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Last Updated on November 28, 2017

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.

Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.

When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).

Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:

1. You’re depressed about your home life.

No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.

However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.

If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.

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When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.

You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.

2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.

Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.

If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.

You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.

If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.

3. You can’t stop snooping.

Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.

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I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.

Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.

So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.

It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.

If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.

4. You’re afraid of commitment.

If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.

Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.

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No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.

If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.

Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.

5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.

If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.

Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.

Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.

Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.

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If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?

6. You resent, rather than love your partner.

When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.

When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.

If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.

7. You chase past feelings.

It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.

You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.

When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.

Final thoughts

If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.

Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com

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