This is an excerpt from Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D. in her book “Love Between Equals Relationship as a Spiritual Path” (page 118).
Personal love becomes true love, as you recall, when you can feel at home with your beloved because you trust what you see in the mirror: it’s not too wonderful (or demanding of perfection) nor is it too awful or dispiriting. It’s important to remember, when you are on the path of true love, you both have come to trust what you see in the mirror of each other’s eyes. In order for personal love to become true love, the relationship has to have equality, reciprocity, and mutuality, and the reflections of each other need to be Whole Self to Whole Self, which includes what is ideal and what is limited in both people. Why is equality important on this path? Why do partners have to be equals in order for disillusionment to transform into intimacy and ongoing trust? Because the equality signals that both partners want primarily to be with each other in the reality of what they both are – strengths and limitations. The relationship does not feel like a prison but instead feels freely chosen on the basis of knowledge of the self and other.