their idealized version. When this cyclone of projection ends and the dust settles, the true person emerges. Then they can decide if they are right for each other.
3. Fairy Tales
Counterfeit love feeds off of the stuff of fairy tales. The women in the story want Prince Charming. They will have riches, happiness, love, and all dreams come true. The man in the story, who feels like a frog and may even look like one, is kissed by the princess. He miraculously turns into a handsome, dashing Prince. When two people get together and fall into the chemical cocktail, they unconsciously can fall into this stylized story. Only when the chemicals wear off do they actually see each other. They may like each other, in which case, real love may develop. Or- the chemicals become toxic, the guy goes back to being a frog, and she looks for another prince.
4. The Future
When two people meet and fall into chemistry, they may begin to plan their future together within weeks. Their “real” selves are not talking to each other here – it’s their spiced, fried, scrambled brain that can’t be trusted to make clear decisions.
What does REAL love look like? It is able to get past the chemistry phase and into real time. Fake love involves conflict, drama, and pain, once the chemistry wears off. Real love evolves into service, thought, care, and sincere emotions for the other. Real love is shown in loving acts – over and over – with no one keeping score. Real love responds to the needs of the other, flowing effortlessly from one day to the next.