Advertising
Advertising

How to Know If You’re Really in Love or Not (Yes It Can Be Confusing)

How to Know If You’re Really in Love or Not (Yes It Can Be Confusing)

So, you’ve met a new special someone and the two of you have started a romantic relationship. You find yourself thinking about them a little more often than before and now you get those butterfly feelings in your stomach just before you’re about to see them.

Does this mean you’re in love? Or could this just be the honeymoon phase that every relationship goes through? Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you’re really in love or not.

What Does It Mean to Be In Love?

Being in love means desiring the happiness of your partner, admiring them for the individual they are, and feeling motivated to be a better person. When you are in love, your relationship goes beyond a simple physical attraction. It is experiencing happiness at the idea of two individual and independent people choosing to share time together. If you are in love, you are driven to be compassionate, generous, and caring to your special someone.

Advertising

The Signs of Being In Love

So you’re probably thinking, “that’s great, but how do I know if I’m really in love or not?” Good question. See if any of the following signs of being in love[1] apply to you:

  • You have stopped thinking about your ex. In fact, you don’t even remember the last time you thought of him/her.
  • You’re happier doing mundane chores when you’re together. Washing the dishes used to be terrible, right? But not with your partner beside you to help.
  • You two start making future plans together. Before, date planning only went as far ahead as the upcoming weekend. Now, you’re talking about going to see the fall leaves change colors – and it’s only July.
  • You want to do things together. Yes, you have been to the zoo 20 times before. But not with your partner and you just know it would be better together.
  • You automatically want to share your good and bad news with them. Got a promotion at work? You don’t even think about your best friend now, instead you shoot a text to your partner.
  • You are reminded of him/her every time you’re out. “Nice shoes, John would love those.” “Awesome game, Jess would love to play that.” It just comes naturally because they’re always on your mind.
  • You’ve started looking forward to the weekend just to have breakfast in bed and watch a “Seinfeld” marathon. Dancing? Clubbing? Did you ever like those things? Yes, when you were single and not in love.

“Love” is Not The Same As “In Love”

People fall in love, it’s natural and part of life’s great journey. You probably didn’t plan on it. Maybe you don’t understand why you’re in love now, but you weren’t in the past. That’s easy. It’s because you can love somebody and never truly be in love with them. Sound confusing? Don’t worry.

Loving somebody is the conscious decision you make to be together, to trust them, to care for them. You can love your friends, you can love your family, maybe you even loved your ex. But, you can’t (or weren’t) in love with those people. That’s a completely different feeling. There’s a reason you aren’t in a romantic relationship with one of your best friends.

Advertising

To be in love with somebody is wanting to share your thoughts and feeling with them, feeling safe in their arms, hoping to make them happy, and thinking of them everywhere you go.[2]

Who Cares if I’m in Love or Not?

What kind of question is that?! Who cares if you’re in love or not? You should care! Every time your heart races when the phone rings, each time you catch yourself daydreaming of a future together – these are the reasons to care if you’re in love or not.

Instead of wondering all of time, or waiting for them to confess their feelings, you should try to figure out the answer to this question. If you don’t, you could risk losing the very person you’re supposed to be with. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity of being in love and knowing it.

Advertising

How Can You Know Whether the Feelings are Mutual?

After you figure out if you’re in love with your partner or not, you probably want to know if they feel the same way. Maybe you’re at the point in your relationship where you’re trying to figure out if it’s the right time to say those magic words – “I love you.” Well, there are some signs you can look for to determine if the feelings are mutual or not.[3]

Pay Attention to Their Words

If your partner starts talking about a future together, that’s a surefire way to know they’re probably also in love with you. If they see you in their future, it’s because they want you there.

What about the way they talk to you? Does your partner mention very specific things about your personality that they love? Things like, “I love the way I feel when we’re together.” and “You always know how to make me feel good.” are pretty big indicators that they’re probably in love.

Advertising

Pay Attention to Their Actions

You know the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s the truth. So, what are their actions telling you?

Is your partner always there for you when you need support? Do they always listen to whatever you have to say, even if you’re just complaining about your boss for the thousandth time? If they take care of you when you’re feeling bad, bring you your favorite takeout just because, or come over with a movie – chances are, they’re in love with you, too. People who are in love with each other make an effort to spend time together and be supportive of each other.

Pay Attention to How They Act Around You

This is more than paying attention to their actions. This is paying attention to the way they hold themselves around you. Does it feel natural or fake?

Somebody who’s in love in happy to see their partner, smiles at them, makes eye contact, and reaches out for a much needed hug. If seeing you doesn’t make them seem more energetic or excited, they might not be in love. That’s because being near the people we’re in love with changes our behavior. We’re suddenly happier and just feel better. That feeling should shine through.

Armed with this information, you should be able to answer that question that’s been nagging at you for days. Are you really in love? And, is your partner really in love with you, too?

Reference

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

What Makes a Relationship Boring and How to Avoid It How to Know If You’re Really in Love or Not (Yes It Can Be Confusing) Why You and Your Partner Don’t Need to Speak the Same Love Language to Stay Together Why Worrying About Losing a Friend Is Unnecessary No.1 Relationship Killer: Your Good Intention to Advise Your Partner When They’re Upset

Trending in Communication

1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

Advertising

The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

Advertising

If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

Advertising

In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

Advertising

It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

More Articles About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next