Andrea has been an online writer for 8+ years. She mostly writes about dating, couples, weddings, travel, interior design, and gardening.
When You Need Clarity
Sometimes in relationships, or in the early dating stage, people are unsure whether they love someone or not. Falling in love can be tricky, especially if you’re new to dating. Some people try out dating and treat it like a game. Some people are selfish and are just looking for some fun. Other people are taking things far too seriously.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you try to figure out whether you’re in love or not:
- Love builds over time. Love gets richer as you stay in each other’s orbit.
- You develop feelings. Your body has responses, like butterflies in the stomach and sweaty palms. You can’t get the person off your mind, and some awkward clumsiness ensues.
- You miss them when they’re gone. This one is key.
When you really love someone, you mature somewhat. You care about the other person and make them a priority rather than as a random person in your phone. When you love someone you don’t shy away from them when they don’t look or feel their best.
Love is more than just the chemicals you feel. Love is about the bond you have with someone and what you’re willing to put into that bond.
When you fall in love, you move away from the infatuation or crush stage. You see the person for who they are: You love them for what makes them shine and despite their faults.
Can't Tell If You're in Love? Look at Your Actions
I want to help you figure out whether you are in love or not. You could be on the way to loving someone, or maybe you fell out of love and need to reconnect with your partner.
Love is a strong bond. It should make you feel more at ease and comfortable with someone. We release hormones that make us feel good when we’re around someone we like; we have a rush of endorphins and adrenaline, and our cortisol levels should drop.
When you’re in love and someone loves you back the pieces of the puzzle naturally fall into place. You feel supported and they do too. It’s not a battle to try to get them to hang out with you, you don’t have to constantly remind them to spend time with you, and it doesn’t feel one-sided.
Unrequited romance isn’t fulfilling; that’s why people don’t stay in unrequited romances their whole lives. It’s a lot of effort to love someone by yourself when you could move on and find love that reciprocates.
When you fall in love, you should be happy. You’ll spend a lot of time with this person and not as much time with your friends and family. When you love someone you want them to be part of your world: you show them your favorite things, you take them to your favorite places, and you introduce them to important people in your life. Love helps you let go of secrets; it helps you to be vulnerable.
Here are some other signs that you’re in love:
- You’ll try to make your voice sound pleasant. You may talk more gently. The two of you will likely try to match each other in length of sentences, rhythm, and tone.
- You naturally mirror each other. You sit near each other, and you get on the same level.
- You can’t help but tell the other person any news you have, whether good or bad.
- You can’t stand to see your partner in pain. You’ll do anything to comfort them and help them overcome the pain.
- You become interested in what they love and want to help them be passionate about their dreams. You’re okay with them finding themselves in the world and having alone time, even if it means you have to let them go for part of the day.
- Going a week or more without seeing them will cause you to long for them. A month away from each other sounds dreadful.
- You make plans together. You dream about the future. You make vacation plans, you think about things like buying a house, where you want to live, how to take care of aging parents, how many kids you want, etc.
- You have dreams about your partner, crush, etc. Your dreams will be happy and reassuring. Maybe they’ll make promises to you in dreams.
Indications You’re Not in Love
Love isn’t all about a rush of feelings or cute stuff from first dates. It’s something that builds and matures. Love makes you feel whole and at peace; you’re not feeling anxious that you’ve done something wrong. Consider it like this: after a really good intimate time behind doors — you likely can sleep better. Love relaxes you; it doesn’t make you feel threatened or scared.
You want to be in a loving relationship. This means you’re supported and comforted. Love helps lower your baseline stress.
You’re not in love if:
- You could go months without seeing this person and not miss them at all.
- You have nothing nice to say.
- You don’t feel anything in your body at all. Not in your heart, not in your gut, and not in your mind. Your body should want to draw to them in some form or fashion.
- You don’t care about the details of the person. You’re not interested in their favorite color, their middle name, their dog’s name, their favorite ice cream flavor, their birthday, what they do for a living, or their preferences for just about anything.
- You’re not excited to see them. . . ever. Spending time with them sounds boring.
- You could care less if they get sick, hurt, or have shortcomings. You would be annoyed if they brought up anything like this.
- You only see their faults.
- You spend more time with someone else and prefer that person’s company.
- You have no plans for them. You’re not excited to take them places, you’re not excited to buy them gifts, and you could care less about whether they hug or kiss you.
When you love someone, you’ll communicate with them through the five love languages:
- Words of affirmation
- Giving gifts
- Spending time together
- Acts of service
You shouldn’t really have to think too hard about this. If you are conveying love, you are in love. Some of us rely on certain love languages more than others, and that is okay. Your partner isn’t falling short of love if they don’t use all five.
Words of Affirmation
When you love someone, you have nice things to say. It’s easy for you to compliment them, give them reassuring words, and support them. You don’t have to rack your brain for something nice to say; it comes naturally to you.
You use words to flirt, charm, and build confidence. You want them to see you as a positive person, so you make sure what you say is full of honey. You’ll always win people more with honey than vinegar.
You don’t just use words as flattery. You think carefully ahead of time about what you’ll say. You make certain that what you say is supportive and ultimately nourishing. When you want to be a nourishing person in someone’s life, that means you want to express love. Maybe not an aromatic love, but something positive nonetheless.
Here are some expressions of words of affirmation:
- You write notes and leave them in places to brighten their day.
- You send them positive text messages and emails throughout the day.
- You make a point to express positive feelings to them.
- You feel comfortable saying “I love you.”
When you love someone, you want to reach out and touch them. You want to be close to them. You look forward to hugs and kisses. You like holding their hand. When you first started dating them, these things might have given you a rush. You may have taken it as a serious compliment to hold his hand.
Couples who stay together still maintain physical contact. It’s not simply about what happens under the sheets, it’s about the little touches of love throughout the day. You give reassurance by reaching out and holding her hand. You make her feel special with a gentle kiss on the forehead. You know how to relax them with a head massage. You get a high from braiding her hair. You’re not strangers who act like there is a great deal of bubble wrap between you.
Falling in love comes with gifts and displays of love. If you’re creative, you’ll have the impulse to write them songs, paint them something beautiful, or write a romantic poem.
If you have the money, you’ll buy them what you think they’ll treasure. You’re not trying to buy their love: you’re trying to express your love. You buy them what you think they want, what they need, and what will make their day better. You want them to be surrounded by items from you so that they’ll remember you throughout the day.
The gifts you give express how you feel about this person. Do you want to buy them a house? Do you want to buy them a diamond ring? Only someone with really strong feelings wants to buy these big-ticket items.
You shouldn’t feel like you have to buy these things. You want to buy them. You want to have that milestone proposal moment with them. You want to have a house where you can share memories together. You want to ultimately spend your life with them; the greatest gift you can give them is your life.
Spending Time Together
It should be obvious, but if you like someone then you’ll want to spend time with them. If you don’t want to spend time with someone, then you probably don’t have feelings for them. People who are in love look forward to getting to spend time together, having adventures in public, and eating dinner together. Getting to see this person and spending time with them should be a highlight, not an annoyance.
Take a moment and reflect on how you like to spend your time and who you want to spend your time with. You should look forward to dates and adventures. You shouldn’t be rolling your eyes at them and dreading their presence.
Acts of Service
When you love someone, you want to do things for them. You want to make sure their needs are met. You help them take care of chores, you work on the budget together, and you do errands together.
Acts of service might not sound as exciting or as sexy as other love languages, but it is a charming way to convey love. When you’re in a mature relationship, you care about the little things. You care about your partner’s needs.
Acts of service can be expressed in multiple ways from cooking a meal, making sure their car has gas, folding laundry, cleaning sheets, taking their elderly mother to go shopping, and tidying up the office.
© 2021 Andrea Lawrence