True love – it’s shown up in countless movies, songs, and books, but it’s hard to tell when it shows up in real life. You can’t stop thinking about your new honey, but it’s hard to tell whether it’s because you’re in love, crushing hard, or just in lust.
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It’s hard to tell because there isn’t a hard line where lust and infatuation end and love begins, but these are some signs that you’ve found the real thing.
1. You’re Comfortable Being Yourself With Them
You have some weird habits, dorky tastes, and bizarre opinions, but when you’re with your true love, you can let it hang out.
If you’re still just lusting or crushing, you might be uncomfortable dancing to your favorite song in the middle of the grocery store, confessing that you have an enormous collection of Star Wars novels in your basement, or admitting that you think The Godfather is overrated.
If it’s love, you can be your whole strange, complicated self with your sweetie, and you love all those strange and complicated parts of them, too.
2. You Can Talk About The Things That Matter
This goes beyond getting to be weird and quirky. You have deep and heartfelt beliefs about life, death, love, God, or whatever. Sharing those thoughts can make you feel even more naked than taking off your clothes, but if you can do it with your other half, it means that the two of you have the kind of care and respect that goes hand in hand with love.
That doesn’t mean that you both have to agree all the time or that you can’t get into the occasional good-natured debate. It does mean that you don’t constantly censor yourself, because you’re genuinely comfortable when you’re together.
3. You Plan For The Future With Them
Infatuated couples might have fantasies about being married and having cute, freckled, perfectly behaved kids, and lusty couples might plan for that sexy weekend getaway. Couples who are in love usually have these, too but they go deeper.
If you’re really in love, your honey starts appearing in nearly all of your plans or thoughts for the future. If you were originally thinking about moving or studying abroad, you now either remake your plans or actively try to figure out how your relationship with your sweetheart will survive the change.
When someone asks you that classic “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” question, your sweetheart is part of your answer. You start thinking about how the two of you are going to spend next Christmas. Whatever form it takes, when you think about the future, it’s with a “we,” not an “I.”
4. They’re The First Person You Call
When you get a piece of good news, your sweetie is the first person you want to call to share it. When you get bad news, they’re the first person you call to give you advice or be your shoulder to cry on.
If you need to make a tough decision, you call them to help you figure out what to do next. When you want to share all of the good and bad parts of your life with your partner, it’s a good sign that you have something real.
5. You Feel Good About Who Your Partner Is
Yes, your partner has a few annoying quirks – who doesn’t? But by and large, you really like the person they are. You don’t just like how great she looks in a bikini or how many presents he showers you with; you like the person that he or she is.
Even if they weren’t so scorching hot, they would still have the kind of personality you would want in a best friend. You don’t think that she’s a project to fix, and you don’t worry about the fact that he makes you weak in the knees but he’s kind of a jerk. They’re a great person, and you’d want to spend time with them even if you had to keep your hands off each other the whole time.
6. They Bring Out The Best In You
When you truly love someone, they make you want to be a better person. They’re so wonderful and loving that you want to be the equally wonderfully, loving person they deserve.
On the flip side, though, this doesn’t mean that your love interest makes you feel like a bad person who needs to be better for them. When you’re in love, you really like the person you are when you’re with them. That person is the “you” you want to be all the time, because you want to be with that person all the time.
7. You’re Affectionate Even Without Sex
If you’re in lust, you’re usually only going to get cuddly if it’s going to lead to sex, whether it’s because you want to get going right then and there or because you want to give them a squeeze in the morning that will leave them thinking about you all day.
If you’re in love, sex is great, but it’s not the be all and end all of your relationship. You give each other little hugs and kisses just because you love each other, not because it’s foreplay.
8. You Give Without Expecting Anything Back
Selflessness is a hallmark of love. If your boyfriend is sick and you spend the weekend taking care of him, but a good-sized part of you is grousing that this isn’t what you signed on for and he’d better do something later to make this worth your while, you aren’t there yet.
If you don’t expect anything in return except smiles, thanks, and I-love-you’s – no presents, no constant card that you can pull to show why you’re the giving one in this relationship – it’s real.
9. You Want Them To Meet Your Friends And Family
When you love someone, you want everyone around you to love them, too. You might hide a casual fling from your family and friends, but if you’re in love, you want your family and friends to meet your sweetie because you want them to be integrated into every part of your life.
What’s more, you aren’t ashamed of your love for this person. You are breathtakingly happy, and you want everyone to meet this person, so they’ll know why.
10. And You Want To Meet Theirs
When you’re in love, you care about your partner enough that you want to meet all those people they talk about. You don’t just feel obligated to meet the parents, the siblings, and the friends; you genuinely want to, because they helped your beloved become the amazing person they are.
11. You Miss Them When They’re Gone
If you’re in love, you feel lonely when your darling is gone. You don’t just miss having sex; you miss talking to them and spending time with them, because it feels like they’re becoming a part of you.