how do you know that you’re hooked? “I wonder how to understand that you are really truly in love with someone?” – most likely, you asked yourself this question and have already managed to ask a close friend or dear family member about the characteristic signs of this unforgiving feeling. And, most likely, the answers received were not original: “You just know that it happened” or “You just feel it” are the most common phrases that can be heard.
However, there is no set checklist on how to know if what you are feeling is a real expression of love. Some people know about it in a moment; in others, love develops after a long association and manifestation of characteristic actions in relation to their personality.
However, there are a few commonalities, signs and signals that make it clear that you are probably falling in love. For example, you feel the need to share even the most insignificant moments of your day with “the one” person.
Perhaps, over time, you will find that his interests suddenly become your interests. And, of course, after a few weeks, you will begin to wonder – or even dream – about the moment when your lover will also admit that he loves you.
10 signs you’re in love
We’ve compiled a list of classic signs that you’re really in love based on research, conversations, and answers from sexologists, family psychologists, and other relationship experts.
Do you want him to be part of your world?
Lone Kahn, co-founder and head of online dating platform Coffee Meets Bagel, says: “Crushing is different for everyone,” adding that she believes in Dr. Robert Sternberg’s triangular love theory, which defines three main aspects:
- proximity (the desire to be near most of the free time);
- passion (emotional stimulation backed up by physical stimulation such as sexual intimacy or romantic activities);
- commitment (decision on cohabitation, marriage and family planning).
“You don’t have to focus on every aspect to determine if you’re in love or not. We can say that they only act as strong and clear indicators that you are on the right track,” she explains. “Again, do not jump to conclusions about the fact that someone does not have certain feelings for you, because they do not give the same signals as you. This is stupid and wrong. Each person expresses their likes and dislikes in their own way. Everyone has their own love language.”
However, according to Kan, the most telling sign of falling in love is that you want to share as much information as possible with your partner, from a small win at work to the story of your colossal achievements over the past month. “I knew I was falling in love with my current husband, Jack, when I found myself calling him every night, wanting to share every little detail of my day and just hear his voice.”
He doesn’t get out of your mind
This may sound trite, but it is true. You know you’re falling in love when someone starts taking over every part of your mind. You may find yourself scrolling through warm conversations in the middle of the workday, thinking about your next meeting a few days before, or even imagining your future together.
As for Kang, she remembers rereading her husband’s text messages and looking through his photos over and over when they first started dating. And all just because I often thought about him.
You want to know if he feels the same way as you.
“If you catch yourself wondering if this person feels the same way about you, you start falling in love,” says Dr. Jacqueline Olds, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
“Your heart literally knows a beat every time he calls you or makes another appointment at your favorite cafe,” adds the woman, who also completed an extensive study of long-term marriage with her husband, Dr. Marriage in Motion: The Natural Ebb and Flow of Long-Term Relationships.
It becomes an important part of your life
“We make time for what—or who—we love,” says Rachel Dealto, chief dating expert at Match. “If you rearrange, reprioritize, and rethink your life because of having one person in it, you may genuinely fall in love,” she explains.
You want him with every fiber of your being
Yes, you got it right. Just as you can crave your favorite treats, you can also crave a person. Match’s chief scientific advisor, Dr. Helen Fisher, has studied these feelings and found that an area of our brain associated with focus and craving, called the ventral tegmental area (VTA), triggers increased levels of dopamine, which is released when you fall in love.
As Ms. de Alto points out, this yearning is usually combined with a feeling of energization when you think of your lover.
Do you find their quirks attractive or amusing
Does he always apologize? Is he somewhat emotional and insanely clean? All the (harmless) traits of your man are attracted when you fall in love. “You start to find every little thing about it irresistible,” explains de Alto. “It’s also about their little quirks, like their weird sense of style or their eccentric way of doing certain things.”
However, there is one thing that is more important than how they act or what they do: you are aware of the other person’s emotional climate, including what worries him, what brings him joy, or what causes intense fear. “You care about his happiness as much as you care about your own,” de Alto says. “Empathy and compassion for your partner increases as you fall in love.”
It forces you to develop and improve yourself
According to Dr. Teresa Didonato, an associate professor of psychology at Loyola University in Maryland, people who experience the throes of falling in love often report feeling inspired and motivated. If your lover, for example, enjoys walking, you can also start doing this activity for pleasure.
You ignore other attractive people
Gone are the days when we constantly sat on dating sites and subscribed to potential partners that attracted our attention. “If you notice that you are not interested in watching other pretty people because your thoughts are on a special person, you probably fell in love,” Teresa says.
“In love may correspond to changes in attention — in particular, people who are in long-term relationships filled with sincerity and commitment show less attention to other potential partners,” she explains.
You literally go crazy
You are constantly thinking:
- How do I reply to this text message?
- What perfume to use today?
- What to wear on your next date?
- What makeup to do?
are just a small part of the questions your mind faces. “Changes in stress or anxiety can also be indicative of the early stages of falling in love,” Teresa says. The novelty of a relationship, the uncertainty, and the intense experience of new romantic love can greatly improve overall emotional state, she says.
You take on each other’s traits
“Whoever coined the term “two become one” clearly understood what was hidden behind this phrase. As a potential couple gets to know each other, their own ideas of themselves begin to merge,” Teresa reflects.
“Because of this important factor, people feel real pride in their partner’s achievements, find more and more similarities in character and interests, and also mistake their partner’s characteristics for their own,” she adds. Plus, you might even start dressing or talking like your significant other.
So what can be said about love? Love is an unimaginable feeling that pushes us to do amazing things. You may notice how over time your common conversations are filled with topics about the next vacation together or a future wedding, because you understand that he loves, he will be there, you are happy with each other.
According to Kan, this is the strongest sign that indicates the flowering of a stronger and purer connection. “You spend most of your free time with your loved one and gradually begin to think about living together.”
In addition to imagining a future with him or her, you also begin to think about what it will actually look like, from what you need to feel happy in your marriage to whether you want children or not.
Love is a beautiful feeling, a strong feeling, an indescribable feeling that brings precious little things into our lives and huge changes that make us smile and feel free.