Falling in love is such a complex thing. Some people say it’s the easiest thing in the world, whereas other people tend to say that it is something that takes a lot of time. If you have sought this article out today, it most likely means that there is someone in your life right now that is starting to have a very special role.
Whether it is someone that you have known for a long time, or it’s someone that you haven’t known for that long, you are starting to feel a swell in your heart every time you see them, or every time you are around them.
Maybe you’ve been dating them for a few weeks or a few months, maybe it’s someone that you’ve developed feelings for at your workplace or in your group of friends, or maybe you’re wondering if you are actually in love with your significant other.
Whatever the case may be for you, I wanted to write this article today to outline the biggest indicators that you’re truly in love with someone. And I am talking about real love!
There is a common confusion between true love, infatuation, and lust. This is something that leads to a lot of problems later on down the line in the relationship, so it is my goal to help you identify what exactly it is that you are feeling for this other person.
In doing so, you will have a much better idea of how to approach the situation and we can set you up for long-term success in your love life! So without further ado, let’s dive right in.
How do you know you love someone and aren’t just infatuated?
There is a common phenomenon that I see happening in a lot of my younger clients, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t see it in older clients as well. Very often, a person will meet someone and become so physically attracted to them, that they start to develop a craving for them.
It can start to feel impossible to keep this person out of their mind, and it can feel like they would give anything just to be close to them. Oftentimes, they will start to create an image of this person in their mind that they start to develop feelings for. This is when we see lust and infatuation.
These are incredibly powerful feelings, but they are not love, and I want to give you a 360 degree view of the situation so that you can pinpoint what it is that you are feeling.
To illustrate my point, let me tell you about Andrew. When he first came to me, Andrew told me that he was head over heels in love with his colleague but he didn’t know how to approach her. They had been working at the same company for almost a year, and he explained that the first time he saw her, he felt his heart hammer in his chest.
They had hung out in group settings a handful of times at work-related parties, and he was frustrated because every time he wanted to speak to her, her felt like he was too nervous and wound up making a fool of himself.
Andrew was also a really talented artist and he dedicated a lot of his free time to his paintings. He found himself to be very inspired by her and he confessed that he even painted her portrait. He didn’t show her, though, because he didn’t want to come on too strong or freak her out.
He just couldn’t get her off his mind and she was even showing up in his creative work. So when he came to me, he wanted to know what he needed to do to make her fall in love for him just like he had fallen for her…
So our work began. Firstly, we needed to take a deeper look at what he was feeling for her. The more I asked about his situation, the clearer it became that he didn’t actually know this girl very well and he was falling I love with her beauty and the idea of her that he was creating in his head.
You see, Andrew was entirely infatuated. When a person truly falls in love with someone, it’s because they have seen all the parts that make up who they are and treasure every single one of them. But I am getting ahead of myself here.
The game plan for Andrew consisted of working on his sense of self esteem and confidence so that he could actually get to know her. We needed him to feel comfortable in showing her who he was so that he could talk to her with ease.
This is when he could start to introduce flirtation, which would then lead to creating a connection and eventually even dating. Fortunately, this is exactly what happened, and he was able to ask her out for a drink one day. She accepted and they went on a few dates… but Andrew wound up realizing that she wasn’t as similar to him as he thought.
At first, he was charmed by the differences in their personalities but after a few months of really getting to know her, he realized that his feelings for her weren’t rooted in reality, and that he wasn’t so enthusiastic about her character traits. Thus, the spell was broken and he learned an important lesson about infatuation vs. love.
I actually had a really interesting discussion with him in one of our last coaching sessions. We were talking about the concept of “love at first sight.” He was curious about what I thought. When it comes to love at first sight, I think that the more realistic option is “infatuation at first sight,” because that totally exists.
You can see a person and feel a visceral reaction in your heart and body. Now, whether that infatuation turns into real love or not depends on the connection and the chemistry between the two people involved. Feelings are so complex, and the butterflies you feel for someone can make it very challenging to decipher what it is that you are truly feeling for someone.
How to know you love someone: Love vs Lust
Going back to Andrew’s story, there was definitely another element at play. Yes, he was entirely infatuated by his colleague, but there was also an element of lust. She was particularly beautiful and the waves of emotions and butterflies he felt for her were also very connected to lust. And this is nothing to be ashamed of. When you’re very attracted to someone, it’s natural to desire them sexually. It’s a very normal part of the equation.
The problem arises when a person has trouble differentiating between feelings of love and feelings of lust. When the feelings you’re experiencing are more linked to lust, it will be hard to see the situation clearly. Lust, in and of itself, is not a terrible thing to have in a relationship. It is something that can draw you closer together and provide the relationship with a powerful physical connection. On the flip side, however, lust is something that can lead to dangerous idealizations about the other person and give you a false idea of a long-term relationship. Passion is a very important element of a healthy relationship, but in order for it to work on a long-term basis, love has to be present, too. Love is the more stable bond that keeps you connected to your person. It is something that involves deep attachment and acceptance of a person and all of their flaws. Lust is often felt at the beginning of a relationship, but a connection that goes deeper than the physical level is needed in order for a solid relationship to form.
It’s normal that it would feel challenging to differentiate between the feelings of lust and love when you are experiencing them because they both activate similar neural pathways in the brain. Both are linked to feelings of goals, addiction, and happiness, and the way that you experience them throughout your relationship can also fluctuate. You might have a bit more lust in the beginning, which then turns into love, and then you could experience both states over time in varying degrees. It is never an exact science, but it is also helpful to be aware of all the aspects.
How to tell if you love someone: Crush versus love
The main thing to keep in mind as we venture into this section is that love takes time to develop. It has a lot to do with how much you get to know a person, see how they operate, learn about their passions, learn about how they treat you, and how it feels to spend your time with them. When you develop a crush on someone, it feels more like infatuation. It’s exciting and it is often the result of learning that you two share a lot of things in common. You might have moments where you feel like you keep discovering things about each other that are similar. For example, you have the same taste in music, you share a hobby, or you both enjoy going to the same kinds of events. There is an element of fun and play when you’re crushing on someone, but the feeling starts to evolve a bit when it comes to love.
Crushes involve an adrenaline rush that can make your heart pound when you’re around this person. Love, on the other hand, is a feeling that arrives much slower. It can even sneak up on you without you realizing it! A simple way to look at it is to think about this: A crush carries with it is a sense of insecurity but love comes from a place of safety. Love develops once you have moved past the details about your likes, your humor, and all the superficial elements of your connection. Love develops when you start sharing the deepest parts of your personality, your past, your fears, your desires…
Love comes into the picture when you have truly opened up your heart and your mind, and have let each other see deep inside. Love develops when you’ve started becoming more vulnerable with one another, but only because it feels safe to do so. When love is there, it means that trust has been established. A crush can leave you feeling insecure and make you wonder if this person has similar feelings for you or not, it can make you feel inferior to others in the eyes of your partner… Love is built on trust and when you’re in love, your partner makes you feel safe, accepted, and cherished. In other words, love is a safe place.
It is something that allows you to let go of your fears and feel loved for who you are, but a crush is something that leaves a lot of space for insecurity. So keep this in mind when you’re wondering “how to know you love someone.
Another indicator to look out for is how new this feeling feels. Love is something that feels familiar to you, and a crush feels like something brand new. As you get to know someone, your bond becomes deeper, you get to know each other better, and things start to feel more familiar. It can be compared to what you feel like when you’re with your best friend.
How to know if you love someone: Questions to ask yourself
As we dive deeper into the topic of determining whether the feelings you have for a person are love or something else, let me give you some helpful questions that you can ask yourself. By doing so, you will have a better idea of where these feelings are stemming from, and whether it’s love, lust, or an infatuation.
First, ask yourself what it is that you like about this person? Is it that you find them incredibly attractive? Lust is when you’re interested in a person sexually, infatuation is when you think they’re really interesting, and love is when you appreciate the innermost parts that make them who they are.
Next, take a moment to assess how you feel when you think about this person. Do you feel obsessed with them? It might surprise you to learn that this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in love with them. There is a famous saying by Monica Drake about how Buddhists view love, and I have always loved it.
“The Buddhists say if you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that’s not the one. When you meet your ‘soul mate’ you’ll feel calm. No anxiety, no agitation.”
This illustrates my point about love feeling like a safe place for your heart. When you’re on edge, nervous with sweaty palms, then you most likely that not reached the love realm yet. Again, this doesn’t mean you won’t get there, but it is helpful to be able to tell the difference.
It’s also important to consider whether or not you are open to doing the hard work that a relationship entails. During the infatuation stage, a person will see everything through rose-tinted glasses, and this is a wonderful period, but in reality, a relationship involves difficult conversations and overcoming challenges together. Lust or infatuation keeps the relationship at a superficial level, or at an “ideal” level. So, pay attention to how you feel about this person’s flaws. No one is perfect, no matter how wonderful a person might seem! We are all human beings who come with our own set of qualities and flaws. How do you feel about your partner’s? Lust or infatuation will make you lose interest when you start discovering this person’s flaws, but love will make you accept them as part of what makes them so special.
When you’re wondering about “How to know I love someone,” I also encourage you to take a look at how the relationship has developed. Does it feel like things are getting better over time, or was it incredibly exciting in the beginning but not so inspiring now? Once love is present, the relationship starts to feel more rewarding on a deeper level. It is still exciting, but it doesn’t feel like your heart is about to explode out of your chest.
How to tell you love someone by just taking a step back
At the end of the day, figuring out if you love someone all boils down to just taking a step back and taking a look at your emotions. Are you nervous around them, or do you feel like you’re home? Do you feel like he or she is on your mind at all times in a way that makes you feel kind of anxious, or do you feel a warm sense of reassurance when you think about them? Do you see this relationship going somewhere, or are you just thinking about how badly you want to make out and laugh together? Asking yourself these types of questions will really help you to pinpoint what you are feeling for this person and whether it’s love or not.
As I’ve said, lust and infatuation can absolutely turn into love later on down the line. You just have to give yourselves the opportunity to really get to know each other on a deeper level, discover all the little bits and details that make each of you into the people that you are, and see if this brings you closer or pushes you further apart. Love is really about learning who the other person is inside and realizing that you treasure them. It goes much deeper than physical desire or feeling your heartbeat faster when they’re around.
If you are lucky enough to realize that you are in love, I congratulate you! It is one of life’s greatest treasures. I encourage you to take advantage of all the content we have available on our website to teach you how to set this relationship up for long term success. Whether you want to master the art of communication, make sure you don’t fall into a routine, or just learn how to have a truly happy relationship, I encourage you to click the links and read the article we have written for you. Here at Happily Committed, we have dedicated our lives to giving you all the tips and tools you need to coach yourselves at home through whatever situation you may be in your love life! There is also a new product that we’ve recently released that teaches you how to master attraction, intensify the connection between you and the person you love, and make sure that the attraction doesn’t go away! To access it, just click here.
So remember, if you want to know how to tell if you’re in love, ask yourself these questions:
1. Are you nervous or peaceful around this person?
2. What interests you about this relationship the most?
3. Does it have staying power?
4. How well do you know each other?
5. Are you open to the handwork that a relationship entails?
6. Do you accept this person’s flaws?
7. Do you feel like you can be yourself around them and be treasured?
Love lives in a place of security, and if you have found yourself there, congratulations. You’re in love!
I sincerely wish you all the very best in life and love,
Your coach when you ask,“how do you know you love someone?”