You may be wondering what love feels like. What intense feelings will arise? What thoughts will you have? Is it possible this is all in your head? Different people may experience love differently, but there are some commonalities often shared by people in love that you may be able to look to for guidance.
5 Signs That You Might Be In Love
The term “love” can refer to many types of love: romantic love, familial love, love shared between friends, and self-love, to name a few. In this article, we will be referring to love shared in a romantic relationship. It’s the love you might feel toward your partner when you are dating and falling head over heels for each other. It’s also the long-term love you might feel when you are building a life together – for some, this means having a marriage and family.
But what does love feel like? Will you see if it’s true love in time? Or will you know it the moment you begin to fall in love? Even people who are in love might struggle to define love, and if they did, each person might have a different answer.
If you’ve never been in love before, you might wonder what love feels like. Or, if you were in a relationship in the past that ended badly, you may be wary of rushing to label your feelings for a new partner as love, especially if you are worried they don’t feel the same way. This may be particularly true if you believe that you and your partner don’t match up in certain ways, like you have different goals in life or different levels of sex drive and sexual attraction.
Of course, not everyone in love will identify with every sign on this list. You may also believe only the positive ones apply to your relationship. Still, you may be in love if some or all of the following signs resonate with you.
1. You Think About Them Often
One of the eight critical elements of romantic attraction outlined in a study about mating choices is “focused attention” on the one you love. You might find your thoughts wandering to them at all hours of the day, causing you to forget what you were doing or to lose focus on work or school. In addition, you may worry about them when you’re apart or miss them constantly when they are away.
2. You Retain Details They Say About Themselves
If you find yourself able to quickly rattle off your partner’s interests, middle name, favorite ice cream flavor, or the breed of dog they had when they were a kid, it could be a good sign you are in love.
The same study above also lists an improved memory as another of the eight elements of romantic attraction. It explains that you might “tend to remember tiny details” about this person and the time you’ve spent together, and there’s a scientific reason to back this up.
The elevated levels of central norepinephrine that people in love often experience are associated with “increased memory for new stimuli.” So, if you remember every little thing this person has told you, there most likely isn’t anything wrong with you. Instead, it may indicate that you are in love with them.
3. You Make A Lot Of Eye Contact With Them
A study by a Harvard psychologist found that people in love tend to make eye contact for about 75% of their interactions.
For comparison, people tend to make eye contact with someone they’re not in love with for only about 30-60% of the conversation. You may have noticed this tendency in yourself when talking to your love interest, or a friend or family may have pointed it out to you. This habit could be an indication of your high level of affection for this person, and a sign that you may be in love with them.
4. You Imagine Your Future Together
If you frequently daydream about what a future might look like with this person, it could be a sign that you’re in love with them. You might consider it a pretty good idea (rightfully, in some cases) to introduce them to your friends and family, take a trip, or live together. All of these actions may be done in an effort to create a deep connection with this person.
Whatever your thoughts may consist of, wanting to share the things that matter to you with this person and remain together over a more extended period could indicate that you love them.
5. Your Eating Or Sleeping Patterns Have Changed
You can thank the hormone norepinephrine again if you’re experiencing trouble sleeping or losing appetite from being in love. It’s associated with giddy and euphoric feelings, but it's also normal for this hormone to cause decreased appetite and insomnia.
Insomnia and decreased appetite can be caused due to the increase in energy the chemical provides. You’ve likely seen this trope play out in everything from movies to love songs. Being in love is sometimes associated with a “can’t eat, can’t sleep” experience. However, this may be temporary.
How Feelings Of Love Might Change Over Time
There’s a lack of consensus on how many stages of love there are. However, many agree that how a person experiences being in love can change over time. Many individuals have highlighted the “honeymoon phase” that often characterizes the early stages of getting to know and falling in love with someone.
The signs of love outlined above may be more related to the infatuation or beginning stages of a relationship. However, love can feel different later on, and it doesn’t mean it’s no longer love.
If a new relationship lasts through an immediate infatuation stage, it may then enter one of building trust and commitment. The Gottman Institute posits that most disagreements in a long-term relationship will happen in the first two years for this reason—because the individuals are learning about each other, whether they can trust one another, and how to handle conflict together.
After that, the couple may begin to feel calm or settle into a more comfortable dynamic over the long term. How your relationship makes you feel may change the longer you spend time together, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve fallen out of love, nor is it necessarily a reason to feel sadness. If you’re unsure what a change in your feelings for your partner means, consider reaching out for support.
Getting Advice On Your Love Life
Being in love with someone can feel exciting, but it may also seem overwhelming to accept at times. You may also be confused on what love means to you or what it means to your partner. Some people choose to turn to a trained counselor to help them sort out what they’re feeling. For example, a therapist could help you learn how to identify healthy and unhealthy relationship dynamics, set boundaries to avoid getting hurt emotionally, or build other skills that may help you sustain a fulfilling romantic relationship.
If you don’t have the time to drive to weekly appointments with an in-person therapist, or if one isn’t available in your area, you might try online counseling. Online counseling is available for individuals and couples, and research suggests it’s as effective as traditional, in-person therapy.
Figuring out whether you’re in love may feel confusing. It may be beneficial to note that love can change over time and may cause physical sensations or changes. If you’re struggling with love or another aspect of romantic relationships or sexual activity, consider reaching out to a counselor to gain further professional insight.
Other Commonly Asked Questions
What does truly healthy love feel like?
How do you know the feeling of love?
How does a man realize he's in love?
How soon is too soon to say I love you?
What are the stages of falling in love?
How do you explain being in love?
Does true love happen instantly?
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know that you've found true love?
So what does real love feel like? How can you tell that you are experiencing true love? Everyone will have a different answer to this, as the feeling of love comes in many forms. For some, it will be when they realize they are a better person for being in their loving relationship. This kind of improvement occurs primarily in healthy relationships and shows that each person is having a positive effect on one another.
For others, they realize they are experiencing true romantic love when they see their partner exhibiting a certain personality trait or doing something specific. We all have our preferences in partners, so we are more likely to fall in love with people who act in ways we like. For example, a woman may realize she is in love when her new partner goes out of his way to run a specific errand for her. If previous partners did not do this, this could be a sign that he is a keeper.
And others focus particularly on their feelings to discern if they are experiencing true love. Being in love increases the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a brain chemical that is deemed the “feel-good hormone.” It’s the reason why falling in love can bring such joy. So if you are always happy around your partner and excited to see them, then this could be a huge indicator that you are in love. Many people realize they are experiencing real love when they have these feelings.
But even if you are unsure you have found love, there may be some signs or symptoms you can look for. People falling in love regularly exhibit signs that show their inner world and feelings. The way they look, act, think about, and talk about their partner reveals how much they love a person, even if it is not apparent to them. Here are a few signs to look out for:
- You have an intense feeling of happiness or joy just by being in their presence. This is a sure sign that you are in love and not just experiencing lust.
- You experience some separation anxiety when you have to be away from them for a while.
- Your attraction to them is more than sexual desire or lust.
- You have a deep, emotional connection.
- You want to spend all your time with them.
- You can’t stop thinking about them.
- You slowly begin to develop a life and future with them.
Is love a feeling or a choice?
Love can be both a feeling and a choice. It just depends on the context of the relationships in question.
For example, two people who fall in love, at first sight, are experiencing love as a feeling. This love is associated with warm feelings of budding emotional intimacy as well as excitement about being with a new special someone. They have a strong romantic attraction to this new partner, and good feeling hormones are being released in the brain. When people love initially, it is usually not a choice because they don’t have to initially work too hard at it.
However, love often becomes a choice once commitment occurs, and two people have been together for years. After years of routine, raising a family, and having arguments and disagreements, relationships get to the point where the initial lust is gone, and the couple must make sure they’re emotionally connected to keep going. When love is no longer fun and passionate, it can be tempting to call it quits. But this cooling period happens in all relationships, so just leaving a partner for another doesn’t solve the problem. This is when many couples experience the idea of love as a choice. They are choosing to be with their partner and love them and will do what it takes to maintain their spark. It’s not just a choice they make because they fear being alone or developing a form of emotional dependency. They know the relationship still has potential and will put in the work to maintain it.
What does deep love feel like?
Deep love is an incredible emotional union that brings feelings of excitement and belonging. Falling in love with the right person can make it seem as though the two of you were made just for each other. It brings a great sense of joy and belief that you have found the person you will be with forever. Experiencing deep or real love can make it seem like there is no other person in the world for you. It is one of the most exciting and positive feelings that anyone can experience.
Deep love is far more than mere physical attraction or a desire to have sex. It involves deep emotional intimacy and connection. You are not just experiencing a romantic passion; you are with someone who is your best friend and lover at the same time.
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