If You’re Not Feeling These Things, It’s Not Love

When you’re still in the honeymoon phase of a relationship, it can be difficult to determine if you just really, REALLY like a guy or if it’s actually true love. The difference between the two can be hard to tell sometimes, but if you want to know if what you’re feeling for him is something truly special, you’ll need to look deep inside and see what your gut is saying about this guy. If these feelings don’t seem familiar to you, you’re not quite ready to say those three little words yet:

  1. You’d be willing to make big sacrifices for him. It’s cliche and a bit over-dramatic to say that you’d “die” for someone you’re dating, mainly because there are very few instances in which that trade-off of life would ever actually come up. But ask yourself if you’d be okay with, say, canceling a vacation to take care of him after a hospital visit or moving across the country if his job took him elsewhere. If your answer is an immediate “Of course,” then you might have been bitten by the love bug.
  2. You can’t see yourself with anyone else. You might check out that hot guy walking his dog, but the idea of actually making out with him? No thank you. When true love starts to set in, the idea of seriously being with someone else becomes utterly unappealing. It’s one thing to fantasize about someone else in bed every once in a while, but if the opportunity ever actually came up, you’d prefer staying loyal to your beau than having a one-night stand with Drake any day.
  3. You want to tell him first when major things happen. Whether tragic or joyful, when something big goes down in your life, he’s the first person you want to call. It’s like your heart knows exactly what you need and sets up an arrow that points directly to him. When life gets crazy and he’s the first thing that pops into your head, you might be dealing with the real deal here.
  4. He is your priority. Not a potential time-waster on a lonely Friday night. Not a backup plan. Not a placeholder until someone better comes along. When you’re really, truly in love with someone, he becomes someone genuinely important in your life. You’ll drop what you’re doing if he needs you, and you’ll stop considering how being there for him might inconvenience you.
  5. His mere presence makes you happy. This seems so simple, and yet, so many people are convinced they’re in love with someone who makes them kind of miserable. If you really love him, you’ll be excited to see him when you come home from work instead of dreading having to sacrifice your alone time. You’ll feel more content and relaxed when you’re with him, and it will feel almost like there’s a light within you that makes you radiate joy from the inside out.
  6. You might want to marry him someday. No worries if you’re not 100% sure about it yet, of course. The point is that the thought of spending the rest of your life with this guy won’t have you deleting your wedding Pinterest board as fast as you can. When we casually like someone, we’re usually still a bit hesitant on whether we’d like to walk down the aisle towards him. But when it’s love, wedding bells and a new last name (if you’re into that sort of thing) start sounding a lot sweeter.
  7. You’re not scared of spending lots of time together. An entire week alone together in a cabin might give anxiety to someone who is merely “in like” with her boyfriend, but when you’re really in love, it sounds like a dream come true rather than a prison sentence. Spending days or even weeks on end with one person might sound like a nightmare —  especially if you’re more of an introvert — but when you’re really in love with someone, you know you can make it through with only the occasional break from each other.
  8. You feel safe with him. When you’re with him, you feel almost invincible. When it’s true love, you know deep down that you can trust him with your body and emotions. Especially for those of us who have put up some strong walls after being hurt in the past, this is a major barrier to overcome, and only someone you really love could have the power to make you feel this way.
  9. You’re a better person when you’re with him. That’s not to say you weren’t awesome on your own, of course. But when we really love someone, he tends to bring out our best side. We feel an urge to be kinder and more generous, almost as though we’re trying to make the world a better place simply because he exists in it. The love you feel for someone tends to overflow from you and extend out to other people, so if you feel like the opposite is happening to you, what you have might not be as special as you thought it was.
  10. You’re comfortable showing him every side of you. Yep, even the grumpy side that comes out after a hard day of work. And don’t forget the messy hair, no makeup, bad breath side that shows up when you decide to stay in bed cuddling instead of sneaking to the bathroom to look a little more refreshed. If you’re scared to show someone the parts of you that aren’t contoured and chiseled to perfection, you’re probably not ready to be using the L-word quite yet.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.