signs that you're falling in love, according to science
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.
You can't stop staring at them.
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.
You always think about them.
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.
You're trying new things.
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
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.
What Does Love Actually Feel Like?
Love is a crazy thing, and chances are, you've spent hours upon hours pondering life questions about the feeling at one moment or another. What does love really feel like? Was I ever in love? Am I in love now? Does love feel the same to everyone?
It's natural to wonder about the one thing that millions of people can't stop thinking about. Songs are written about it, art is done around it, and it's the glue that generally holds us all together.
I'm positive I'm in love with my husband, but I'd say my own experiences of love are unique. What I'm feeling might not necessarily be what someone else is feeling.
So that's the thing: As a general thought, what does love feel like? How will you know if you are experiencing it for the first time? Even if you think you've experienced it in the past, you may not be totally sure.
Elite Daily spoke to a few experts to get an idea of what it really feels like to be in love. It feels unique to you.
One of the important things to remember about love is that while there are similarities in people's experiences, everyone will likely feel something unique to just them.
Relationship expert and dating guru James Preece says that we experience love uniquely, because we see the act of loving uniquely. "Love means different things to different people [...] we also experience it in a variety of ways," says Preece.
And what some of us don't find important, others value. In other words, we experience love in interesting ways for ourselves because we choose what we do and don't focus on.
"To some, it's the feeling of excitement when you aren't together and are missing them," says Preece. "For others, it's the slightly odd feeling that makes you a bit giddy. Your heart will beat faster or you might find yourself getting jealous over silly things."
Don't worry if you don't feel exactly what someone else is feeling - love is very individualized. It feels like a roller coaster of several different emotions.
Since we all experience love in our own way, it's also important to note that we won't just feel a singular emotion of love. If I had to pick one feeling to pin down and call "love" that I experience with my husband, I wouldn't know how to.
Turns out, I might not be the only one who feels that way. Licensed psychotherapist LeslieBeth Wish, Ed. D, author of Smart Relationships and Founder of Love Victory, underscores that love isn't just one feeling, like some might think.
"The feeling of being in love can range in intensity from exuberance to peacefulness, " says Dr. Wish
In other words, you'll experience lots of different emotions, all wrapped up in the bigger feeling of love. It's also important to note that the feelings of love will change over time.
"These feelings can also range based on when that initial mutual feeling of love happens," says Dr. Wish. "And on how long you have been in that relationship [...] A good analogy is that mutual love is like a car with multiple speeds that range from overdrive to cruising gear, depending on the situation."
So it's not only fast and slow, as if speeds on a car. Love can feel like an array of several emotions all at once. It feels like an intense hit of joy.
As one might expect, love fills you with intense, overwhelmingly happy emotions, leaving you feeling like one giant dose of joy just hit you straight in the brain.
"When mutual love hits you - and sometimes it really does feel like a 'wake-up call,' you can experience intense feelings of being 'struck' - in a good way - or sensations of floating or joy," says Dr. Wish
When you are genuinely in love, the brain gets flooded with a chemical called dopamine. This makes you focus on one person and you start to forget about looking at any else. You will be daydreaming a lot about them and will play little fantasy scenarios in your mind.
If you feel like someone just gave you a very concentrated shot of glee, you're in luck: You may be in love. It feels peaceful as time goes on. Despite the roller coaster of feelings you may initially have when experiencing love, over time, the thrill will shift into a sense of peacefulness. As the love evolves, so will your emotions.
"Over time, the intensity does not disappear, but, instead, it becomes one of many mutually positive feelings," says Dr. Wish. "Long-term, mutually happy couples in love say that they feel peaceful, confident, empowered, and other positive feelings."
True love feels like a calming wave that just washes over you. It feels all-consuming.
That feeling of love and affection directed towards one person can be so strong that it has the potential to feel like it's taking you over.
Preece says it can lead to feeling "almost obsessive."
When you're in love, you will naturally be thinking about that person a lot. You may even start to allow your personality to evolve a little bit because of them - and these changes could throw you off track. Just remember that experiencing small shifts like that are natural when you're in love.
You enjoy talking to them and look forward to telling them about the ups and downs of life. You don't mind doing things for them that you mind doing for other people. You enjoy being physically affectionate with them. You enjoy alone time and date time with them.
Just make sure you remember that you're your own person, too! Being in love is wonderful, and it can feel like it consumes you, but stay true to you, and still do what makes you happy, first and foremost. That'll make your love grow even more.
Love - overall - is pretty amazing. Whether you are newly falling or happily in love for years, treasure it. It's one of the best feelings in life you'll experience.
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