Knowing you're in love feels different for everyone. Some have been in love often and know the feeling well, and others may be not so sure if it's love or just a deep infatuation.
Luckily, your body has some pretty sneaky ways of tipping you off to whether these feelings for your partner are more than just a passing phase. Keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs the next time you catch yourself wondering if you're actually in love.
If your partner has ever caught you staring at them lovingly, it could be a sign that you're head over heels. Eye contact means that you're fixated on something, so if you find that your eyes are fixed on your partner, you may just be falling in love.
Studies have also found that couples who lock eyes report feeling a stronger romantic connection than those who don't. It goes the other way too: when a study had strangers lock eyes for minutes at a time, they reported romantic feeling towards each other.
You feel like you're high.
It's completely normal to feel out of your mind when falling for someone. A study from the Kinsey Institute found that the brain of a person falling in love looks the same as the brain of a person who has taken cocaine.
You can thank dopamine, which is released in both instances, for that feeling. This is a good explanation for why people in new relationships can act absolutely nonsensically.
If you love someone, you may feel like you can't get them off of your mind. That's because your brain releases phenylethylamine, aka the "love drug" when you fall in love with someone. This hormone creates the feeling of infatuation with your partner.
You may be familiar with the feeling because phenylethylamine is also found in chocolate, which may explain why you can't stop after just one square.
You want them to be happy.
Love is an equal partnership, but you'll find someone's happiness becomes really important to you when you're falling for them. So-called "compassionate love" can be one of the biggest signs of a healthy relationship, according to research. This means that you're willing to go out of your way to make your partner's life easier and happier.
If you find yourself going out of your way to keep your partner dry when walking in the rain or making them breakfast on a busy weekday morning, it's a sign you've got it bad.
You've been stressed lately.
Although love is often associated with warm and fuzzy feelings, it can also be a huge source of stress. Being in love often causes your brain to release the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead you to feel the heat.
So if you've noticed your patience is being tested a little more than normal or you're kind of freaking out, you may not need to carry a stress ball just yet; you may just be in love.
You don't feel pain as strongly.
Falling for someone might be painful, but if you've noticed that literally falling doesn't bother you as much anymore, it could be a big sign you're in love.
A study conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine had participants stare at a photo of someone they loved and found that act could reduce moderate pain by up to 40%, and reduced severe pain by up to 15%. So if you're getting a tattoo, you may want to keep a photo of your partner handy. Just in case.
Everyone wants to impress their date in the beginning of their relationships, but if you find yourself consistently trying new things that your partner enjoys, you may have been bitten by the love bug.In fact, a study found that people who have claimed to be in love often had varied interest and personality traits after those relationships. So even if you hate that square-dancing class you're going to with your partner, it could have a positive effect on your personality.
Your heart rate synchronizes with theirs.
Your heart may skip a beat when you think about the one you love, but a study showed that you may also be beating in time with each other. A study conducted by the University of California, Davis, suggests that couples' hearts begin to beat at the same rate when they fall in love.
Although you may not be able to tell if this has happened without a few stethoscopes, feeling a deep connection to your partner is a good a sign as any that you're in love.
You're OK with the gross stuff.
If you're a notorious germaphobe and totally cool kissing your partner after just watching them pick their nose, you might just be in love. In fact, a study by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands found that feelings of sexual arousal can override feelings of being grossed out.
So that means if you're super attracted to your partner, you may just let them double dip. That's love, baby.
You get sweatier.
If you're nauseous and sweaty, you either have a bad stomach bug or are falling in love. A study found that falling in love can cause you to feel sick and display physical symptoms similar to that of anxiety or stress, like sweat.
Although this feeling will probably pass once you really get comfortable with your partner, it may be a good idea to carry around an extra hanky, just to be safe.
You love their quirks/p>
If you really get to know a person, chances are you'll pick on the little things that make them uniquely them. And if you're in love with them, these are probably some of the things that attract you most about them.
A study found that small quirks can actually make a person fall deeper in love with someone rather than just physical attributes because people have unique preferences. So although you may have judged your partner a little harshly on first glance, if you find that you're suddenly in awe of their uniqueness, you might be in love.
Yes It Can Be Confusing
So, you’ve met a new special someone and the two of you have started a romantic relationship. You find yourself thinking about them a little more often than before and now you get those butterfly feelings in your stomach just before you’re about to see them.
Does this mean you’re in love? Or could this just be the honeymoon phase that every relationship goes through? Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you’re really in love or not
What Does It Mean to Be In Love?
Being in love means desiring the happiness of your partner, admiring them for the individual they are, and feeling motivated to be a better person. When you are in love, your relationship goes beyond a simple physical attraction. It is experiencing happiness at the idea of two individual and independent people choosing to share time together. If you are in love, you are driven to be compassionate, generous, and caring to your special someone.
The Signs of Being In Love
So you’re probably thinking, “that’s great, but how do I know if I’m really in love or not?” Good question. See if any of the following signs of being in love apply to you:
You have stopped thinking about your ex. In fact, you don’t even remember the last time you thought of him/her. You’re happier doing mundane chores when you’re together. Washing the dishes used to be terrible, right? But not with your partner beside you to help.
You two start making future plans together. Before, date planning only went as far ahead as the upcoming weekend. Now, you’re talking about going to see the fall leaves change colors – and it’s only July.
You want to do things together. Yes, you have been to the zoo 20 times before. But not with your partner and you just know it would be better together.
You automatically want to share your good and bad news with them. Got a promotion at work? You don’t even think about your best friend now, instead you shoot a text to your partner.
You are reminded of him/her every time you’re out. “Nice shoes, John would love those.” “Awesome game, Jess would love to play that.” It just comes naturally because they’re always on your mind.
You’ve started looking forward to the weekend just to have breakfast in bed and watch a “Seinfeld” marathon. Dancing? Clubbing? Did you ever like those things? Yes, when you were single and not in love
“Love” is Not The Same As “In Love”
People fall in love, it’s natural and part of life’s great journey. You probably didn’t plan on it. Maybe you don’t understand why you’re in love now, but you weren’t in the past. That’s easy. It’s because you can love somebody and never truly be in love with them. Sound confusing? Don’t worry.
Loving somebody is the conscious decision you make to be together, to trust them, to care for them. You can love your friends, you can love your family, maybe you even loved your ex. But, you can’t (or weren’t) in love with those people. That’s a completely different feeling. There’s a reason you aren’t in a romantic relationship with one of your best friends.
To be in love with somebody is wanting to share your thoughts and feeling with them, feeling safe in their arms, hoping to make them happy, and thinking of them everywhere you go
Who Cares if I’m in Love or Not?
What kind of question is that?! Who cares if you’re in love or not? You should care! Every time your heart races when the phone rings, each time you catch yourself daydreaming of a future together – these are the reasons to care if you’re in love or not.
Instead of wondering all of time, or waiting for them to confess their feelings, you should try to figure out the answer to this question. If you don’t, you could risk losing the very person you’re supposed to be with. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity of being in love and knowing it.
How Can You Know Whether the Feelings are Mutual?
After you figure out if you’re in love with your partner or not, you probably want to know if they feel the same way. Maybe you’re at the point in your relationship where you’re trying to figure out if it’s the right time to say those magic words – “I love you.” Well, there are some signs you can look for to determine if the feelings are mutual or not.
Pay Attention to Their Words
If your partner starts talking about a future together, that’s a surefire way to know they’re probably also in love with you. If they see you in their future, it’s because they want you there.
What about the way they talk to you? Does your partner mention very specific things about your personality that they love? Things like, “I love the way I feel when we’re together.” and “You always know how to make me feel good.” are pretty big indicators that they’re probably in love.
Pay Attention to Their Actions
You know the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s the truth. So, what are their actions telling you? Is your partner always there for you when you need support? Do they always listen to whatever you have to say, even if you’re just complaining about your boss for the thousandth time?
If they take care of you when you’re feeling bad, bring you your favorite takeout just because, or come over with a movie – chances are, they’re in love with you, too. People who are in love with each other make an effort to spend time together and be supportive of each other.
Pay Attention to How They Act Around You
This is more than paying attention to their actions. This is paying attention to the way they hold themselves around you. Does it feel natural or fake?
Somebody who’s in love in happy to see their partner, smiles at them, makes eye contact, and reaches out for a much needed hug. If seeing you doesn’t make them seem more energetic or excited, they might not be in love. That’s because being near the people we’re in love with changes our behavior. We’re suddenly happier and just feel better. That feeling should shine through.
Armed with this information, you should be able to answer that question that’s been nagging at you for days. Are you really in love? And, is your partner really in love with you, too?
M I Ro