15 Signs It’s Real Love & Not Just Infatuation

15 Signs It’s Real Love & Not Just Infatuation ©iStock/Aleksandar Nakic

The beginning stages of any relationship can be hot, heavy, and super intense, and it’s easy to think your connection might actually be the real thing — love — pretty much from the beginning. Of course, whether or not it’s actually love is a bit more difficult to discern. Here are 15 signs that what you have is more than infatuation:

  1. You’re in this thing together. It seems obvious, but reciprocation is a non-negotiable in a relationship. Infatuation can be a one-way thing; real love needs two active parties to happen.
  2. The honeymoon ended a long time ago, but you’re still crazy about each other. It takes a surprising amount of love to stay attracted to someone for years. Long-term attraction is something that you actually need to work at. If you still find your S.O. to be the sexiest person you’ve ever met, you’ve got something real.
  3. You can be gross around him without judgment. When you’re infatuated with a new guy, you don’t want to spoil the mystery and magic of it all. When you’re really, actually in love, you accept his gross habits and vice versa. Somehow, it doesn’t seem that bad to fart around your boyfriend anymore.
  4. Your fights are always productive, not destructive. It’s possible to be coupled up and not have a serious argument for years. When that first argument happens, it’s often a test that shows how much you love one another. After all, it’s easy to stay in a relationship when you agree on everything. If it’s real love, you’ll work things out.
  5. He brings out the best in you. It’s the real magic of true love — it makes you a better person in every possible way.
  6. When you’re with him, you’re truly at peace. When you’re in real love, it’s not about the feeling of butterflies in your stomach anymore — it’s a contented happiness that you feel. It’s a vibe of comfort and familiarity. That’s a sign of true love.
  7. You know that the grass isn’t greener elsewhere. If it’s real love, cheating isn’t involved. You don’t want to look elsewhere, because it’s already so good right where you are.
  8. Your friends and family constantly tell you how happy you look. Unless you’re dealing with a bunch of toxic people in your posse, real friends and family will be happy if they see you with a guy who makes you happy. After all, they should want to see you smile.
  9. You’ve mastered the art of agreeing to disagree. It’s not real love if you’re constantly worried about how your partner will react to the things you say and do. True love means that your partner will accept you, even when your opinions aren’t the same as his. You should be able to feel like you can share anything with him.
  10. You have a truly equal partnership. The two of you are partners in crime, rather than a leader and a follower. While the scales of balance can sometimes come down heavier on one side or the other, generally speaking, you’re both all in.
  11. You don’t fear the future anymore. Whether it’s losing your job or a parent, dealing with an illness, or any of the other major life changes that can crop up, you’re far less worried about them because you know you’ve got someone on your side to help you through it.
  12. Even when you hate the world, he can always make you smile. Infatuation can make your heart skip a beat, but only true love can make it sing in both the best and worst of times.
  13. With him, it’s different. Usually when you date, things always feel so tense. With him, you can relax and chill out. This is a sign that you’re dealing with real love.
  14. You find him cute even when he’s gross — and vice versa. It’s easy to get grossed out to the point of losing attraction. If he can fart around you or go for days without bathing and you still like him, you really do love him for him. In order for it to be real, long lasting love, it has to go both ways.
  15. You would do anything for each other. Real love involves work, and if you both are willing to put in work, it’s safe to say you both love each other.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.