You’ve been with someone for some time now and you’re starting to question the “L” word. You know the word we’re talking about...love. That word may intimate the heck out of you —it holds a lot of weight. You’re wondering if you may love your partner but aren’t completely sure how far along the bond is. Maybe it’s just butterflies? Or could it be more?
Every relationship and situation moves at its own unique pace. There isn’t a specific timeline you have to follow to qualify for romantic love or to be in love.
If you’re wondering if the feelings you’ve been feeling lately might be love, you’ve come to the right place to see. Evaluate your feelings and listen to your heart as you go through this list to see if you want to start saying the “L” word to your partner.
You Think About Them All the Time
You’re in the grocery line and your partner pops up in your head. You smile to yourself, giddy with happiness. You see their favorite flower or color out on a walk and think of them. You want to call them and hear their voice all the time. In general, you really can’t stop thinking about them.
If you’re always thinking of them and filled with an immense amount of joy and happiness, it could mean you love them! There are a large number of daydreams involved and you’re starting to imagine all the memories you could make in the future.
Thinking of your partner all the time is completely normal and is a good sign! It means you’re happy with them and care for them. When you just like your crush, you might think of them briefly, but they don’t stick with you throughout the day. If your partner sticks with you all day, this is a great sign that you might love them- but be mindful of love versus infatuation or lust.
It’s Easy Like Sunday Morning
When you’re with your partner, it’s just...easy. There’s no tension, awkward silences, and when there are silences, it’s not awkward. Conversation flows, reaching for their hand feels natural, and being around them brings you peace.
It might even feel like you’ve known them for years. It’s not hard work to be with them. That’s not to say there won't be disagreements and bickering, but when you love someone, you care more about finding a compromise than proving your pride.
As Lionel Richie sings, “It’s easy like Sunday morning.”
You Want Them To Know Your Family
Introducing a partner to your family is a big deal! Your family might play an integral part of your life and letting someone into that part of your life is incredibly important.
You’ve probably told your parents or loved ones about your partner, but having them actually meet them themselves and get to know them through their own eyes instead of yours, can feel like a lot of pressure. You of course want them to like your partner and get their approval. But if your family sees that you are happy and in real love with them, they’ll be sure to give you their stamp of approval.
As you fall for someone more and more, it’s only natural that you’d want them to know the other people in your life that make you who you are and have raised you. If you’re on the fence about if you love your partner, it’s good to evaluate whether or not you could see them being a part of your family. If you can and you desire that, it might just mean true love.
You’re Planning for the Future
If you’re hearing wedding bells or imagining building a home with your partner, it might mean you’re in love. Wanting to build a future with someone could be your heart giving you the green light for the next step to a long-term relationship!
This part of the relationship is when a lot of people start to panic and jump ship. The idea of settling down, whether it be through marriage, getting a pet together, or just moving in together can be pretty scary and pretty serious, but also exhilarating. But that doesn't mean that it’s bad—it actually means that it’s good! You guys are progressing in your relationship and with that comes the inevitable feelings of love, euphoria, and admiration.
If you two have had conversations about the future, and it seems you’re both on the same page, that’s also a great sign. You both seem to be on the same page about keeping the relationship going and furthering it along with future plans.
It can be as big as, “Could you see us together long term?” to “Want to go on a trip next summer with my family?” Future plans mean you can see your beloved partner in the future. Love is usually attached to those feelings of wanting to plan for the future.
You’re Willing To Sacrifice for Them
If you find yourself going the extra mile for your partner or find yourself willing to sacrifice for them, it means you really, deeply care for them. It could even mean you really, deeply love them beyond just physical attraction.
Sacrifice means the willingness to set aside our own desires for a time in order to be in service for another. This is a characteristic of a giving and sacrificial person. Choosing to be sacrificial in your relationship shows care, friendship, and commitment.
Sacrificing for someone doesn’t have to mean large, outlandish things. It could mean sacrificing even in the small, everyday things. Like doing the grocery shopping or offering to cook for the family one night because you know your partner had a long, busy day.
Sacrificing in a relationship implies choosing something—or someone—that really matters to you, rather than something you have to give up. It’s all about perspective, and it’s all about your actions.
You Catch Yourself About To Say the “L” Word
Your partner might have just done something cute or sweet and you can feel your tongue about to slip and say, “I love you.” This is a natural and good sign! It means your natural instinct has changed from, “I like you” to “I love you”.
Your brain has probably decided that, yes, you do love them, but the rest of you hasn’t caught up yet to that fact. Saying to your partner that you love them might seem like a ton of pressure but it doesn’t have to be. If your heart is telling you that you do, then listen to it!
This isn’t to say that saying those three words aren’t valuable or important and shouldn’t be taken seriously. Because saying I love you is almost like saying a promise. It means you are in love with them and love is a form of intimacy that calls for showing up for someone, keeping promises, supporting them, and always striving to make them feel loved.
Don’t say those three words if you aren’t sure. But also don’t not say those three words just because you’re scared to. It’s a balance and it requires self-awareness to make sure you do love them and are willing to say that, again and again.
You’re Growing as a Person
The romantic type of love is a lot more than butterflies, a serotonin or dopamine rush, feeling mushy towards someone, or giving them flowers all the time. Love means accountability, it means growth, and it means not becoming stagnant.
When you love someone, you’re willing to work on yourself and examine parts of yourself that aren’t as healthy or need improvement. This could mean anything from recognizing you have jealousy issues and working on improving that through learning to trust again. It could mean realizing you’re not so great at expressing your true feelings and thoughts, and working through that so that you can be a better partner to your significant other.
In relationships, we get to see a new side of ourselves. When you love someone and they love you back, there is this sense of teamwork. You’re both on the same team, striving to be the best versions of yourselves to be the best partner you can be!
Teamwork is Individual commitment to a group effort. A relationship between two people is the same way—it’s two people working together and committed to seeing each other and the relationship succeed.
A team can’t be successful if one teammate is being selfish or self-serving, and this type of behavior leads to breakups or unhealthy attachment from one partner. Improving a relationship involves considering the feelings of the other person as much as your own. This involves a lot of trust, self-awareness, and the ability to admit when you’re wrong without holding grudges.
When you love someone, you desire for them to be happy, which might mean working on parts of yourself. Whether it be working with psychologists, trying therapy, or doing your best to forget all those bad things your ex did to you, working on yourself makes for a happier relationship with your current partner.
If you see this happening in your own relationship, this is a great sign that you do, in fact, love them!
They Are a Safe Place for You
Some days are harder than others. And all you want to do is curl up in your partner’s arms and feel comforted by them. You feel safe with them—safe to tell them your worries, cry it out, ease anxiety, and even share past traumas and hurts with them.
Feeling safe with someone means there’s a different level of trust with them than you would have with the average person. You truly trust them to listen to you, hug you if needed, and be your safe place.
If you find yourself running to your partner’s arms when you’re upset, you might just be in love. And that’s a beautiful thing! That you’ve found someone who sees you, truly, and can be there to support you and all of your traits and components.
You See All Their Flaws and Still Stay
We’re all humans, which means we all have flaws. We all have past hurts, whether it be from a past relationship or even hurt from family. These hurts can, unfortunately, shape the natural tendencies we have, such as lack of trust or fear of falling for someone again.
Due to everyone’s pasts, every person will inevitably bring in their own baggage into a new relationship. As you get to know someone more and more, you will start to notice these flaws and sometimes they might come out in full display during a disagreement or miscommunication.
This is not to say that unhealthy communication or abuse of any kind is simply a “flaw” that you should love someone through. Be aware of the difference between a flaw and abuse—they are two very different things!
You see their flaws big and small, like how easily they forget to put the toilet seat down, or their hesitation to open up about things in the past that might have hurt them, and you love them anyway. You might even love them more because of these flaws. Flaws make us into who we are and loving someone even despite those flaws—or because of them—is a beautiful thing.
You Want To Shower Them With Gifts
Gifts are one of the five love languages. Many people feel most loved and appreciated when they receive a gift—it doesn’t matter the size or value; it could be as small as a handmade necklace to a new jacket they’ve been wanting. Even if your partner’s primary love language isn’t receiving gifts, when you love someone, you’re always wanting to shower them with gifts as a way to show your love!
Gifts should always be intentional and something that you know your partner will love. It could be anything like a bouquet of flowers or a device like the Lovebox! The Lovebox is the world’s first love note messenger device that pairs with an app to go beyond regular communication and deliver instant expressions of affection, even from a distance.
This unique gift is a way to show your partner you’re thinking of them throughout the day. On the app, you can send to the device pictures of the two of you, colored messages, stickers, silly drawings, and so much more to show your partner just how much you care for them in a creative and fun way!
When they receive a message from you, the heart on the front of the box will spin, indicating they’ve gotten a new message from you! It’s a wonderful gift that makes communicating different from just a normal, boring text.
Rusty, a satisfied customer of the Lovebox said, “This is one of the coolest items to keep your relationship strong! Sure you could text your loved ones, but the Lovebox creates anticipation.”
If you’re wanting to shower your partner with gifts and can already see them beaming with happiness from receiving a gift like a necklace or a Lovebox, this could be a direct indication of love!
Their Happiness Is Your Happiness
When you love someone, their happiness is your happiness. Seeing them happy and smiling makes you naturally happy, too. You want your person to succeed in their passions or hobbies and have all of their desires met.
It goes the same way for sadness too. When they’re sad, you’re sad. Or when they’re excited, you’re excited. Emotions are matched when you love someone and you feel a deep sense of empathy and wanting to protect them. You’re truly able to feel how they’re feeling when you do love someone. When you see them cry, your eyes well up with tears too. When you see them smile from ear to ear, you can’t help but smile. It’s a natural body reaction to love!
When You Know, You Know
At the end of the day, you know yourself best. Listen to your heart and what it’s telling you. Chances are if you clicked on this article, you’re already starting to question if you’re in love or not. It might feel scary, but don’t let fear hold you back. Love is a beautiful and powerful thing and we all deserve to love and to be loved.
When you know, you know. Love is not a math equation to be solved, it just...is. If you’re feeling as if you might be in love, press into that feeling. Examine yourself and your own feelings and evaluate your and your partner’s relationship.
Look for any of the above signs and pay attention if you’re doing any of them, and if you are struggling to sort through your feelings, consider speaking to a clinical psychologist or relationship coach.
Chances are that if you’re thinking of them constantly, it feels easy to be with them, you want them to know your family, you’re planning for the future with them, you’re more than willing to sacrifice for them, you catch yourself almost saying “I love you” all the time, you’re growing into a better person, you feel as if they’re a safe place, you see their flaws and celebrate them, you want to shower them with gifts, and their happiness reflects your own...it means love is in the air!