Leaving the single life behind and entering a relationship can be scary, especially if you’re basically a charter member of the single club. You’ve grown to know and love yourself as a single person; what if you hate the person you become when under the influence of love? It can be hard to look at couples and imagine yourself ever acting that way, but finding love really does change you in so many ways.

You become more open. When you’re single, you tend to operate as an island. While that’s a delightfully simple way to live, islands do have the disadvantage of being a bit closed off sometimes. When someone does manage to make their way onto your island and hold your interest, it has the unexpected benefit of making you open up  a bit and make new connections (possibly really beneficial ones).

It makes you think about others more. It’s easy to get lost in a world that literally does revolve around you when you’re single. That can be fun for a little while, but it’s unfulfilling in the long run because people, for the most part, want to help others and feel connected with others.

It makes you more emotional, even if your poker face is usually on point. When you’re bossing up life confidently, you have your aloof poker face down to a science. However, after you fall in love, you’ll find it hard to keep the big smile off your face every time you think about it.

Your rough edges get smoothed out just a little bit. That’s not a bad thing, and it doesn’t mean you’re going to change who you are at your core. Love tends to mold you into the best possible version of yourself, and you don’t even see it happening.

It makes you surprisingly optimistic. You used to be afraid to hope for everything you wanted, but meeting that one person made the difference. Suddenly, anything seems possible and the new challenge is managing both your anticipation and your inherent fear.

You become more accepting. When you fall in love with someone, you’re able to accept traits they have that normally aren’t your style. It’s not the same thing as settling; it’s simply accepting all of someone because you love them so much.

Everyone notices that you’re happier. Even if you’re a chronic sufferer of Resting Bitch Face syndrome, suddenly everyone will notice that you’re smiling more, especially when you’re daydreaming or looking at your phone. Love gives you a glow that makes you irresistible.

You feel alive in ways you never knew were possible. It’s like someone flipped a switch and life is suddenly abuzz with the kind of joy you’ve never known but always read about and dreamed about. Once you’ve known the feeling of love, it’s hard to live without. You can’t fabricate it; you have to wait for the real thing to come along. When it does, prepare to be blown away by how incredible your life can be.

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