When I was younger, I "knew" what it meant to be in love. It was that silly feeling, that little tickle in your stomach, that prick of excitement that shot through your body when you talked to, listened to, or even thought of that special person. It was that feeling you got when they said "I love you" or complimented you.
But in that idea I was mistaken.
True love is not just that silly, bubbly feeling you get. It's not just the dance, and the romance. It's not just all those happy moments you share together. Not the laughs and smiles, not the daydreams and kisses. It's what is left when all that is taken away.
To truly love a person is not to believe that they are perfect. It is to know and accept that they aren't, and love them anyway. To accept their mistakes, and love them no matter what might be "wrong" with them.
True love is (unoriginal as this is) holding the umbrella over their heads in the rain, even when you're upset with them.
It's not just holding tight while the roller coaster pulls up, it's holding even tighter when it runs downhill.
True love is a warm bed on a cold night. A cold glass of water on a hot Summer day. An umbrella when it rains. The voice of a friend, when the rest of the world is silent.
It's helping a person up when they fall, caring for them when they are broken, and picking up the pieces to put them back together. Loving someone in their entirety, for who they are, who they were, and who they will come to be.
True love is not just the good times, but it's also the bad times. That's why it's called true, because no matter what happens; Whether you fight or argue, hug and kiss or strike each other, even when you say "I hate you" or "I wish we'd never met," at the end of the day, when they are hurt, you come running with open arms.
True love is finding the best of things in the worst of times.