The idea of love surrounds you everyday, blasting from the radio and TV almost constantly. But as anyone who has been in love can tell you, love is not as simple as it often portrayed in the media. What it means to be in love will change from person to person, but that doesn't mean that there aren't some feelings that are common in all kinds of love. While you ultimately need to look inside yourself to find the answers, there are some clues as to what it means to fall in love.
Method 1 of 3:Knowing You Are in Love
1Know that you focus on someone else's happiness, not just your own, when you are in love. Being in love is about connecting with another person emotionally, caring for their happiness as if it was your own. When you love someone their fate becomes intertwined with yours. You may feel sad when they cry, get angry when they are hurt, and celebrate with their successes.
If you can't wait to share good news with them or hear about their day, love is likely growing.
This does not, however, mean that love is completely selfless. You should feel the same connection coming back to you as well.
2Know that you do not need to share all the same interests to be in love. You do not have to like all of the same things in order to love someone. In many cases, having differences allows your love to grow, as you share and teach each other parts about yourself that the other person never knew. Disliking someone's taste in music, for example, does not mean that you cannot love them.
Judgement, anger, or disrespect for each other's interests, however, may prevent love from really growing.
3Be yourself with the person you love and love them for being themselves as well. When you allow someone to be exactly as they are, without any belief that they aren't good enough, without any belief that they would be “better” if they were different, you're in love. Loving someone is about accepting them as they are, loving them despite, or even because of, their faults. No one is perfect, but they don't have to be for you to love them.
You may even learn more about yourself with this person, as loving them helps reveal truths about you that you might not have noticed before.
If your love is dependent upon the other person acting and speaking how you want, then your feelings are conditional. We often confuse this with love, but this is just positive thoughts about someone. This is loving what a person says or does, not loving them.
4Know you may feel"addicted"to them when they aren't around. This is not just a turn of phrase: being in love actually changes your brain chemistry to"reward"you when they are in your life. If you are constantly thinking about them, missing them when they are gone, and finding ways to stay in contact with each other, love is likely blooming.
This should be different, however, from obsession, when you think of them so much you cannot function on a day-to-day basis.
This desire to be with someone sometimes manifests itself as a fear of losing them, which is a natural part of love.
5Know that loving someone doesn't mean you never fight. Love in the real world, contrary to movies and TV, is not eternal sunshine and rainbows. Even people deeply in love will fight and argue, from parents and children to happily married couples. However, loving someone is about appreciating them even when you disagree. Little arguments and fights don't push you apart, and you are able to work back to a common ground through careful communication. Even when you're angry or upset with them, you still love them, and these fights can often make you closer.
Love doesn't go away in an instant after one bad day. It may fade eventually, but it takes a lot of time. Love is a feeling, not an action, so don't look at what you're doing as much as what your feeling or thinking about.
6Ask yourself what love means to you. Everyone has different needs and wants in a relationship, and that leads everyone to a different definition of love. What do you need in a friend or lover? What do you offer? Have you ever felt like you were in love, and what did it feel like?
Love changes and grows with age: 20-somethings who just moved in together may have a different definition than a couple celebrating their 50th anniversary. This doesn't mean, however, that both couples don't love each other.
If you feel like you are in love, and the feeling lasts several weeks or months, you are likely in love.EXPERT TIP
Eric A. Samuels, PsyDClinical PsychologistEric A. Samuels, Psy.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice in San Francisco and Oakland, California. He received a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Wright Institute in 2016 and is a member of the American Psychological Association and Gaylesta, the Psychotherapist Association for Gender and Sexual Diversity. Eric specializes in working with men, young adults, and people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.Eric A. Samuels, PsyDClinical Psychologist
According to a Psychologist: To love someone means to really care about that person, to be enamored by them and to really want to get to know them. Love can be platonic or romantic, but it means to understand who that person is and cherish them for it.
7Know that love takes time to develop. Love at first sight, though romantic, is not a real phenomenon. Attraction happens quickly, as does infatuation, but love takes time to develop. Love is based on an understanding of the other person emotionally and socially, and such an understanding cannot be rushed.
There is no"right"amount of time to fall in love, but you do need to be with someone long enough to feel like you understand them.
8Remember that not all love is romantic. Love is not just about sexual attraction or romance. Most people will happily admit that they love their families and best friends. Love is based on a deep relationship, a connection that lets you know you can trust someone completely. You understand them and they understand you -- not perfectly, but enough that you feel invested in each other's lives and happiness.Score0 / 0
Method 1 Quiz
Why should you love your partner for who they are?
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Method 2 of 3:Keeping Your Love Alive
1Let the person know that you will always be there for them, no matter what. If they're having problems or are upset, show them that you care. Just listening to someone's concerns is often enough to assure them that you care. You don't need to fix all of your loved one's problems, you just need to be there for the bad times as well as the good.
2Schedule time to be together frequently. When you're in love with someone, spending time with them is not a chore or stress. You'll want to be with them, so making time to do activities together is no problem. Find things you love doing together and make time to do them -- the people you love should be a naturally high priority on your schedule.
Spend time talking together, not just doing activities. You need to be able to listen and share your thoughts in order to maintain love and trust.
3Compromise on arguments and decisions. You are not always right, and neither is your loved one. Being in love is about remembering how important you are together, not always trying to end up on top. While you should stay true to yourself, being in love means taking their point of view into account as well as yours.
What is there side of the story? Is there something you didn't realize?
Are you mad because of something that happened, or because you got too caught up in the argument?
Do you still love and respect them? This is more important than a"winner"of any argument.
4Build trust together. Loving someone requires a degree of vulnerability. You have to be willing to open up about yourself, sharing the good times and asking for support during the bad. This, though difficult at first, is crucial to having a happy, loving relationship. Trusting each other deepens your bond together and allows you to grow and evolve, and your love will evolve accordingly. You need to know what your partner wants and needs, and they need to know you, in order to keep your love alive.
Trust is not just about talking, it is about listening carefully.
Be open and honest about your schedule and life. Hiding things often leads to painful reveals later on.
5Take care of yourself, by maintaining your own life and happiness outside of your loved one. You need, above all, to take care of yourself in order to take care of someone else. Try not to"lose"yourself by neglecting your friends or old hobbies once you fall in love. Remember, being in love does not mean you do everything together, it means you respect each other for who you are. Some healthy ideas include:
Take some occasional time apart-- if you are in love, it will not be destroyed by a few weeks alone.
Hang out with your friends, especially friends from before the relationship began. These friendships are not unimportant now that you're in love.
Develop personal hobbies or interests that you can eventually share or use to have"me"time when you need a moment to relax.
6Remain affectionate with each other. Just because you've been together for a while does not mean that a hug, a kiss, or a nice letter sent to each other can't keep the bonds of love strong. Remember that love takes effort to maintain, but it shouldn't be hard. Show your love and affection from time to time to keep the love alive.
7Break up your routines from time to time. Predictability is the bane of many relationships, as you fall into a groove and feel"trapped"or upset. A degree of surprise is essential to keep your love going strong, but that doesn't mean you need to shake everything up every few months. A few surprises here and there shows that you care enough about each other to spice things up and think about each other.
Take a vacation, even if just for a long weekend.
Make time to see each other once a week, but make it somewhere new each time.
Go to a class or seminar together to pick up a new hobby.
Make new friends by inviting other couples over for drinks or dinner.
Start a project together, like a book, garden, painting, etc.
8Limit any jealous feelings by staying happy for your partner. It is natural and acceptable to feel jealous at times. However, when one loves another, jealousy doesn't take up too much space in the heart. If the other finds a new romantic partner, gets their dream job, or is a better cook than you, you should take pride in their happiness. Feelings of anger or jealousy are natural, but they should not overshadow your relationship. A part of you should be genuinely happy for the other one's life successes.
Jealousy is actually healthy in small amounts -- it becomes dangerous, however, when it morphs into suspicion.Score0 / 0
Method 2 Quiz
What should you do if you feel jealous of your partner?
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Method 3 of 3:Determining When You've Fallen Out of Love
1Know that, sometimes, love fades naturally. Not all love can last. Whether it is because you are fighting more often than usual, life moves you apart, or your interests slowly drift away, some couples fall out of love. The spark cannot stay alive always, and though it hurts to break off a loving relationship, sometimes it is for the best.
2Know that you should want to spend time together, not feel obligated. Love is not an obligation. You should want to willingly spend free time with someone you love, and if you do not you need to examine why things are different now. Do you just need some time alone, or is there a more serious issue in your relationship?
Everyone has times they hope to be alone, but this is different from constantly ignoring or regretting the time with the one you love.
You should never feel exhausted or sad after spending time together.
3Know that making plans without thinking about your partner is an early sign that you are losing love. This is not about planning what to do for lunch, but bigger life goals. If you begin prioritizing your life without thinking about where your partner fits into the picture, you've lost the feelings of commitment necessary to stay in love. Being in love with someone means they are on your mind and a part of your foreseeable future.
4Notice if signs of intimacy or affection have faded. This is true of all love, romantic and otherwise. If you no longer want to touch, tell each other what you enjoy about each other, be near each other, or have a conversation, then something is up. Again, these things are easy when you are in love, but can feel strained or even embarrassing when your love fades.
5End a relationship if you don't feel like you love someone anymore. It is often as simple as asking yourself,"Do I feel in love anymore?"You might not be able to point to a reason or flaw that caused you to fall out of love, but this is an unfortunate fact of life. People grow and change, and sometimes they grow apart. While you may still like the person, the love may be gone, and it is unlikely to come back once it has faded.
It may be hard to break-up with someone, but trying to fake or force your love will only lead to more pain down the road.Score0 / 0
Method 3 Quiz
How can you tell that you've fallen out of love?
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