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Are you In Love? The Clear Signs You’re Past Lust & Really In Love

When you meet someone and feelings start to develop, it can be confusing. Are you in love or infatuated? Let’s understand what it is you’re really feeling.

are you in love

Love is a weird and wonderful thing. For sure, once established, it’s great to be in love but when you’re not totally sure what you’re feeling, it can be hard to know how to act or what to say. After all, are they on the same page as you? Are you feeling lust instead of love? There are many questions to answer! Are you in love? Only you can answer that, but first, you need to understand how it feels and how to tell.

For sure, we spend most of our lives looking for love and when we have it, there’s always a bunch of questions that pop up. Am I ready? Do they really love me? Are you in love for real? Do I see them in my future?

The list goes on and on. Yet, we want this agony! We long to go through these personal dilemmas in the name of love. So, if you’re feeling something and you’re keen to put a label on it, let’s address the situation.

[Read: What does love feel like? 24 feelings you can’t deny]

How is love different from lust?

First, let’s explore this very important comparison. Love is different from lust. They feel very powerful and almost the same in the first initial stages but they mean very different things.

Lust is about the physical. It’s that feeling of wanting to rip off your partner’s clothes and get it on. It’s often something we all experience at the start of a crush or relationship. Sometimes it turns into love, sometimes it fizzles out and goes nowhere.

Now love, that’s different from lust completely. Love is about emotions and desires that go beyond the physical. For sure, you probably want to have sex when you’re in love and you might experience both love and lust at the first time initially, but when the sexual attraction starts to die down just a little and you still feel something, that’s love. [Read: 15 ways you’ll experience what love really feels like]

Love is about caring for the other person’s wellbeing and wanting them to be the best version of themselves. You’re attracted to them, but it’s not the be all and end all of your relationship.

Now you know the differences between love and lust, you can work out are you in love or not.

[Read: Lust vs love – 10 signs you’re feeling lust and not love]

If you’re still in the early staging of dating, or you’re finding yourself falling for someone, perhaps, “love” is the wrong word to use, and you’re better off calling it “like” because you can’t really be in love with someone without getting to know them. So if you’re wondering if you “like” someone very, very, very, much, perhaps you should take a look at this feature on how to tell if you like someone – 30 symptoms you SHOULD be feeling right this second!

Are you in love?

There may have been many times when you thought you were in love, but you simply liked the idea of that person. Maybe you liked the idea of falling in love with someone you met at a music festival or dating someone who met you under a tree in the pouring rain. But was that true love? Probably not.

If you find yourself wondering, are you in love, it’s a good question to ask. Because love isn’t an easy emotion to deal with. And if you thought love was hard—this is only the beginning. Here are a few more things you need to ask yourself and signs that you really are experiencing the big L.

1. You think this person is different from the rest

To you, this person is literally the best thing walking this earth. You don’t see anyone else aside from your partner. This is a feeling strongly correlated to being in love.

If you don’t see anyone else with romantic eyes, perhaps you caught the love bug. [Read: The 22 real signs of true love to know if what you’re feeling is real]

2. You only see the positives

Do they have any flaws? Trust us, they do. Right now, you only look at their beautiful qualities. When you’re in love, you tend to overlook the negative attributes of people, focusing on only the good.

When you think about them, you’re smiling and daydreaming of seeing them again. That doesn’t mean you’ll never see their flaws or acknowledge them, but you accept them as being a flawed person – just like you. We all are! [Read: 9 new relationships tips to avoid the common mistakes new lovers make]

3. Your emotions don’t feel completely stable at the start

Love isn’t all puppies and rainbows. You probably think you’re losing your mind, almost like being drunk, sometimes. You hit both sides of the spectrum: joy, giddiness, exhilaration. But then, something small happens, you feel extreme anxiety and sadness.

While love shouldn’t feel like a constant extreme rollercoaster of emotions, at times it will do. It should be quite calm and gentle most of the time, but at the start, you can expect a bumpy ride of sorts!

4. They’re always on your mind

You eat, sleep, and work with them floating around in your head. This is called intrusive thinking and is actually a form of obsessive behavior, believe it or not.

Now, this behavior could be an issue if you find yourself unable to redirect yourself from obsessive thoughts. But don’t worry too much because everyone experiences this at the start of a new relationship.

If you find it hard to extract yourself from it and it’s taking over your life, however, that is when you need to take action and step back a little. [Read: 33 steps to stop thinking about someone you like but can’t have]

5. You spend most of your time with them

When you’re in love, you invest all of your time in being next to the person. You find yourself spending more time with them, distancing yourself from your friends.

In the beginning, this is somewhat normal. People always joke around about having their friends stolen by their girlfriends/boyfriends, because it’s true.

Of course, it should even itself out and you should find balance. It’s never a good thing to become codependent upon a partner, so always make sure that you find time for yourself and your friends. [Read: 19 sure signs of falling in love you just can’t ignore]

6. You defend your partner

If your friends say something negative about your partner, you defend them.

Regardless of whether you think your friends are right or not, you stand by your partner’s side. It’s admirable, but do remember that your partner is a normal human being and that means they can be wrong sometimes!

7. You don’t think about your ex

You may have seen that your ex has a new partner or is engaged, but you don’t care. In fact, you were happy for them which is an unusual reaction for you.

And now that you have this new partner, you aren’t looking back at your past with regrets. That’s because you’ve found someone to distract you and who has forced you to start thinking of the future. But, enjoy the present and see where it leads. [Read: How to get over your ex in a healthy way for your future]

8. You can’t help but think about the future

You never thought you would be thinking about the future, but now, you think about your future with your partner. Moving in with them, maybe getting married.

If you’re in love, you’re thinking about forever and that’s a wonderful feeling of hope and excitement. However, as we just mentioned, don’t forget to stay in the present as much as you can and not allow your ‘head in the clouds’ state of mind to stop you from enjoying the things you do together right now.

9. You can almost feel their emotions

When you’re in love, you feel extreme empathy towards your partner. If they’re happy, you’re happy. When they’re sad, you feel their pain. This shows a deeper emotional connection between you and your partner.

It could also be that maybe you’re an empath – someone who absorbs the emotions of others and takes them on as their own.

Either way, even if this isn’t the case for you, you’re likely to pick up on small changes in your partner’s mood because you’re so closely attuned to them. Are you in love? Probably so! [Read: The 15 traits of selfless love and what sets it apart from selfish love]

10. You like what they like

They like doing things that you love to do and vice versa. When you’re in love, people tend to align their interests with their partners.

Basically, you start to mimic each other. You start dressing the same, having similar habits, and behaving the same. Remember to hold on to who you were before you met this person and still enjoy the things you used to love then. For sure, you can enjoy new pastimes learned from your partner, but don’t forget who you were before.

11. You can’t help but be a little possessive

You do not want anyone else to even remotely glance at your partner. When in love, we only have eyes for our partners. But with that, we can also become extremely jealous and possessive of them.

This is due to our emotional bond with them and our fear of losing them. But you won’t lose them, they love you. So, pipe down and stop being so possessive! [Read: How to deal with jealousy in a relationship and learn to overcome it]

12. There is crazy sexual chemistry

At least at first. You want to have sex with them all the time. If you had it your way, you would quit your job and live in bed with them. Don’t do that, you need to pay your rent.

But the point is, your emotional connection makes you want to always have intimacy with them. This is why the first couple of months are called the honeymoon phase. Of course, that does tend to temper down a little but there will always be that attraction between you. [Read: The honeymoon phase and how long it takes before you love starts to mellow down]

13. You remember all the small things

It’s likely you know what their favorite ice cream flavor is, what their favorite band is, and where their dream vacation would be.

You keep note of everything and when you can, you surprise them with the shirt they wanted to buy or their favorite cake. You’re not doing this to win them over, you’re doing this because it makes you feel good to see them happy.

But, do remember that this should be a two-way thing! They should be surprising you in the same way occasionally. [Read: How to pull back in a relationship when you’re the only one giving too much]

Are you in love? Remember that love takes time

You may be able to say that yes, you are in love, after reading these signs. Or, you might still be a little on the fence about it and not totally sure what you feel. Don’t stress! Love takes time and if it’s worth it, you shouldn’t rush.

They say that ‘when you know, you know’ but in the case of love, it can sometimes be a little more complicated than that.

You see, everyone loves a little differently. Some people show their affection very clearly and in an outward manner, while other people are a little more inward and show their love smaller way. Neither option is wrong, it just comes down to understanding your partner and knowing your own heart. [Read: When should you say “I love you” for the first time?]

If you are in love, great! Allow your connection to deepen with time and don’t feel pressured into rushing to hit so-called societal milestones. Allow your relationship to go where you both want it to go.

But, if you’re not in love, that’s fine too. Maybe this isn’t your person. Perhaps you want to spend a bit more time on your own and focus on yourself for a while.

Love often comes at the most unexpected time, but when it does, it’s wonderful.

[Read: What does it feel like to actually be in love – Is it as magical as they say?]

Now that you know what it looks like to be in love, are you in love? If you’re not sure, don’t put so much pressure on yourself to figure it out. Give yourself time, and soon enough you’ll know for sure!

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...