Sometimes, when you meet someone new, the intensity of your feelings end up hitting you like a freight train. How to know you're in love with someone you've just started getting to know can be a bit tricky because — feelings aside — they are technically still a stranger to you. Although you might feel the urge to dive in and start professing your undying love for them ASAP, it's important to remember that it can be easy to confuse feelings of immense attraction with actual love.
According to relationship and intimacy expert Irene Fehr, "while you might feel [in love] early on, it is still equally important to get to know how your partner actually shows up in action, rather than merely [how he/she] portrays him/herself to you through word." Getting to know someone on a deep, emotionally intimate level, separate from physical attraction, typically takes some time. That being said, there's no better judge when it comes to your feelings than you. Here are some ways to tell early on if love could be on the horizon for you and that person you just started seeing.
1. You feel like you've known them forever
I think at one point or another, we've all experienced feelings of ease and familiarity with someone we've only known for a short period of time. Whether platonic on otherwise, just "clicking" with someone new can feel totally exhilarating. You finish each other's sentences, and the hours fly by when you're together.
Most people would say this feeling is actually infatuation, which is pretty common when you first start seeing someone new. "Infatuation happens quickly. Love is slow," Monica Parikh, dating and relationship coach at School of Love NYC, told Elite Daily. Parikh explained, "In infatuation, you want your partner to do what you want when you want it. But, love understands that we are all autonomous beings seeking our individual fulfillment, which may not perfectly align to your vision." At this stage, it's still important to keep in mind that you're both still on your best behavior, and it will probably take some more time before you start to see the other person's flaws, which is when you might see your infatuation grow into love.
2. You start feeling "off"
Most of us know that, on a physical level, falling in love can feel both amazing and awful at the same time. It's important to keep in mind that, biologically speaking, men and women respond differently when it comes to affairs of the heart.
"When a man starts to fall in love, his testosterone levels drop. They may feel fatigued, moody, and you may witness a reduced sex drive, weight gain, or muscle loss. You may witness him in sheer euphoria, then quickly pivot to a state of anxiety or despair," Alyssa Bunn, professional matchmaker at Tawkify and creator of Love + Co, told Elite Daily. "For men, falling in love can feel quite deflating, which is why many men 'ghost' or leave when things are getting deeper. But here's your biology lesson for the day, ladies: Once he commits, he commits!"
While love-struck men might be a complete mess, we ladies also tend to experience a notable shift in our usual physical M.O. "As for women, we also experience similar manic emotions while falling in love, but the most common effects are loss of appetite, insomnia, and an abnormally high use of emojis," said Bunn.
3. You start feeling a little "high"
Pretty soon after that bizarre love anxiety has worn off, it's often replaced with a giddy, euphoric "high."
"Now, when we are truly in love, we're all on 'drugs.' Not only are our dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin levels at all-time highs, but our amygdala — our fear — is 'gone,'" said Bunn. "We lose our judgment, put on our rose-colored glasses, and ride the crazy, little ride called love for nearly two years. The feelings we have during this period are as addictive as cocaine."
Ultimately, it's a good idea to remember that there really is no rush. Even if your feelings are pushing you and your new bae together at lightning speed, it never hurts to try to keep things in perspective. Only time will tell if what you're feeling is, in fact, love. In the mean time, enjoy the time you spend with the person you're seeing and all those awesome feels that come along with it.
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