Speaking personally, I find the concept of “true” love very troublesome. It leads individuals to sometimes focus way too much on whether or not the person they are currently with is “the one” as against to putting their energy into enjoying and strengthening the relationship they’re currently in. It makes people worry about whether or not something better is waiting for them, if the love they feel for someone now is “good enough” to be “true” because they believe they only have one shot at this and you’d better hope you picked the right one because there are no second chances.
And this just doesn't get into my head.
Once, I was deeply in love with someone. We wanted to be together for life. I poured my heart and soul into that relationship and I never once doubted that I truly, deeply loved them and that they loved me too.
But in the end, it just didn’t work out. We ended it because not that our feelings had changed, but because our lives were taking us in different directions. And I feel pretty comfortable saying that both of us were a mess afterwards. I listened to them sob over the phone while I laid there, crying my eyes out. I was heartbroken to the point of physical pain. My ex wavered, second-guessing, panicking that they’d made the wrong call and wanted me back even though nothing else about our circumstances had changed. We knew we couldn’t be happy with the way things were, within circumstances that we couldn’t control, no matter how much we loved each other.
I genuinely feared that I would never find someone who felt that way about me again - and that I could never love another person as much as I had loved them.
I was wrong.
The relationship I am in now is better because it’s had time to grow, to build a solid foundation, and because I am older and more mature than I was in that previous relationship. It’s not because the love I feel now is more “true” than what I felt before. It’s different because I am different, because my partner is different - but that doesn’t mean that what I felt before somehow wasn’t real enough or that what I feel now is undermined by the fact that I deeply loved someone before I met them.
Love is Love. It comes in different colours, different tastes, different intensities. If you love someone deeply and you are loved deeply, then stop worrying whether or not it is “true.” And if you have lost a love like that, then it’s all a matter of meeting the right person, making the right connection, and leaving your heart open to give and receive love like that again.
If you convince yourself that “true love” can only happen once, then you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.