When it comes to falling in love, we can think we know what it feels like, but in reality, we really only have our previous experiences of love to draw on—and let’s face it: for some of us, those experiences might not be that great.
Because of that, it can be hard to know if some of the things you’re feeling for the new person you’re dating are you falling in love, or just infatuation.
Here are some of the subtle signs you can look out for to know if what you’re feeling might be love.
You Never Think About Your Ex Anymore
This is a big one and a pretty obvious one. No matter how in love we are, we might still think about an ex from time to time, but if you’re with someone you’re falling in love with, they’re barely going to cross your mind. You’re no longer interested in reconnecting or waiting for that news from mutual friends about how miserable they are.
It’s The Connection, Not The Sex That Has You Coming Back
When you have an intense physical relationship with someone, it’s quite easy to think that you’re in love with them, but that physical connection is a small part of a whole equation that makes up love. If you’ve been hooking up with someone and you’re finding you just like being around them, even if you’re not all over each other, it could be love!
You Don’t Feel Like You’re Going To Die If You Don’t See Them
You might think that the opposite of this would be true, but when you have real feelings of love for someone and feel like they have them too, you know deep down that if you don’t see them for a day or two you’ll have lots of time in the future to make up for it.
There isn’t that urgency of trying to cram in as much time as you can because you’re not sure how long it will last.
Everything Reminds You Of Them
No matter what you’re doing in your day, almost everything you see or experience is something you think that your person would enjoy, and you’re making mental notes to tell them about it all when you see them next.
You’re Not Worried All The Time About Being Hurt
If you’re in a loving relationship, then you’re not as worried about being hurt all the time because you know there is that mutual trust there and respect. Do you think it will last forever? Maybe not yet, but you know that anything that does go down will probably be amicable and discussed.
You Don’t Have To Plan Your Dates Around Things
You like to go out with one another because you like to go out, not because your favorite band is in town or because it’s a mutual friend’s birthday, but because you just like to do things together.
You Talk About Things You’ll Do Together In The Future
Again, this one feels kind of obvious, but there is a difference between talking about the future with someone who is just saying what you want to hear, and actually talking about the future with someone who is excited to be a part of yours and you’re excited to have them there, too.
You’re OK With Making Little Sacrifices For Them
Obviously, you don’t want to be dating someone you have to change your whole world for, but when you love someone, you’re a little more willing to make small sacrifices. Maybe you’ve fallen behind on your “to-read” list, or you haven’t had your favorite pizza place in a while, but who cares?
You Don’t Feel Embarrassed About Being Yourself Around Them
You might think that being comfortable around someone might mean that the romance in your relationship is dwindling, but it’s quite the opposite. Being able to feel comfortable in your own skin is such a sexy thing, especially when you know you feel that way about them and know they feel that way about you.
They Make You Feel Safe
It’s so cliché, but being with someone you love makes you feel like things are going to be alright, no matter what you’re going through. There is something about them that’s a comfort even if they don’t say anything—just being near them is enough.
Doing Mundane Things Together Becomes Fun
You know you’ve fallen in love with someone when something as mundane as doing the laundry or going to the grocery store feels enjoyable. It becomes time you spend together, not a chore.
You Want Them Around Even When You’re Annoyed With Them
You can be mad at someone and still super in love with them. It’s this weird thing that happens when you’re annoyed at them for doing something dumb but you still want them to be around you.
You Genuinely Feel Their Emotions
Loving someone means taking on their emotions alongside yours. When the person you love is feeling sad, you’re feeling sad, too. That doesn’t mean you can’t also have your own feelings, but you become really empathetic for someone you love.
Staying In Seems More Fun Than It Ever Did Before
When the weekend rolls around, there is nothing you want to do more than go home and relax with your significant other. This might be a big deal, especially if you were someone who liked going out before.
You Want To Share Things With Them
When you’re falling in love with someone, this thing might start happening where you want to tell them everything about you, maybe even things you haven’t wanted to share before. The sharing might not be just emotional, either—you probably want them to try your food, watch your favorite shows, and listen to the music you love, too.
You Always Have A Dumb Story About Them
You have a really hard time stopping yourself from talking about them constantly, but you can’t help yourself when it comes time to share stupid stories of you two enjoying life together.
You Want The Other People In Your Life To Know Them
You wouldn’t want to start introducing someone you were serious about to your family if you didn’t see them as someone you wanted to be in your life for the long term. This might be a really big green flag and means you’re falling for that person.
Time Flies When You’re Together
As it does when you’re enjoying your time with anyone, time goes by so quickly when you’re with someone you love because you can’t get enough of one another and every moment feels exciting.
Sometimes You Re-Read Your Messages
If you’re alone with your own thoughts on your commute or while you’re relaxing, you find yourself scrolling through your messages with the person you love because you like reliving those moments.
It Doesn’t Freak You Out When You Don’t Hear From Him
When there is real love, there is trust, and you know that when you’re not hearing from him throughout the day, it’s probably because he is genuinely busy, not because he’s ignoring you.