In the wide range of human emotions, love may be the most confusing of all. Everyone experiences it differently, but for many there is a tumble and tangle of fear, excitement, longing, desire, bliss and joy. With so many elements at play, it’s no surprise that love is hard to recognize when it pops up. Luckily, there are some signs to look for that may help you untangle your emotions. If you are wondering, “Do I love him?” start asking yourself these questions.
1. Do I think about him throughout the day? – If you find yourself daydreaming about how cute he is while you should be concentrating on your email, laughing at a joke he told you while you are driving, or reminiscing about your latest date while you shower, it’s time to ask yourself, “Do I love him?” When you love someone, they invade your thoughts, even when they aren’t around. You may notice yourself focused on that special guy so much that it distracts you from work, school and all the other things going on in your life.
2. Do I compare other guys to him? – The man you love will set a new standard for everyone else. If you love him, you might find yourself thinking that your ex-boyfriends weren’t nearly as patient, kind, funny, or sexy as your current sweetie. You’ll also compare any new guys you meet to him, but the bar will be set so high that they will never live up to him — even if he’s just someone you love from afar.
3. Can I see a future with this guy? – When you are single, or even casually dating, everything can center on yourself. From your career choices and how you spend money to where you live and how often you travel, your choices are yours to make, alone. But, when you fall in love, there is someone else to consider. Your future doesn’t belong to you alone, but to the two of you together. If that thought makes you feel hopeful and happy, you may be in love with him.
4. Would I be willing to compromise with this guy? – Even deep, true love isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it may seem like you can’t agree on anything. But, when you ask yourself if you love him, consider whether you can move past little differences through compromise. Meeting in the middle by giving up a little of what you desire so that your partner can have some of what they need shows a commitment to making a relationship work, long term. But, if you need to cling to your own desires, while they give, your feeling for him may not be that deep.
5. Do I tell my friends how much I like this guy? – If you can’t stop gushing about your amazing man, you are right to wonder if you love him. Not only are you so enamored that you want to talk about him all the time, you also really want your friends to love him as much as you do. It’s normal to want your pals to rally around you and support you as you explore your new love, and bragging about him nonstop is sure to get their attention. Plus, falling in love is exciting, which will probably lead to even more blabbering. You might find yourself talking about him so much that even your friends will start asking, “Do you love him?”
6. Is he the best part of my day? – When you are in love, it’s hard to top the time you spend together. Whether you are out shopping for the perfect new outfit or enjoying happy hour together, you might find yourself wishing you were with him instead. Even just talking to him on the phone may turn out to be the bright spot in your day, and when you are together, there is nowhere else you would rather be.
7. Do I want to be a better person for him? – Even if you are perfectly content with your life and who you are, falling in love often has the magical ability to make us want to improve and perfect things. Perhaps you are suddenly focused on raising your credit score or you are hitting the gym more often. It may be because you want to impress him, or because you want to make things easier for him and improve the future you can have together. Either way, a sudden urge for self-improvement may be a sign that you are in love with him.
8. Is this the kind of guy I could marry? – You probably have a mental list of the qualities your future husband should have. These are the things that you believe will pave the way to your happily-ever-after. If you think you might be falling in love, consider if you can really see yourself exchanging vows and spending a lifetime together. If the answer is no, what you are feeling might be lust or infatuation. But, if you can see marriage, babies, shared dreams, mortgages and growing old together, then it might be the real deal.
9. Do I prioritize his needs? – When you were a single girl, you only needed to worry about caring for yourself. You could arrange your own schedule, cook the meals you like and go to bed whenever you wanted. But, as you fall in love, you may find yourself worrying about his needs as well, sometimes even more than your own. Maybe you are willing to go out of your way to run an errand for him, or to skip the late-night party because he needs to get up early for work. Prioritizing his needs might even spill over into the bedroom, where you may find yourself willing to try something different just to make him feel good.
Not everyone will experience the same signs of love, but asking yourself these questions may give you a better idea of how you really feel, and prepare you to tell him those three little words. Maybe your experience will be quieter, without proclaiming it to everyone. Perhaps, you won’t think about him nonstop, or maybe you compare others to him. Everyone’s love story is different. Getting a perfect score on these questions isn’t necessary. But, if you answered “Yes” to most of them, you are probably in love with him and he might love you, too!