In an ideal world, we'd all come into relationships with clear intentions and total alignment on what both parties hope to get out of the partnership. But things don't always go as planned, especially when sex, emotions, and life in general are involved. Even if two people totally agreed to keep things casual from the start of dating, or both said they were searching for something serious, what happens next is a result of how you feel. Feelings cannot be predicted; if you fear your partner is falling faster than you are, here are the red flags they're in love with you.
Unfortunately, you can't time out love. "It’s not realistic to think that in every relationship, people fall in love at the exact same time," says licensed marriage and family therapist, Anita Chlipala. You may notice the person you're seeing acting doe-eyed around you, and instead of making your heart skip beats, it gives you cold sweats. Know that pumping the breaks when you aren't ready is totally acceptable. If you are into your SO, but not feeling the big L word yet, there are still ways to make the relationship work.
But before you address where your relationship stands, you might want to make sure that you're reading all the signs correctly. Luckily, your partner's behaviors and verbal cues can give you a lot of information about what's going on in their heart (and mind). Here are some of the signs that the person you're seeing is falling for you, and the ways to get you two back to a mutually-understood place.
1. They Might Actually See Your Soul Through Your Eyes
Kate Moyle, psychosexual therapist and partner at Pillow App for Couples, says that both lingering eye contact and touch are signs of intense connection. "We know that skin-on-skin contact releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone which plays a key role in intimate relationships," she continues.
2. Their Calendar Is Cleared Out... Only For You
Moyle also points to significant time investment and attention as a way to find out if your partner is feeling all the feels. "When we are in love with someone, we want them to feel special," she says. "We often see this at the start of relationships, when we will drop everything for that other person in an instant or put them first above seeing others." If you feel the person you're seeing putting extra care and time into your relationship, it could mean they are looking to make things serious.
3. They Use A Lot of Heart Eye Emojis
Does the person you're seeing answer all of your texts immediately and use a ton of lovey emojis in their responses? LeslieBeth Wish, Ed.D., psychotherapist, author of Smart Relationships, and founder of Love Victory, says that extreme excitement over hearing your voice or receiving a text from you could mean they're falling for you.
4. They're Always Down To Do You Favors.
Remember that commercial where a guy buys his girlfriend tampons and the song "I Would Do Anything For Love" plays in the background... as though to say that love compelled him to buy her feminine hygiene products? Well, it wasn't that far off.
According to Wish, favors can be a sign of heart flutters, especially if the person does favors for you without your asking.
5. You've Been Penciled In For The Future
A lot of the time, we think actions show love, but what about the things someone says that hint at it? If "they talk about doing things and going places in the future," Wish advises that their feelings for you might be the real deal.
6. When They Say "Meet The Parents," They Don't Mean The Movie...
Lastly, Wish says that if the person is really keen on you meeting their friends, family, and/or colleagues, serious feelings are most definitely in the air.
OK, so maybe all signs point to love. Just relax. The best thing that you can do is be open with your partner and let them know how you're feeling. If they confirm that they're in love, Chlipala recommends expressing your side of things by saying something like, "I’m really enjoying spending time with you, but I’m just not there yet. I’d like to keep getting to know you better, and I do care about you.” Then, reset expectations to let them know exactly where you are, because being open and honest is the best way to handle someone's intimate emotions responsibly.
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