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True Love or Infatuation-What’s the Difference?

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“True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights.  If you hear bells, get your ears checked.” ~Erich Segal

Sometime back when I wrote about How to Positively handle a break up, my inbox was suddenly full of emails seeking relationship advice. While each and every email was different and each and every situation unique, there was one thing that was common in all….COMPLICATION!
We all know relationships come with their share of ups and downs. We have all been through these. Some have come out victorious, while some haven’t been able to wrap their head around what exactly went wrong. Somehow, we all think we need to work hard at making a relationship work. While in reality that is absolutely NOT the case.
Dont look so puzzled…Its true!
True love=An awesome relationship.

So, how do we know its true love? What’s the measuring scale for this awesome relationship we DONT have to work hard at?

We live with the misconception about what true love is. We have been fed this magical fairly tale like feeling when we were kids with all the fairy tales and the tall, dark and handsome or the tall, fair and beautiful cliches! Its the way story books and the media are…but then, we forget they are just stories. Meant to amuse and entertain.
When in reality Love is
far more beautiful than any fairly tale or any romantic story. Its a selfless feeling. A feeling towards another…irrespective of reciprocation. If we can only remove the dark glasses of what we Think what love should look like and just feel it for once….all the complications would just melt away.
Although there are times when people who are madly in love also part…its not the love thats at fault..its the situation or circumstance. Love is not going anywhere. Its right there in your heart…feel it!Each of us is full of immense love irrespective of our situation or circumstance! We just need to feel it enough and share it enough to let all our relationships blossom in its beauty.

So, since this is Valentines Week and Love is certainly in the air…I thought of giving you a little list of differences to clear atleast a few complications.

The difference between True Love and Infatuation.

We all need to know this in order to know what part of our loving relationships we need to work on….and Are you truly in love or madly infatuated??
“Infatuation is when you think he’s as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Ralph Nader, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Conners.  Love is when you realize that he’s as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger and nothing like Robert Redford – but you’ll take him anyway.” ~Judith Viorst, Redbook, 1975

You are In Infatuation when:

  • You see the other person as perfect
  • You want to get own needs met; selfish
  • You spend all your time with the other person
  • You can Quickly “fall” for the other person
  • All your Other relationships and friendships deteriorate
  • You are solely Dependant (emotionally) on the other person
  • You experience Jealousy frequently
  • Your relationship lasts for a short period of time
  • Distance strains and often puts an end to the relationship
  • Your Quarrels are serious and common
  • Your Quarrels can seriously damage the relationship

You are Truly in Love when:

  • You see the other person’s flaws and still loves them
  • You Want to think of your partner first before yourself; selfless
  • You still spend time with others-(your partner accepts YOUR personality and YOU)
  • You Take the time to build the relationship
  • Other relationships and friendships grow stronger
  • Trust and understanding results in less severe, less frequent or NO jealousy
  • You can encompass a long-term commitment
  • Your relationship survives and is strengthened because of distance
  • Your Quarrels are less serious and less often
  • Your infrequent Quarrels strengthen the relationship

Temptation is the second name of infatuation and its so easy to fall for temptation. But the question is, do you want a lasting, satisfying relationship? If so, infatuation isn’t the answer. Look at your relationships through the differences above. A relationship cannot be based on infatuation.
Perhaps, True and Real Love begins with first finding yourself! Cause only if you’re happy with your self will you be able to embrace the other person just as he/she is. And surprisingly you WILL find true love more easily(naturally). You wont need to rack your brain as to why a certain relationship went wrong.
If its meant to be it will be! Without fuss, without hassels, without drama…it WILL happen and you will make your happily ever after….even better than the fairly tales….

You just need to know the difference….

Now its your turn…What do YOU think? Do you have any other definitions of true love that you would like to add to this, or any other differences? Please share your thoughts in the comments :)


With Immense Love & Gratitude,
~Zeenat~
Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor
Motivational Speaker/Naturopath
Holistic Healer/Writer


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Author: Zeenat Merchant Syal

Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor/Motivational Speaker/Naturopath/Holistic Healer/Writer

89 thoughts on “True Love or Infatuation-What’s the Difference?

  1. Hi Zeenat, what a wonderful post! You’ve summed things up beautifully.

    I would add that true love encourages and supports growth in the significant other as an individual, even when it makes us uncomfortable. And as much as couples truly in love can seem to become one, authentic love allows for and honors differences, individual boundaries, and identities that are separate from those of the beloved. ;)

    Cheers,
    Miche

    • Hi Miche,
      I agree with you completely….true love makes two souls come together as one…but helps each soul to grow too…Your individuality is not curbed if true love is the essence of your relationships..:)
      I love how you say it….just beautiful!
      Glad you liked this post..and so glad to see your wonderful thoughts here :) Thx :)

      • Miche, I think you’ve said it all. :) I agree with you completely.

        Zeenat, I was reading through the differences between the two and ‘am glad that I feel more connected in the ‘true love’ list than infatuation. (Yay!) Love is a relationship, not a feeling. It is so much deeper than words alone. You’ve brilliantly distinguish the both and I’m glad that I jump in here for a good inspiration. Awesome as always! :-)

        @wchingya
        Social/Blogging Tracker

      • Hi Zeenat,

        Superb & really it makes sense between LOVE & INFATUATION

    • Hi Zeenat, I was glad to see this post because although I have heard of infatuation, I just wasn’t sure of the meaning. I believe in true love now because I found it 12 years ago, there were no fireworks. Our love has grown over the years, we are both love to cuddle, and remember the little things, by thinking of each other. Its an inner feeling of complete happiness to be with the one that was meant for you.

    • can we call this a true love if it just come to you unexpectedly..and you fall him directly unexpectedly..somebody help me..i want to finf the ryt person..

  2. that made so much sense, zeenat

  3. This is such a beautiful post Zeenat and cannot agree more, true love comes from knowing yourself first. I loved your definition and really there is nothing I would add, you said it perfectly! Thank you!

    • Hi Lana,
      Knowing yourself is hardest to do…but once its done….true love is not far behind..:)
      Glad you liked my definition…
      Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts here :)

  4. see…..that’s what i can’t understand about people…..where do you get so much of positivity…..????????

    you can’t complain abt ppl sending you mail after, seeking for advice, when you write so good…….the idea also crept into my mind, then i decided not to…. :)

    i’m not a fan of reading and as much of Erich Segal i know is though blog posts…….he seems to be really good at these love story books……hope to get the strength to read him someday………

    you \,,/

    • HI Hitesh,
      Considering you dont read too much…i must thank you for reading through this post ;)
      As for where i get so much positivity…even i have no idea ;)
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your awesome thoughts here!
      Ohh..and what does \,,/ mean???I am still wondering…:) I even googled it..and what do you know…google doesnt know either???

  5. Pingback: Embrace Your True Self

  6. Hi Z! WONderful breakdown here between true love and that other temporary, superficial thing – infatuation! I think true love is also when you can see the “difference” in the other but respect that rather than try to change it – also in not having the need to be right about everything – I love hubs enough to keep my mouth shut rather than argue some silly point.
    Thanks for the invite to join you for hot chocolate today in honor of Valentines Day – it’s my favorite drink but calorie-wise I’ve switched to tea – how boring eh?
    I toast you with my tea cup :)
    hugs
    suZen

    • Oh Suzen,
      I agree with your insight completely! Celebrating our differences..being supportive..and mostly keeping our egos aside….thats what truly works for a good relationship….true love is just the excuse then ;)
      I toast you tea cups and all the cups i possibly can :)

  7. Hi Zeenat – what a well written post – so well set out. Naturalness and sharing, not being jealous .. being there for each other .. love just is .. Have an excellent Valentine’s Day .. Hilary

    • Hi Hilary,
      Love just is…ohh that sounds perfect..!!
      Happy belated valentines to you too! Hope you had fun though :)

      • Hi Zeenat .. thank you .. yes – just a ‘love just is’ day with my mother mostly .. just quiet .. that’s the way it is at the moment. Thank you – love to you ..

  8. Hi Zeenat,

    Love is as you described in your article. Know yourself and not fall blindly into something that is wrong. In this case, not a real love but infatuation. In today’s World, there is So many temptations out there, the media, movies etc… That shapes young people characters and sends the wrong messages. That is why often time’s people fall in love that is not a true love. Often times they seek the outer beauty when the inner beauty overlooked. To find a true love person needs to take time to get to know the significant one, also to get to know their family and the way they treat each other. Take time to grow love instead of hurrying into trouble. Thank you for the great post!

    HAPPY VALENTINES !

    Zuzanna

    • HI Zuzanna,
      Very sound advice!
      We certainly need to get to know each other…and grow true love….it does come over time…and like you said hurrying into something…means you might regret it later in life.
      Gald you liked this post. Thank you for your beautiful comment :)

  9. How beautiful. Thank you for sharing!
    I think that first you need to love and accept yourself exactly as you are in this moment so that you may then share that same healthy whole love with someone else. Love is letting your heart lead, feeling contentment and joy as you go about your day individually and together, and continuing to create as well as follow your own paths individually and together. It’s not about “finding” or “giving”, it’s about being, sometimes alone, sometimes with another. When you are together in love, that magnifies all that you are then able to generously share with the world. I think the goal of love is that– to complement each other to joyfully share double what you alone could.

    • Hi Joy,
      WOW WOW and WOW! Thats just so perfectly put….
      I agree with it completely…and especially the part about complementing each other. There is no better feeling in the world than sharing your joys and sorrows with the one you love…and all the while knowing you are not being judged, instead youre being given the freedom to be YOU!
      Thank you so so much for such a wonderful loving comment :)
      Much Love~

  10. All of this rings true to my heart. Yes, true love does not mean it will always be a smooth road ahead but it does mean you get a deep feeling that when the curves and bumps along the road come, that your beloved will still be there beside you. Looks fade with time and the inner light of spirit will shine through the form if it is allowed to. ONLY from love can we see or care about that inner light though. This is why we find people get better looking to us when the world sees them as plain or the same. It becomes about how we feel about ourselves when we are with them rather then how we look to the world. In being in love with them we feel beautiful on the inside which naturally shines through to the outside and people can’t help but notice. We could all learn to glow, not because of anything or anyone else, but because of being in touch with our own sweet and divine nature. From this point it is the easiest thing in the world to draw others to us who have either forgotten they are the light or are fully aware they are the light. Either way, it feels so wonderful and so powerful to remember this and my awakened state can only serve to awaken another to their own light. It’s NOT me having something they don’t, it’s simply me remembering mySelf and expressing that in that moment and demonstrating to them that which they are forgetting to express in that moment…..
    An eternal love affair with the Self can only happen when we remember this then the ones we draw to us will want to revel in it and a playfulness, a sweetness, a certain acceptance and spontaneity will ensue and our times with this person or persons become so magical! LOVE your insights Zeenat!!!! LOVE! LOVE!

    • Oh Jhenya,
      thats a wonderful comment!
      I am so with you on the love affair with yourself. I am all for it!
      Learning to be with yourself ..happily..makes it so much easier to make the other person feel just as happy and special.
      Love yourself….to truly love another :)
      Thank you for your awesome thoughts on this…..LOVE LOVE LOVE them :)

  11. Beautiful Zeenat! You had to know I would LOVE this post. Your list feels very right to me, and part of that is because I can now joyfully say I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve been infatuated with others, and most recently, I’ve truly loved another.

    It’s a feeling unlike any other, and 100% it can be felt in the chest – as a real physical sensation. It’s calming, healing, enlivening, and unconditionally accepting.

    I wish everyone could experience true love. I believe our world would be a lot different if they could.

    Speaking of true love, much love to you, my wonderful friend!

    • My Joyful Angel,
      Am so so happy that your are in love…the actually true and beautiful kind. Isn’t it wonderful!
      You know….i actually was thinking about you constantly while writing this post…and i kept thinking..why why???now i know why..all that love youre surrounded with..was just hinting at me ;) and telling me “she is fine” :)
      Here’s are little prayer that everyone experiences this wonderful feeling.
      Much Love to you too ~

  12. Good One!!!
    You very well understand the emotion…:))
    Nice take…and I do believe Love n tolerance is the panacea for every difficulty in life.

    Regds
    Deepa

    http://deepazworld.blogspot.com

  13. Love this one! But they also go hand in hand. You can be infatuated without being in love, but if you’re truly in love, then you’re also infatuated!

    I came by to welcome you to SITS! We’re happy to have you with us!

  14. When you wake up next to your parter in the morning,and see his /her hair all ruffled up,no make up, smelling bad,probably scratching his/her ear, and you see the woman /man you love emotionally naked, with absolute no pretensions , and still think -yes this is the person i want to spend the rest of my life with…you are probably on the right track.

    Rest all is infatuation.

    • Hi Gyanban,
      Very well said!
      I think You and your life partner are lucky to have each other :) Cause you so beautifully understand this.
      Thank you for your lovely thoughts on this :)

  15. seeing the flaws and still loving them becomes more difficult at the years go by (I kid!) ;-)

    Welcome to SITS!! I know that you will enjoy being a part of this vibrant community of bloggers..

    • HI Carma,
      Flaws can become the cute quirks we love :)
      As for SITS..oh am so glad to be part of it. I have to go and spend more time there..and get to know you gals more fondly :)
      thx for stopping by and welcoming me :)

  16. Lovely post….
    Perfectly summed up… I particularly loved the part where you mentioned long distance relationships (prob coz i am going through that! :P )
    Looking forward to more posts like this!

    • Hi DistinctlyUniform,
      Long distance relationships can be tough if you’re not totally committed to each other. If you need to talk…You can email me :)
      Am glad you liked this post….many more to come for sure :)
      Thank you fro your lovely comment :)

    • Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those knowing a good thing hen they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough.

  17. Hi Zeenat,

    Just as everyone has said, this was a beautiful post. You are so right about the distinction between true love and infatuation.

    To me, true love is when we allow someone to be who they are and we do not judge them because of it. There is no need to change someone if you love them. I always find it funny when people want to change one another to fit their idea of what is “right”. The best expression of love is to allow someone to be who they are and celebrate their uniqueness.

    Love and hugs to you!

    • Hi Nadia,
      I have found that funny too…Often I see when people come in for counseling…they want to change each other to fit their likes…their fantasy so to say. They forget that this was the same person they fell in love with in the first place…
      Celebrating uniqueness…now thats awesome!
      Glad you liked this.
      Love to you too~

  18. Yes, it is so important to know the difference between love and infatuation!
    Happy SITS sharefest!

  19. That Erich Segal quote is so funny – and true!

    p.s. welcome to the SITS community – it’s great to have you as a new SITSta!

  20. I liked the post. :)
    Now, is there anything called one sided love?

    • Hi Nethra,
      Glad you liked this post :)
      As for one sided love…hmm……ask yourself this..is it making you happy or sad?? If feelings whether one sided or two sided…dont make you feel happy…then its not true love in the first place.
      I doubt one sided feelings can ever keep you happy…What do u think…??
      Much Love~

  21. Majority of people have misconceptions about love. I think love is anything that doesn’t not involve our ego, pride, prejudice, judgment and laziness. :-)

    • Hey Wlater,
      Thats so so right! Love is pure….its not tainted with any negativity….and believe me…ego, pride, prejudice, judgment and laziness are certainly negative.
      Thank you for your lovely thoughts on this :)

  22. I guess love comes from within and infatuation is from without. Love is acceptance and infatuation acceptance because. Nice post! I think i got it.

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  24. Very nice post…Actually, you have a very nice blog. It’s comfy over here.

    Welcome to SITS! It’s great to have you….

    I’m hosting a little giveaway…Hint, there is chocolate involved. :D

  25. Awesome post here Z love your evaluation of True love & infatuation and to sum it up infatuations lacks the endurance of true love, with a survival rate of 0.00001 I guess …

  26. This is fantastic. Infatuation is the first 6-18 months of a relationship. We make the most important decisions sometimes when in this state. If we didn’t I don’t think humans would exist. So I do believe infatuation has it’s place. Love is when the work begins…in sickness and in health…

    I’ve seen my adult psychologist friends fall head over heals in love with someone and swear to me “this is real this is different.” I don’t think it’s possible to believe otherwise in this state.

    Great post and one that’s needed! xo

    • HI Tess,
      I actually laughed reading you comment…cause its true…me being the all head psychologist…also fell head over heels for my hubby…but you know i took 3 years to respond to his marriage proposal…cause i wanted to be absolutely sure….well past the infatuation stage…:)
      Glad you liked this post :)

  27. Awww what a lovley post Zee you lil’ romantic you!

    I think it’s ok to be infatuated in the beginning, I think everyone is, it’s knowing how to get past that and you’ll know when you’re in love because, you’re not afraid to disagree, you know quarrels can actually lead to a better understanding of each other (and they are not the end of the world)

    That initial infatuation can be quite fun though, that always passes with time though! :-)

    Lovely post! xx

    • HI Amit,
      Yeah i am such a mushy romantic… ;)
      And youre right…quarrels actually bring you closer…..they are NOT the end of the world.
      I think the romantic love should truly endure the loving infatuation that comes in the beginning….makes things spicy and fun ;)
      Glad you liked this post :)

  28. Beautiful Zeenat, you and this post.

    I like this part, “You see the other person’s flaws and still loves them”. That is love. And it’s also love when we don’t want those flaw to change as they make the other person who they are.

    Sending you ((((hugs)))) :)

    • Hi Barbara,
      Flaws and all make the person who he/she is….so why change them when thats who we initially fell in love with…
      Glad you liked this post.
      Hugs to you too :)

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  30. How beautifully written. Cool advice!

  31. i wish i read this earlier than now zeenat..
    i am sure i really need more time to talk to you..

  32. i think love is knowing what your partner needs in a relationship. not just you giving all of yourself and love and the other receiving and at the end of the day if you need lunch he cannot supply you with even that.

  33. For me, teenagers should know about this and realize the difference between love and infatuation because its dangerous for them if they could not control their feelings about it co’z the’re young and their feelings is just temporary.

    • Adults always say how there is no such thing as being in love at such a young age. Is there a rule book somewhere that says that? I don’t think so. Love does not know an age limit. Though it is true that many do not truly understand the meaning of love, and “love is on the lips of many, but in the hearts of few,” it does not mean you cannot fall in love at a young age.

  34. Your signature styled post -AMAZING!! :) I was glad to know I fell under “true love” .However we are young and will soon face the storms of life …we’ve decided to face it together :)!! Your language is so smooth and I feel like a friend was talking to me. Looking forward to know more about you coz I’ll come in touch with you sometime soon! :)

  35. Hi there!

    I just found your blog, and I’m so glad I did. :)

    I loved this post. It’s an odd feeling to realize that my 2 year-long relationship was based on infatuation. Yikes! But it’s so comforting to confirm what I suspected of my current relationship – that I am, in fact, truly in love. The opening quote was just perfect and really spoke to me, because this relationship didn’t arrive with banners and flashing lights, like the last. It quietly crept up on me – I thought it meant it wasn’t real. Good to know I was wrong. Thanks for a wonderful post, I look forward to reading more!

    Peace,
    K

  36. This was so clearly explained , whoever would have been in the confusion of love and infatuation , would have figured it out , can you do the similar work on knowing the difference between things you just like because world is promoting it , and the things you really have passion for , it would be a great help !!!

  37. this actually had alot of pointers not only for a paper I had to write but also in the present of being a NEWLY WED thanks a million;)

  38. wow!! lovely post. I completely agree with it and happy to know that my love is true one but how to know if he is in infatuation stage although we know each other for about 2 years :)

  39. ahmh, what can i say i have learned something possitive from this article.i would like to be updated anytime there are new posts because i am now strong enough to miss any posts

  40. Hi zeenat, you words are wonderful.true love is natural(naturally made from God)infactuation is artifically made by human.true love permanent and infactuation is temporary.

  41. It is a nice description but I’m still confused with what I am feeling.

  42. Love is like fire
    play with it and you’ll get burned
    ignore it and it will go out
    but take care of it
    and it will thrive

  43. Thank you so much for this! This has helped me immensely. I have and still feel that I NEED to have that ‘spark’ or feel like I am ‘floating’ when I meet the one. My mom said as a child I would watch Cinderella everyday – no wonder I have certain ideals imprinted in my brain! I’m learning to re-train my thoughts and realize what a real relationship is. I am still learning what I want and feel comfortable with in a relationship, I am definitely a work in progress. I am almost 28 years old and feel as if my biological clock is ticking… I just keep praying that everything will make sense if I just breathe and let go of all of these unrealistic ideals of what true love is – thank you again so much <3

  44. I met a lovely man Steve two and half months ago and actually suggested we end things because he wasnt living up to my idea of ‘perfection’…………Then I got real (quickly thank goodness!!) Hes kind, gentle, reliable, generous and pratical. But I somehow felt it wasnt enough!
    He has difficult life issues at the moment but has still made time to see me. And to be honest who hasnt had tricky times in life especially at middle age!!
    I dont really miss him when hes not here, however Ive not had someone in my life for five years and Steve and I have only had 10 weeks together; so I am not used to him being around yet!!.Sometimes practical thoughts help us sort things out.
    He makes me feel loved beautiful and special when hes here and he says lovely things about me and surely that has got to count for something.?
    Life is full of impefections and if you still love someone throughout that, then surely that’s the best kind of love. He makes me feel great!!

    Loved up middle aged lady…….. Chrissie

    PS When things feel bad more often then good; then I think its time to get out.

  45. Assalamualikum Zeenat ma’am,
    the above post was truly beautiful. and glad to read your thoughts. and u have cleared alot of complications of mine and just very happy to see ur positivity in this full of negativity world. and would like to thanku with all my heart. hav a blessed day.

  46. “True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights!” but it could happen that you won’t see it, you feel it but you don’t see it and then you make other decisions, because someone was afraid to tell you I love you. We were both young! And now after 20 years he was looking for me. We both live on two different continents and he was still able to find me. It’s been a long time ago, and yet the sentiments are still strong, because we both were afraid to share how we feel. Being happily married for 25 years, I didn’t expect the past to hunt me down. Overwhelming thoughts rush through my mind like a tornado, feelings buried deep down surfaced with such a force that made my body weak. Why now?. Only to reconnect as friends and ignore what I feel? Hope I will find the light and come back to my senses, and I think my husband unconditional love wins again and helps me through this. Love and light to all of you!

  47. Infatuation takes too much work trying to make it work. If two people love each other trying to make it work, isn’t trying, it’s doing. It will work. I do spend most of my time (when I am not at work) with my significant other, but I still maintain strong friendships with others. We do occasionaly quarrel but a little time to cool down then we’re good. It’s still a little early in our relationship but not too early to say “I love you,” which we do every day. That’s also very important.

  48. Thank you for your thoughts. Even though I do know somewhat about love, infatuation was something I was not as familiar with. I am currently dealing with some complicated things in my life and I was trying to decide if I was infatuated with a guy. It’s getting to the point where I need to decide how much I like him and if I should break it off. A really good friend mentioned something to me about infatuation so I decided to look around and found your article. Thanks for writing it. Also I wrote something about love on my blog. If you have time would you look at it and tell me what you think?

    http://mistakesareneverfailures.blogspot.mx/2012/10/love.html

  49. Hi Zeenat
    I am Mintoo. Thanks for the wonderful post. I would like to share my feelings I have for some one special. I am in love with a girl who is six years younger than me, I am 29. I have expressed my feelings with her but it seems she would like to continue as a good friend and not more. Last time she was telling that she is commited to someone, but I doubt that. She was telling that this could be infatuation also.I am confused as I am 24 hrs thinking about her not knowing what my future would be with her. Please suggest and help me!!!!

    • I know what you’re saying. I totally fell for this guy a while back, and he had a girlfriend at the time. Instead of throwing myself at him, I was patient. I was there for him when she wasn’t and I did my best to be a good friend. My patience paid off and we’ve been dating for over a year and our love gets stronger every day. Basically, what I’m saying is that you should just be there for her. Be the brightest light in the dark and be the one she can turn to when the world gives her the cold shoulder. Love NEVER fails, so if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. Maybe not overnight, or within the next month, but it will happen when the time is right. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I wish you the best.

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