It is a very common question, “How can I tell if I’m in love?”, but it is not always an easy question to answer. What feels like love to one person may be nothing more than attraction to another. Some people fall in and out of love quickly and often, while others are never really in love as much as they are in lust. This can get confusing when you are a teen because romantic love is a relatively new concept for you, and you don’t know what to expect.
You may have asked: What is love? What makes you want a romantic relationship with one person, and not another? How does your heart choose a partner? Why does love end?
Let’s try to consider some
When it is not Love, but LUST
One of the most confusing feelings is Lust. It feels like love, but it isn’t love! Lust is a very powerful, very intense feeling of physical attraction toward another person. Lust is mainly sexual in nature – the attraction is based on instant chemistry rather than genuine caring.
It is very common for people to confuse lust for love. But there should be no confusion, because lust is about physical attraction and acting ONLY on physical attraction. Love is about much more than that. For teens, since feelings of attraction are still new, and since popular culture sells sex and love as one package, it is very easy to get the two mixed up, but lust is clearly NOT love.
When it is Purely Love
Love is based on more than just physical attraction. Sure, attraction is a factor, but love goes deeper than that.
Love is based on caring, friendship, commitment and trust. When you are in love, it is as if you have your best, most trusted friend at your side, AND you feel physically attracted to them. It is the best of both worlds! It is like your two most favourite things in the world rolled into one!!
Love is a shared feeling between two people who have an active interest in each other’s happiness. Love is not about jealousy. It is not about conflict. It is not about testing. Love is a positive feeling. If it is tainted by mistrust, jealousy, insecurity or meanness, then it is not really love but merely a fake.
Love should feel good. It should not feel bad. Love should make you want to be a better person, it should not lead you to do something self destructive. Love is not demanding of your spirit, but lifts it and makes it glow. Love is a good thing. Anything less is lust, deep friendship or attraction.
But the question still remains:
How Will You Know?
There is no easy way to find the truth behind your feelings or the feelings of another person, but there are some tell-tale signs that shows love is blooming – or growing deeper -. If you agree with 7 of the following 9 statements you are probably in love.
- You know, because you have been told by the other person that your deep feelings are returned in kind.
- The object of your affections makes you feel special and good about yourself.
- If/when you feel jealous, it is always fleeting because you trust your partner not to betray you or hurt your relationship.
- Nothing makes you feel as calm as when you both are together.
- When you fight, you usually make up within a few hours. And you always agree that nothing is more important than you both being able to express your true feelings (even if they sometimes cause conflict).
- He/She never asks you to choose between him/her and your family or friends – if you do choose him/her over them, you always have a good reason and it is always YOUR decision, and your decision alone.
- Neither of you feel the need to test the other’s loyalties or feelings.
- You are more yourself when with him/her than you are with anybody else.
- There isn’t the slightest hint of commitment testing, threat, pressure, ultimatum issuing, or persuasion to make sex a part of the relationship.
So, did you pass? What do you think and feel? Are you truly, genuinely, 100% certain, in love?
See Also: How To Know if it’s Really True Love