People experience love in different ways. Marriage counselor Gary Chapman explained this well by breaking down the ways people experience love into five distinct styles. He calls these five styles love languages, which include the following:
- Words of Affirmation – Voicing your appreciation for something your partner does
- Acts of Service – Doing things for your partner
- Receiving Gifts – Giving meaningful gifts
- Quality Time – Giving undivided attention
- Physical Touch – Touching, kissing, embracing, and sex
Once you know what your love language is and what your partner’s love language is, you can show your partner love in his love language, and you can request that he show you love in your love language.
Besides your love language, you can experience love in many other ways. You might not even recognize the signs and wonder what love feels like. So we’ve listed some of the ways for you. Here are nine ways you can feel romantic love for your partner:
- IMMEDIATE BUTTERFLIES
When you wonder what love feels like, it might best be described as butterflies, that feeling you get in your stomach when the guy you love is near you. When you see him for the first time and you get butterflies, don’t ignore that sign. Those butterflies you feel are actually your hormones on overdrive. Besides that butterfly feeling, you might also feel euphoric and even out of control. When you feel romantic love for someone, adrenaline (which causes exhilaration) and serotonin (the feel-good hormone) increase.
- FEELINGS OF AWE
When you spend time with the man you love, are in awe of him, and aren’t interested in anyone else, you’re experiencing romantic love. You feel as if your partner is unique, and you can’t imagine feeling passion for anyone else. You focus on his positive qualities and think he’s perfect. You might also daydream of him when he’s not with you or hang onto a memento that reminds you of him, such as the movie stub from your last date. So in this case, love feels like awe.
- MIXED EMOTIONS
Love feels like many emotions. Along with all the good feelings you have when you’ve just fallen in love comes uncertainty. You likely feel exhilarated and happy, but you also might have difficulty sleeping, experience a loss of appetite, and become panicked and anxious if even the smallest thing goes wrong.
Note how all these behaviors can also be attributed to drug addicts. The feeling of being in love is often described as being addicted, and you may want to make him addicted to you too.
Love feels like exhaustion in the early stages of falling in love. All that adrenaline keeps you energized, but you can’t keep that up forever, and you might eventually start to feel exhausted. Combine that with all the energy you’re putting into your new love relationship, both in time spent with him and in time spent thinking about him, and you might just start to feel tired. You might even long for the relationship to be finalized through commitment so you can finally rest.
- FEELING PAIN WHEN HE DOES
You’ve probably heard someone say, “I feel your pain.” It usually means they can empathize with whatever you are going through. When you love someone and he feels sad about something, you’ll probably feel sad, too. And you won’t just feel compassion for him; you’ll truly feel sadness because you are so in tune with him.
- FEELING COMPLETE WHEN TOGETHER
Although everyone is perfectly capable of being a complete person without a man in their life, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s romantic to have your guy tell you that you complete him. You might be satisfied with your life without having a man in it, but having found the love of your life can truly make you feel complete.
The key to feeling complete when together is to not expect a man to fill your needs. You need to be a complete person on your own, and then your man can share your life with you. The two of you, just by being together, are stronger and bigger than you are alone, and this is how love feels like completeness.
- SEX FEELS DIFFERENT
Having sex and making love might involve the same sexual acts, but the emotional experiences differ. When you’re making love, you’re having sex. But when you’re having sex, you’re not necessarily making love.
When you’re having sex, you might not have any further end in mind but to have sexual pleasure. Having sex is usually done for self-interest: you desire to touch and be touched with someone, so you have sex. As soon as the sex is over, you’re not really interested in that person anymore … until the next time you want sex.
When you make love, you both lose yourselves to the other. Making love unites two people. It makes two people into one. When you make love, you surrender yourself to your partner, and your partner surrenders himself to you. Here, love feels as if you are both one person. That connection is key to amazing sex.
It’s possible to be in love and to have sex without making love, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you just want sex without the romance.
- A BROKEN HEART
The pain you feel when your love is not reciprocated is often called a broken heart. And a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that people really do feel pain in their heart when they break up or when they realize the other partner doesn’t share the same intense feelings.
When you have a broken heart, besides the emotional pain you’ll experience, you’ll also need to deal with physiological symptoms. You might not be able to sleep well, you might lose your appetite (or you might overeat), your heart rate and body temperature might change, and your immune system might be compromised while you are going through a break up.
- LOVE AFTER SPENDING YEARS TOGETHER
There’s no doubt that love changes over time. Love feels different after you’ve been together for many years, but this love can still be incredible. Don’t be surprised, however, if you don’t hear the magic words, “I love you,” anymore after you’ve been together for 10 years or so. A study undertaken by YouGov shows that only 33 percent of people say “I love you” at the relationship’s 10-year point. And one in five people say that they are no longer “in love.” But that doesn’t mean those couples don’t still have love for each other or that you shouldn’t say “I love you” if you mean it.
Love morphs into different phases. Love feels like passion and lust at first, and then it cools off after a while. But in strong relationships, that phase changes to something else, like a partnership. The next phase brings attachment and security. In fact, a relationship that never progresses from infatuation to attachment might indicate a problem, such as insecurity.
The attachment phase is more of a feeling of not wanting to live without the other person. It’s still an incredible love feeling, just a different one.
People experience love differently, but there are shared characteristics as well. We hope you’ve already experienced what love feels like and if not then remember that the only way you’ll truly know what it feels like is to go through the experience yourself.