Falling in love is one of the most exciting, rewarding and scariest things you could ever do. Once you're in love with someone, it's hard to remember how you lived without him or her. It can feel as if you didn’t really start “living” until the two of you met. But sometimes, it can be difficult to discern whether your emotional reaction is powered by lust or love? In this particular circumstance, it can be helpful if there were a few definitive ways to tell you’re in love.
I remember how scared I felt when I first fell in love with my girlfriend. Before meeting her, I had never experienced being in love. Suddenly, my life changed before my very eyes. I can recall the transition from liking my partner to falling in love with her in very specific detail. She went from being someone who made me smile to my greatest source of happiness. She was once just a rush, but now she’s the love of my life.
Everyone experiences love at different times, in their own unique ways. Even the meaning of love can be extremely subjective. There’s no one right way or time to fall in love, but there are some tell-tale signs for when you do. Here are seven ways to know if you might be in love — not like — with your partner, according to experts.
1. The Best Part Of Your Day
As Childish Gambino says, “When I'm alone, I'd rather be with you.” Seeing my girlfriend is always the highlight of my day. When I really love someone, I never get tired of being with them.
“You are actually surprised at how calm you feel,” Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist and founder of LoveVictory.com, previously told Elite Daily. “You are no longer jumping over the waves, but instead, you are wading and floating in a peaceful pool.” No matter how great my day might be going, my special person makes it better.
2. The First Person You Think About
My love is always the first person I think about when I wake up and the last person I think about before I go to sleep. When something good happens to me, this is the first person I want to tell.
"You've found your ‘wing-person’ who you can trust and rely on,” explained Dr. Wish. “Finally, you discover that you make a good problem-solving team: Your complementary styles teach each other how to improve and you learn from each other." When something bad happens, you can look to this person for support.
3. Prioritize Above Your Own Needs
Love is selfless. I was at the center of my world until I met my girlfriend. Once I fell in love with her, I began taking her needs into consideration because of how much I respect her.
"Respecting [a partner], feeling admiration and fondness for them, caring about their well-being, etc., are all aspects of love for your partner," clinical psychologist Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., previously told Elite Daily. When you’ve in love, taking your significant other into account can feel second nature.
4. You'd Do Anything
If I tried to construct a list of things I wouldn't do for my girlfriend, it would be pretty empty. When you're in love with someone, you may find yourself considering what makes them happy. "Love is such a subjective, complex, cognitive, emotional, and physiological experience," Dr. Klapow explained. IMHO, true love knows no limits.
5. You Think Long-term
When you're in love with someone, you might begin to imagine a future with them in it. You may even think long-term about how you can build a life with this person. “Healthy, lasting love finds its own ‘cruising gear’ where you feel fulfilled, happy, positive, and sure of your choice of partner,” Dr. Wish said.
6. Your Support Is Unconditional
When you love someone unconditionally, your support may know no conditions. "You think about them, you worry about them, you have a physical need to be close to them, you may feel confident with them but you may worry about the status of your relationship tremendously because it means so much to you," Dr. Klapow is explained. Of course, you never need to do anything that puts your mental or physical health at risk. But when you fall in love, you might find your support becomes more absolute.
7. Your Love Is Your Best Friend
Since falling in love, my girlfriend has become my best friend. I believe this to be a product of our emotional intimacy. “They are your ‘ideal’ partner because you already know they will complement your goals and desires and assist in fulfilling your dreams,” behavioral scientist Clarissa Silva previously told Elite Daily. “Your body is releasing adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin, in addition to testosterone and estrogen. When you’re in love, your body speeds up to process them all.”
There is no one right way or time to fall in love, but when you do, it can be really special. If you recognize one of the seven signs that you’re falling hard, don’t panic! As long as your relationship is built on a foundation of open and honest communication and mutual respect, you can continue to grow together.
Additional reporting by Iman Hariri-Kia.
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