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Twelve Tests of Love

This information is taken from the book Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships by Chuck Ingram. This information can help you evaluate a relationship and determine if you are really in love.

  1. The Test of Time. Love benefits and grows through time while infatuation ebbs and diminishes with time. Are you in a hurry to label certain feelings love or do you have other words to describe these feelings? Do you save the word love for something better than feelings?
  2. The Test of Knowledge. Love grows out of an appraisal of all the known characteristics of the other person. How well do you expect to know the person you marry? Infatuation quickly decides it knows everything it needs to know. However, genuine love creates an atmosphere of such interest that the other person opens up like a flower.
  3. The Test of Focus. Genuine love is other-person centered while infatuation is self-centered.
  4. The Test of Singularity. Genuine love is focused on only one person. An infatuated individual may be in love with two or more persons simultaneously.
  5. The Test of Security. Genuine love not only fosters but also requires a sense of security and feelings of trust. An infatuated individual appears to have a blind sense of security, based upon wishful thinking rather than careful consideration; infatuation is blind to problems. Security grows and flows out of a deep awareness of the other person’s character, values, and track record.
  6. The Test of Work. An individual in love works for the other person, for his or her mutual benefit. Infatuated individuals only think of their own misery. They are prone to daydream of unrealistic objectives and ideals that neither they nor their partner could ever actually attain.
  7. The Test of Problem Solving. A couple in love faces problems squarely and tries to solve them. Infatuated people tend to disregard and/or ignore problems.
  8. The Test of Distance. Love knows the importance of distance. Infatuation imagines love to be intense closeness, 24/7, all the time. If there is not a sense of separateness, a distinct life, and relationships with other people with a healthy balance, then the relationship is probably a lot more infatuation than it is love.
  9. The Test of Physical Attractiveness. Physical attraction, although important, is not the main focus of genuine love. However, it is the central focus of infatuation. Your heart does need to skip a beat or two now and then and you do need to feel attracted to the person you plan to marry or there is a problem in that as well.
  10. The Test of Affection. In true love, affection is expressed later in the relationship involving the external expression of the physical attraction described above. In infatuation, affection is expressed earlier and sometimes at the very beginning of the relationship. Affection tends to push toward greater physical intimacy. Without the control of the other aspects of genuine love, affection spends itself quickly. It gives the appearance of making the relationship “close,” but the closeness is artificial and fragile.
  11. The Test of Stability. Love tends to endure while infatuation may change suddenly and unpredictably. Real love is stable versus vacillating. Love is a commitment. The test of stability can hardly be applied to a relationship measured in days or weeks.
  12. The Test of Delayed Gratification. A couple in genuine love is not indifferent to the timing of their wedding, but neither are they in a rush. They do not feel an irresistible drive toward it. An infatuated couple tends to feel an urge to get married--like instantly. Postponement for the infatuated is intolerable.

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