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Karen M. Black
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A daughter's tale of truth, love and letting go

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An addictive spin on awakening, soulmates and past lives

Ten (surprising) characteristics of true love

Here are the characteristics of true love that you'll recognize when you're in the presence of your soulmate.

Ten (surprising) characteristics of true love


What I mean by Self-ishness is both people in a relationship putting themselves first in a healthy way. Why? So they have the inner resources and energy to extend themselves lovingly to their beloved. Without this sweet tension of selfishness, a relationship may end up co-dependent and unbalanced, with one party giving way too much, and neither getting what they really need to grow at a soul level. That's why it's on my list of key characteristics of true love.


What a beautiful word! This is treating another as an entity that's incredibly precious, creating a safe space for both partners to explore themselves and each other. One of the yummier characteristics of true love. When we cherish, we appreciate what we have without taking it for granted. We each feel supported because each put the other's safety first and the relationship becomes a playground for the heart and soul. How to do this? Find and share the things you truly appreciate about one another — often.

Challenging (that leads to growth)

True love isn't perfect all the time. But it always encourages us to grow, even if that means a loving kick in the butt if we need it. By challenging, I do not mean flinging expectations, nagging or nit-picky criticism by the way. One of the characteristics of true love is two partners that both look out for each other and don't let the other off the hook. With this approach, both are stretched in a good way and encouraged to be the best they can be. Not always easy: but always leading to becoming more powerful.


Sometimes, life happens and we fall down — or we're pushed. We may get the flu, get laid off or just have a bad day. Or we might experience a devastating loss. When we're stripped of the defenses we thought we had, we feel incredibly vulnerable. One of the characteristics of true love is where each partner has the capacity to nurture one other. Chicken soup. Holding hands. Listening. Gentle touch. Taking care of things for a while. Women are natural nurturers, but men? The good ones are. That's why one of the most important questions for women to ask themselves before committing is: “Can he nurture you?”

Expressing your true self

Can you freely express youself in your relationship? Can you be silly, sad, clueless and competent? Sexy and strong? Arty and analytical? Child-like and serious? Creating a safe space for self expression is one of the juicy characteristics of true love. Such expression is dampened by the likes of (ick) criticism, sarcasm and judgment. It's buoyed up beautifully by humour and curiosity.

I have a friend who when she's most herself, jumps up to touch the branches of trees, exclaining in child-like glee: “Tickle-tickle!” Her partner was drawn to this energy early on. Childish? Not. She's an MBA and he's a lawyer. They laugh alot together. As for me, don't tell anyone, but I talk to ducks. ☺


“My intention is to create a deeper connection and understanding between us...” Great words to use, expecially in sensitive conversations. When we each have the intention to connect to our partners, rather than competing or furthering our own agenda, we can move mountains together. Holding the intention of connection is truly one of the characteristics of true love. Challenging conversations are softened, breakthroughs are made, compromises are found — with connection intact.


“I feel as if I've known you forever...” These are sticky romantic words if they're said without heart. But to those who have really felt this type of inexplicable comfort or ease in another's presence, not only on the first date, but years later, it's definitely one of the characteristics of true love. What the comfort means is that our energy bodies are compatible in a way that feeds each of us, instead of draining.


“Sweetheart, I am not the enemy.” We may want the same things, but sometimes ego-driven power struggles and unconscious defense mechanisms can get in the way. We're human after all! One of the characteristics of true love is treating each other as partners who seek ways to collaborate and cooperate in a win-win manner, rather than focusing on the ‘win-lose’ energy of getting our own way. Cooperation is one of the hallmarks of soulmates.


How do you handle relationship conflict? Is it one endless power struggle after another? Do you fight fair? Are you both able to display anger in a way that doesn't cut the other off at the knees? One of the characteristics of true love is resolving conflict in a way that's truthful, without resorting to righteous blame or personal character attacks. Not to say that it's fun — or easy. But in the end, conflict is expressed and resolved quickly and cleanly, clearing the air... so that you can get on with true love.

Giving and receiving

The only match for someone who does not know how to receive, is someone who does not know how to give.

Read that again — slowly. Where do you fit? Where does your sweetie? I've left one of the most important characteristics of true love to the last: two people who both have the ability to give and receive in a relationship, creating equality, fairness and balance.

I hope you enjoyed these characteristics of true love.

Take me to:

Soulmate signs – 10 surprising soulmate signs for blissful relationships – tailored for him and for her.

Read about my private karmic astrology sessions.

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