There is nothing more exciting than the feeling of falling for someone. The butterflies in your stomach, the longing to need to talk or be with them, and the unexpected need to find new ways to impress them.
When you start to fall for someone, the emotions can get truly exceptional and there’s a feeling that can be very hard to express.
And even though it might feel like you are in love, it doesn’t always turn out to be love. But how do you know if you love someone or are simply infatuated? Keep reading to find out.
What is love?
Why do people always wonder what is the meaning of love, what does being in love feel like, and how do you know you love someone?
Love has been defined in many different ways.
Oxford dictionary defines love as “A range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure.”
Ancient Greeks defined seven types of love, namely: Storge, Philia, Eros, Agape, Ludus, Pragma, and Philautia.
Love can also be defined as a natural phenomenon that we cannot demand or command. We can accept it but can’t dictate it; it is a profound emotion that is bigger than anyone.
Why is it important to know if you are in love?
Just like any other emotion or feeling, realizing if you are in love with someone or not is essential.
It’s never simple being in a situation of not knowing if you love someone or not.
You may be in a circumstance where somebody has pronounced their adoration for you; however, you don’t know whether you are genuinely prepared to respond to those emotions.
Or maybe the person you adore is about to move into a relationship with someone else, and you need to express your feelings before it’s past the point of no return.
Yet, how would you realize that what you feel is genuine, lasting, and valid?
Love is significantly more than other sentiments we experience in our lives.
It is something we shape our lives around, we move the world over for, and start families for.
Hence, it becomes that much important to understand if what you feel is actually love or some version of lust or infatuation.
The difference between lust, infatuation, and love
Lust, infatuation, and love are often difficult to differentiate, especially in their early stages. They exhibit very similar characteristics early on and, for centuries, have been fooling people.
However, they are very different from each other, and we must understand that difference to avoid making decisions that we might regret.
Lust is a psychological emotion that produces an intense desire for a thing or a person. It is an intense and short-lived force that demands to be fulfilled without any reason or logic.
Like lust, infatuation is also an intense emotion that drives us towards an unreasoned passion, usually towards another person for whom one has developed strong feelings.
The difference lies in the fact that infatuation can still blossom into love, whereas lust is only a selfish need to attain what you want.
On the other hand, love is a facilitator of interpersonal relationships and has been associated with strong attraction and emotional attachments.
Also, watch the following TED talk where Dr. Terri Orbuch a professor of sociology at Oakland University and a research professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan discusses signals to distinguish between lust and love, and how to reignite that lustful desire in loving long-term relationships.
How do you know you love someone?
Knowing whether or not you are falling in love can be tricky. Most will understand, while most may not be in a position to tell. But how do you know you love someone?
To recognize true love, you must first examine how you see the person you fell in love with, do you treaty them as an object or a person. Love is a feeling that makes you accept someone’s flaws without asking them to do the same.
It is not a sense of ownership; on the contrary, it is a form of unconditional surrender because you truly accept that person for who they are without expecting anything in return.
Sounds extreme? Because it is, and that is why what many of us can achieve in our relationships is a mix of lust, infatuation, and love.
So, we go back to the same question, how do you know you love someone?
Luckily, your body has some unique ways of telling you whether you are falling in love with someone or not.
To help you understand what being in love feels like, the next section highlights certain signs that you might be in love.
16 signs you’re in love
Below are ways in which you can tell that you love someone:
1. You keep on staring at them
When you find yourself staring at them for a long time, then it could be a sign that you are falling in love with that person.
Usually, eye contact will mean that you are being fixated on something.
If you are looking at someone several times, you should know that you have found a lover.
Studies have shown that partners who find themselves staring at each other have a romantic connection. And, that is true. You can’t be staring at someone when you don’t have some feelings for him or her.
2. You wake up and go to bed with thoughts of them
How do you know you love someone?
When you are in love, you often think about the person you care for, but more than that, they are your first thought in the morning and last thought before going to bed.
Furthermore, when you have love feelings for someone, they are also the first person you think of sharing the news.
3. You feel high
Sometimes it can be tricky to know whether you love someone or not. That’s why most people will get stuck with the question, how do you know you love someone.
In most cases, when you are falling in love with someone, you’ll feel high, and that’s normal for everyone.
A study trying to assess the similarities between drug addiction and romantic love found that there are many similarities between the early stage of romantic love and drug addiction.
Now, if you don’t know why you have been acting the way you are acting, this is the reason – you are falling in love.
4. You think about someone too often
When you begin to love some, no doubt – you will not stop thinking about them.
The reason why you always think about your new lover is that your brain releases phenylethylamine – which is sometimes known as the “love drug.”
Phenylethylamine is a hormone that aids in creating the feeling between you and your partner.
If you have never known this, now you should. Phenylethylamine is also found in the chocolate you love.
So, if you consume chocolate daily, then it could be the reason why you can’t stop thinking about your new partner.
5. You always want to see them happy
In a real sense, love should be an equal partnership. When you already love someone, you’ll feel like you want them to be happy every time.
And, maybe if you didn’t know, compassionate love is a sign that you are getting into a healthy relationship. This means that you can do whatever it takes to make sure your partner is happy at all times.
Therefore, if you find yourself preparing dinner on behalf of your partner when he or she is busy with her assignments, then you must know you are falling in love.
6.You are stressed of late
In most cases, love will be associated with fuzzy feelings, but once in a while, you will find yourself stressed.
When you are in love, your brain releases a hormone called cortisol, which makes you feel stressed.
Therefore, if you realize that you are freaking out of late, they know it’s because of your new relationship. But don’t quit just because of that. Stress is normal in a relationship.
7. You feel some jealousy
Being in love with someone can invite some jealousy, although you might not be a jealous person in general. Being in love with someone makes you want to have them for yourself exclusively, so a bit of jealousy is natural, as long as it is not obsessing.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.