Testimonials6 minutes

What is #RealLove?

Idaseo, 17 October 2022
What is #RealLove?

We’re constantly being told – by social media, by film and TV, even by those closest to us – that real love is one of the most important things that we can aspire to. We’re told that you can’t be truly happy if you don’t have someone to love, that life is only really worth it if you have someone to share it with. But how true is this in the modern world? And is social media’s portrayal of perfectly happy relationships realistic?


We don’t think so, which is why we’re celebrating Love With No Filter this Autumn. As part of our campaign, we spoke to you! Real love has a different meaning to everyone, so we thought we should get out there and ask the public what #RealLove means to them. Here are some of our favourite responses:

Sophie, 25:

“Real love for me is when my boyfriend looks after me when I’m ill. He’ll make me a hot water bottle, cook me wholesome food and run me baths. He’s normally pretty caring but this side of him really comes out when I’m not feeling well. It’s lovely to know that he’s there for me when I’m struggling and that I can rely on him to help me out when I can’t do things so well for myself.”

Ellie, 29:

“Real love is doing things for each other. Of course, I love it when a man does something thoughtful or romantic for me but it’s all about returning the favour and treating each other equally. One-sided relationships don’t work as the other person is always left feeling jaded and that their effort isn’t appreciated. I’m single at the moment but when I’m in a relationship I make a real effort and hope my partner will do the same in return!”

Tom, 26:

“For me, real love means sticking by each other through the ups and the downs. Of course the ups are the easy part and it’s the downs where the strength of the relationship really shows. I recently went through a family bereavement and my girlfriend’s been an absolute rock from day one. It’s been a tough time but it’s really emphasised how much we love each other and can get through anything.”

Sally, 39:

“Real love is the love you share with your friends and family. In my life this kind of love has been enduring, while I’ve found that partners have come and gone. I have had some amazing relationships, but I think that when I look back on my life I’ll be most grateful for friends and family love, rather than romantic love.”

Chris, 31:

“Real love for me will be with someone who accepts me as a whole package, all bundled up with my bad, but harmless habits. I’m messy and occasionally break wind in public – is a girl who accepts these (minor) inconveniences really too much to ask? I’m also willing to accept some flaws in my future wife. I guess that’s what love is really about: taking someone for who they are. Or at least being patient if do you try to break them of their bad habits.”

George, 28:

“For me, real love is that feeling when you see your partner: it’s gentle butterflies and the feeling of being safe and comfortable. Of course, as you get deeper into a relationship, the intense butterflies you felt at the beginning slowly start to fade, but there’s always that warm feeling when you see the person you love.”

Jane, 20:

“My version of real love is someone who doesn’t judge me for anything, whether it’s lounging around for an entire weekend eating only pizza and not changing out of my dressing gown, crying because I want a dog so much, or having 7 glasses of wine too many on a Friday. Ideally, I’m looking for someone who’ll join me in all of these activities, but if not I’ll settle for someone who allows me to live my best life in all its glory.”

Liam, 28:

“For me, real love is when I can’t think of any reason why I’d break up with my girlfriend. We might argue (like every other couple in the world), but we always come out stronger and having learnt something new about each other. I can see us staying together forever because I know she’d never hurt me enough to make me want to break up with her. Of course, people do change and grow apart, and nobody knows what the future holds. But I can say that what we have together is real love and I’m confident it will last.”

Charlotte, 37:

“To me, my grandparents and their 65-year marriage represent real love in its most authentic form. They’ve been together for so much of their lives and would be incomplete without each other. They’ve been through having a huge family, health problems and everything else life has thrown at them together, and are still so in love. Sometimes they act like a pair of naughty school children! My grandparents have given me the best inspiration to find someone I love as much as they love each other.”

Sam, 28:

“Real love in 2018 is whatever you make of it! There are so many different ways to define love that it’s impossible to pin it down or sum it up in a few sentences. I think it’s important to recognise that everyone has their own way of showing love and that there’s no right or wrong answer.”

Claire, 24:

“I don’t think I know what real love is yet, but I know what it isn’t. It isn’t jealousy or possessiveness or making your partner feel bad when they’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve had a bad experience with this kind of person and it’s taken me a while to get over it, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson. In this relationship, I focused too much on the way we portrayed ourselves on social media rather than my actual happiness – a mistake I definitely won’t make again.”


Read more about our Love With No Filter campaign, check out our dating advice and read our tips on how to write an authentic online dating profile and the real relationship goals you actually need.

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