How Do You Know When You're Falling In Love?
Updated: Jun 16
“Love is magical,” at the very least that is how the late great MJ felt. So magical that it left him speechless...speechless (if you’re an MJ fan I know you’re singing with me).
There is a lot to be said about love and the reviews are mostly positive. We’ve heard of the butterflies in the stomach and the sudden weakness in the knees, but are those really the tell-tale signs of love?
There’s a difference between being in love and being “in heat”. So how do you know when you’re falling in love? How can you know when you have found the one?
Love is a verb. This is the first place movies and love songs go wrong. Love is generally portrayed as a noun; something to look for and something to find. Nope. Love is not a thing you hold, it’s a thing you do. You can tell that you’re starting to love someone or are “falling in love” when:
You consider your partner’s feelings
It’s easy to consider someone’s feelings when they’re right in front of you. You’re mindful of your words and your actions because they’re right there. That’s great, and it’s good manners but it’s not always a sign of love. If you find that you’re considering their feelings when they’re not around then you’re on to something there. If you have the opportunity to do something that they may never even find out about but you pause to consider how it would bother them or hurt them if they ever did, you my friend have love roots sprouting in your heart. A foundational ingredient in the recipe of love is respect. Respect stirs you to protect your partner’s heart and feelings.
You become comfortable with giving
A selfish love is non-existent. It is vanity, manipulation and a pound of baloney. A lover’s heart is a giver’s heart. In addition to being comfortable with giving, you are not worried about being manipulated or taken advantage of by your partner. If you are only concerned about yourself getting ahead and not helping your partner or making their life less stressful then you’re not in love.
You celebrate their victories
It’s okay to have a bit of healthy competition within your relationship. I’m all for it, but if you can look at your partner’s victory or a great thing that happened in their life, and feel genuine joy for them without a trace of jealousy or ill-will then that’s a great sign.
You mourn their losses
On the flip side, if seeing them hurting in any way hurts you too then you might just be human. If you go into problem-solving mode over their problems and mourn their losses with them, then that’s a whole other thing and it is also a great sign.
You’re at peace in their presence
People can be quite stressful (no tea, no shade, no pink lemonade). If you work a 9-5 you know exactly what I mean! If being around your partner gives you peace, makes you feel at home and helps you feel secure, then you may just be tumbling down the pink brick road to love.
You’re comfortable being your true self
In the early stages of a relationship many people become Academy Award-worthy actors and actresses. It’s like being in a long-term job interview. We try to say the right words and look the right way and do the right things, and sit properly and shave and shower and sheesh! If you get to that point in your relationship where you start to be 100% your crazy/ wild/ worried/ messy/ shady/ O.C.D/ boring/ bubbly/ psycho self, then you might be falling in love.
Honesty is a big part of human relationships and it is an essential ingredient for a successful romantic relationship. When you get to the point that you can be open and honest and more importantly, you want to be honest because it means something to you that this person is not deceived by anyone, especially you, then you’re pretty sprung.
You can apologize
“I’m sorry” may not be the easiest thing for everyone to say. There is something beautiful about a sincere apology that communicates consideration and love. When you can apologize for something that you’ve done wrong, you know that you value that person. When you get to that place of maturity where you realize that in any situation it is rare that you’ll find that one person is 100% wrong and you decide that for the sake of respect and preserving your relationship you apologize, then that’s another tell. It is possible to love someone without liking them very much in the moment, but when you get to that level then there’s no question that you’ve fallen...hard.
You can discuss issues in your relationship
Another step up from apologizing is taking steps to work out the issues. Sure, sometimes we’re going to put ourselves on an adult time-out. You may need space but you don’t let it drag out for so long that it bruises the relationship. Your focus is on addressing the issue, apologizing for what happened and moving forward together. That sounds like love to me.
I hope I haven’t completely shattered your views on love, but if I have, you’re very welcome. Love is awesome when it is understood and it can stand the test of time. Love is a principle that never changes and a verb that never stops “doing”.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” - Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches