You are crazy about your significant other and want to be with him or her 24/7.
The feelings are so intense that you’re wondering, “Am I in love?”
Sure, maybe you have the physical symptoms of being in love — or some of them, at least.
Does a racing heart, sleeplessness, euphoria, and a loss of appetite ring a bell?
The connection you have feels familiar — but somehow different this time.
Because this person is different, and you’re not the same person you were the last time you thought you were falling in love.
So are your symptoms signs that you’re in love or of something else (sexual attraction, anxiety, the thrill of the chase)?
Trying to figure it out elicits several related questions:
- What does it even mean to be in love?
- What does being in love feel like?
- How long should I expect it to last? How long will I feel like this?
- What is the chemistry of love and the science behind it?
And, finally, are you in love with the person or with the feeling of being in love?
How do you know when you love someone?
First, let’s look at the science behind love.
When you’re attracted to someone, just the sight of them triggers the production of phenylethylamine (PEA) in the brain, which stimulates the release of dopamine and norepinephrine (feel-good brain chemicals). And yes, that alone can be addictive.
- Lust involves both testosterone and estrogen.
- Attachment has its own chemical cocktail of oxytocin and vasopressin.
When someone gives you “the feels,” those brain chemicals are very much involved. And you tend to want more of them.
What does love feel like?
Those brain chemicals bring with them a variety of symptoms — not all of them enjoyable:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased energy or nervous energy
- Difficulty eating (lowered appetite, queasiness, indigestion)
- Separation anxiety when the person you’re in love with is no longer present
- Worry/anxiety that the feelings aren’t mutual
- Depression when the person gives no evidence of feeling the same way
- Obsessive rumination on your faults and other reasons the other person couldn’t possibly or shouldn’t feel the same way
- Elation at the slightest sign that the other person might feel the same way
But when you’re truly in love with the person, the symptoms go beyond chemical dependency.
You don’t just want to be around this person to get your next fix; you want to know this person, to strengthen the connection between you, and to look for ways to please him or her.
Serving this person’s happiness and best interests becomes a top priority for you, and that shows in a variety of ways.
Am I in Love? 31 Obvious Signs On How To Tell You Are In Love
Check out these 31 signs to know what being in love might look like for you:
1. You’re obsessed.
It’s hard not to think about someone you’re in love with.
The quality of your work may suffer and so may your attention to other relationships (family and friends).
If you’re truly in love with this person, the non-stop “in-house movies” — which are usually more compelling than day-to-day tasks that need doing — tend to be more about how to make the life of your love interest better in some way.
Your number one focus is on making this person happier, and this takes your attention away from anything unrelated to that.
2. You’re blind to all that isn’t beautiful.
It’s true that when you’re in love with someone, you focus on the positive — so much that it becomes difficult or even impossible to see any of their negative qualities.
The stunner on your arm could verbally abuse the waitstaff, and you’d excuse the rude behavior with something like “Well, he did say ‘no cheese’ – twice, to make sure she heard him,” or “It’s been a rough day, and she deserves flawless customer service.”
Your focus would be on the rose he bought for you, or on that smile of hers that makes your stomach flip every time you see it.
Chemicals again. This is why we say, “Love is blind.”
Eventually, when the flames of passion subside, it’s easier to see character flaws for what they are and to make a rational decision about whether or not to leave the relationship.
3. You’re riding an emotional roller coaster.
This has a lot to do with brain chemicals, but they aren’t the whole story.
Yes, you may be playing the “She/he loves me, she/he loves me not” game with flower petals, random glances, and mixed body language.
But you’re also more tuned into your love interest’s emotional states and looking for ways to lighten the load and offset the day’s negatives.
While the highs and lows can be exhausting, your emotional state is, for the most part, dependent on your love interest’s behavior toward you. It’s not a fun place to be — except when it is.
You may also find yourself thinking, “I think I’m in love,” one day only to ask yourself if it’s the real thing the next day.
Confusion and uncertainty aren’t abnormal — especially if you aren’t sure what the feelings of love really are.
4. You want to include him/her in everything.
Anytime something amazing or terrible happens to you, your love interest is the one you want to call first. You want to hear the voice of your beloved before that of anyone else.
Not only do you want to include this person in all the highs and lows of your life, but you also want to see proof that those highs and lows matter to the person you’re in love with.
You want to celebrate every good thing together, and you want to know that this person will be there for you and have your back when things go wrong.
You want to be everything to your beloved that you expect from him or her.
5. You’re on a gift-giving spree.
Especially if your love language is receiving gifts, you’re probably buying and/or making gifts for your love interest and presenting (or leaving) them when opportunities arise.
You’ll put extra thought into those gifts because each one is an expression of your love and romantic interest. Each gift is an extension of you.
Sometimes the gift you give will be your time and your full attention; other times, it might be a little thing you ran across that you thought the other would enjoy. Every gift, though, bears with it the hope of building something together.
6. You’re making (more of) an effort with your appearance.
When you’re in love, you tend to put more effort into looking (and smelling) great.
Sometimes it’s about improving your odds of being noticed. It might also be because your love interest has already shown you special attention, and it makes you feel more attractive.
Being in love has a rejuvenating effect, anyway, and you’re likely to want your wardrobe and personal hygiene to reflect that.
If your beloved notices and shows some appreciation, your effort has just paid for itself many times over.
7. You now like things you used to avoid.
Before you fell in love, no one could get you to dance (or to get on a boat, or to try Rocky Mountain oysters, etc.).
But if your love interest enjoys something you used to avoid, suddenly it sounds like something worth trying — especially if it will get a smile from the right face.
Before you know it, “I don’t dance” gives way to “What should we try next?”
8. You envision a future together.
If you can envision a future with this person — and you find yourself doing that often — you’re probably in love.
Whether you’re picturing the two of you starting a family or just growing old together, you enjoy the thought of having each other’s company for the long haul.
Maybe you’ve always been fine with apartment life, but you’ve started looking at houses.
Or maybe you’re paying more attention to the small children living and playing nearby because now it actually seems possible that you might have some of your own.
9. You yearn for connection.
If you’re in love with this person, physical intimacy is certainly appealing, but it isn’t enough.
You also want an emotional connection that makes it easy and enjoyable to be in this person’s company even when physical intimacy is not an option.
That connection brings with it a greater empathy for your love interest.
You’re more in tune with the other’s moods and emotions, so you pick up on his or her anxiety, anger, or excitement.
And you look for ways to meet your beloved’s emotional needs.
10. You’re making changes.
Just as you might develop an interest in something you used to avoid, you might make other changes to better accommodate the routines, habits, likes, and dislikes of your love interest.
You might take a different route to work in order to pick up coffees for the two of you, or you might start wearing the other’s favorite color.
Maybe you’ll find yourself becoming more of a morning person (or a night owl) to synchronize your sleep schedules.
When you’re in love, you’re more than happy to make sacrifices to serve or please the other.
Once the passion cools a bit, you may revert to old, abandoned habits, but for now, there’s not much you wouldn’t do to make yourself more pleasing to your beloved.
11. You’re feeling possessive.
When you’re in love, you feel twinges of jealousy anytime your love interest flashes that devastating smile on anyone but you.
If smiles are on both sides, your hackles are probably up and preparing for battle. Only one can win the heart of your beloved, and you’ll do whatever it takes to be that one.
You might go a bit far with this, thinking (or even saying out loud), “Don’t smile at her; she might get the wrong idea!” or “Is there something going on between you and that guy? I don’t like the way he’s looking at you.”
It’s hard not to feel a bit possessive of someone when you already see the two of you as an exclusive couple.
12. You see him/her everywhere you go.
If a thousand things throughout the day remind you of this person, chances are, you’re in love.
It’s one thing to be distracted by someone who’s right there in front of you; it’s another to see that person reflected in every direction even when he or she is out of sight.
You want to see your beloved in every corner. So, you do.
It’s hard not to drag your love interest’s name (or something about him or her) into every conversation.
When you keep those thoughts to yourself, they linger a while. And when you’ve finally gotten back to something, another reminder comes, setting you pleasantly adrift.
13. You can (both) say anything.
Your love interest could talk about the price of pomegranates or the weather in Greenland, and you’d hang on every word.
The minutes pass too quickly when you’re together and too slow when you’re apart. You can’t wait to talk to this person again, and it’s hard to imagine ever not looking forward to that.
Your beloved is by far your favorite conversation partner — even when most of what you’re saying to each other is subtext.
You may even find yourself blurting out, “I’m falling in love with you,” because you feel safe enough to express the depth of your emotions.
14. Your passion goes from a spark to a smolder.
Maybe your romantic inclinations began as a spark that surprised you with its sudden brightness, warmth, and energy, but now the spark has given way to a deep and consistent smolder.
You still feel warmth and energy, and it wouldn’t take much to get a blaze going, but you’re comfortable just hanging out with this person.
You’ve tempered your passion with a genuine interest in your beloved’s well-being and happiness. Maybe your slow, steady burn isn’t as flashy as it was in the beginning, but it’s more pleasant to be around.
15. Absence makes your heart grow (even) fonder.
You miss your love interest when he/she is not around. You don’t wither away, but you feel the absence keenly.
You feel a strong inclination to re-read anything this person has written to you (a card, a note, an email), and you may keep a small gift or memento of this person within reach at all times — maybe in your pocket, maybe on your desktop.
You want to be reminded of your beloved, even when it hurts. You find your imagination wandering to moments you’ve shared and conversations you’ve had, however brief.
16. You’re willing to be vulnerable.
When you’re in love, you are willing to open yourself up to your partner. You share your inner feelings — your fears, dreams, insecurities, and even past experiences that aren’t completely flattering.
You feel safe with your lover, so safe that you can be vulnerable knowing that he or she will treat your revelations with tender loving care and understanding.
And you want to offer that same safety and security to your beloved. You want to be the go-to person that your lover feels free to unburden him (or her) self with.
17. Disagreements don’t feel relationship-ending.
New relationships are often fraught with lovers’ quarrels and misunderstandings. It’s normal to worry about these when you aren’t sure of your footing in the relationship.
Does the fight mean he wants to break up? Is she giving me the cold shoulder because she’s attracted to someone else? These are the questions you ask yourself when the relationship and your feelings are not completely solid.
But when you’re both in love, you feel secure enough in your bond that you can overcome these tiffs and challenges. You’re motivated to work through them because you can’t imagine losing the good thing you have with each other.
18. You have a hard time focusing.
The feelings of love are so powerful that they consume you. Getting through a day at work feels almost Herculean.
How can you focus on work when you know you’ll be in his arms again at the end of the day? How can you finish that project when you keep seeing her face on your screensaver?
Concentrating on anything other than your lover constantly feels like the last day of school before summer break. Eventually, you’ll come down off the cloud you’re on and regain your mental equilibrium, but for now, your lover is a constant distraction.
19. You want to introduce your SO to your family.
What?! You’re taking her to meet mom and dad? You’ve invited your sister and her husband over for dinner to get to know him?
Letting your family know about this wonderful new person in your life can be a sign that this is really and truly love. You’ve been burned in the past by bringing someone home to meet your parents, only to have the relationship fizzle out the next week.
You don’t want to risk having your family all up in your relationship business unless you know this is the real thing. If the two of you are eating casserole with mom and dad, love is in the air.
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20. You stare into each others’ eyes.
Gazing into each others’ eyes isn’t uncomfortable — it feels natural and unavoidable. You find yourself staring at each other with googly-eyed expressions of longing and care.
This isn’t because you just love looking at your lover. Maintaining eye contact releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin that enhances feelings of connection and calm according to studies.
Staring at one another and looking deeply into each others’ eyes also reveals a willingness to be known and a desire to know the other person.
21. You aren’t tempted or restless.
You don’t find yourself wondering what it would be like to go out with that handsome guy you keep running into at Starbucks. You appreciate his good looks, but you’re not even tempted to flirt or even think about flirting.
You don’t feel that familiar restlessness, wondering if you are getting trapped or feeling smothered and overwhelmed by her attention. In fact, you want as much of her attention as you can get.
Your feelings for him or her are so strong that you don’t want to jeopardize your connection by entertaining a roving eye or preparing an exit ramp just in case. You are all in and ready to throw away the key.
22. You can’t stand being at odds with them.
You know that since you’re two different people, you won’t always see things the same way. You’ll disagree sometimes. And those disagreements don’t have to mean the end of the relationship.
Still… you hate it when you’re at odds with each other over something, whatever it is. You want to be on the same page as often as possible, so it hurts when you’re not.
Because of this strong desire for harmony between you, you’re more likely to bend with them than you are with others. And if unity is just a small sacrifice away, you’re willing to make it.
23. You’re willing to make compromises you wouldn’t make for anyone else.
Small sacrifices are one thing, but when you and the one you’re falling for don’t agree on something, you start wondering if they’re in the right after all.
And in some cases, you might find you’re willing to make a compromise you wouldn’t make for anyone else — all to make the road between you smooth again.
When you’re falling in love with someone, you don’t think ahead to the cost of compromising your beliefs. More than anything, you want to be close to them.
So, any belief that isn’t rooted in your core is only as strong as their agreement with it.
24. You talk about them all the time.
Since everything reminds you of the one you’re falling in love with, you talk about them all the time. Be prepared for someone to ask why.
Of course, you recognize that not everyone is going to want to talk about this person who dominates your thoughts. Still, sometimes you just can’t help mentioning something adorable they said or remarking on something you noticed.
People who love you will notice if you keep talking about someone, especially if they think you two would make a great couple — or if they’re convinced you two would be a disaster.
25. You’re doing your utmost to get along with their friends and family.
You were anxious to meet their friends and then their family, and the deeper you fall, the more you want to get along with the people in their inner circle.
After all, if you want to be a couple, you don’t want to wear out your welcome.
If the person you’re crazy about loves to spend time with these friends and family members, you want to love their company, too. Maybe not all of them will love you, but at least some of them will see what you hope this person sees in you.
It’s worth being on your best behavior.
26. You’ve been under unusual stress lately, and it shows.
You’re freaking out right now. You wonder if you’ve ever felt so emotionally unstable. Everything sets you off. Someone else’s phone made a noise, and you felt a familiar jolt.
Maybe you’re just waiting for the phone to ring or for this person to respond to your texts. Or perhaps you had another off day, and you don’t know what on earth has been wrong with you lately. Maybe others have commented on it, too.
Being in love is exhilarating but also stressful. It’s easier to cut yourself some slack when you know why you’re feeling tense or unsettled. Do something nice for yourself.
27. You overlook the gross stuff.
Double-dipping, loud belching, using a hankie for nose-blowing — none are against the law, but they can definitely gross you out. And when you first noticed a gross habit in this person, it made you look the other way. Because gross!
Then, the more you got to know them, the less that same habit bothered you.
Now, while you wouldn’t call it a lovable quirk, you don’t automatically recoil or reach for the hand sanitizer. You can relax and just enjoy your time with them.
Overlooking habits that, in anyone else, made you want to leave the room is a sure sign you’re falling for this person.
28. You have a higher pain tolerance.
According to an interesting study, being in love gives you a higher tolerance for pain. It does this by activating reward processing centers that are also associated with pain relief.
In the study, test subjects felt less pain when they could look at pictures of the people they were in love with.
Think of the person you’d want to have at your side if you were going through something painful. If this person comes to mind, it’s probably because you can withstand anything when they’re around.
Love is the most potent painkiller there is — which is ironic since it can also be the cause the worst pain imaginable.
29. You love their quirks (even if noone else does).
Just thinking about their quirks makes you smile. Sure, this person is attractive, but plenty of others are, too. You’re more drawn to what makes them different, even if no one else appreciates those things.
You find yourself looking for evidence of those quirks when you’re together. And when you see them, you feel a warmth and energy that surprises you.
If they don’t feel the same way toward you, you’ll probably look for these quirks in the next person you’re attracted to. And if you don’t find them, it will feel as though you missed your chance to be happy.
30. You feel nauseous and sweaty.
Chalk it up to anxiety, but it’s natural to feel physically sick and to sweat more when you’re falling for someone. This will calm down as you grow more comfortable around each other.
For now, though, you’re likely to feel queasy at the prospect of being around them, at least until you find out whether or not they feel the same. The “do they or don’t they” question is enough to rile up your insides.
And until you know one way or the other, it can’t hurt to keep deodorant and Wet Ones handy.
31. You’ll do just about anything to make them smile.
You find ways to lift their spirits and make them feel cared for. You commit random acts of thoughtfulness. You learn their love language and speak it every day. Maybe you even send them romantic messages or compliments.
If you found you they were favorably impressed by grand gestures, you’d go to great lengths to make one if only to surprise them and let them know they’re worth the trouble.
And when you’re together, you look for ways to make them smile, especially if they seem depressed. You’re not above embarrassing yourself if that will do the trick.
10 Quotes About Being in Love
Still confused about whether or not you’re in love?
We’ve gathered a few quotes that sum up that rapturous feeling and reflect various interpretations of how it’s expressed.
Maybe one or more of these will speak to you.
1. “Being in love is the only transcendent experience.” — Armistead Maupin
2. “I fall into him like one would fall into a dream, ready to submit to your subconscious’s innermost desires and your deepest fears.” –Stephanie Binding
“I fall into him like one would fall into a dream, ready to submit to your subconscious’s innermost desires and your deepest fears.” –Stephanie Binding
3. “You know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” — Dr. Seuss
4. “Love vanquishes time. To lovers, a moment can be eternity; eternity can be the tick of a clock.” — Mary Parrish
5. “Love does not appear with any warning signs. You fall into it as if pushed from a high diving board. No time to think about what’s happening. It’s inevitable. An event you can’t control. A crazy, heart-stopping, roller-coaster ride that just has to take its course.” — Jackie Collins
6. “Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense.” — Helen Rowland
7. “He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began.” — Leo Tolstoy
“He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began.”
— Leo Tolstoy
8. “She wonders if this is what people call falling in love, the desire to be with someone for every minute of the rest of her life so strong that sometimes she is frightened of herself.” –Yiyun Li
9. “Isn’t that how falling in love so often works? Some stranger appears out of nowhere and becomes a fixed star in your universe.” — Kate Bolick
10. “I’ve grown accustomed to her face! She almost makes the day begin! I’ve grown accustomed to the tune that she whistles night and noon. Her smiles, her frowns, her ups, her downs, are second nature to me now, like breathing out and breathing in… I was serenely independent and content before we met! Surely I could always be that way again… And yet… I’ve grown accustomed to her looks, accustomed to her voice, accustomed… to her… face.” — Professor Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady
Did these the signs of being in love reveal that you are?
Whatever your situation regarding love and relationships, you probably have some idea of how it feels to be in love or to fall in love with someone.
The riot of emotions can be confusing.
If you don’t feel safe enough to let the current take you, you may do everything possible to extricate yourself from them and avoid situations where those feelings might reassert themselves.
If you trust the person you’re in love with, though, and the feelings are mutual, few things in this life can compare with the joy of sharing that.
Better still, though, is when that love ripens into something chosen and cherished by both.
For now, think how many souls might read this article if you enjoyed it enough to share it on your preferred social media platform.
Maybe someone out there has reason to thank you for it, as he or she is confused about the romantic feelings stirring within.
And may your creativity and thoughtfulness influence everything else you do today.