How do you know when you are really in love? First of all, you would not have to ask the question. Love is knowing, it is not a condition or state of mind. When you are loving, you are not doubting, judging, or fearing; you are in a state of acceptance. You accept yourself first, for who and what you are, and then the person you love, without question. You do not want to fix him, change him, control him or help him. You want for the person you love exactly what she wants for herself. When you are in love, you feel vulnerable and know that it is okay. You do not hide your feelings, change them to fix what you think the other person wants, and you do not question what you feel. When you are in love, you give, expecting nothing in return, not even love. Love is an inner process between you and yourself that you want to share with someone, everyone. Love is free. If your quest is to own, control, hold on to, protect or take care of someone, they cannot be free and you are not in love. Love is never wrong, seldom right. It just is.
When self-respect takes its rightful place in the psyche, you will not allow yourself to be manipulated by anyone.
Loving, wanting or being with someone else is absolutely no reason to abuse, neglect or disrespect yourself. In all of our relationships, we can only give what we have. When we have a sense of self, an honest consciousness of our needs, a clear concept of what we want, we can respect ourselves. We set the standard of how we want to be treated; it remains our responsibility to make sure that anyone and everyone who comes into our lives treats us as well or better than we treat ourselves. If we are not honest without ourselves, how can we expect others to be honest with us? If we do not expect and give the best to ourselves, from where do we think it will come? Our relationships can only be reflections of the relationships that we have with ourselves.
If I love, honor and respect me -- you must do the same.