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How Do You Know If You're Really in LOVE?

     "17 Steps to Know if You’re in Love.”  “13 Scientifically Proven Signs You’re in Love.”  “Top 10 Signs You’re in Love.”  These are all articles found on the web.  How do you know you’re in love?  Can anyone really tell you?  When it comes to love, you may think you’re following your heart…but you’ve got it all going on in your brain.  Studies have shown that in the first two years of a romantic or dating relationship, your brain is producing high levels of hormones that give you a “butterflies in your stomach” feeling or intense desire towards another.  You’re kinda not really seeing the person as they are because you’re blinded by LOVE (the hormones).  Short term, others may be telling you that he’s/she’s no good for you…that’s because they are not as emotionally unreasonable in their assessment as you are.  On the other hand, maybe you’ve taken time to really get to know that person, you started out as friends, and the relationship has blossomed into something sweet.  Regardless, you need to logically look at the relationship and utilize another part of your brain to determine if it’s true love or infatuation.

     By definition, infatuation is like a crush; it’s caught up in (short lived) physical desire.  Love is based upon a mutual commitment and intimacy.    Both of these are much more complicated than a simple definition, though. 

     Fast.  Few.  Destructive.  Not consistent or predictable.  Withers away.  Frequent.  Severe.  I/me/my.  Selfish.  These are some of the descriptive words used in a relationship based on infatuation.  They are answers to logical questions about a relationship:  How did the romance start?  Fast.  How many things attract you?  Few.  How consistent is your level of interest in the person?  Interest varies; not consistent or predictable.  What is the effect of the romance on your personality?  Disorganized, destructive; you are not yourself.  How do others view you two?  Few or none approve of the relationship.  These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself about your relationship.

     Using the same logical questions, a relationship based on true love takes into consideration a slow progression of getting to know each other and appreciating the total personality.  When you are together, you’re a better person in all aspects of your life…you’re organized, constructive, etc.  Because of the positive impact on your life, others heartily approve of your relationship and everyone gets along.  A very important part of true love is that there is true commitment to the other’s thoughts and feelings and there is an attitude of giving, sharing, and wanting to serve the needs/wants of the other.  Likewise, they consider your thoughts, feelings, and desires for your life.

     Does it feel like love?  It may be difficult to separate logic from your feelings.  Though you think it’s the real thing, you have to logically look at the relationship to determine if it’s true love or infatuation.  BTW...hold out for true love.

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