Have you ever been in love? Not like, “OMG he’s so cute!” kind of love, but a “my heart hurts thinking of my life without the joy he brings” kind of love. Sometimes we mistake lust for love, and sometimes we think puppy love is the real thing too. It’s really hard to separate a crush from honest-to-God, head-over-heels love. Some people even mistake obsession with true feelings. We are constantly thinking about love because nearly every cartoon, almost every television show and pretty much every film we’ve ever seen involve two characters who are either already in love or who fall in love.
The perpetuation of “you need someone to love you” that makes everyone twitterpated in such a way that young teens are feeling depressed if they don’t have a romantic partner already! Don’t give in to those absurd notions – you don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy, and even if you are in a relationship, you don’t need society to tell you how to feel because real love isn’t something so easily distinguished. If you want the kind of love that Ellie and Carl share in Disney’s Up, then consider the following signs only women in real love will feel during their relationship:
Okay, so we’ve all met the crazy person who thinks everyone they’ve ever dated was unique and special in some form. They insist every single new love interest is “the one” because “it just feels right.” If you’re one of those people, open your eyes and really evaluate how you feel about the other person.
Science describes the real “zing” of seeing someone as special as “an inability to feel a romantic passion for anyone else.”
Your mind is literally releasing more central dopamine, which is a chemical that helps you focus when you’re thinking about that one very special person.
No, it’s not because you’re obsessed with the latest game or app – it’s because you’re eagerly anticipating your partner’s call or text! You can always tell when your feelings are real when you’re constantly glancing at your phone and jumping at every message or call that comes through. You’re waiting to hear from your partner and the anticipation is killing you! One tried and true sign of a woman in love is her ability to push everything else to the side while she hopes and prays her special someone will contact her. Cute sign of love or an unhealthy hyperfocus? You decide.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re infatuated with someone, you seem to gloss over things that are blatantly obvious to others?
For instance, most of us have gotten into relationships our friends or family members warn us not to get into.
In the end, our hearts are shattered and we’re wondering why we couldn’t see the ugly parts of our ex-partners. Well, there’s a scientific reason for this! There’s a spike of central norepinephrine, which is “a chemical associated with increased memory in the presence of new stimuli” that pairs with the previously mentioned central dopamine that makes us focus only on our crush’s positive attributes.
One of the best signs you’re head-over-heels in love with your SO is when you feel completely at ease with them. You know you can be yourself and be silly, or you can be with your partner and say absolutely nothing. When you can turn to your love regardless of your mood or situation, the feelings you have in your heart are real. There’s no faking comfort in a relationship – either you feel you can be completely at ease with them or you don’t. There is no in-between on that. The bottom line is simple. If your partner is your safe place, it’s true love.
As crazy as it sounds, being in love is kind of like you’re taking medicine and experiencing every known side effect. Scientists believe when you’re in love, you can “bounce between exhilaration, euphoria, increased energy, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, trembling, a racing heart and accelerated breathing, as well as anxiety, panic and feelings of despair when your relationship suffers even the smallest setback.”
So basically, you’re brain is going crazy and love is literally a form of addiction.
Didn’t see that coming, did you?
Before you start freaking out, just remember that not everyone experiences every single side effect, but don’t be surprised if you suffer more than one.
When you’re with someone and you’re really in love – like the kind of love they write ballads about and people are willing to die for – then you feel an increasing attraction to your partner. It doesn’t have to be physical either. In fact, it’s most often psychological and the neurons in your mid-brain region start to work overtime. You’re not crazy, you’re just falling deeper and deeper into your romantic partnership. This, of course, stimulates other parts of the brain that make you feel good. Much like being on medication, your brain will release chemicals of euphoria and will leave you with those rose-colored lenses we all know about.
When you’re around the person you love, you tend to want to look your best. Maybe not after a few months of dating, but definitely at first! Here’s the trick though: When you’re first getting to know someone, you look your best because you want them to only see your best side. It’s once that first phase of a relationship has passed and you’re comfortable around your partner without makeup or cute outfits that this becomes important.
You dress up specifically to impress your partner, or you try a new makeup trend because you want him or her to notice you more.
When you’re still trying to turn your partner’s head, especially when you’ve been together longer than a few months, your feelings are real.
It’s easy to be selfish in a relationship – really easy. When you’re first starting out, you make a good impression by pretending anything is fine, but as time goes on you start to tell your partner what you like, what you expect, and how you expect things. If your partner loves you, they’ll want to please you so they give in sometimes and spoil you a little. When you’re in love, a real and true love, you’re willing to make sacrifices for your partner – AND THEY ARE WILLING TO DO THE SAME! Suddenly, you’re not as selfish and neither are they.
Did we mention the chemicals your brain releases when you’re in love? Well, missing someone when they’re not around is one of them. If you’ve ever been in love, you know that when you’re sitting side-by-side in the same room – even if you’re doing completely different things – you’re happier and more content than when you’re apart from the person of your affections.
This isn’t a coincidence, it’s science!
When you’re in love, your brain releases central serotonin, which is actually a condition often associated with obsessive behavior. No, you’re not suddenly stalking your lover, but you’ve certainly got them on your mind a lot more often than you have anyone or anything else in mind.
When people tell you that you’re still in the “honeymoon phase,” it’s because your love is so obvious that it’s impossible to go unnoticed. Even if you don’t set out to do it, you’re giggling at his lame jokes, your body language is flirtatious and you’re giving him those special glances that say he’s the center of your universe. Girls can give these signs when they’re not really in love, but they have to put in extra effort because they want their partner to feel loved. If these acts come naturally, it’s a sure sign you’re actually in a genuine love!
If you aren’t sure if you’re in love, take a few minutes to sit in silence and really dig deep. Think about your relationship with the other person. How do they make you feel?
Now consider how you feel when they’re not around.
Are you still able to feel a sense of joy? Are colors still as bright and food just as tasty? Okay, that may be taking things a little far but the reality is when you’re in love, you can feel separation anxiety, a fear of rejection, possessiveness and more. Scientists even ran an experiment that revealed people who love someone releases the same chemicals as someone who is addicted to mind-altering substances.
A woman in love will be sitting down to sip her coffee one minute and smiling for seemingly no reason the next. No, she isn’t nuts, she’s just thinking about something her partner did or said and the thought changes her mood. In many ways, she’s got a better outlook on life and is happier in general. Just a memory of her lover popping into her head will significantly lighten her mood. She’ll smile, maybe even laugh out loud at the thought of her partner, and that right there, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the ultimate signs she’s in love; not the early infatuation period either, but bonafide l-o-v-e.
Another great way to tell whether you’re truly in love is the use of the word “we.” As inconspicuous at it may sound, this tiny little two-letter word has a huge meaning. You go from, “Yeah, I’ll be at your party” to, “Yeah, we’ll be at your party.”
Once “I” becomes “we,” it’s true love.
The thought of going to special events without your partner isn’t even a thought that crosses your mind because in your heart you’ve already become a strong couple who sticks together as often as possible. When you’re including them in your future plans, that’s love!
Changing priorities doesn’t have to be all about giving up your passions. When you’re in love, you don’t allow yourself to move away from doing your favorite things, but you do start to incorporate your partner’s priorities into your everyday life. If you’ve always loved watching movies and he’s always loved eating at restaurants, you start to do both on dates. It’s the same with bigger priorities, like family. He’s into his and you’re not that into yours, but you’ll make time so you can meet the people who are important to him and you’re willing to prioritize a family dinner at his folks’ place whereas you might not have done so in the past.
Holding hands and kissing and stuff is fun, sure, but when a woman is truly in love she’ll be more interested in connecting on an emotional level. She’ll want her partner to understand her point of view on an array of topics and she’ll expect her partner to open up.
There’s something so genuine about relating to another person on multiple levels.
It’s a beautiful thing to be part of. This doesn’t mean she will stop all physical contact or that she won’t want it – it just means she’ll be more actively in-tune with how she meshes with her partner’s personality, priorities, and maturity.
If you’re out and about, do you ever look at another couple and immediately want your partner by your side? Does the mere mention of your partner’s favorite food, color, film, book, etc. make you daydream of them? How about certain places? If you said yes to these questions, then you’re in love! When you’re in love, you tend to think of your partner more often and see them in everything from a beautiful sunset to the color of a stranger’s hair. Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with your partner running through your mind all day every day, it’s just one of many signs you’re in real love.
Sometimes when we’re in love we do things we never expected. A great example of this is when we invest as much time and effort into a relationship as possible. Just remember to be careful! Sometimes we are too passionate about romantic relationships and start to hang out with our friends and families a lot less often.
Don’t forget to set aside some quality time with the other people in your life!
Of course, if you have to remind yourself to see the other people you love, then you may already be head-over-heels. Just remember to keep it real and balance your social life.
When you love something, you talk about it. It’s true for your love for art, your passion for accessories, and it’s definitely true when you’re deeply in love with someone. Who gets to hear you over-share every little detail of your relationship? Your friends, of course! It’s a sure sign you’re in real love when your friends, who haven’t even met your partner yet, already know all about him/her. They know what your partner looks like, smells like, what their favorite color is and other smaller details no one really needs to know about. It’s cool though because they support your relationship and are happy if you’re happy.
Even if your current partner started out as a rebound, when you’re able to completely let go of your ex and enter into a real romance with someone new, that’s love.
Those who cling to feelings of hurt or even lingering affection for their exes aren’t fully embracing their current relationship,
so if you’re able to move on and your ex truly becomes little more than a distant memory, you’re emotionally (dare we say spiritually?) matured and you’ve fully moved on to bigger and better things (i.e. your new love). If you’re currently struggling with your past, then you’re not quite there yet.
The cool thing about being in love is that the chemicals in your brain make subtle changes to the way you perceive things. One of those changes includes how you see other potential partners. When you’re in love, you don’t notice how attractive other people are because you’re too enamored by your partner. No one can really physically compare to how you feel emotionally to the person of your affections. Even celebrities will appear attractive, but nowhere near as desirable as your partner. Remember: love makes us do crazy things, and that includes how we view the world around us.