Love is a funny thing! It can sneak up on you when you least expect it and surprise you in the craziest way.
You may be minding your own business when you find yourself in the presence of someone who makes you smile. Weeks, months, or years later, you’ve found that he’s become so much more than just a guy you like—he’s a guy you love!
But how can you tell that it’s legit love and not just infatuation or attraction? Well, thankfully, there are a few signs that can make the truth perfectly clear:
- 1 You look at him all the time
- 2 You feel «high» all day
- 3 He’s on your mind
- 4 Life is less painful with him nearby
- 5 They matter a lot more than you expect
- 6 You’re willing to give new things a try
- 7 Their quirks are part of what you like about them
- 8 Your hearts beat as one
- 9 Hearing his name reminds you of him every time
- 10 You feel his highs and lows
- 11 You want to impress him
You look at him all the time
Scientists have found that eye contact is a strong signal of interest, connection, and affection. If you’re staring at your guy all the time, even when he’s not looking at or even talking with you, it’s a signal that your brain is feeling those warm fuzzies we all call love.
You feel «high» all day
We’ve all seen those old cartoons where someone in love literally walks on air. Well, here’s a fun fact: a university study found that your brain on love is chemically similar to your brain on cocaine, thanks to the increase in dopamine production triggered by both. You’re feeling high because you pretty much are!
He’s on your mind
You can’t help thinking «I love my boyfriend so much» all throughout the day! He’s just that wonderful, and you know that «I love him so much». Pretty clear sign of genuine affection, right there! Your brain is releasing phenylethylamine, a «love drug», that makes you feel infatuated with your boyfriend. The more you think about him, the more of that chemical your brain creates.
Life is less painful with him nearby
Literally, not metaphorically! A Stanford study found that just looking at the photo of a loved one helped to reduce pain significantly—40% for moderate pain and 15% for severe pain. You just feel less of those negative sensations because you’re so over the moon. If you find life has begun to feel a lot less painful, it’s a pretty clear sign you’re in love.
They matter a lot more than you expect
Humans are, by nature, fairly selfish, self-centered creatures. After all, it’s about survival, right? But when you’re in love, you begin to experience what is known as «compassionate love». This affection means you tend to put their desires above your own, and you think about things that would make them happy. If you’re suddenly a lot more selfless, it should light up those «I’m so in love with him!» signs in your head.
You’re willing to give new things a try
We are creatures of habit, but being in love can help us to break out of our routines and comfortable environments. Maybe you’ve become more interested in «guy» things, or you’ve tried something you’d never even have considered before. This is thanks to the compassionate affection mentioned above. You start modulating your behavior, wants, and desires to match them, which means your personality and way of thinking can slowly start to change. Over time, the person you become may be vastly different from the person you were, all because of that willingness to try new things.
Their quirks are part of what you like about them
Everyone has little quirks and foibles that can irritate the heck out of us. But if you get irritated, maybe they’re not the right person for you. One study found that those little idiosyncrasies are a huge part of what attracts us to other people, as they’re what make each of us unique. If you smile when you see them doing something weird or quirky, it’s a pretty clear sign that you’re in the deep end of the affection pool.
Your hearts beat as one
Yep, that’s one of the most cliched, dorkiest romantic lines ever, but it’s also totally true! A team of researchers at the University of California, Davis found that couples in love tend to synchronize heartbeats. It’s not something you can tell unless you’re measuring each others’ pulses, but it’s a real thing, not just a romantic metaphor.
Hearing his name reminds you of him every time
You know how after you buy a red car, you start to see red cars everywhere? That’s a trick your brain plays on you, finding similarities in the random objects around you. Your brain does that with his name, too, when you’re in love. You can’t help thinking about him every time you hear someone with his name—or a name even remotely similar to his!
You feel his highs and lows
Yes, you may not actually care whether the Seahawks win or the Raiders lose, but over time, you find yourself experiencing the highs and lows along with him. This is part of that compassionate affection we mentioned, where you can feel his feelings much more keenly than you expected. If you actually feel sad when his team loses or you want to party when he gets a promotion, it’s a pretty clear sign you’re in love.
You want to impress him
We all want to look good in the eyes of our significant other, but when we’re in love, we go very far out of our way to show him just how much we care for him. That may mean taking a risk to cook his favorite meal, try a new activity he’s been talking about for years, or do something new. You’re willing to go out of your way so you can impress him—that’s real affection!
Sometimes love can sneak up on you, and it may take a while for you to notice how you truly feel about him. But if you’re on the lookout, you may soon come to see that those feelings you have for him are more than just attraction or romance—they’re 100% legit, full-fledged Grade A love!