We think we will know when we have fallen in love because… well, we’ll just know. However, it is very easy to mistake lust or infatuation for love, especially in the early stages. So how do you know? Here are several indicators that separate true love from false and some questions to ask yourself.
In Love or Infatuation?
One of the classic signs that you are in love is thinking about the other person all the time. Yearning for them, playing out scenarios in your mind, talking about them to anyone who will listen. Your heart races when you think of them, and you can’t get the smile off your face. Have you felt like this before? What happened to that relationship?
Think about the traits and mannerisms you find cute in him or her. It is often said that the things you find irresistible in the beginning turn into the biggest irritations later on. What is funny now, won’t be after you’ve heard or seen it five hundred times. Can you list the characteristics that attract you? Do you think you will still like those after a year?
Are you Feeling Manipulated into Sex?
Does your new partner pressure you into having sex? Do you feel like you are being rushed? This is a huge no-no, and you should insist that they respect your boundaries and give you the time you need. If you feel this way, it’s not love, and maybe you agree to do what they want to keep them happy. If your passion is entirely mutual, then you are quite probably in love.
Too Many Secrets
Of course, no-one has to divulge every intimate detail about their life, but what if you know your partner is holding back? Is he refusing to tell you his precise age? Does she neatly sidestep questions about her family? If you are building a relationship with someone, then you are entitled to know their basic circumstances. Sharing information about oneself is part of the falling in love process and if you are both happy to share your past with the other, then love it is.
A little jealousy is a natural thing, but is your partner over the top about other people in your life? If she can’t bear you talking to other women, or if he goes into a sulk because another man looked at you, then you could have a problem. Do you constantly stalk his Facebook page or check his cell phone? While having someone show jealousy is flattering, pretty soon it will kill love stone dead. Ask yourself if you are acting in a way to elicit a jealous response, such as openly flirting. Do you think your partner is behaving unreasonably? If the answer to those questions is yes, then this is not love.
Can You Love a Meanie?
Is your new partner a giver or a taker? Is she happy to pay her share and to treat you occasionally? Does he insist in splitting the bill to the penny? Does he talk about money or the cost of things constantly? Does she boast about getting away without paying for things? If you don’t see eye-to-eye on basic finances, this will worsen as time goes on. There’s nothing romantic about a guy who is obsessive about money. There’s nothing worse than a woman looking for a man to solve her money issues. How does your partner deal with money?
Does Drama Feed Your Passion?
Real love involves a willingness to commit, a sense of responsibility toward the other person as well as to the relationship. If she likes to instigate fights, or if he storms off in a major tantrum, then this person is very likely addicted to drama. And if your partner is more into drama than cuddles, then this is probably not love. If calm logic is thrown to the wind for a shouting match, if you feel like an emotional punch bag, this is not love.
Are You the Parent in this Relationship?
Is your partner immature? Does she plead with you to get what she wants? Does he treat you more like his mother than a lover? It’s possible that this person is not looking for an equal, but someone to take care of them – a surrogate parent. Think carefully before you get in any deeper, you could end up with a child instead of a mature adult relationship.
Friendship is the Foundation of Long-Term Love
Does your lover feel like she could be your best friend? Is he kind, reliable and easy to talk to? When all else goes wrong, when you are dealing with life’s inevitable nasties, if your partner is there for you, then you have a good foundation for long-lasting love.
Emotional Neediness is a Passion Killer
Everyone feels vulnerable occasionally. Something horrible happens, and you need your partner on your side. However, extreme neediness, requiring constant reassurance and attention, is not conducive to love. This person may need help. You may not be the right one to give it to her. Ask yourself if this relationship is built on the needs of one partner. Are you always placating and soothing him? This love can’t last unless your partner gets some therapy.
These are signs that you are truly in love:
You are relaxed and comfortable with him
You fancy the pants off her
You are always pleased when he walks into the room
You are best friends
You feel good about yourself
There’s no pressure to behave in a certain way
You can think about other things outside of the relationship
You can meet up with friends and not worry that she’s upset about it
You feel you can be true to yourself
If your partner were to lose everything, you would still want to be with him
You can raise an issue and talk about it like grown-ups
After a fight, you are both willing to forget it
You are happy about her successes
You don’t even think about trust; it’s part of the relationship
You are a little bit jealous, but not excessively possessive
There’s no-one you’d rather be with
You feel the same way about each other.
Can you tick all those boxes? Then you are in love.