Contributions from a thread asking this question:

  1. You’re comfortable with each other, no matter what others say or do.
  2. Plans are made and kept, or the excuse is true.
  3. Time is always planned and reserved just for you.
  4. Your needs are a top priority over most people and things.
  5. Begging or pleading is not required for affection.
  6. Family, friends and work don’t compare to you.
  7. Love stands up for you any time there is trouble.
  8. Attention and awareness is freely given, and faults are ignored or quickly forgiven.
  9. There are no secrets regarding your relationship and it’s good companionship.
  10. You’re not left lonely or alone.
  11. Good surprises, gifts of laughter and togetherness often arise.
  12. You will always be welcomed in your lover’s company.
  13. No other lover exists in the mind of your partner. There is no competition.
  14. There is constant and consistent contact.
  15. Love is not one-sided. If it is, or feels that way, then it’s likely unrequited.
  16. Sharing is open, honest and without hesitation.
  17. Your lover seeks to understand your problems and frustrations.
  18. You are worth more than the cost of anything they could buy.
  19. There are answers to your questions of where, when, how, or why.
  20. No one walks away without a plan to return.
  21. What your family and friends think does not impact your relationship.
  22. You find comfort and clarity in your respective roles, and they make you feel whole.
  23. Love doesn’t need to be chased, as it is easily found.
  24. Your lifestyle doesn’t get in the way of a love which has no bounds.
  25. It’s easy to forgive, forget and move on when something goes wrong.
  26. You don’t have to buy anything to make someone happy or feel strong.
  27. Mind, body and soul are appreciated and respected.
  28. The relationship is worthy of safety and protection.
  29. There is a deep and profound connection.
  30. “I Love You” is easy to say when other words fail or get in the way.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

“Love is what is left over after being “in love” has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.” ~ Louis de Bernières

When all those crazy dopamine levels of those first few months or years burn away and you still want to spend more time with this person than anyone, when your future just is, when he can sometimes love you so hard that every feeling pours out of you, and the next day do some mundane household task together and enjoy that ‘almost’ as much- that’s love. Being in love can lead to love, but it’s a choice and a commitment that both people need to make to the other for it to be real. Being in love is a state of existence, a noun. Love is something you do (together), a verb.