Ask and you shall answer.
Are you having a summer romance and wondering how to know if you’re in love?
There’s nothing better than the giddy first days, weeks and months of a new relationship, but how do you know if what you are feeling is just the excitement of infatuation with someone new, or if this is true love and he or she may be the “the one”?
It’s important that you know how to make this distinction because only once you’ve asked and answered the “Am I in love?” question can you take the next steps toward building a future with your person.
And if it’s not love but only infatuation or lust, then that’s important to know as well.
In order to gain clarity about whether what you feel is love vs. lust, here are five deep (but simple) questions to ask yourself.
1. Do you like and respect the person they are?
When you are in love, you are also in serious like.
You like who they are as a person, how they are with their family and the barista. You like the way they treat you and the way they scramble their eggs.
You like that they want to spend time with you or are interested in your day. You like how they touch you and like the way they look in those jeans.
Interestingly, when you are in love with someone, you even love the things you find frustrating, like the way it takes them a long time to make a decision or the way they leave planning until the last minute.
If you love your person in spite of these things, and perhaps even think they are adorable (even while they are bugging you), then you are definitely in love.
2. Is it difficult to spend time away from them?
When you love someone, leaving your person can be physically painful. You count the minutes, hours or days until you will see them again. When you are reunited, it’s like you feel whole again.
If you love someone in a healthy way, being apart from them is hard, but you still live your life as you always have done, anticipating seeing them again while also feeling perfectly happy apart.
However, there is a kind of love that isn’t so healthy, when the distance goes beyond difficult to completely unmanageable.
When love is unhealthy and you are apart from your lover, you cannot function. You constantly wonder where they are and what they are doing — maybe even stalking them on social media. Your job and friendships suffer, and the physical pain from the distance is debilitating.
If you miss your person when they are away but can still go about your normal life, looking forward to the next reunion, then you love your guy in a way that is healthy, and a life together is totally possible.
3. Do you feel you have no questions about the relationship?
If you truly love someone, you aren’t constantly questioning the relationship.
Do you think that you want to be in this relationship but just aren’t sure?
Do you think about whether you are making a mistake by committing to this person?
Do you spend time thinking about other people instead?
Do you find yourself rationalizing your relationship more often than not?
People who are in love are secure in the fact the love is real and equal and that a commitment to it is a smart one.
If there are little red flags you are ignoring or if you are constantly wondering if this person is enough for you, then you most likely aren’t in love.
4. Can you imagine yourself with anyone else?
Monogamous people who are in love with their partner don’t go seeking other potential mates. They are perfectly happy with the person sitting beside them and the prospect of being with someone else is unthinkable.
Do you find yourself looking at other people and wondering if, for whatever reason, you might be interested in a relationship with them?
Do your friends introduce you to other people they think might be better for you?
If either of these things is the case, you might not be in love with the man or woman who is currently in your life.
If the thought of fooling around with someone else and knowing the hurt that it would cause them makes your skin crawl, then you could very well be madly in love with the person you are spending so much time with.
5. Can you feel it?
It’s important to understand the difference between being in love with someone and loving someone.
I believe that when you are in love with someone, the signs are clear.
When you see your person, your heart leaps a little bit, you long for their touch, you want to know everything about them, spending time together is lovely and you care about their hopes and dreams.
But, when you love someone, as opposed to being in love with someone, your feelings are more feelings of friendship.
You feel peaceful and happy being with them and support them in their endeavours, but that feeling of your heart leaping, of relishing their physical touch, just isn’t there.
So, how do you feel when you see your person?
Does your heart leap or do you just feel peaceful? Does the prospect of not having them in your life hurt you, but does the idea of being intimate with them make you uncomfortable?
If the friendship is there, but not the romance, then you most likely aren’t really in love.