Being in love — there’s nothing like it. So how do you know if you’re in love if you’ve never before experienced it? There are telltale signs to look for, which we can explain to you. And then, once you realize you’re in love, you’ll need to decide what to do about it.
CLASSIC SIGNS OF BEING IN LOVE
CAN ONLY THINK OF HIM
When you ask yourself, “Am I in love?” one of the first ways to tell is whether you can’t stop thinking of him. No matter where you are — school, work, out with friends — all you can do is think of him. Every time you start to concentrate on something else, your thoughts keep circling back to him, wishing you were with him right now instead of doing whatever it is you’re currently doing. In a nutshell — you’re obsessed with him, and serotonin may be to blame .
YOU THINK ONLY OF HIS POSITIVE TRAITS
Are you in love when you think of how great he is? The answer is that this is an early sign. When you’re in love, you focus on the great things about him. You also tend to overlook anything negative.
This helps you fall in love by making you feel good. All the positive thoughts you’re having also cause you to want to be with him and to learn everything about him. His positive traits might also bring out the best in you. It’s in this environment of positivity that a relationship can build.
Related: What Does Love Feel Like
IMAGINING THE FUTURE WITH HIM
“One day I am going to wake up, roll over on my side, and kiss the love of my life good morning.” This popular quote sums up the feeling of imagining the future with your love and can answer the question, “Am I in love?” When you’re in love, you imagine you and your love getting married and growing old together. You might doodle your first name together with his last.
You also want to know if he imagines a future with you; otherwise, you won’t be happy or secure in the relationship.
WANTING TO MAKE HIM HAPPY
Are you in love when you want to make someone happy? Probably. You’ll want to make him happy when you’re in love, and you feel as if you’d do anything for him. When you see him smile, you’ll feel good. So do something sweet for him, just because, or let him know how great you think he is.
Making him happy is one way you can show your love for him.
YOU FEEL SAFE WITH HIM
There’s a feeling of safety, of being yourself, when you’re in love with someone. And you need to feel safe to be vulnerable, which allows you and your lover to become intimate with each other. Feeling safe means you feel as if he loves you. You feel good, confident, inspired, peaceful, and happy around him, all of which lead to you feeling safe with him.
YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH HIM
Are you in love when you want to share with him? This is definitely a sign. When you’re falling in love, you want to share all your hopes, dreams, aspirations, and goals with him. Doing these things leads to intimacy.
You’ll also want to share your love with him, which you might do with some of these love quotes.
YOU STOP LOOKING FOR SOMEONE BETTER
When you’re truly in love, you no longer have the drive to keep looking for someone else, which makes this an easy way to answer the question, “Am I in love?” You might be dating other people, but as soon as your feelings of love for him grow, you will no longer be interested in anyone else. And with that feeling you have, you also don’t want him dating anyone else, either.
With love also comes jealousy if you don’t trust him or if you suspect him of seeing someone else. Love generally means you are both exclusive with each other.
BEING IN LOVE IS A CHEMICAL COCKTAIL
Being in love releases oxytocin, the feel good, or the love, hormone. So chemicals are actually involved when you’re in love (and first love is especially potent!). You experience highs when you see, talk to, and spend time with him, and you have withdrawal-like feelings when you don’t. Your emotions are simply all over the place when you’re in love. You might be euphoric one moment and anxious or panicked the next.
Hey, did you know that oxytocin isn’t the only hormone that is swirling around your brain during these times? Learn about dopamine, adrenaline and other brain chemicals that come into play when you’re attracted to or in love with someone in this post.
YOU LOVE HIM AND NOT JUST THE IDEA OF HIM
When you admire a celebrity, you might feel as if you love him. But what you really love is the idea of him — what you imagine he’s like and what it would be like to be with him. Just because you think something, however, doesn’t make it true. You are in love with the idea of someone if you don’t really know them. This also applies to a guy you’re crushing on.
To love him and not just who you think he is, you need to get to know him. You might find he’s not the person you thought he was. Or you might find that the more you learn about him, the more you love him. You love him and not just the idea of him when you start to build a relationship, which leads to intimacy. More on that here.
YOU WANT HIM TO BE HAPPY
Even if it’s not with you. This is a tough one, but you’ve got to ditch the ego. When you’re doing things to make him happy, those things don’t always involve you. When you love someone, you’ll be happy if he gets an opportunity that he’s always wanted, for example, even if this opportunity will take him away from you. You’ll want to find a way to make it work to be with someone you love.
Check out these 15 signs that you’re in love, too.
YOU’RE IN LOVE, NOW WHAT?
Realizing you’re in love with your man can be great. Telling him is an important milestone. He might not say it back right away. Or, in some cases, you shouldn’t tell him at all.
LOVE CAN EASILY BE CONFUSED WITH LUST
In the beginning, it’s difficult to distinguish love from lust. And it’s hard to know whether you want more than sex. But interestingly enough, scientists know. They’ve discovered that a brain in love looks different from one in lust. A brain in love looks almost like a brain of a person addicted to drugs  .
Related: Limerence or Love?
You probably won’t even know if you’re in love or lust until some time has passed. If you’re in love, you will start to form an attachment to him, which won’t happen if what you’re feeling is only lust. This is one reason it’s better to wait to declare your love for him until you’re sure that you really are in love.
HE MIGHT BE THE WRONG PERSON
You might be in love, but he might not be the right person for you. You need to ask yourself what it would be like to be with him. Is he abusive manipulative, or selfish? Maybe you picked a guy for all the wrong reasons because your subconscious keeps drawing you to the wrong type of guy, usually to a type that feels familiar to you.
You need to change the way you pick men so that you can stop picking the wrong types. If you keep picking the wrong types, notice what you are doing before you pick that type again. You need to break the pattern. You’re not alone, however. Check out the 6 types of relationships every woman gets into.
Ask yourself what sort of guy you’d like to have, and make a conscious decision to go out with him. You might not feel the initial chemistry that you feel with the wrong guy, but that’s okay. You’re training yourself to fall for the right guy this time. You might not find him the first time you try. But know that the guy you pick should make you feel good, secure, and happy.
JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE IN LOVE DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD TELL HIM
He might be taken. In this case, it might be better to love him from afar. If he’s unavailable, don’t complicate everyone’s life by inserting yourself where you don’t belong, especially if he’s married with a family (check out our advice for when you’re in love with a married man here). If you tell an unavailable man that you love him and then give him an ultimatum to leave the person he’s with or you’ll leave, your relationship would not have started from a good place.
And if he’s been cheating on someone to be with you, then don’t be surprised if he cheats on you down the road.
Another reason you might not want to tell him you love him is if you’ve been friends for a long time. By doing so, you might be risking the friendship. If he doesn’t share those feelings, it will be awkward and uncomfortable for him to hang out with you as friends after you’ve declared your love for him. Learn how to deal with unrequited love.
But sometimes it can work. Read more.
YOU CAN LOVE SOMEONE BUT NOT BE IN LOVE
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.” If someone says that to you, it can hurt. But you can also feel that way about someone, too. So what’s the difference between loving someone and being in love?
This usually happens with people who have known each other for a while. It could be the case if you are friends with a guy who has declared his love for you, but you don’t share that love. You might let him know that you love him as a friend but not as someone you will share your life with.
Being in love is exhilarating, terrifying, and overwhelming. It can also be the best time of your life, so enjoy it if you can. Now you can ask yourself, “Am I in love?” and will know how to answer it.