You know the feelings you get when you’re falling for someone new: the butterflies, the constant desire to want to chat or text them and the sudden need to buy a completely new wardrobe just to impress them, even though your wallet totally disagrees with you. When you first start falling for someone, the feelings can get really intense and there’s a sense of excitement that’s hard to describe with words. When you’re beginning to fall in love with someone, the symptoms can feel similar. That’s what makes it so hard to distinguish between love and like, or even infatuation. But according to Maria Sullivan, dating expert and vice president of Dating.com, there are some really clear signs that will let you know you’re not just going through some phase with a new bae, but that this time it might actually be different. You might finally be in love. Here are all the signs you’re falling in love.
1. YOU’RE HAPPY AND JUST A LITTLE BIT NERVOUS.
When you’re in love, you’re genuinely a happier person. It’s like you’re on a natural high. The thought of spending time with your partner really excites you and just looking at the dozens of selfies of you both together on your phone is enough to put a cheesy smile on your face. But being in love also makes you a tiny bit nervous. You’re anxious for what the future holds, even if you’re not exactly sure what that is. You just know that you want your relationship to last. “Lots of people compare love to something they could not lose or let pass them by, yet the uncertainty of its unknown outcome is exciting,” Maria says.
2. EVERYTHING FEELS NEW AND EXCITING.
When you’re in love, you’re excited to do things you’ve already done a million times before, just with your partner this time. They’re the first ones you think of when you see a romantic movie preview or when you’re planning to make a quick trip to the nearest fast food place. You’d even be willing to sit through four hours of a sports game, even if you hate sports. Maria says that’s because love sparks a new change in you. “When you’re in love, the basis of your perception changes. I compare it to a feeling of being really awake and excited,” she says. “You have found someone that makes everything feel new and intriguing – even if it’s just sitting on the couch watching TV.”
3. YOUR RELATIONSHIP FEELS EASY.
Being with your partner isn’t hard work. You don’t have to struggle to find time to spend with them because you literally want to. Even the arguments don’t feel as intense as they do in other relationships. While all couples argue and bicker, when you’re both in love, your priority is your relationship, not your pride. You’re not worried about being the first person to give in or lose the argument because you can’t imagine your life without this person. Even one day apart really feels like forever.
4. THIS PERSON IS ON YOUR MIND LITERALLY ALL THE TIME.
When you’re in love, your partner is always in the back of your mind. You might have a sudden thought to call them because you haven’t chatted in a few hours or you go into a clothing store with the intention of buying something for yourself and then end up buying something for your partner, too. “Love is determined. When you like someone, you can brush it off and think of other things as you go about your day,” Maria says. When you’re in love, this person is always on your mind, but it isn’t overwhelming. “When you love someone, you are physically, mentally and emotionally impacted at theoretically any/all time(s). It is a calm and secure reality you will consistently crave,” Maria says.
5. YOU GET JUST A LITTLE JEALOUS.
A little bit of jealousy is natural. It’s understandable because you want your partner to be only exclusive to you. Jealousy becomes dangerous when you start obsessing over what your partner’s doing, so much so that you do stuff like look through their phone without them knowing. Going out of your way to find out what your partner’s doing is toxic behavior and might signal you’re not in a healthy relationship.
6. YOU BECOME MORE AFFECTIONATE TOWARDS THEM.
When you’re in love, you’re obviously attracted to your partner, so it’s only natural that you want to be all over them. Whether it’s simply holding hands or turning your cuddling into an intense makeout session, you want to be affectionate towards your second half. If you’re completely repulsed by them, then you’re clearly not in love.
7. YOU WANT TO BRING THEM AROUND YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
When you’re really into your relationship, you want to bring your partner into all aspects of your life. You want to introduce them to your family and friends with the hope that they’ll really like them because it would hurt you if they didn’t. If you’re introducing your partner to your family and friends, it’s usually because you genuinely want your relationship last.
8. YOU START FEELING A SENSE OF EMPATHY TOWARDS YOUR PARTNER.
When you’re in love, you start seeing your bae as an extension of yourself, so when they’re hurt, nervous or really excited about something like getting accepted into a school or program they really wanted, then you experience the same feelings as them. Feeling empathy towards your partner also makes you want to make tiny sacrifices for them, like getting up and going to the store for some soup and medicine when you’re really comfy and don’t want to get up. Small things like that don’t really bother you for the person you love.
9. YOU’RE BECOMING A BETTER PERSON.
You know you’re in love when being with your second half makes you want to improve yourself in some way, whether it’s setting new goals or having a more positive attitude. Your partner should push you towards becoming better, but not in a way that’s consistently negative. “If a partner isn’t building you up, then you must consider looking elsewhere for love – no matter what other characteristics he or she may have that you are infatuated with,” Maria says. When you’re truly in love with someone, you want your partner to succeed as much as you because you want to create a stable future for the both of you.
10. YOU START PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE.
When you truly love someone, you know that you don’t have plans to let them go any time soon, if ever. So, you start to include them in all your future plans, whether it’s going on vacation or figuring out where you want to live when you’re older. You start thinking of your partner when you’re making big decisions because you want them to be there for it all. When you’re in love, your bae becomes your permanent “plus one.”