As Ewan McGregor once proclaimed from the streets of Paris,
The greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.
Sure, this was from a scene in "Moulin Rouge!" and it wasn't a direct quote from the actor in real life, but the sentiment remains the same:
Love is one of the most important things we experience in life.
We experience many different types of love in our life.
We experience self-love, familial love, parental love, the love between friends, the love for a pet and a deep sense of love for the things we care about most.
And for most people, romantic love is one of the most exhilarating experiences in this wild ride we call life.
But for those who choose to partake in romantic love, it's somewhat subjective. We all understand, feel, experience and show love in different ways.
I mean, there's a reason there are five love languages out there; everyone works differently, and that's OK.
There are certainly aspects of any relationship that indicate when you've found yourself in love.
In your adolescent years, it's daydreaming during class and scribbling variations of your names together.
When you get into college, it's when you find yourself only thinking of that person instead of weighing your options and dating around.
When you're post-college, it's that person you make the time for in your busy schedule.
But what are a few of the indicators that prove you're in love? Here are a few foolproof ways to determine if you've hit that point in your relationship.
1. Dr. Seuss Syndrome
How many times have you seen the quote "You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."
If you find yourself falling asleep with the phone in your hand or you're staying up chatting on the phone when you know you have to be up in the morning, it's very likely you've found yourself in the love zone.
In today's society, when everyone is so busy, time is a hot commodity. If you're taking away from quality sleep, you know you've found someone special.
I know that at least for me, I'm super protective of my relationship. It's simply not anyone's business.
If you're pretty blasé about intimate details, it's likely you're not very invested in that person.
When you start to hold back on the finer moments and find yourself discussing it less whether in person or on social media, it's a sign you take the relationship seriously and want to keep the love to yourselves.
(Though, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being super open and social media heavy, either.)
3. Deleting Apps
If you're part of the majority of people who are on dating apps, it's become a sign of seriousness and love when the apps are fully deleted from your phone or tablet.
Knowing you don't have to look around anymore, go on a slew of dates to try and find the right person and then wind up with wine alone in bed is such a refreshing feeling.
Even if the dates go well, things could fizzle, and you may have to start over again.
Knowing you finally found the right person and no longer need Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder or OK Cupid lets you realize you've hit a new relationship high.
4. Planning Ahead
If you start planning for things weeks, months or even a year down the road, you've definitely found yourself in love.
It lets you know that you see longevity with this person and want to have new experiences with them by your side.
You start to plan out birthday presents, Fourth of July celebrations and what you'll wear to your friend's wedding in September.
Once you can't see a special moment in the future without them, you know you're in deep.
5. TV Time
Seriously, if you're willing to wait to watch an episode of a new TV show or you start a show together and you don't watch ahead, you've taken your relationship from smitten kitten to love bug.
When streaming is so accessible and waiting is no longer an actual issue, waiting to watch together is a pretty big step.
Sure, these may seem like silly indicators of love, but I'm serious.
Knowing when you're in love is different for everyone. It could be the moment your boyfriend remembers something you said in passing, but secretly meant a lot to you.
It could be when your girlfriend goes out of her way to buy tickets to an NFL game.
For you, it might be when you're sitting there doing nothing and you realize that's the only place you want to be at that time.
For me, I knew I was done when my boyfriend participated in a purely hypothetical conversation about vampires for two weeks and I wanted to check my phone during a movie theater outing (which is huge because ew, get off your phone at the movies).
It differs for everyone, but no matter what that moment was for you, remember what Ewan said.
To love and be loved in return is one of the greatest lessons we ever learn.
Cherish the love you have, let it go when it no longer benefits you, and always be open when one door closes. Love is rewarding, pushes us to be better versions of ourselves and gives us more than we can imagine.
Love is love is love is love, no matter when you know.