At some point in her romantic adventures, every woman wonders, “Am I in love or is this indigestion?” We heap so much expectation on finding the perfect man, it’s really enough to give anyone a stomach ache. Don’t panic—these are the feels you feel when you start dating the right guy:
You’re not sweating the small stuff. All that crap you couldn’t stop grinding your teeth over last week is old news. Now, instead of banging on the wall to make your loud neighbor shut up, you’re listening to upbeat pop songs at top volume while posting inspirational memes to Facebook. You’re wondering why you ever lost your chill when minor annoyances usually have such simple solutions. Your pet peeves will creep back in eventually, but it’s nice to shrug them off for a while.
You’re energetic AF. You’re not usually one to beat the alarm, but for some reason, a 5 a.m. run sounds refreshing. Then, when you get home at the end of a long day, you’re compelled to do something fun, like bake six-dozen blueberry muffins to surprise your coworkers with tomorrow. Blueberry happens to be the favorite muffin selection of the dude in your life, so you could even save a couple for him. No big deal. Hey, why not pull up your online yoga workout while the oven is preheating? Don’t worry. You’ll calm down after a bit. Just enjoy the pep while you’ve got it.
You find ridiculous things hilarious. Who IS this punchy chick with the stupid grin on her face? Your friends are making fun of you, and you want to prove to them that you’re still your strait-laced self, so you try to focus the conversation on a science article you read yesterday about animals’ emotional intelligence. Except, dammit, now you’re thinking about the picture of the parakeet with its beak open. That was a funny picture. Oh God, here comes the unstoppable laughter again. It’s okay. Your girls know you’re only temporarily insane.
You’re a little cautious. You don’t want to buy into these classic symptoms of blossoming love. It can all disappear in an instant. You’ll need more than the early butterflies to convince you of anything—at least that’s what you’re telling yourself. A good relationship develops over time, so it’s okay for you to maintain a healthy skepticism about all of this.
You’re a little smug. Steer clear of the truly lovelorn folks in your life because they might find you intolerable right now. But you’ve paid your dues. So many go-nowhere dates with so many losers. All those despairing moments when you considered going full-blown hermit in some little mountain shack. Welcome back to the world. Go ahead and take your victory lap.
You’re embarrassed by your excitement. It’s bad enough you’ve got the guy on the brain every night when your head hits your pillow, but now you’re standing in line at the grocery store and you remember how he turned and kissed you on a roller coaster last weekend, right before the car plummeted down the tallest hill. And now you’re blushing beet red. People are probably wondering what the hell is wrong with you. Thank God nobody can read your mind because similarly sweet moments are playing on loop up there.
You realize you’re worthy and lovable. The wrong man can ratchet up your anxiety so much, it’s impossible to really believe in your own value. This time around, you’re a lot more confident that you deserve happiness. Your new guy keeps reminding you of all the reasons he finds you amazing. The repetition is sinking in.
You don’t even care what you ex is up to. You don’t still hate your ex. You don’t still love your ex. When somebody mentions your ex, your emotions are null. He now belongs in the same part of your memory as your seventh-grade crush, your date to the junior prom, and the drummer you unfortunately tangled with in college—in other words, the very distant, not-that-important past.
You’re not jealous of friends’ happiness. As much as you guard against it, it’s hard to maintain enthusiasm for your ladies’ good fortune when you feel like the universe is screwing you over repeatedly. Right now though, you’re in such a good place that you want to celebrate everyone’s relationships.
You’re not terrified that the guy is going to slip out of your grasp (or send you running). If a man wants to be in your life, he’ll be there. If he doesn’t want to be in your life, he can get lost anyway. This guy definitely wants to be in your life. You’re not steeling yourself for inevitable disappointment or wincing every time you say something he disagrees with. Nor are you plotting an escape route of your own. It’s okay to breathe deep and relax.
You’re dumbfounded by how well you go together. The dude makes intuitive sense to you. You’re very different people, sure. But you tend to have similar interpretations of the world and compatible reactions to life events. With other guys, the pieces never quite aligned. You were left raw with frustration. With this one (maybe “The One”?) you have none of the awkward misfitting.
You love teasing and being teased by him. Most guys had better watch their backs if they mock your inexplicable affection for Kurt Russell movies or your fear of insects, but from your Mr. Wonderful, all those gentle jokes only serve to bring you two closer. It’s fun, not malicious, to go back and forth with him. Anyway, he went to see “Power Rangers” on opening day, so he can’t really talk.
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