Am I Love?
Love songs and love stories always present love the same way; your heart is trembling, your knees are weak. There are butterflies in your stomach. But are these really the signs of love? After the butterflies and the newness wear away, what are the signs of real, long-lasting love?
The answer is that what most of us think of as “love” is actually just a crush. The irregular heartbeats and excited bubbly feeling don’t stick around for long. What does the phase afterwards look like and how will you know if it’s real? Unfortunately, there is no clear cut signs for everyone; love is different for every couple. But there are some things you can be on the look out for when trying to decided if you are in it, or if you are falling out of it.
10. Your Definition of Love: What is your definition of love? As Jane Austin said, “There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.” And it is true. Even romantic love has different definitions depending on who you talk to. So really sit down and think about what love is to you. If you are the romantic type who believes that you should be willing to die for the one you love, does you partner feel that way about you? If your idea of love is something different, do you feel that way about your SO and do they feel that way about you?
9. You think about them all the time: You think about them constantly. You factor them into your plans. You think about them when you see something you know they will love at the store. You factor their desires into your vacations and ask for their opinions on outfits. Their opinions are important to you.
8. You imagine them in your future: If you picture yourself in five years, ten years, twenty years, is your partner still there with you? Does it seem like including them in your future plans is just automatic? If this isn’t even a question you had to think about it, it’s a pretty good indication that your feelings are true. This is a sign you are most likely deeply in love, especially if you are past the “honeymoon phase.”
7. You are good friends: Ever hear someone say that their husband/wife/partner is their best friend? Although they might not be your best friend, they are certainly up there. If you two do things together that friends do, like hang out, laugh, and have long discussion, your partner is a good one. Friendship is part of what makes long-term relationships possible.
6. You have survived tragedy: Have you had anything tragic happen? Perhaps a family member or a pet or a friend died, leaving you one or both of you grieving. How did you relationship weather the storm? If you have come out on top regardless of the pain or the heartbreak, your commitment to your relationship is stronger than almost anything.
5. Their gross stuff isn’t so gross: Studies have shown that when you are aroused, gross stuff is less gross to you. So if your partner’s stinky feet or their teeth picking habit just doesn’t bug you as much as other’s, it means that your relationship still has some strong sparks. It makes sense that we’re more forgiving of the most important people in our lives.
4. You share the same words: Have you ever finished each other’s sentences? If you find yourself jinxing them a lot, that’s usually a great sign. It means you are actively listening and learning their vocabulary and unconsciously making it your own. This connection is a hint of a strong tie between the two of you.
3. You want to be better: Does being around your other half make you feel the need to do more? Is there desire to improve for your partner, whether it’s job related, being more clean, or spending a little more time trying to get healthier? If you and your partner try to improve to impress each other or make life better for you both, bravo! As long as the motivation is internal, that’s a healthy sign of some real, genuine love.
2. You are (somewhat) blind to others: So you are sitting at a bar and your single friend leans over to you. “OMG, did you see how hot that bartender was?” they ask, giggling behind their hand. You look and, wow, your friend was right! That bartender is attractive! Weird how you didn’t notice before right? Not so much. Those who are happily taken are usually not on the lookout for attractive people, so you notice fewer of them. Doesn’t mean we’re completely blind to a nice booty, however!
1. You love them in public: If your partner or their hobbies or their way of speaking embarrasses you in public regularly, it might be time to step back and reevaluate. A strong relationship means accepting everything about the other person, even the parts you aren’t 100% fond of. It means accepting their weird, too-loud laugh without being embarrassed about it in front of your friends.