Being in lust, and being in love are two very different things. But how do you know you truly love him, and you don’t just reeeeeeally like the way he looks with his shirt off?
Each couple falls in love slightly differently, and experience a kind of love and relationship that could only be created by those two people.
That being said, there are certain signs that tend to be universal when it comes to falling in love. Here they are:
1. It feels super easy.
No, that doesn’t mean you’ll never argue and you won’t have times when your partner is driving you crazy—we all have those times, even in the happiest of relationships.
But when you’re in love, the time you spend together (on the whole) will feel incredibly easy. It’ll feel natural, and right. And even though you’ll be working at your relationship—because all of us do—it’ll be the kind of work you want to do because you love and respect each other.
2. You experience sleeplessness and loss of appetite.
You know how cheesy rom-coms and TV shows always show people in love unable to sleep and not wanting to eat? Well, that’s based on scientific research that shows these are the symptoms human beings actually experience when they’re falling in love.
This is because the fear we feel while being vulnerable with someone causes a release of cortisol (the stress hormone) in our bodies. This hormone has a constricting effect on our stomach, which is what leads to a loss of appetite, and can sometimes lead to insomnia too.
So if you’re unable to sleep or you’re snacking less than usual, it might be because you’re in love.
3. Your heart rates synchronize.
Research by the University of California has also found that couples who are romantically involved end up mimicking each other’s heart rates, and becoming in sync. This might happen when you’re having sex, hugging, or even just sitting quietly next to each other without speaking or touching.
Place one hand on your partner’s heartbeat, and one on yours, and see if you’re in sync with each other. If you are, it’s a great sign you’re in love.
4. You start planning for the future.
If you’ve thought or spoken about future vacations beyond six months from now, or the idea of marriage, or even what your potential kids might look like; it’s a strong sign this is love and you’re in it for the long haul.
Daydreaming about a future with your partner strengthens the attachment you feel towards them, because of our innate biological drive to reproduce. (Even if we’re not consciously thinking about babies.)
5. You keep looking for ways to show him you care.
It really is the little things in relationships that become the big things, and mean the most to your partner. Maybe you always pack him a lunch the night before so it’s ready for him to grab as he heads to work the next morning. Maybe you bring him coffee in bed when you get up first. Maybe you sometimes pick up his favorite candy bar from the store and surprise him with it.
If you find you’re often thinking of ways to show him how much you care, it means you’re falling in love with him.
6. You’re comfortable enough around him to be yourself.
At the beginning of relationships, women are often anxious about their partner seeing them without make-up on, or with their hair a mess, or lounging around in their sweatpants. This is natural, because you’re trying to give him the best possible impression of you, and you want to make an effort for him.
But if you’re starting to relax around him, and you’re okay with him seeing the real you, then that means you’re secure in your relationship and confident that he’s not going anywhere.
This applies to the non-physical parts of you too. For example, you become comfortable enough to cry in front of him, or share a really embarrassing secret, or be in a grumpy mood and not try to fake anything.
If this sounds familiar, then you’re way past the honeymoon phase of the relationship, and crossing into cupid’s territory.
7. Little things are better when he’s around.
This might be going to the grocery store, or running errands in town, or even visiting your family over the weekend. The things that sometimes feel like a little bit of a chore or boring to do, suddenly become bearable or even fun when he’s by your side. You forget where you are and what you’re doing—all you know is he’s here and that makes you happy.
If a stroll down the cereal aisle suddenly becomes a romantic adventure, you know you’re with the right person and you’re falling for him fast.