“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
Love is strange and mysterious: it can happen in the blink of an eye before we know what hit us, or it can envelop us slowly.
Because it’s not always the same for everyone, a lot of people don’t understand what love truly is. They mistake infatuation and obsession with true love because they can feel the same sometimes. The problem is that when you confuse infatuation with real love, it can mean getting overly invested when you shouldn’t, or spending too much time with the wrong person.
Why would you mix up infatuation with true love? It’s not always easy to tell the difference. Fears and insecurities can get in the way and cloud your judgment. If you’re busy worrying that he doesn’t love you back, or that he’ll never commit, or that he’s going to leave you, you’ll be in your head so much it will be impossible to be in your heart.
Even if you’re not feeling insecure, both infatuation and love cause chemical reactions in us that change the way we think and behave, and that can also cloud our judgment.
Some people say, “you just know,” but that simply isn’t always the case. Sometimes it helps to think it through and know the concrete signs that it’s more than infatuation. If you’re wondering if it could be love, look for these indicators.
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These are the biggest signs you’re in love:
1. Everything makes you think of him
When you’re in love with someone, he’s become an integral part of your life, and just about everything will make you think of him. This isn’t just because we like to think about the things and the people we love—that’s obvious … it’s because he’s become so central in your life that you take him into consideration when it comes to just about everything.
You’ll not only think of him because you’re looking forward to seeing him after work, you’ll think about what’s going on with him … what special thing you can do for his birthday … what he’ll think about a problem you’re having that you don’t quite know how to handle.
2. Spending time with him is more appealing than doing anything else
All a relationship really is is just being together, and a long-term relationship is about being together a lot for a very long time. If you’re obsessed and infatuated you won’t be able to get enough of him, but the feeling you’ll have won’t be settled and secure, it’ll be anxious and grasping.
When you’re infatuated, you won’t want to do anything but spend time with him. When you’re in love, spending time with him will be your favorite thing to do, but you won’t drop everything else in your life, because love includes having trust, and that means you’ll trust that he’s not going anywhere.
When you love someone you want to be with them—it doesn’t matter if you’re sick or totally exhausted, or if you have to jump in the car to make a really long drive—you’ll want to be around him enough that it won’t even feel like a sacrifice.
3. You can’t stop talking about him
When you’ve fallen in love with a guy, somehow you can lead any conversation straight back to him! It’s like 1 degree of separation, everything can somehow connect to him.
This is related to always thinking about him, because you not only can’t get him out of your mind, you can’t help but share everything about him with other people.
This is not the same as endlessly obsessing about how a guy feels about you and why he’s acting a certain way—those are signs of being obsessed and trapped in a negative place. When you’re in love you want to share that love with everyone around you–happy, random things about him that make you smile.
4. You re-read all digital conversations
Your texts, snaps, g-chats, e-mails … you save them all and love reading and re-reading it all, and when you do you always get that fluttery feeling inside.
What this means is he always puts a smile on your face and lifts your mood. He’s a source of support and happiness, and just re-experiencing exchanges you’ve had with him can recharge you.
5. You love doing nothing with him
After you get beyond the excitement, chemistry, and electricity of the beginning, all you have is just spending comfortable time together.
If you’ve just been infatuated, what should feel comfortable and serene will be anxiety-provoking. If you’re obsessed or in an unhealthy relationship that isn’t really love, you’ll feel bored when that electricity fades, and you’ll want to do something about it. You’ll be worried about his feelings for you and the state of the relationship.
But when you’re in love, you’ll love just being with him. There will be no one you would rather lounge around with all day than him, and even doing “nothing” will be a blast.
6. You want to know his entire story
When we love someone, we can’t get enough. We want to know every story, every scar, and every scratch.
When you’re infatuated you’re more likely to want the focus to be on you. You’ll want reassurances that he’s equally infatuated with you, and your interactions will probably be more shallow.
But when you have real love, you’re endlessly fascinated by the details of his life, even the most mundane things. Maybe he’s in a job that isn’t interesting to you, but you’ll want to hear all about it.
7. 5 hours feels like 5 minutes
You love spending time with him more than doing anything else, and so there’s never enough time. Even if you spent the entire day together, you’ll be sad to see it end … you always want more more more.
If you’re not in love, maybe you’ll be tired at the end of the day and feel like you need a lot of space from him. This may be because being with him saps your energy. When you’re in love, being with him will give you energy, and even if you’re not doing something together after a full day out having fun, you’ll love having him doing his own thing in the same room or nearby.
8. You love being around him even though he really makes you crazy
Being in love doesn’t mean everyone’s perfect. No one can push our buttons like someone we love … just think about your family!
The bottom line is, only people we feel very strongly about can get a strong reaction out of us, and only someone we love can make us crazy while still making us want to spend time with him.
9. You have a zest for life
Love makes you energetic and you just have a renewed sense of joy and purpose in life. The general sense of giddiness that overtakes you may make everyone around you think you’re on drugs … and they wouldn’t be too far off. Studies have found that the brains of people falling in love look the same as the brains of people on cocaine! This is basically thanks to Dopamine spikes (Source).
When you’re in love, you start to understand what all those songs and poems are talking about—the world just looks brighter and more amazing.
10. You can’t handle anyone talking negatively about him
When you’re infatuated, you can’t see the other person clearly. You basically edit out all of his flaws and “imagine him” into who you want him to be—your fantasy.
But when you love someone, you see the other person clearly, flaws and all. So yes, you are aware he’s flawed, but that doesn’t mean you want to hear anyone else talking about it!
Whether you’re infatuated or in love, you’ll get defensive or angry when your friends point out his flaws, even though they may be true, but your reaction will come from a different place. If you’re infatuated, you’ll be in denial and you’ll be defensive because you don’t want to admit he has flaws, or that they’re as bad as your friends say.
When you’re in love, you’ll get angry because you’ll feel a need to protect him the same way you’d protect anyone you love. Your family may also make you nuts, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is allowed to say anything bad about them.
11. You talk to him about anything
When you love someone, you can be your real self with him. This means you confide in him and lay everything on the table.
When you’re infatuated, you want yourself to remain flawless in the same way you keep him flawless, so you won’t confide anything that really makes you look bad or puts you in a negative light, even a little bit. This is because you don’t have any faith that he’ll care about you if he knows the real you … and that’s not real love.
When your feelings are true love, you won’t be afraid to show him your flaws. You’ll talk to him about serious things and nonsense and anything in between. You won’t censor yourself, editing out things you think he might not approve of. When you love someone, you’re willing to give him a chance to love you—the real you—back.
12. You realize why it didn’t work out with anyone else
When you fall in love, you’ll look back and laugh at the fact that you ever thought you loved your ex. You’ll realize that compared to what you have now, everything that came before was nothing.
You’ll also be able to see with crystal clarity why nothing else worked out. Since being in love makes things click into place, it will really highlight for you how things clashed before, and it will all become clear. You won’t feel bitterness or regret for those lost relationships, and no residual anger for those guys in the past. You’ll just be so happy all those relationships ended, leading you to where you are now.
13. You can’t concentrate
You can’t focus in school or at work because you’ll think about him constantly. You’ll replay interactions, think about where you want things to go, fantasize about his sweet smile—it may become hard to do anything anymore!
Not being able to concentrate can cause related issues—you might start blowing off responsibilities like ditching work to spend the day with him, cutting out early, chatting with him all day when you should be working.
There will come a time when things calm down a little, but when you first fall in love, it can be difficult to think about anything but him, and that will make it impossible to concentrate on just about anything else.
14. You don’t notice the really hot guy checking you out
Other men just aren’t appealing to you anymore. You don’t care about attracting other guys and don’t find other guys attractive yourself.
When you’re in love, you don’t want anyone else, because he meets your needs and makes you happy, and he’s enough for you.
If you’re just infatuated, chances are you’ll still be very aware of the hot guy checking you out because you won’t have a sense of security in the relationship and you’ll be keeping your options open on some level.
15. You really pay attention to his likes
You file everything he tells you away to a special place so you know his entire story- birthday, favorite color, favorite food, favorite band. When we love someone, we listen, and we remember.
When you’re infatuated you’ll be focusing almost entirely on what he’s remembering about your story, because you’ll be vigilant about trying to figure out where you stand. When you love him you’ll want to please him, and you just won’t worry about whether or not he wants to please you because you’ll assume he does.
16. You have a photographic memory for everything involving him
If you could remember everything in life as clearly as you remember all your interactions with him, you’d be a certified genius.
When it comes to the time you spend together, you remember everything: what he said, how he said it, what you both wore, the way he smelled, the weather—literally everything. This is because he fills your senses and intoxicates you, and because you love thinking about him and your time together, over and over again, making these memories engraved in your brain.
MORE: 7 Signs You’re in Love
17. The thought of losing him terrifies you
When you love someone, you suddenly have a lot to lose. They say love is giving someone the power to crush you and trusting them not to. You trust him not to, but you wonder what would happen if he left, and it leaves you short of breath. You wonder what would happen if, worse yet, something happened to him.
This is a feeling deep in your gut that you just don’t have when it comes to infatuation.
18. You’ve become a daydreamer
You catch yourself daydreaming about trivial events and random objects that make you think of your beloved … anything involving him is endlessly fascinating to you. When you can’t be with him, you’ll daydream about him.
When you’re infatuated, you’ll daydream non-stop about him, but when you’re in love, you’ll also have a lot of respect for him, so you’ll wonder what his opinion might be about something. When you’re infatuated you’ll be daydreaming about what he might do for you, but when you’re in love you’ll be daydreaming about what you can do for him.
19. Everything is intensified
Your moods are heightened—you feel exhilaration at the thought of him, despair at the thought of losing him. You may have loss of appetite, a hard time sleeping, more energy, and even feelings of anxiety and panic. It can feel like an emotional roller coaster, to say the least when you first fall in love.
And even when you’ve been in love for a while, things will stay intense. Because of your strong feelings for him, you’ll feel everything else that much stronger, too.
20. You ache for him
You don’t just miss him when you’re apart, you yearn for his presence—it’s almost like separation anxiety. When you’re in love and everything feels right with someone, being away from him feels wrong.
You may also get a little possessive and jealous because you value your time with him so much that you resent his absence and anything that takes him away from you.
21. His pain is your pain
Your empathy dial has been turned up all the way when it comes to him. You feel what he feels, good and bad. If he gets a promotion or other good news, you’re ecstatic, just as if it happened to you. If he’s hurting or disappointed, you feel that as strongly as he does, too.
22. You genuinely want them to be happy
Fake love or infatuation is about the other person making you happy, while real love is wanting the other person to be happy and doing what’s best for them, even if it comes at a cost to you. If you knew someone you loved would be better off without you, you wouldn’t remain in his life no matter how much you wanted to.
You feel compassionate love for him, which is the healthiest and most selfless kind of love
23. You can’t stop staring
You memorize every scar and freckle on him, and you can look at them all day long. When you love someone, you love looking at him, too. You’ll be drawn to him and everything about his appearance, even if it’s not conventionally handsome or stylish, and your attraction will just keep growing.
24. It feels effortless with him
You don’t have to force things or try to get things to conform to a certain thing because you have faith that the relationship will unfold naturally. You don’t have to be something you’re not. You don’t have to watch what you do and say. You can just be.
This is because you know he loves you the way you are and he’s going to accept you with all your flaws, so you don’t walk on eggshells or worry about screwing things up.
25. You feel totally secure
When you love someone, you don’t freak out over little things because you’re sure of his feelings for you.
You don’t panic when he doesn’t text you back, you don’t think he’s going to up and leave one day because of an argument, you don’t feel like you can’t be totally open with him when you’re upset. Love is about trusting someone, and that means trusting in his feelings for you.
If this article helped you realize that you are truly in love, congratulations! That’s really exciting. However, there are two really important things you need to be mindful, they are two pivotal moments in any relationship that determines if it will last or not. At some point, he will start to pull away and may lose interest. He’s not as responsive to you, he’s not as excited by you, and it feels like you’re losing him … do you know what to do in this situation? If not, you might make one of the major relationship-killing mistakes that many women unknowingly make. Read this now so you don’t fall into that trap: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...
The next issue you need to be away of is at some point, your guy will ask himself: is this the woman I want to spend my life with? His answer will determine the fate of your relationship. Do you know what inspires a man to commit, and what makes a woman stand out from the rest in his eyes? If not, you need to read this right now: The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman
Take The Quiz: Does He Really Love You?
The Biggest Signs You’re In Love:
- Everything makes you think of him
- Spending time with him is more appealing than doing anything else
- You can’t stop talking about him
- You re-read all digital conversations
- You love doing nothing with him
- You want to know his entire story
- 5 hours feels like 5 minutes
- You love being around him even though he really makes you crazy
- You have a zest for life
- You can’t handle anyone talking negatively about him
- You talk to him about anything
- You realize why it didn’t work out with anyone else
- You can’t concentrate
- You don’t notice the really hot guy checking you out
- You really pay attention to his likes
- You have a photographic memory for everything involving him
- The thought of losing him terrifies you
- You’ve become a daydreamer
- Everything is intensified
- You ache for him
- His pain is your pain
- You genuinely want them to be happy
- You can’t stop staring
- It feels effortless with him
- You feel totally secure