So you’ve been dating someone knew for a couple months and things are getting pretty serious. You talk to each other almost every day and the date on the weekend is all but assumed. You are certainly fond of this person and hanging out with them is a great source of fun and happiness for you. But is it love? If you can check off all eight items on this list, you just might be head-over-heels.
1. They Are Your First Thought
When you emerge from the fog of a good night’s sleep and the world begins to come into focus around you, your significant other pops into your head. As you stare at yourself sleepily in the mirror while brushing your teeth, you are already planning the next great date you can take her on or wondering if he will like the outfit you put together for the day.
2. You Tell Them Your Secrets
If you don’t feel embarrassed to share things you really ought to be embarrassed about, you might be in love. There are some parts of your life that don’t readily share with people unless you are comfortable with them getting to know the real you. For example, if you’re hanging out with your partner making dinner and, without flinching, you tell them about the time you called your teacher mom, you might as well blurt out the L-bomb right then and there.
3. You Are Fond of Their Imperfections
At least in the early stages of love you start to like everything about the other person. Even the little things they do that would drive you crazy if anyone else did them become strangely endearing. Maybe he snorts when he laughs, maybe she eats her peas one at a time. If you find yourself making doe eyes at behavior that you can objectively say would normally give you a stress-headache, you are probably beyond saving.
4. You Mentally Include Them in Your Long-Term Future
Another sure-fire way to tell you’re in love with someone is if they start appearing in your long-term thoughts and plans. If you have always wanted to move to the West Coast and suddenly then you imagine yourself basking in the sunshine with your significant other, there is a pretty good chance you might love them. If you have difficulty imagining your future without them you can be even more sure of your feelings.
5. You Think They’re Special
We all think we are unique little snowflakes floating along on the breeze of life, but we rarely feel that way about other people. In fact, we so rarely think that other people are special that when we do it is a pretty good indication that they are either a very close friend or we are in love with them. Love blinds us to the cold rationality of statistics and lets us feel like, against all odds, we have found our one, true soul mate.
6. You Want to be With Them
When you’re in love you start to make allowances in terms of what you feel is a normal amount of time to spend with someone. If you were together all weekend, you went for lunch on Monday, and you are still excited to plan dinner and a movie for Tuesday night, there is a good chance you’re in love. In fact, scientists have even shown that people in love demonstrate the same obsessive behavior as drug or gambling addicts when it comes to the object of their romantic attachment.
7. You Want Your Friends to Like Them
If you are worried about what your friends and family will think of the person you are dating it is probably because you are hoping to integrate them into Thanksgiving Dinners and Game Nights for years to come. Once your thoughts about someone else move outside of yourself and start including how they will mesh with the other people in your life, you can be reasonably sure you’re in a serious relationship.
8. You Want to Keep Them Around
Finally, and above all else you are in love with someone if you continue loving them as your relationship matures. Most of the things I’ve discussed already are stages that pass on the path of a long-term relationship. New love is crazy and obsessive and irrational, but eventually that all fades away and you begin to see the other person for who they really are. If you have been together long enough to reclaim your ability to think logically and you still want to keep them around, you can be sure your love is the real thing.
Featured photo credit: Greg Jordan via flickr.com