Love is a complicated, yet beautiful thing. It can also sneak up on you when you least expect it. Sometimes, we’re not necessarily even looking for love—it just appears. But still, it’s such a confusing emotion that it’s sometimes hard to figure out if it’s love or just a very strong infatuation, especially during the honeymoon phase.
If you haven’t been in many relationships, love can be hard to pinpoint. If you’ve been waiting for a long time to find the one, it’s easy to rush into feelings that aren’t naturally there. To start, love at first sight is a nice thought, but very rarely a reality. Loving someone requires a lot more than being struck by their stunning looks—it’s about accepting the full package of who they are, faults and all.
Here are a few other signs that you may be falling in love.
Whenever you have good or bad news, she’s the first person you want to tell. Usually, you’d tell your parents or your siblings. But this time around, she’s the first person you think of. And that’s because it’s possible that she’ll be directly affected by the news, too. But more than that, she’s the person who will be happy for you or will support you. She’s involved no matter what, and you value her opinion.
Most of your best stories involve her.
When catching up with friends, you can’t help but notice that pretty much all of your best anecdotes involve her. Not only is she present in your stories, but she’s more or less the reason they’re so notable. These early memories are what’ll help build a memorable relationship, so there’s a good reason why you can’t stop talking about them.
Your favorite look is when she’s at her most natural.
It’s nice when she dresses up for a night out with you, but you actually prefer her without the heavy makeup and accessories. When she’s comfortable, she knows she can be her real self around you, without facing any unnecessary judgment. When a relationship reaches this level, it shows the two of you have nothing to hide and naturally care for each other.
You can’t lie to her.
Not like you’re someone who lies all the time, but even small white lies are tough to pull around her. You don’t want her to be devastated, or feel like she can’t trust you, since you know that trust is hard to build up once it’s broken. Even planning a surprise birthday outing for her is tough, since you’re so used to telling her everything.
You’re genuinely interested in what her friends are up to.
While you’ll never have the same relationship with her core group that she does, you’re still invested in learning more about them. Paying attention to small details like what her best friend does for a living shows that you’re investing time in the growth of the relationship.
Being with her changed your mind on certain milestones.
Perhaps you never wanted to get married. Or, maybe kids seemed like a ridiculous life path. Most people who know what they want don’t necessarily change their minds, but when love is present, at least the ideas don’t seem so crazy. Suddenly, you have a better understanding of why marriage is an appealing choice — not because of tax benefits or tradition, but because you want to call her your wife.
Things she’s said seem to stick with you for a while.
Whether it’s a joke or an observation, it was so spot on that you reflect back to it. And, for good reason—that might have been the key moment you realized it was love, and not just infatuation. Maybe she made you think about life a little differently, or perhaps she summed up a special moment the two of you had together in a poignant or clever way. Her words stick out because they’re special.
You support her dreams.
Even if her wildest dreams seem impractical, you want nothing more than to support her. If she really wants to own a small business, you’re the first person to look up ways to get loans. If she wants to be a touring musician, you’re there trying to help create some memorable merchandise. You want to make sure she has a fulfilling life since she deserves it—even if it means the two of you may have to be long distance for a month or so.
Love is a wonderful thing. It’s amazing when you realize how much you care and support someone else. Just remember, love isn’t always easy—but it always needs to be nurtured. Treat love like you’re always on the third date. Stay interested, stay active, and always have a fun time.