It happens to the best of us–falling in love and never knowing it. What signs give it away? These 10 signs of how to know if you love someone helps.
Contrary to the movies, and your friends’ stories about their own relationships, sometimes love just… happens. Without ever realizing it. Sure, you find yourself liking someone, thinking they’re attractive, spending time with them, but the love part? That comes later, it grows over time, and often, you wake up one day and realize you fell head over heels for that person. Understanding how to know if you love someone eludes us at times, but there are always ways to see the signs.
It shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is. The media conditions people into thinking fireworks and love should happen right after the first few times of meeting. The best love stories start out as simple attraction. Over time, either that fades, because they aren’t right for you, or it grows into love.
#1 You do one specific thing to see if they follow or react in some way. This is especially true if you work together or attend the same class.
For instance, if you both went to lunch together one day and things seemed to go really well, maybe you’ll subconsciously ask to take a lunch right in front of them, you know all “laid-back, not caring.” Why? To see if they’ll follow suit and ask to join you again. [Read: Why we fall in love – A little science, a little fate]
#2 You turn down dates with other people. It’s no secret single people go on many dates. Bad dates, okay dates, good dates, “friend-zoned-for-all-eternity” dates. But when you find that one person, dating other people seems to take the backseat.
You go on a date with someone else and find yourself bored or uncomfortable, and calling it an early night. Or, better yet, you ruin someone’s day when you turn them down, again and again and again. Why? Because you may not be in a relationship with the special person, but your heart’s already taken. [Read: Am I in love? 21 signs to decode that fuzzy feeling]
#3 Having trouble controlling your words–in the beginning. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it’s a stereotype for a reason. This goes away after a while, and we touch on it more below. Initially, realizing you’re attracted to someone, you’ll be a little… weird.
You may say dirty things by accident. Or you may be very quiet and shy. Others simply stand in stunned, awkward silence, not knowing what to say. Then there’re those who simply don’t know when to stop talking.
#4 You feel strangely… comfortable. After a while, you find yourself oddly comfortable around this person. You could talk for hours, get to know each other, play games, hang out, etc. And somehow, you’re not awkward anymore, if you ever were.
#5 You went from caring to really caring, without realizing it. Remember back when you first met and that special someone told you things about themselves that you thought were decent or funny, even though they may have actually been… anything but qualities?
Well, if you find yourself actually caring about those things now, and they bother you, welcome to being in love. For instance, if they say they’ve slept with over 20 people, and you didn’t think much of it before, you start to question it a little now. And that may be a sign you developed feelings.
#6 You prefer to spend your time with them, rather than anyone else. You’re at a friend’s house, maybe a restaurant, or a get-together, and all of a sudden you get the text that they’re free and would love to see you if you have the time.
If you invite them to join you and spend the rest of your time with them, or if you simply walk out of wherever you’re at and go see them, then you may be in love.
#7 You text, call, or Snapchat–a lot. It’s been a day or two, maybe three, and this entire time, you’ve texted each other. Life may be busy, and you may not be officially in a relationship, but it’s heading in that direction. [Read: How to tell if you like someone: 15 weird, unlikely signs]
#8 You start caring *a lot* more about how you look. This is just something that happens as if by magic. You could already take pride in your appearance, but when you fall in love, it’s worse.
For those who don’t care about how they look ever, they’ll start to, even if it’s just a little. Small changes, like wearing less faded t-shirts or using a new shampoo. Or big changes, like changing hairstyles and makeup routines. [Read: Loving someone you can’t have – 15 ways to handle the pain]
#9 It’s easier to open to them than it is with anyone else. That person makes you feel safe and capable of opening up about things you may not share about with someone else. Whether it’s your insecurities, doubts, or life history, they’ll know.
#10 You’ve picked up new hobbies and routines. A person should always be themselves, no matter what. Being in love doesn’t mean you stop being who you are. However, it’s no secret that when you’re in love, you do pick up on a few things from that particular person. It could be a show, a new hobby, maybe a new restaurant. Anything.