Wondering how to know you’re in love, eh? You’re feeling the butterflies in your stomach. But is that love? Well, science says yes.
If I went with my definition of love, I would have been in love with almost every guy that walked past me. Of course, I later found out that that feeling wasn’t love, it was me feeling horny. Weird how we get those two things mixed up, right? Lust and love, though they feel similar, they’re completely different things. But, here’s the thing, learning how to know you’re in love or lust is an important distinction.
So, maybe you’ve dated this one person for a while. You think you may be in love with them. But how do you actually know that you’re falling in love with them? There have to be some clear signs, right? Well, thank god we have science! There actually are scientifically proven ways to figure out if you’re in love or not. But, like really in love.
#1 They’re unique to you. When you fall in love with someone, you see them as someone different than all the rest. That’s right, the way they eat pasta isn’t the same as how anyone else eats pasta. Nope, the way they eat those noodles make you smile with delight.
#2 You don’t see the flaws. Okay, you know they have flaws because we all do, but to be honest, you have yet to see them. In your eyes, you only see the good things. Though they may show their flaws, they fly right over your head. Thank your elevated dopamine levels for this and norepinephrine which is associated with increased memory. Isn’t science great?!
#3 You’re an emotional roller coaster. If you feel the highs and lows inside of you, thank love for that. Falling in love is commonly known to lead people towards emotional and psychological instability. It’s sounding pretty great to me.
You feel increased energy, loss of appetite, increased heart rate while also feeling anxious and depressed when the relationship hits even the smallest obstacle. This mood is similar to the ones which drug addicts share. [Read: Are you stuck on an emotional roller coaster?]
#4 Thinking only about love. Well, I am a victim of this. People in love reportedly spend at least 85% of their time awake, thinking about their loved one. It’s definitely a form of obsession due to the decrease of serotonin linked to obsessive behavior. But, this is completely normal… right?
#5 Intensified attraction. Oh man, when it comes to understanding how to know you’re in love, this sounds super intense, right? Well, again, you can thank your dopamine for this! It’s the culprit in making you feel this way. This is due to the delayed reward, thus, the dopamine production increases during this time.
#6 You’re emotionally dependent. When you’re in love, you suddenly become emotionally dependent on the other person. You fear rejection and feel jealousy and possessiveness. You focus primarily on your relationship with this person rather than on other things. This is why when people fall in love, their friends notice them missing in action.
#7 Thinking about the future. When you’re in love, you plan the future already thinking about marriage and babies. You want to be with this person in the long-run, thus, this is when the day dreams start to happen. This is what makes us choose our partners and reproduce. I know, it doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s sweet when you think about it. [Read: 10 absolutely dreamy signs of love at first sight]
#8 You feel empathetic. If you’re still wondering how to know you’re in love, remember this one. When you’re in love, the feelings of empathy heighten, specifically towards the person you’re in love with. You feel their pain as if it was your own, and you would sacrifice many things to make them happy. I’m not the only one having The Notebook flashbacks, right?
#9 You have similar interests. When you’re in love, you and your partner start to align your interests with one another. Your daily habits, the way you dress, even the way you talk synchronizes with each other. This is all subconscious by the way, you’re not actively trying to talk like them. We do this to align ourselves better with the person we love.
#10 Turn on the possessiveness. Well, with all the daydreams and lovely thoughts comes the possessiveness. You invest all your emotions and feelings into this person. Naturally, you don’t want someone else to come along and disrupt it. When we’re in love, there are strong emotional ties, thus, jealousy is easily obtainable.
#11 It’s not just sex. When you’re in love, it isn’t about the sex. Okay, yes, sex is a crucial part of the relationship, but most couples in love do not think sex is the most important part of the relationship.
Instead, emotional connection is what trumps sex. People in love crave the emotional connection. So, if sex isn’t your top priority with your partner, but spending the night staring into each other’s eyes is, then you may be in love.
#12 You feel like you’re going to lose your mind. You’re going insane. You feel like you lose every inch of your mind. You can’t control how you feel, it’s like you’re not yourself anymore. This is because love is somewhat biological. You cannot control the human biology, the body and mind control it for you. [Read: 12 signs to recognize true love when you feel it]
#13 The spark fades. Sadly, being in love doesn’t last forever. In some ways, that’s a good thing as now you can focus on truly loving your partner instead of feeling like you lost your mind. Your mind is back and you’re focused. This is when it moves into a long-term relationship and the attachment disappears.