You’ve got that tingling feeling every time you see the object of your affection. Your heart practically beats out of your chest. It certainly feels like love, but is it really? Unfortunately, real love and the illusion of love can feel pretty damn similar if you refuse to look any deeper. Before you hand your heart over to the person you’re with, make sure the love is real.
You feel like this time it’s different.
You’ve been in relationships before and they ultimately never worked out. This relationship is a whole new ball game. You feel like you’ve finally found something special. This one stands above all others in your dating history. This could be real love! On the other hand, if this one feels like all the others, it could be an illusion. That’s especially the case if you’ve thought you’ve been in love before and it turned out wrong. Get out of that vicious cycle.
You’ve forgotten all about your ex.
You might have had some hang-ups before you started your current relationship, but that’s all fallen by the wayside. “Ex, who?” And even if your ex ends up showing back up in your life, you’ll know you’re in love when you come away completely unbothered. You’d never even think of taking him back. Unless how you’re feeling is just an illusion, no one will compare to the love you’re feeling right now.
You love them for the good and the bad.
True love feels unconditional. Sure, your guy has flaws. Perhaps he snores like a freight train or hums when he eats. If you’re in love, none of that will matter. It just contributes to who he is as a total package. On the other hand, if you’re setting out to change him into your personal vision of a perfect partner, that’s not love at all. You should love him as he is, and he should do the same for you.
The love is reciprocated.
If the object of your affection doesn’t seem to love you back, this is a big sign that what you’re feeling is just an illusion. True love requires love in return. Not only should he show you affection, but he should also be feeling these monumental moments of love just like you are. Not sure how to read him? There are ways the right person will show you they love you. Never accept anything less.
You finally feel like yourself.
If you’re putting on a front and trying to be what you think they want, that’s not real love. Pretending to like jogging or veganism just to make someone like you is the epitome of an illusion. Compare how you’re feeling in this relationship to how you felt in your previous failed relationships. If he finally makes you feel comfortable being your real authentic self, he’s a keeper.
You just keep falling.
The relationship just keeps getting better. The romance is better. The sex is more fulfilling. While all relationships get comfortable with time, that level of comfort should coincide with a deepening affection and feeling of love. Just because you can cuddle up on the couch with a plate of pizza balanced on your tummy doesn’t mean you aren’t happier every day that you’re with him.
You feel secure in the relationship.
Some people equate jealousy with love. Newsflash: unchecked jealousy is a surefire sign that the love you’re feeling is just an illusion. But is your love is real? You’ll feel comfortable knowing you’re being loved in return. You won’t have to worry if he cares about you because he’ll show you. When you’re in love and in a healthy relationship, you can set aside the constant anxiety worrying about your relationship status. What a relief!
You’ve got your eye on the future.
Now that you’re in this relationship, every time you think of the future, he’s in it. It could be something as mundane as a future office party or as elaborate as your next overseas vacation. It could be meeting your parents or getting married–you can’t picture life without him. However, if he doesn’t show up in your future fantasies, maybe you don’t really love him after all.
It feels easy.
No agony for you. No trying to convince him to love you. When it’s really true love, it’s easy.
You care about their happiness.
You want your partner to be happy and safe. This could mean letting them go if the situation arises, whether it’s to move for a job or because you have differing views on kids or marriage. Just be aware that your happiness should matter to you as well. If you’re forgoing your own health and happiness in order to make him happy, that’s a serious red flag.
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