Love is different for every person, and every relationship is completely unique. And you probably already know, love also happens to be one of the most complicated and confusing of emotions. So when you’re dating or in a relationship with someone, how can you be certain it’s love and not just blinding lust?
Like I said, it will be slightly different for us all, but there are a few ways you can tell that tend to be the norm.
You’ve only got eyes for them.
It’s normal to be in a long term relationship, and still notice the physical beauty in someone else. But when you’re in love, that’s where it ends.
You’re not imagining what it’d be like to be with someone else.
You don’t find yourself getting bored going to sleep next to, and waking up next to, the same face every day. In fact, each day, you find them more beautiful than yesterday; and it’s not because of what they look like.
When you imagine your future, they’re in it.
We all find ourselves dreaming and wondering what we’d like our future to hold, and how we think things might end up. When you love someone for real, you can’t help but picture that person in your future.
Maybe you see marriage, raising kids together, moving countries, traveling the world, building an empire, or even growing old together. When you’re in love, you imagine it lasting forever.
You think about them in the smallest of moments.
You might be doing your grocery shopping on a Monday evening, and find yourself wondering what your partner would love for dinner that night. Or you might see another couple kissing and it makes you think of your person.
These are the small moments. And when you’re in love, you tend to think about your person in small moments as well as the big ones.
You value their opinion, and ask for it.
When you find yourself at a crossroads, or faced with an important and challenging decision to make, and you’re not quite sure what to do; or you have a pretty good idea what you want to do, but you still want some reassurance—you look to them.
When you love someone, their opinion becomes highly valuable to you. Even when you’ve already made up your mind on what choice you’re going to make.
You don’t keep score.
All relationships require a balance of giving and receiving in order to remain strong, healthy, and fulfilling for both people. This means that there will be certain moments where you need more from your partner because you’re going through a difficult time, and others where they will require more from you.
No one keeps score. You’re just there for each other in your times of need, because you love each other and you want to be there. You’re focused on what you can give your partner, and you let the rest take care of itself.
You accept their flaws and imperfections.
The word human, by default, implies that we are not perfect; otherwise we’d be called machines, right?
When you love someone, it doesn’t matter that they leave the toilet seat up, chew loudly, or always forget to take the garbage out even though you reminded them the night before. It doesn’t matter that sometimes they say the wrong thing, or they buy the wrong brand of milk at the store, or that they’re a little impatient while waiting for you to get ready on date night.
You fully accept them as they are, because you love them. And you know they accept you flaws and all too.
They’re the first person you want to share everything with.
When anything happens, good or bad, do you find yourself wanting to call them or tell them immediately? Whether you found out you didn’t get the promotion you went for, or your Grandma left you an unexpected $50,000 in her will, or one of your friends has a crush on one of theirs—you just have to share it all with them.
It’s because they’re you’re best friend, and life is better when you get to share it with someone you love.