If abiding, true love is what you’re after, you probably want to know if there are signs early on that will tell you whether or not he’s the real deal for you.
Sure, after a month or two most of us should be able to tell if we’ve hit the jackpot . . . if we’re paying attention and following our gut.
But what things should you feel, and look for in him that will give you some assurance that there’s the potential for his love to be as deep as yours?
Many things can indicate that they feel strongly for you, but perhaps the one ultimate way to know is when he regularly gives you what I call the “LOL” (look of love) or “the look”.
Getting the LOL is kind of like relationship insurance. That’s how I knew I’d found the real thing.
[A caveat: The Urban Dictionary’s definition of “the look of love” has a purely sexual connotation. I don’t mean that kind of LOL.]
I’ve had two relationships after age 55 . . . each loaded with LOLs.
Before I tell you about them, let’s set the stage with appropriate background music you can listen to, as you read this.
[You can also access the video here.]
My first true-love relationship ended abruptly after 3 years when Sam passed away. Because of him, I knew enough to look for the LOL when I dated again, and ultimately found Cosmo.
I don’t remember exactly when I first got the LOL from Sam and then Cosmo, but I do know that it was within the first month or two. The very first time it happened with Sam, I did a double take.
I’d never had a man look at me that way before.
Here’s the thing. The LOL doesn’t happen right away and it’s very subtle. In fact, if you think you’re getting the LOL from him on the first date, and it smacks you in the face and makes you swoon, it may not be the real thing.
That hormone-driven “love at first sight” thing doesn’t really apply. The LOL only comes once you’ve gotten to know each other, at least somewhat, and have gotten a good sense of who you both are.
The look, when it’s real, doesn’t happen until, say, a couple of months into the relationship.
What does an authentic LOL look and feel like?
It’s a penetrating gaze. A mix of love, satisfaction and appreciation . . . and with these characteristics:
- It’s not lascivious, like the leer or ogle you get from a player or classic charmer (aka a narcissist).
- It’s as if he’s looking deep into your soul and wants to linger there.
- The look is unwavering, and always includes a smile and/or expression of contentment. He’s feeling really lucky to have found you.
- Sometimes it creeps up on you. Your attention will be elsewhere, then you look towards him and realize he’s been looking at you for some time, silently adoring and admiring you.
- The look instantly elates, and may make you shiver. You feel it at your core, but it’s also calming and gentle.
- The feeling is unmistakably love. You can’t help but reciprocate. You’re as grateful as he is that you found each other.
There’s more to the LOL, but I think you get the idea.
Great! Now you know what to look for after you’ve been dating for a while. But what if you want to know if you’re in store for lots of LOLs with a guy?
How to spot the potential for an LOL early in the dating game.
You’ll need to be perceptive to pick up on this, but then, you should be especially perceptive in the early dates with anyone, right?
Once again, it’s all about paying attention, watching for red flags and trusting your gut.
And, of course, you have to sense that he digs you and is attracted to you.
Beyond that, here are some signs that you’re on track to get the LOL sometime soon:
- He’s an engaged listener who maintains eye-contact when you talk, doesn’t interrupt, and isn’t eager for you to finish so he can hold the floor again.
- He’s considerate, has a generosity of spirit, an even temperament, and doesn’t seem to let things get to him.
- He speaks lovingly of his friends and family, so seems capable of love and therefore capable of giving the LOL.
- He treats the people around him with kindness, whether or not he knows them.
- He gives you indications that he’s eager to be an equal partner, who will be equally responsible for the success of your relationship.
- He doesn’t run down others (like his exes) to make himself feel better.
- He doesn’t act immature or display symptoms of the “Peter Pan” syndrome.
- He shows NO signs of narcissism.
You have to be capable of giving the LOL, if you expect to get one.
By the same token, if you don’t possess the good things noted above, you’re not ready for true love yourself, and you won’t be able to give anyone an authentic LOL.
You have to be capable of accepting love, and know how to be loved.
Get to work looking inward and doing some introspection. I’ve written about this in these articles:
1. Stop looking for your soul mate and find the missing parts of you.
2. Live your life as you want to live it.
3. Stop trying to appeal to an imagined, potential partner.
4. If you are attracted to particular qualities in someone else, find or develop those qualities in yourself.
5. Engage with life; accept the gifts that are offered to you.
6. When you meet someone, don’t hurry things; allow the relationship to unfold.
No matter how great he seems, don’t be in a rush. Take things slow.
If you move forward too fast, you may overlook red flags and ignore your instincts.
In a Psychology Today article, licensed clinical psychologist Seth Meyers, Psy.D. advises taking it slow, to anyone in that out-of-control, early-dating swoon.
“The real goal becomes slowing down in the midst of the sexual-emotional storm of new love to gather our thoughts and proceed with a healthy caution.”
He offers 4 rules to help you move cautiously:
Rule # 1: If you breathe the words “The One” in the first couple of months, odds are that you’re headed for trouble.
Rule # 2: Don’t jump into bed too quickly. For those of you (I’m guessing more than 95%) who aren’t waiting for marriage to consummate the relationship, don’t get horizontal until you’ve had, at least, several dates.
Rule # 3: Your friends and family should not meet the person you’re dating until a solid month of dating – and dating with no red flags.
Rule # 4: Use what mental health professionals call “self-talk” or what everyone else calls “mantras” to keep your eye on the bigger picture when the burgeoning intimacy makes you anxious.