Introduction: How to Be in Love (True Love)

Picture of How to Be in Love (True Love)

This is an instructable for people who find themselves presented with the opportunity to be in love. It will discuss how to nurture and maintain that bond with that certain someone. The idea of love is very subjective and varies greatly, so this is based on my personal experience. This instructable does not explore the areas of unrequited love, god's love, motherly/fatherly love, or the many other varieties of love that exist, just the kind of love that keeps cropping up in so many poems, movies, and songs. You know: True Love.

This instructable does not explain how to find your soul mate or meet the love of your life. For that, try this. (Incidentally, I was unable to find an instructable that teaches girls how to meet guys. Let's assume that's because it should be relatively easy to meet guys if you're a girl. Sorry, that's just how it is.) Or just turn off your computer and leave your house.

Step 1: Is This Love?

Picture of Is This Love?

How can you tell if it's love?

Let's say you've known this other person or been in a relationship with this person for a while when you realize that the attraction and magnetism you feel for them is stronger than anything you've experienced before.

You want to spend all your time with them. They fill your daydreams. You can see big things in your future. Everything in the world would be much better if they were by your side. And they feel exactly the same way... right?

It is important to determine what you are experiencing, whether it is love, lust, or just a mild case of indigestion. Check out the crude flowchart below: (Click here to view larger, or click on the "i" on the upper left hand corner.)

Step 2:

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You are experiencing a connection of your soul with someone else's. You want to share your life experience and be the other person's friend. Love is a pure, passionate, and profoundly tender bond with another.


You are experiencing intense desire or craving for self gratification, mostly sexual desire. The only feelings of concern for your partner are directly linked to what they have to offer you. You can feel an immediate attraction to this person and the intensity can feel a lot like love.


If you are just friends, you feel very close to this person but don't experience the overwhelming desire to be with them heart and soul at every moment. You also do not feel any sexual attraction to them.


This unrealistic expectation of blissful passion without positive growth and development is characterized by a lack of trust, loyalty, or commitment. A major indication is an unacknowledged lack of reciprocity from the other person.


Indigestion, also known as upset stomach or dyspepsia, is discomfort or a burning feeling in the upper abdomen, often accompanied by nausea, abdominal bloating, belching, and sometimes vomiting. Some people also use the term indigestion to describe the symptom of heartburn.

Step 3: First Step of Love

Picture of First Step of Love

Is it true love?

And if it is, are you ready for this?

When you're in love, it can make certain things more difficult, say, breathing. It may affect your ability to concentrate. The world may seem a much brighter place in your partner's presence, and comparatively dull in their absence. You may feel disgusted at the change in your demeanor, the effusiveness of your sentimentality, the spring in your step, the fluttering of hope in your chest... If the sweet and romantic stuff makes you queasy, you'd better back out now. If you're able.

I'm serious. This is the only warning you're going to get.


... Ok, if you're still up to it, here goes. The first step is easy, just take a deep breath and let yourself
fall in love.

Step 4: The 10 Commandments of Love

Picture of The 10 Commandments of Love
According to Harvey and the Moonglows, there are ten simple steps to being happy in love:

  • 1. Thou shalt never love another
  • 2. Stand by me all the while
  • 3. Take happiness with the heartaches
  • 4. Go through love wearing a smile
  • 5. Thou should always have faith in me, in everything I say and do
  • 6. Love with all your heart and soul until our life on earth is through
  • 7. Come to me when I am lonely
  • 8. Kiss me when you hold me tight
  • 9. Treat me sweet and gentle
  • 10. And always do what's right

Seems pretty easy, right? Let's break it down.

1. Thou shalt never love another

Obviously, it's not love if you are unfaithful and love other people. If they are truly "the one," then that's that. You only get one "one."

2. Stand by me all the while

Um, not to be taken literally. Though you should want to be by their side all the time. This means be supportive.

3. Take happiness with the heartaches

As most of us have come to realize, being in love and relationships is tricky business. It's a good probability that you will get your heart broken and your feelings hurt. This commandment advises you to accept the good times along with the bad and be aware that there is always the possibility of heartache.

4. Go through love wearing a smile

This one should be easy. You should be unable to contain yourself. People might stop and ask if you're ok, thinking perhaps you've hit your head and that your grin is stuck there permanently on your face.

5. Thou should always have faith in me, in everything I say and do

Trust each other!

6. Love with all your heart and soul until our life on earth is through

Yes. To be taken literally.

7. Come to me when I am lonely
8. Kiss me when you hold me tight
9. Treat me sweet and gentle

Show affection, be kind, take care of one another. If your significant other is truly your whole world, you should want nothing more than their happiness.

10. And always do what's right

Uh, this one is tricky. Hopefully you already have a solid moral code of conduct and empathy and can maintain interpersonal relationships without too much trouble. Treat your partner as you wish to be treated.

Step 5: Let's Talk About Love

Picture of Let's Talk About Love

Communication and trust is critical. Be honest and open about everything and trust that your partner is also being forthcoming. Don't go overboard, e.g. don't tell your girlfriend that her foot odor reminds you of your grandmother, or don't tell your boyfriend that the only man you've seen with more back hair was at a circus. Or, hell, maybe you're that close. You ought to be able to tell what is fair game and what is taboo, and you should know this because you hang on his/ her every action and response. You should be unable to help yourself from wanting to tell them everything about yourself. You should be fascinated by everything they have to say.

Step 6: Love Letters

Picture of Love Letters

When you must be apart, it can be hard not being able to talk to them. I recommend making a journal, or two, that you can write in when you're away. It can be a reassuring substitute for interaction with the one you love. Write each other cute notes and leave them odd places, like in the refrigerator, written in the dirt on their car window, or even on the sidewalk like this guy.

Be careful with phone calls and text messages and myspace-ing or whatever might get you in trouble at work. While getting fired and staying home together every day might sound like a tempting idea at the time, it does come with some complications. In theory:

No Job = No Money = No Food = Possible Shortened Life Expectancy = Less Quality Time With the One You Love

See? It's not worth it in the long run. It's counterproductive.

Step 7: Lovin' You

Picture of Lovin' You

It's easy. Make lists of all the fun things you want to do together and, well, do them. Explore your similar interests, make mix tapes, take photos, make new memories together. Be just as disgustingly cute as you want. Be unreserved. If you two are truly in love, you should enjoy seeing that matching goofy smile on your loved one's face and watching their eyes light up when you tell them how much you love spending time together. Let them know how important they are to you and how grateful you are to have found your true love, because it's really quite rare.

Even the littlest things will make them happy, like packing a lunch for them when they're running late for work, or remembering their favorite song, or making an instructable about the love you share to surprise them on their birthday.

Step 8: Tainted Love

Picture of Tainted Love
Unfortunately, even true love isn't foolproof. There is a possibility that even the truest of loves can die due to neglect or misunderstanding. There are several reasons why love might fail:

  • Mistaken identity: The object of your affections wasn't your true love to begin with, maybe only infatuation or lust.
  • Fear: You may have been too shy or afraid to pursue your love. You could have been too afraid of being hurt and tried to deny or reject feelings of love. You could have been in denial.
  • It's not me, it's you: Don't forget, love must be mutual. If your partner denies that they are in love or is lax and doesn't make an effort, it can destroy your relationship.
  • Chance: There are forces beyond your control that may interfere with your relationship. People change. The world changes. People move, get sick, have a change of heart, die.
  • Stupid mistakes: There are some things you can do that are inexcusable, such as cheating or being controlling, that may alienate your partner and damage your relationship beyond repair.

Step 9: I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)

Picture of I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)
Here are a few important guidelines on what not to do in order to maintain your relationship:

  • Don't smother. If you sense that your partner needs their space, give them space, and do so without resentment or whining.
  • Don't be jealous. If you are unreasonably jealous, you are demonstrating that you do not trust your partner. Lack of trust begets paranoia on your part and indignation on theirs.
  • Don't compare. If you must compare and contrast the differences between this and other relationships you have been in, keep them to yourself. While it may seem flattering to tell your new love that they are way cuter and smarter and funnier than your last, they will begin to wonder why your ex-lover is always on your mind.
  • Don't abandon everyone else. Not only is that a contemptible thing to do to your friends, but you need to have those other sources of influence to keep perspective. And someone to hang out with and annoy by talking incessantly about your loved one.
  • Don't try to change them. They are perfect from the moment you met them, remember? Do keep in mind that people change over time and try to accept them for who they are and who they will become.
  • Don't try to have the perfect relationship. There's no such thing and expecting perfection can only hurt you.

Step 10: Let's Stay Together

Picture of Let's Stay Together

Now that you have found your true love, know that you're all set for the rest of your lives. Or at least your romantic life is set. Love can't fix everything. It can't pay the bills, bring your dead beta fish back to life, make your job suck any less, or cure your strange rash. But the world is a better, brighter place when you know that somewhere there is a person who loves and understands you and is thinking about you even now. Just remember, the world has never seen a love as great and perfect as yours. Who cares if that's really true, all that "a love like never before" stuff, because in your universe of two, that's the only truth there is.

"Happy are the loved, happy are the lovers, and happy are those who can do without love." - Jorge Luis Borges


cej12 (author)2014-02-14

Sound like you might be super clingy.

graciepickle (author)2014-01-07

Er. . . that flow chart was. . . er. . . interesting? :p

Aussie Viking (author)2013-02-24

Wow, thank you for writing this it is one of the best things I've read in regards to love.
i agree with you on all your statements. i hope many others read this and get something from it. thank you

StephenMiller1958 (author)2012-02-04

Sad to say I was in my fifties before I read an accurate definition of love... not as a feeling you feel but as the emotion that comes back to you:

"Love is the fealing you create in the mind and body of the person who is the object of your behaviour" In otherwords, in the long term you will get back what you put in.. whether to you partner, your parents, your siblings and your children and friends. Not necessarily from all of them but from most of them.

Try it, it works!

jeffconnelly (author)2008-12-13


by the way, i meant the pic on step 9

that does look like it was a tad painful. glad I never had to do/see that.

netbus (author)tommylovesjamie2011-07-06

I've done something similar. I was in love with a girl so bad for like an year, and she didn't care. She KNEW it and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't let go. It... Changes you.
Self harm causes physical pain which provides a temporary relief of mental pain. After suffering for weeks it's a huge relief, but my friends have convinced me that this is bad.
I have a 1.5-inch long scar on the back of my right hand, 3 small scars a little less than 0.5 inches on the back of my left hand two of which are forming a cross, and a barely noticeable line on the tip of the second finger of my left hand that I cut to cause a bleeding and white "I <3 U" on a wall. Each letter was about 4 inches tall, with a stamp of my hand under the heart.

Self harm is BAD. DON'T do it. It is considered a mental disorder. When I'm sad I listen to music, cry(don't be ashamed of yourself!), talk to my friends, or start a campfire at night with my best friend. Find alternatives. But NEVER do self harm.

Saturn V (author)2010-10-02

Basically, be truthful, but not too truthful. Say only nice things, or bad things in a gentle way. Sometimes even very gently.

babebri (author)2009-06-16

I'm confused. I like a guy that i've been acting mean towards because i didn't know how to act toward him , now i am acting myself, which is really nice to him and he just keeps talking about the person he likes whos named breanna just like me, only i am brianna (she doesn't like him back)and i'm supposed to be a good friend so i fake a smile even though it hurts soo bad. I almost gave up on him ever liking me back cause all of the girls that like him are soo much more prettier than me, and skinnier, and he's amazing, funny, respectful, kind, would never use someone... the list goes on. Now i was talking to the girl he likes and she said he talks about me and says I'M amazing and I understand him, i was in absolute aw. She said she doesn't know if he likes me but i hope he does. What do i do? Btw we are both bi so we have something in common.

Saturn V (author)babebri2010-10-02

It's on the inside tat counts. If he only cares about looks, he's not worth it. If he doesn't care about looks, he's perfect. P.S. I know this is more than a year late, I just needed to say it.

PyromaniacDaniel (author)babebri2010-02-15

I realize this is half a year ago but still good advice. Just ask him. Say "hey I really like you. Your a great guy and I would totally be up for doing something more." You don't have to ask "hey you want to go on a date" but you most certainly can let him know that you are into him. Us guys are just as insecure and often times dumb struck. I know of no guy who would be offended by being asked by a girl. Communication is key whether your a guy, a girl, in a steady relationship, wanting a relationship, whatever it always applies yet is one of the most difficult things to do.

Sponzyparadox (author)2010-08-17

Someone did that for me I would be late for the door that is just freaky

One Lover (author)2010-06-11

This is one of the most heart warming instructables ever! Thank you for taking the time to make this!!! (BTW I love your diagram on step 1!)

moosofa (author)2009-10-04

what about trying to rid your once-true-love from your heart, soul, and mind? turns out i'm not good enough to be loved and i want to look elsewhere, but can't stray from the longing.

nikridgette (author)2009-05-28

these pictures suck. except for the train thing and the hamster one. :] how does this show LOVE???

moosofa (author)nikridgette2009-10-04

they're so close, their left legs are out of the picture, meaning they are probably very close. :]

Babeejojo (author)2009-06-21

I have the most bestest boyfriend ever!!!.....and i know that he loves me and i love him...we are so close its not funny....we tell each other our secrets and were like brother and sister or best friends...but we do more things together.. ;)....
i have never felt so happy in mii life ever since i met him....and i even get sexual sturins wen som1 says his name and i like drole over nothing.....I LOVE HIM!!!!

joeyward1 (author)2009-06-08

u no wat your talking about! wise wise dude!:D

Lex1337 (author)2009-06-06

So far this had been a very good instructable, but I would like to make one suggestion of correction. You shouldn't always hang on their every word. That is almost impossible. Eeventually they are going to talk about something you find boring or stupid. The point is, even though you could care less about the subject, you love them enough to listen anyway and try to be as interested as possible. Hanging on their every word sounds like obsession. Caring about what they have to say, even if it is not interesting at all, is love.

IcedShard (author)2009-05-26

Great Instructable, with a lot of good information. Being half Viet I particularly like the "pho ever" bit

SlimShady4Life (author)2009-04-05

I love this girl and she doesn't love me. HOW do I get her to like me??!!

LadyApril (author)SlimShady4Life2009-04-21

Thats true, girls like compliments. but i guess my advice for you is to become her friend but also give her some space. dont stare at her to much or make to many moves you know? sort of find out the type of girl she is ..flirt abit. just dont try to hard or she might freak out. girls can be touchy...
kinda find out if she likes you...just go with it =)
Love from,

DragonX777 (author)2009-04-16

I guess tell her that she is beautiful and she has a very cute smile. I guess women like getting attention from guys. Im not sure what would be the best way to ask them out.

tommylovesjamie (author)2009-02-09

B-E-A-utiful. totally awesome. This 'able (I don't think 'ible should be proper considering the name of the site) just reminded me how much I love my beautiful wife. Thank you.

Little_Schoolgirl (author)2008-11-30

the information is good but why would you use this Gustav Klimpt picture as the picture for the intro? This picture has nothing to do with love. In fact he painted this to show the strength of men. If you look at the woman's head it is bent at a really strange angle. She was being forced to kiss this man. He named this painting the kiss to be ironic but unfornately many people, like you, see this as an icon of true love but they are very mistaken.

teeps (author)Little_Schoolgirl2009-01-02

wham bam thank you m'am, art history smack down! Great instructable by the way.

MultigrainUnderwear (author)2008-10-19

GUSTAV KLIMPT! I love his paintings !

Dragon Maze (author)2008-09-30

I thought for sure this was gonna turn out to be just an excuse to be preachy or insulting. Instead, in addition to hilarious image choices, this is an open and informative Instructable for something one would *think* was too abstract to be able to quantify instructions for. Most impressive.

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