How Do You Know When You’re Really Falling In Love?

You know that things are going well between you and that your feelings are growing, but how serious is it getting? Your emotions can often feel like they’re playing tricks on you, making it hard to know when you’re falling in love. If you notice these signs, good news – it would seem like what you’re experiencing is extremely real.

  1. You feel excited about the future. When you’re first dating someone, you’re all about the present and near future. You can’t stop thinking about what the other person is doing at that exact moment or when they’ll text you or where you’re going for your third date. But when you’re in love, you’re thinking far beyond tomorrow or next week. You’re starting to think about where you’ll be in five years, or maybe even 50 years. You imagine the big stuff: buying a house, getting married, having kids–all of the cliché things we see other committed couples doing. And most importantly, you’ll feel excited about it.
  2. You’re getting existential. Falling in love is a beautiful process, but it also has its stresses. It changes a person forever, and while this is usually a good thing, it also marks the end of the person you have been up to now. If you find yourself feeling contemplative or even a little melancholy in the midst of feeling excited about your relationship, you may be mourning your past self. Don’t worry: if the relationship is a good one, the excitement will far outweigh the momentary mixed emotions.
  3. You’re invested in their success. When you first start dating a person, you want to know more about them, and you want to know how they feel about you. But when you’re falling in love, you start to care more about that person as an individual. You want them to be happy, you feel sad when they’ve had a bad day, and you get excited when they’re excited. It isn’t about losing yourself in them, it’s about expanding your sense of self to include them.
  4. You don’t mind compromising. Most people either lean towards selfishness or selflessness in relationships. You either make sure you get what you want, or you bend over backward to make the other person happy. But you know you’re in love when you make an effort to find middle ground. Giving up a little of what you want feels easier, maybe even effortless. All of a sudden, being generous while continuing to advocate for your own needs is not mutually exclusive, it’s the default situation.
  5. You think about “us” not “me”. You won’t see it coming, but one day, you’ll hear yourself say, “we’d love to!” or “we have a new favorite restaurant” and you’ll realize just how serious you’ve gotten about your partner. There’s no need to panic or be embarrassed; it’s probably been a long time coming. When you start to see you and your partner as a unit, you know you’re on your way to falling in love.
  6. Happy love songs make total sense to you. 99.9% of music is either about love or heartbreak. We all know how it feels to turn on the radio and start sobbing to a breakup song, but there is a flip side. When you’re in the right mindset, love songs sound like they were written specifically for you and your partner. If you have a very high tolerance for lyrics about getting lost in someone’s eyes or wanting to make a baby, you’re probably falling in love. If you find yourself nodding along to said lyrics, you’re *definitely* falling in love.
  7. Your friends are tired of listening to you talk about your partner. You may think that five-minute story about the time your partner was totally hilarious and adorable is great for public consumption, but honestly, at this point, no one cares. It’s gotten to the point where even your closest and most selfless friends are fed up with hearing you talk about how happy you are. It’s like those parents who have 700 identical photos of their infant and insist on showing you every single one of them. If this sounds like you, you know without a shadow of a doubt that you’re falling in love.
  8. You’re “that” couple. Everyone knows the couple that can’t keep their eyes (or hands) off each other. It’s extremely annoying unless you actually are that couple, in which case it’s magical. Since you probably looked at those kinds of couples with disdain and even disgust in the past, you may have no idea you’re exhibiting the same behaviors now. You’re so wrapped up in each other that seeing yourself with even the tiniest bit of objectivity is literally impossible.
  9. You feel relaxed. Dating can be stressful. You’re not sure whether the person you like is into you, you’re self-conscious about how you look or sound or come across over text, and you panic every time you have to wait more than thirty minutes to get a reply to your messages. But when you’re really falling in love, your doubts soften. You know you’re playing the long game, and the short-term anxieties are so trivial that you don’t have time for them. Part of falling in love is deciding to trust your heart. When that happens, the frenzy of infatuation subsides.
  10. It feels different this time. Even if you’ve been in love before, each new love feels new. Love becomes specific to the person you’re with, and whatever you’ve called “love” before with other people now seems hollow and laughably insignificant. You may even struggle to find the words to describe how you’re feeling because it’s so different from anything you’ve ever felt.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.