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Love is a complex emotion that comes from building trust, comfort, and compatibility with someone. But knowing when you’re in love versus simply having a crush on someone is quite difficult. Here are 20 scientifically-backed signs that show you’re falling head over heels.
You have fun together
Being able to have fun with someone, even when stuff hits the fan, is a surefire sign you’re more than just lusting after them. Having fun is a vital part of building a close and trusting relationship, so if you can’t laugh and play together, something might be amiss.
You adapt to their love language
Everyone gives and receives love differently—some value gifts while others focus on quality time spent together. If you are eager to learn more about your partner and what brings them joy, it’s a definite sign your feelings for them are deepening.
You feel safe with them
It’s absolutely necessary to feel safe in a relationship—emotionally, physically, and sexually. Knowing you can be yourself around your mate without fear or judgment is a clear indication that feelings in the partnership run deeper than a fling. If you don’t feel at ease with a person, they most likely aren’t “The One.”
You do nice things for them
When you start to prioritize and anticipate your partner’s feelings, you’re probably subconsciously starting to see them as someone you can attach to for longer than a few dates. This, of course, doesn’t mean you start putting their needs before yours; it means you do nice things for them just because. That could be anything from making the bed when you normally wouldn’t or picking up a coffee for them from your local barista.
You support their goals
A loving relationship is full of support, with each partner pushing the other to accomplish the goals they set for themselves. If you find that you are your mate’s biggest cheerleader—and that you encourage them when things don’t go their way—you may be head over heels.
You can shop with them
There is a grain of truth to those memes that joke about a trip to IKEA undoing a relationship; shopping with someone is hard! Venturing into any store is less about buying items together than it is about supporting each person’s likes and dislikes and figuring out how to keep each other happy. So if you enjoy purchasing anything from groceries to furniture with your partner, he or she is probably a keeper.
You think of them regularly
Maybe you spend your afternoons looking back fondly on the weekend you spent with them, or you plan ahead for the next time you’re set to meet; either way, if you devote a few minutes of your daily life to daydreaming about your mate, it’s likely a sign you’re more than a little loved up.
You feel excited
When a person is in love, their body experiences a rush of hormones that make them feel energized and almost tingly all over. Those hormones are also what makes it feel like you can’t get enough of a person when you see them. In short, everything feels a little more sensational when you’re in love.
You’re a little bit jealous
Jealousy is often looked upon as being a bad emotion, but more often than not it’s what you do with the feeling that matters. If you fixate on the person and worry about them leaving you, that’s likely a hint your relationship isn’t meant to be. But, if you trust them and your pangs of jealousy are more about missing them and passively wondering what they’re up to, that may be a sign you’re more into them than you think.
You see and accept their flaws
No one is perfect, and when you start to come to terms with the traits that make your mate less desirable, that’s a likely sign you’re starting to fall for them.
You’re about more than sex
Hitting the sheets with a partner is a fun and necessary part of a healthy relationship, but any lasting partnership should involve more than lust. If your heart skips a beat at the mere thought of cuddling with your guy or gal, relationship experts agree, you’re likely settling into a loving, long-term relationship.
You no longer obsess over your ex
You have an ex? Oh right, most people do. If you find your mind focusing more on future moments with your partner than on past predicaments with a love interest who came before, it’s a sign you’ve moved on and are looking for love in all the right places
You align interests
It’s natural for long-term couples to reorder some of their daily priorities and values to suit their mate—science actually shows this happens in most loving relationships. If you find yourself changing some (not all—you can’t lose yourself!) of your interests and habits to better align with your guy or gal, it’s likely they are also your beloved.
You have feelings of empathy
Think about how you feel when your partner loses out on a job offer or gets hurt in an accident; if your gut reaction is pain and a sense of empathy, you’re likely head over heels for them. Science shows partners in healthy relationships want what’s best for their mates; they’re also willing to sacrifice some of their own comfort to make them happy.
You are honest with them
Honesty makes the heart grow fonder—literally. If you feel you can be authentic and open with your mate about practically anything, from your past relationships to your current fears and pet peeves, it’s a sign he or she could be “The One.”
You don’t mind when they wear sweatpants
In the early days of courtship, couples tend to put their all into looking good for one another, but as relationships roll on, comfort sets in. If you find yourself craving quality time with your guy or gal regardless of what they’re wearing, it’s a surefire sign you’re head over heels.
You don’t mind when they do something unattractive
Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands once found that sexual feelings about a mate can blind a person to the grosser aspects of pairing up (especially when it comes to activities that take place in the bedroom). If you don’t get grossed out by things that would normally make you gag, simply because they involve your partner, that’s a scientifically-backed sign you’re falling in love.
You give them space
It’s great to want to be closer to your mate, but knowing they deserve space and that you trust them to take some time away and hone their own interests (in a non-judgmental way) is a key sign you support and love them.
You look at them… a lot
Harvard researchers found that couples who are deeply in love look at each other 75% of the time while talking, whereas those who aren’t only glance at each other 30% to 60% of the time. Basically, if you stare into your mate’s eyes, you’re likely nuts about them.
Lust doesn’t last forever. Eventually, if you are in a long-term relationship, those fiery, first-date feelings will turn into something more lasting and comfortable. Those feelings are love. That doesn’t mean, of course, you don’t get excited to see your mate; it simply means your relationship has evolved into something more mature.
Please note that the messages contained in this article were not originally compiled by this author but were edited where necessary.
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