Have you ever been in a relationship with someone where you get increasingly excited about how well things seem to be going? It might happen very fast, and it can take you off guard if you haven’t experienced it before. As your feelings for another person develop, you might be tempted to “shout your love from the rooftops” as people like to say, but at the same time you could be worried about these feelings.
Why would you be worried? First of all, you might worry that what you’re feeling isn’t really love but rather just a temporary infatuation. Second, you might worry that revealing your love could scare away the other person who isn’t quite on the same page as you yet emotionally. In either case, the best thing to do is establish clearly in your mind whether or not these feelings you have are real love. How do you know whether or not you really love someone? Let’s look at some key signs:
1. You Tend to Put Your Special Someone First
We’ll take it as read that you’re not an inherently selfish person, and that considering the feelings of others, and being able to put your friends’ and family’s interests above your individual desires is something you can do on some level. If you can also do these things for someone with whom you’re in a romantic relationship, then it’s a strong sign that feelings of true love are there.
The reason you’re willing to do those things for friends and family more is because you love them. You might consider the feelings of strangers, but you’d not likely go out of your way to make strangers happy. Therefore, when your connection to a former stranger has grown to the extent where you feel you want to start putting them first in all things, and you don’t mind going out of your way to do things that you know will make them happy, then it’s a strong sign that what you feel for them is true love.
2. You’re Willing to Change for Them
They say that you shouldn’t try to change people, and that’s still pretty sound advice, but what about when someone is willing to change themselves in order to be a better person within a relationship? Far from being a worrying sign, it is a sign that you are really in love with another person. Changing oneself is among the hardest things that we have to do in our lives. It’s not just a cliche to say that old habits die hard. They really do!
When people think about changing oneself for the sake of a relationship, there’s a lot of negativity surrounding it as a topic. They imagine men abandoning their old friends to spend all their time with a new partner, and women perhaps giving up careers or ambitions in order to make another person in the relationship happy. These are not the types of changes that truly characterize the idea of “changing oneself.” It’s about being willing to acknowledge bad habits and negative ways of thinking and acting and trying to turn them into positive, productive aspects of oneself.
We are none of us perfect, and it takes a mature mind to accept when others point out our flaws. When that person is someone who we think we might love, then accepting their point of view and expressing a willingness to change is a very strong sign that you love them.
3. You Can Accept Their Shortcomings
Following on from the previous point, we can also think about the idea of personal flaws from another angle. Imagine you’re dating someone and you discover an interesting quirk about them, perhaps something about the way they eat, or an inflection in their voice, or a peculiar laugh or sound they make when hearing something funny. The first time you heard it you might have thought it was cute or funny, but over time as it repeats you start to grow weary of it.
When you really love someone, you are able to look past someone else’s flaws in such a way that you don’t hold these shortcomings against them. It’s not that you don’t hope that some of these things might change in the future (as we discussed above), but you can at least experience them and not resent the other person for it. When you have that with someone, it’s safe to say that you have at least the foundations of real love.
4. You Feel a Strong Sense of Trust in Them
How “deep” have your conversations started to become with this other person? Have you told them all of your secrets yet? Do you share openly what you really think and feel about things, or are you still hiding or masking your true feelings? When you feel the ability to be open and honest with another person, sometimes even exposing your own vulnerabilities in the process, you do so because you have come to trust that other person.
Just as they don’t use your foibles against you, they don’t take your vulnerability and exploit it, nor do they demand that you conform to some way of thinking that they personally hold. The level of trust that it takes to build that is very high, and not something that’s held between two people in a casual and/or meaningless relationship. In fact, it’s a very good sign that you’re really in love with that other person.
5. You Want to Introduce Them to Family and Friends
One of the most disheartening things that can happy in a new relationship is when you get the feeling that even though you might find someone sexually attractive and enjoy spending time with them on dates (or in the bedroom), that you wouldn’t want this person to “intrude” into your life any further. What exactly do we mean by intrude? Well, one key thing we mean is that you’re not willing to introduce this new love interest of yours into your circle of friends or to your family. When the opposite is the case, and you can’t wait to introduce them to your family and friends, then it’s actually a good sign that you do love that person.
But why? Aren’t you just wanting to introduce your new girlfriend or boyfriend to your group because you want to show off? What’s love got to do with it? Well, there may well be an element of showing off in some cases, but the reason that this desire to introduce them around points to love is that it indicates you feel strongly that you want this person more closely integrated into your life. If that’s not a sign of real love, then what is?
6. You Feel Excitement Every Time You See Them
Finally, there are some additional physical signs that you really do love a person, and these typically manifest every time you see the other person. You might get butterflies in your stomach as you wait for them at a railway station or at the airport when you know they’re about to come out of the entrance. You might get excited when you hear their car pull into the driveway or their key turning in the door.
When you miss people in their absence, and get excited and fluttery at their return, then it’s a definite sign of love. How could you really love someone if the opposite was the case? What it really shows is that you have at least some degree of fear of losing that other person. Their return is the confirmation that your fears were unfounded this time and you get to resume your lovely life together.