One of the most common questions I receive from younger readers — and even sometimes from older readers with lots of dating and relationship experience — is “how can I tell if I’m really in love?”
I’ve love to respond to that question with a single definitive answer. Unfortunately, as with almost all matters of the heart, there’s no one single method you can use to determine whether or not you’ve fallen in love.
I often hear people say things like, “if you have to ask, then you’re not in love … you’ll just know.”
That’s a load of rubbish. You may know you’re truly in love with someone you’ve been close to for years, but most people won’t suddenly realize they’re in love. Love often creeps up slowly, so you may not realize how strong your feelings are.
It’s also important to remember that there are varying degrees of “love.” You may think you’ve already experienced true love in a past relationship, only to find out in a future romance that you can fall much deeper in love with someone than you ever thought was possible.
Try to think of love as a concept with varying degrees of “intensity”: you may be at level one currently, but in a year you might fall even more deeply in love with your partner and be at level 10.
So while this article should help you figure out whether or not you’re in love, it won’t be able to tell you how strong that love is.
Ten Signs To Look For
Now, with all of that out of the way, let’s get down to business. Here are some of the most prominent tell-tale signs that indicate whether or not you’re truly in love:
1. You Want to Spend As Much Time As Possible with Your Partner
If you would rather be with your boyfriend or girlfriend more than anyone else — even if that means missing out on fun social activities or not being able to hang out with other friends and family — it’s a clear indication you have very strong feelings for this person.
2. You Miss Him / Her
If these feelings begin soon after you leave their presence. Again, this is a clear indication that there’s no-one else out there that can fulfill the void that remains when you’re away from your partner.
3. You Don’t Think About Past Relationships
If you’ve completely forgotten about that crush you had on the cute girl or guy from the gym. If you don’t miss or long for the touch of a past partner. If you rarely or never fantasize about attractive members of the opposite sex, then you’re probably a great match with your current partner or spouse.
4. You Get “Butterflies” in Your Stomach Before You See Him / Her
If you’re on the way home from a few days out of town, or if you’re heading to your partner’s house after a while apart, and you experience “butterflies” (or other similar symptoms, like goosebumps and elevated heart rate), you clearly have a strong attachment to this person!
5. You Feel Like Your Partner Is the Only One Who “Gets You”
If there’s no-one else who understands you or your feelings the way your girlfriend / boyfriend does, then you’ve definitely found someone special.
6. You’re Totally Comfortable Being Yourself Around Them
People who are truly in love typically feel completely comfortable and at-ease when they’re together with their lover, and aren’t nervous about sharing secrets or ashamed to admit their faults.
7. You Want to Tell the World About Your Partner
When you’ve found someone special, you’ll almost always want to tell others about it. You’ll be excited to tell the world about this person and how great they are.
8. Your Partner Is the First Person You Share News With
Whether it’s a promotion at work, a superb grade on a school exam, or just a great new restaurant you found in a back alley. If you’re in love, your partner will almost always be the first person you tell.
9. You See Yourselves Together in the Future
If you’re planning for the future and can’t imagine your partner not being by your side, you’ve definitely found someone you really care for.
10. You Want to Know Everything About Your Partner
If you don’t mind hearing about your partner’s favourite aunt and her tea cup collection — and any other seemingly boring details or information about his or her life — it’s a strong indication that you’re really into him / her.
So, that’s ten signs you’re in love. If you agreed with most of them, you’re probably in love or heading in that direction. But before you come to a verdict, here are the top three feelings that indicate you’re really and truly in love:
The Big Ones: Top 3 Signs You’re Truly In Love
If you find yourself nodding in agreement to all three of these signs, then you’re almost certainly in love.
- You care more about your partner’s happiness and well-being than your own.
If you’re willing to take a bullet for this person. If you prefer to be the “giver” of pleasure during sex than the “receiver.” If you’d spend days on end doing something you hate just because you know it will make your partner happy, then you’re probably head-over-heels in love with him / her.
- You’re ridiculously jealous any time your partner interacts with other men / women.
If your romantic feelings for someone are very intense, you’ll find yourself feeling ridiculously jealous at even the thought of your partner with someone else. While you should always keep these feelings of jealousy to yourself and avoid being controlling or possessive, it’s a sign of true love if you find yourself becoming jealous over the littlest things. It’s instinctual to be very protective of the things that matter most to you.
- The thought of losing this person — the mere idea of them not being a part of your life — makes you physically ill.
When you’re truly in love, the thought of living without your partner can be extremely frightening and intensely uncomfortable. In fact, these feelings can lead to nausea, vomiting, insomnia, panic attacks, and other physical symptoms. If you’ve ever gone through a ‘temporary breakup’ with a lover after a heated argument. Or if your partner has put themselves at risk of death, such as a soldier might when serving in a war zone, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. If the thought of your significant other walking out of your life for whatever reason causes uncomfortable physical symptoms, then you truly care for that person very deeply.
Well, there you have it — 13 different signs to look for when evaluating how strong your feelings are. It’s not an exhaustive list, and you may not find yourself nodding in agreement with every single one of them.
But if you think that many of these signs apply to you, then you’re probably in love or falling for someone.
Don’t forget that love is an ever-changing entity, and you can never really be 100 percent certain whether or not you’re in love with someone — eventually you’ll have to learn to trust your own instincts and gauge the intensity of your romantic feelings.