Are you asking yourself, “Am I in love?”
There are so many advice columns about love that it can be overwhelming to try to get a straight answer for yourself.
If you are wondering about your feelings and can’t decide if it’s love, you are not alone.
We often think that we’ll just know when the time comes, but more often than not, we are confused, afraid and worried that what we think is love is not actually real.
If you are looking for some definitive ways to tell you are in love, the first thing you need to do is be honest with yourself about these signs.
1) You see something in them that others don’t.
When you are in love, you see the special qualities in a person that others overlook.
If you’ve ever looked at a couple that seem grossly mismatched, you’ll understand when you are in love that people see special things in one another that others don’t.
2) You only see the good things.
Even if someone has bad qualities, you aren’t able to see them. It’s not always a good thing, mind you, but it is a sign that you are in love.
The saying, “love is blind” is a real thing and is a tried and true way of knowing you are in love. If you find yourself saying, “yeah, but” to a concerned friend, it might be love.
3) You feel like you are all over the place.
Love makes you do wild things and you’ll be having all kinds of unexplained thoughts. Some good and some bad.
If you feel like you are all over the place and can’t focus, it’s a good sign that you are in love.
4) Nothing makes sense anymore.
What seemed really important to you just a few short weeks or days ago is going to feel really unimportant now that you are focused on your love.
Love provides us with clarity around what is important. You might find yourself changing the way you do things or show up because of how you are feeling.
5) You are wildly attracted to them.
Without a doubt, you want them more than anything.
You can’t stop thinking about them and how they make you feel. Intense attraction doesn’t last, but it is a very good sign that you are compatible and that you may love this person.
6) You feel like you need them.
Regardless of what you have going on in your life, if you love someone, you feel like you need them by your side.
For the good and the bad, the more this person can be around you and help you through things, the better off you’ll be. That’s love.
7) You feel a strong connection to them and you can’t explain it.
You don’t know where these feelings came from and you aren’t quite about to explain them, but you know something is going on between the two of you and you don’t want it to go away anytime soon.
This is because in your brain, you’re experiencing all these feel-good feelings from love which is enhancing the connection, according to neuroscientist Loretta G. Breuning:
“Love stimulates all of your happy chemicals at once. That’s why it feels so good.”
You are connected to them in a way that you’ve never felt.
However, these feelings may not last forever, according to Breuning:
“But our brain evolved to motivate reproduction, not to make you feel good all the time. That’s why the good feeling doesn’t last.”
8) You see yourself with them for the long-haul.
You are already planning your walk down the aisle and where you’ll spend your honeymoon.
Marisa T. Cohen, PhD, associate professor of psychology at St. Francis College says that when partners ask each other questions about the future, it shows “a certain level of intimacy”.
You imagine coming home from work and spending time on the weekends to relax with them. Love fills you with lots of hope for the future.
9) You are surprised that you even like them.
One funny characteristic of love is that we can’t control it. We haven’t yet figured out how to choose the people we fall in love with.
If you find yourself attracted to someone and you are surprised that you are attracted to them, it could be love. It takes us by storm and doesn’t let us have a say.
10) You can put yourself in their shoes.
Empathy is strengthen with the people you love. If you can understand someone’s pain and their happiness, it might be because you love them.
Of course, all of these signs alone are not enough to justify love, but combined, in any order, it’s a good indicator that this person has your attention and your heart more than you may realize.
Jonathan Bennett, a Dating/Relationship Coach, told Bustle, “If your partner possesses the ability to brighten your mood with a few words of praise when you need it most, it’s a great sign that he or she understands what makes you tick and appreciates your authentic self. This person is a definite keeper!”
11) You worry about losing them.
One of the most telling signs that you are in love is that you worry that you are going to lose this person.
Whether by chance or by choice, if you don’t have them in your life, you feel like you will just give up.
Love makes everything we feel more intense. If you worry they will walk away and you might screw things up between you, it’s love, darling.
12) You feel settled.
Finally, you’ll know you are in love if you feel like you don’t need to keep looking for someone else in your life.
You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. There’s no need to think about “what if” anymore. You feel at home and at peace around this person. Love gives you confidence in yourself and your relationship.
13) You can’t take your eyes off of them.
When you love someone, you literally can’t take your eyes off them. You find every excuse in the book to look at them.
According to Jack Schafer Ph.D. in Psychology Today, people look at people they like and avoid people they don’t like.
You want to just look and wonder at them. You’ll find yourself wondering, “how did I get so lucky?”
There might be a room full of people staring at you, but you’ll be staring at your love. It’s so interesting how much you’ll miss around you when you fall in love.
You only have eyes for them, as the saying goes. And there’s a reason why that cliche has stuck: it’s true.
14) You can’t focus.
An interesting side effect of love, and one of the ways you can tell that you are, in fact, in love, is that you can’t focus.
You are making silly mistakes, dropping coffee, feeling giddy, and can’t seem to get out of your own way.
Love makes us all a little unraveled from time to time, but if you are feeling like you can’t get it together when you are around your love interest, it’s probably because your brain is hyperfocused on them.
According to biological anthropologist Helen Fisher:
“I began to realize that romantic love is not an emotion. In fact, I had always thought it was a series of emotions, from very high to very low. But actually, it’s a drive. It comes from the motor of the mind, the wanting part of the mind, the craving part of the mind. The kind of part of the mind when you’re reaching for that piece of chocolate, when you want to win that promotion at work. The motor of the brain. It’s a drive.”
If you can’t get your life together after meeting someone who makes you feel like you are floating on air, it’s love. Congratulations.
15) You are always thinking about them.
Another tried and true sign that you are in love is that you cannot, no matter how hard you try, stop thinking about them. Every little thing reminds you of them.
The food you eat, the socks you wear, the shows you watch – all of it has a way of bringing you back to the one who has your heart.
According to a study by biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, “there’s a good reason to suspect that romantic love is kept alive by something basic to our biological nature.”
“But the main characteristics of romantic love are craving: an intense craving to be with a particular person, not just sexually, but emotionally. It would be nice to go to bed with them, but you want them to call you on the telephone, to invite you out, etc., to tell you that they love you.”
It’s overwhelming, isn’t it?
When you realize that you might be in love. What do you do with that information?
Your brain has plenty to keep itself busy with thoughts of “what if” and your love interest. You can’t be responsible for living a normal life after this. You are in love!
16) You want nothing but the best for them.
Interestingly enough, a lot of people who are in love will tell you that they love their partner so much that they want them to be happy – even if it’s not with them.
It might seem backwards to say that you want your love interest to be happy with someone else, but it’s a mighty sign that you are really in love.
Being in love means wanting nothing but the best for someone and doing whatever you can to help them be their best.
If that means they need to be with someone else to be happy, so be it. It sucks, totally. And if that doesn’t make sense, it might not be love.
17) You feel irritable and don’t know why.
Because our bodies and brains are freaking out at the prospect of love, you are not going to have a lot of brain power and energy to dedicate to other things for a while.
This means you might find yourself being short with those around you. Getting irritated that things are just so or perfect as you imagined them is a great sign that you’re in love.
You want things to be just right and although that’s pretty impossible to attain, it doesn’t stop your brain from doing all it can to shake things up and make you feel like you are annoyed or irritated with people.
Often, we project our feelings in different ways. If your love interest is suddenly annoying you, it’s because your brain is afraid of the love you have and wants to try to reduce it.
Pay attention to these underhanded signs from your own body.
18) You feel like you can get through anything together.
When you are in love, you feel like you are on top of the world. Even bad news has a way of being good news because you get to spend time with your love.
Together, you are better than when you are apart and that makes you feel like you can take on anything.
Wondering if you are in love? Do you see yourself coming home to this person to rant and rave about the day you just had? Do you imagine running to them when things are hard at work? That’s love.
19) You don’t want to screw this up.
Finally, if you are thinking you might be in love but aren’t sure, there’s a surefire way to know. If you worry that you might be screwing up your relationship or driving your partner away, it’s love.
We worry that the good things in our lives are going to up and leave us and it’s hard not to place that blame on ourselves.
Be careful you don’t create a self-fulfilling proficiency though. Pay attention to your thoughts about losing them and make sure you show up to keep them in your life instead of driving them away.
20) You get jealous when they’re speaking to someone else
You can’t help but feel jealous when they are talking to someone else who might be a romantic competitor.
Relationship expert Dr. Terri Orbuch says:
“Jealousy is among the most human of all emotions. You feel jealous when you think you are going to lose a relationship you really value.”
Even in large groups, you’re probably going out of your way to make sure you’re close to them.
Marriage therapist Kimberly Hershenson says:
“They don’t want to talk to anyone else. If they were around you the entire time and didn’t bother to meet other people or strike up a conversation with anyone else, it’s a sign they think you’re special.”
You might not even realize it yourself, but your actions speak louder than words.
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