Am I in love is a very scary question for most people. We are creatures of habit with walls of self-doubt we have created over time, and the thought of opening our vulnerabilities up to someone is a rough thing to do.
I know you’ve been hurt before, and chances are pretty good you’ve also done some of the hurting. That’s just the way the dating and relationship cookie crumbles.
There comes a time when you need to make the time to dig deep and acknowledge your true feelings for someone so you can figure out if you are in love for real or not.
Are you having trouble getting that guy or gal out of your head?
Do you think about a future down the road with them?
Does your mind wander to this special someone when you are supposed to be concentrating on something else?
According to LiveScience experts, researchers have figured out what it means to fall in love.
Am I in Love? Telltale Signs You Are Truly in Love
#1: Thinking They Are Special
Science says when you are in love with someone, you immediately think they are special or unique. This is a belief that intertwines with you not being able to feel that strong romantic pull toward someone.
Many experts believe it’s the “love” chemical dopamine that intercepts the ability for your brain to focus on anyone but the one that has your heart.
#2: Zoning in on the Positive
When two people are seriously in love, they make a point of looking past the negative traits and only seeing the good stuff. Love is blind, right?
Research also shows we tend to pay attention to the little things when we are in love, the special moments that make us smile.
Chemically speaking, this is a result of increased levels of dopamine and a spike in norepinephrine. This chemical is responsible for the memories of new circumstances.
#3: Emotionally Volatile
Emotion and logic just don’t mix. When you fall in love with someone, you become unbalanced physiologically and emotionally. You might have a queasy minute and the next, you might be crazy excited or unable to sleep. These extreme emotions are all signs you are truly in love.
When you see a picture of your partner in crime, your brain gets fired up and reacts physiologically.
#4: Attraction Full-Speed Ahead
When you are experiencing life with someone, it’s natural for your romantic attraction to strengthen. Experts agree that when your romantic reward is delayed, that increases the need for more.
Slow and steady wins the race in love.
#5: Nonstop Running around the Brain
It’s been reported that people in love spend about 85 percent of their awake hours thinking about their love interest. This is an obsessive behavior that happens because of lower levels of serotonin, which is a hormone linked to obsessive behavior.
When you find yourself lost in thought about someone and just can’t get them out of your brain, no matter how hard you try, you might very well be in love.
#6: Emotional Interdependence
When two people are madly in love, they tend to show signs of emotional interdependence. This includes healthy jealousy, separation anxiety, worry about rejection or not pleasing and being possessive of this love interest.
Scientific research shows when someone is looking at a photo of a former lover they were rejected by, actual changes happen in their brain chemistry.
These findings are similar in pattern to the magnetic resonance imaging or MRI found in the brain of people addicted to cocaine, which helps to explain the behavior associated with love and rejection.
#7: Envisioning a Future
If you find yourself thinking about a future with this person, you have uncovered a strong signal indicating you could be in love. When you allow yourself to open that door to the future, that’s your gut telling you that’s what you want. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have those thoughts in your brain.
This sign helps explain the connection between love and survival. In the big picture, in order for humans to survive, they need to think about reproduction and the future and feeling love for your special someone is a good place to start in terms of evolution.
#8: Ability to Empathize
When two people are in love with each other, they want to learn and relate more with each other. If you have the ability to empathize with your love interest, you are showing another trait consistent with being in love with that person.
It’s the feeling that leaves you willing to sacrifice just about anything for them with a smile.
#9: Putting an Effort into Lining Up with Each Other
Two people who are in love often start changing their daily priorities. It may be a simple as switching your workout time so you are in the gym during the same times as your love interest.
You might change your clothing habits or hobbies to align with this individual. Just be careful here because just being you should be enough for this person if your relationship is going to develop into a long-term commitment. Nobody should ever have to change who they are out of love.
#10: Feeling a Sense of Possessiveness
When people are in love, they certainly experience feelings of a sexual nature along with an emotional connection. This often surfaces in the form of possessiveness. The thought of your love interest cheating on you should make you react; if you are in love, it should trigger emotion.
#11: Yearning for an Emotional Connection
The sexual need is important in love but so is the yearning for a deep emotional connection. Interestingly, a recent study showed up to 65 percent of people found that sex was the number one factor in their relationship.
#12: Loss of Control
I’m sure you can remember when Tom Cruise stood up on the couch of the Oprah Show and professed his undying love for Katie Holmes! Research shows when people are in love, they lose the ability to control their emotions.
Physiologically speaking, emotion and logic don’t mix and they can’t function simultaneously. When you are in love, you will express strong feelings of happiness that are often irrational and involuntary. That’s a large part of the magic of love.
#13: The Spark Is Gone
Truth: Being in love normally doesn’t last forever. Love is something that transforms into a long-term interconnected relationship called attachment, or the feeling gets lost and the relationship ends.
Just because you are feeling butterflies for someone doesn’t mean you are in love. It’s a good start but many times it’s simply an infatuation with a person and not real love.
However, when you mix that special spark you are feeling with a deeper feeling, one surpasses the initial excitement phase, that’s when you could be in love.
#14: Missing Them
According to relationship experts at Cosmopolitan, when you tell this person you miss them and really mean it, that’s a strong sign you are in love. This isn’t something you just say because you think you should. It shows you really do have an emotional connection and want more.
If you don’t want to be around them and just plain don’t miss them, you better do a double-check if you think your love is real.
#15: Memories of Your Ex Have Vanished
If you can’t remember the last time you thought about your ex because you are always thinking about your new love interest, that’s a good indicator you’re falling in love. When you let the past go and are happy to move forward, that’s huge in a love relationship.
#16: You Start Liking Things You Used to Hate
Perhaps you never liked to ski or travel and suddenly these interests don’t seem so bad because you get to experience them with your special someone. If you find your mind opening and looking for the good in things, chances are you are in love.
#17: Happy to Make Sacrifices
When two people are in love, they are happy to make minor sacrifices for each other without a second thought. Perhaps you need to skip a gym session to drive them to work or maybe you need to drive them to the airport instead of going out with your friends? If you are able to make small sacrifices for your partner without hesitation or resentment, that’s a clear signal you are falling for them.
#18: The Thought of Them Makes You Smile
Even when you are having a bad day at work or fighting with your family, if the thought of your love interest takes you to a happy place, you might be in love.
Love is one of those things that should lift you up to a better place, and if a particular someone does that for you, it’s important to look into the fact love is in the air.
#19: Safety First
If you feel like you are safe around this person, that’s a good signal you are in love. This one is a little tough to explain but when you have that feeling of being safe, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. If this special someone does that for you, then you might have been bit by the love bug!
#20: You Are Comfy Being You
This one can go both ways, so be careful please. If you are in love with someone and really feel it, you shouldn’t have any worries about acting silly and being weird.
On the flip side, if you simply don’t care what they think, you probably won’t care about trying to impress him by being perfect.
#21: Aware about What They Would Love
If you find yourself paying attention to the things your love interest would enjoy, that’s another solid sign you are in love. When you head to the mall and start picking out watches or clothing this special person likes, it means you are falling hard.
#22: Your Go-To
When something amazing happens in your life, or even something crappy, and your love interest is the first person you contact, you’ve got to be in love.
These two extremes are emotional and remember emotion and logic don’t mix. If you are calling them when you are emotionally triggered, that’s demonstrating you are meant to be and that you trust them with your vulnerabilities.
#23: No Worries about Them Heading for the Door
When you aren’t worried about scaring someone off, you are showing the world you are in love. If you can cry in front of him or tell him about the things you are totally embarrassed about, you are secure enough to be in love.
#24: The Small Things Matter
When you figure out the little things in life, like putting gas in the car, are so much better when they’re around, that’s a strong signal love is in the air.
A walk to the corner store can be hugely enjoyable when you are with the person you love. Otherwise, it’s just another daily task that needs to get done. Boring!
#25: They’re Annoying but You Love It
No matter how much you love someone, they are going to get on your nerves from time to time. That’s just the way life works! When you figure out you still want to be around this person even when they are driving you bonkers, you’ve gotta be in love!
#26: Text Delay Doesn’t Phase You
When you are not confident, you’re going to worry if someone doesn’t reply to your text message immediately. On the flip side, when you are in love, you aren’t going to worry if it takes some time for them to get back to you.
If you aren’t worried about a late text message reply, you are on the right track for truly, madly, deeply, love.
#27: You Feel What They Feel
If you are in love, you care. If your partner is sad or upset about something, you should be also. This should be an unconscious reaction and not you telling yourself that you need to empathize. People in love genuinely care about and feed off each other.
When they are hurting, you should be hurting too.
#28: You Love Their Silly Childhood Pictures
When you love someone, you aren’t looking for the dorky. So if you happen to see their public school pictures, you’re naturally going to love them and want to see more.
You won’t point out the fact you think their bowl haircut is dorky and their overalls are icky, you know what I mean.
#29: Staying in Is Appealing
A strong indicator you are in love is when you aren’t so concerned about heading out on the town. Sure, that’s fun once in a while so your love can show you off, but it shouldn’t be in the center of your brain if you are in real love.
Staying in and snuggling on the couch should be a treat and wanted. This just indicates you want their undivided attention and are elated when you can get it.
#30: You’re Excited to Show Them What You Love
When you are excited to show your love interest all the things you love to do, that’s a good sign you are in love. It’s all about opening your world up to them and hoping they jump in for the ride. This is where you want them to know you and understand you better than anybody else.
#31: It’s Tough Not to Brag about Them
When you have a tough time not talking about them to your friends and family, you’ve gotta be in love. When you are head over heels for someone, it should be difficult for you to not be a motor mouth about them. It’s natural to gush over them and catch yourself talking about them non-stop.
This is a good thing but you need to learn to tame it down or you’re quickly going to have your friends rolling their eyes at you.
#32: Ready to Make the Introductions
If you are ready to introduce this special somebody to your family, you are sporting a strong signal you’re in love. Even if it’s just the happy thought in your brain, it’s important to take it seriously.
#33: You’re Too Close to Social Media
If you find yourself following or at least reading every single FB or Instagram post they make, you need to strongly consider the fact you could be in love.
And if you make comments and want him to know you are watching their every move, you’ve got it bad!
#34: Rinse and Repeat
When you find yourself doing things over again just so you can experience them with this special person, that’s a good sign you are in love.
Maybe you’ve already been to Disneyland but are happy to go again just because you want to share this with your love interest. Do this and you are deeply in love.
Time for a Few Danger Signs You Aren’t in Love Anymore…
#1: The Familiar Card
When you are in a long-term relationship, you run the risk of not seeing the person for who they are like you used to when you first got together.
When you get too comfy with someone, you might have fallen out of love. This leads to disrespect and disinterest. You won’t want to put any effort into how you look or what you can do to strengthen your relationship.
If you find you are here, chances are you have fallen out of love.
#2: Zero Communication
When a couple finds they aren’t communicating and really don’t care, that’s a scary sign the love has already been lost. The secret to good connections is great conversations. You’ve got to want to communicate with your special someone.
If you find you are avoiding each other and happy when they don’t make it home for dinner, you’ve got to give your head a good shake and think about whether or not you really do love them.
#3: Sex Because It’s Your Duty
This one is the worst! The moment sex becomes unwanted and you feel you have to just to please, that’s a telltale signal your love is long gone.
That’s not fair to you or your partner.
If there isn’t interest in each other, both in and out of the bedroom, you’ve just got to call it quits and move on before you hurt each other anymore.
#4: Picking Friends First
If you are canceling dates and consistently choosing your friends over your lover, you have definitely fallen out of love. When you love someone, you want to be with them as much as you possibly can. That’s just how the love cookie crumbles.
Am I in love? Talk about a tricky question. Love isn’t black or white, it’s pure grey. What you need to do is look at all of these key factors and signals and figure out whether you are falling for your special someone on the right side of the tracks.
Love is an investment and it’s difficult, like a roller coaster. But it’s also magically beautiful.
Be honest with yourself and take it step by step to figure out if you’ve found the one or if it’s time to get out of your relationship.
I believe there is love for everyone, but you’ve got to be willing to go through the process a few times until you get it right. Don’t just settle because you deserve to be head over heels in love with the right one.