When people feel “in love” their dopamine levels increase so much that it almost feels like an otherworldly experience. Especially when the feeling is mutual — they feel like they are on top of the world and no one can reach them. However, sometimes it could just be lust or infatuation that doesn’t actually evolve into love, but instead fades away. Knowing what differentiates these 2 feelings will save you and the other person from heartbreak.
1. You want to be with them all the time, and you get nervous.
You want to be with them all the time, and you don’t care what you do during that time, as long as you are together. You call them, message them, and generally try to find ways to be close to them as often as possible. Even after you’ve spent an entire evening together, you might feel like the time you had together wasn’t enough. And you don’t care if they are cranky or sad during your time, since you get to be near them.
Also, every time you meet with them, you are nervous, and your heart beats really fast and loud. If you haven’t said your “I love you” just yet, you are anxious to know how they feel about you. You are also nervous about what the future holds for you and if the relationship will have a big future. It is a mystery that you can’t know the solution to, and that keeps you constantly worried.
2. You think about them all the time and it feels exciting.
Your brain goes back to them and your memories together when you are at work or at home alone or outside with your friends. You look at your pictures together frequently, and you don’t stop talking about them to your closest friends and family. They are the first thing on your mind and if they are having a bad day, you want to be there and help them out in any way you can. You also imagine how great it would be for your circle to get to know them.
Everything seems so new and exciting, and you are willing to do anything with them, even if you have already done something a million times. You might even go do an activity that they love, but you despise, just because you want to spend time together. This feeling of love you have for them makes things that used to be boring for you feel exciting and interesting now.
3. Your relationship comes very easy to you and you feel safe.
When we say that a relationship comes easy, we mean that you don’t have to struggle to find time for each other. You find time, even if you don’t have a lot, just because you want to see the other person. And even when you disagree or have fights, you find ways to resolve them, since you put your relationship over your ego and pride. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose the fight, since all you want is to be with that person.
Not only that, but you also feel safe with them, like you can fully trust them with your heart. Your nerves probably relax when you see them, even if you just had the worst day at work. You feel like you can share your vulnerable parts with them, since you trust that they won’t hurt you.
4. You get a bit jealous of other people in their lives.
It’s natural that you get a bit jealous when you see other people around your love interest, and you wonder what the nature of their relationship is. And it’s okay if you ask them who certain people are and what their background is. They might be very important to your loved one, or they might be only an acquaintance. Not everyone surrounding them should be perceived as a threat.
However, if your jealousy goes over that healthy level, and you start snooping around their phone or stalking them, you should be worried. This behavior is very toxic, and it can lead to massive problems in the relationship. You can’t know where your partner is at every minute of the day. You are both individuals with lives outside the relationship.
5. You want your friends and family to meet them.
When a relationship is real and mature, it is very normal that you want to take your new love to meet your friends and family. Everything feels so exciting for you that you want to share that part of your life with the people that have always been there for you. Also, their opinion is important to you, and you want them to like that new person in your life.
6. You feel empathy and compassion toward them.
When true love exists between you and your partner, you feel for them whenever they are sad or really happy. Even if you are not in the same mood yourself, you will feel excited when something great happens to them. This is a level of emotional intimacy and connection that pure love can create. In moments of sickness, you also want to be there for them as much as you can and help them get better as soon as possible.
7. You become more affectionate toward them.
Being affectionate with your love interest is the most natural thing between 2 people that want and love each other. You don’t care if you are at home or in public.
You just want to touch them any way you can. It can be something as simple as holding hands or playing with their hair, or just caressing their cheeks. If, after some time together, you realize that you don’t want to do any of that anymore, it probably means that it was excitement and not love.
8. You make big plans for the future.
It is true love when you always have a plus one in your plans regarding pretty much everything. We don’t mean that you should do what your partner says, but that you want them to be included in most things that you want to do. You want them to be with you at family gatherings, go on vacation with you, and go to the same city to work after college. It’s not as easy for you now to just make quick decisions that could end your relationship at some point.
BONUS: When it’s lust, not love
- It feels more physical than emotional: of course it’s important to be physically attracted to your partner, but when that’s all there is, it can’t be true love. There will come a day when all that crazy attraction will fade and there won’t be anything deeper to keep you together.
- Flaws are a no-go: when you have created an idealized version of the real person you are with, their flaws are a dealbreaker for you. You can’t accept that they are not perfect and that you will have to work with their flaws like they will have to work with yours.
- Things are moving way too fast: in many cases, true love can take some time to manifest itself, while lust can seem like it’s going 200 miles per hour.
- You don’t have a lot to talk about: apart from the physical aspect of your relationship, there is nothing else to bring you closer.
- You sweep your problems under the rug: instead of getting to the heart of problems, you choose to push them under the surface and move on.
- Your interest is quickly fading away: when that first twinge of excitement goes away, you realize that you have no real feelings, but that you were just interested in the physical part of your relationship.
- You often go days without communicating: when you don’t have a lot to talk about, you don’t feel the need to contact each other. You also don’t want to share your daily struggles since the relationship is nothing but lustful.
Are you in love and do you feel all the things mentioned above? What was it that made you fall in love with the person you are with?