People on Reddit were asked: "How do you know when you're in love?" These are some of the most heartwarming answers.
1. Trust yourself
If you think you are, you are. I believe there are different kinds of love and love goes through different stages. That first stage...where you can't stop thinking about the person and it takes away your appetite and makes you feel tingly and a little aroused when that memory of that one passionate kiss you shared recently, and the world looks beautiful simply because that person is in it, and you feel like you could survive on the streets with nothing as long as that person was by your side...I think that's the first stage of love. For me, I couldn't get to the next stages of love without going through that stage. After that stage is when love turns from something beautiful and simple to something you have to work at, something you have to compromise for. But that work brings you so much pleasure because you know you're working on building something together.
A lot of people don't think that first infatuation stage is really love. I don't know why. I look back on the people I was infatuated with and I can still recognize that I was in love. There's some kind of stigma over falling in love too quickly or being flippant with the word because it loses meaning or something. But I disagree. Love is the one thing that you can never run out of. It's a natural, never-ending resource. Like, when you have a child, your ability to love grows beyond what you thought possible--like that end scene in the The Grinch. And when you have a second child you worry that you don't have enough room to love the second child as much as the first, but then your heart grows again and you're overflowing with love. And then you realize that the love you have for your children is different than the love you have for your partner. And that's different than the love you have for your parents. And it's different than the love you have for avocados or cookies & cream ice cream.
Love is the one resource the world can never run out of, but it's the one resource that we're the most stingy with. Go ahead and be in love.
2. It's not about me, it's about you
You're in love when you actually care about how the other person feels, not how they make you feel. You're in love when you are willing to make sacrifices for that person's well-being and happiness because you care about them.
3. For those who fear commitment, this might be reassuring
I asked my dad this when I was dating my first girlfriend. [He said,] "You know you are in love when you can no longer imagine living your life without this person, and the idea of spending the rest of it with them is inviting, not terrifying."
4. It's not all fun and games
This probably sounds trite, but "love" is work. How hard you're willing or want to work on a relationship at it's worst is a good indication of if you're in love vs just infatuated with someone. Infatuation dies when things get hard, but love will want to keep working to persevere (oh man, this does sound trite...but it's true). Stick with me here, despite sounding like a self help book:
Being in love is being selfless, patient, and basically looking at the worst of someone along with the best and going "yep....that's for me." Infatuation feels a lot like love, especially with how media plays it out. Idealization and thinking someone is "perfect" isn't love. If you have someone who you can be 100% yourself around, and they have the freedom to do the same, you're getting closer. If you find your happiness in wanting to make the other person happy, it's a fairly good indication you really are in love. It's really mostly about wanting to put the other person first.
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