Love is confusing, especially for adults
Let's go all cheesy on you first with this exceedingly corny metaphor –just like a rose has thorns, so does love its share of pitfalls; confusion being one of them. When we were young and our concepts untainted, we thought we’d just grow up one day, become someone’s girlfriend, fall in love and get married. And it would be all happily ever after from there. And it is, for a lucky few. But for most of us as adults, the majority of this time is spent trying to figure out if we’re in love at all, in the first place. The doubt and the reluctance are justified too, since even when it is true love, relationships falter. How much more dangerous then would it be to commit if you weren’t even sure of your true feelings! In order to avoid a catastrophe of that magnitude, it is essential to carefully analyze the true extent of your feelings.
Love v/s Lust v/s Infatuation
Adults please note, our feelings for people, judging only the positive, vary from a lukewarm degree of like, to a more intense level of physical attraction to the ultimate form of all-consuming love. Adults are made that way; they experience a full spectrum of diverse feelings but can rarely tell them apart. It also doesn’t help that the lines are usually blurred and feelings don’t really come in segregated, watertight compartments. But once simplified, you can differentiate between love, lust and infatuation by the level of intensity and more importantly, longevity. As a rule of thumb, love is a much stronger pull than infatuation with its roots digging deep, and lasts just that much longer than lust. Adults, are you listening?
Signs you truly, deeply, madly, love him
At this point, you’re almost restless and totally hate me for being so virtual and vague. Well, that’s the thing about feelings –they’re abstract! And, adults must note it down! But I feel you, it’s the necessity of the moment to get real about what really gives away that the thing you have tugging at your blood-pumping vessel is love. Because love might be an abstract feeling, but the ways it manifests itself are very, very real. And if you’re perceptive enough, you can actually detect tangible actions that show that you are indeed hopelessly in love with that special person who’s in your mind right now as you read this article! Which is why, adults keep noting, we're going to jump straight to the point now, without further ado!
First signs of love
Things he does affect you
He literally has the most compelling power over you right now. Every small or big thing he does is a because of the millions of storms in your life. You don’t want to, but you’re deeply affected. And it’s both in the positive and negative forms. If he does something nice, you’re over the moon, if he refers to you as a ‘friend’ instead of anything that remotely resembles a girlfriend…you plummet into deepest pits of despair. If he has the power to make or break your mood right now, you really do love him.
You’re trying to figure him out
On the surface, emotions don’t lead us to obsess over somebody enough to try and scrutinize their every move (unless they’re your enemies, you also obsess over your enemies like that!). If you find yourself trying to find deeper meaning into every word that he says, hoping it means something about you, and simultaneously trying to figure out what kind of a person he really is, you care too much about him. And as they say, love fosters from deep care for someone. Also, trying to understand the kind of person he is, is an adult way of making sure you don’t end up getting involved with a jerk, which also means you are considering getting together with him.
You want to tell him more about yourself
Alongside figuring them out, you also want to make sure they know about you. You want them to see beyond your clothes and shoes, nails and hair. You find yourself telling them stories of how you’d been absolutely silly that one time when you were a kid at your granny’s place. Adults, pay attention! All because you want them to see the real you and like you for that. And all because –again –you care! You’re basically just setting the ground for furthering a serious relationship with him. That sounds very much like love to me.
Getting all girly about it
Don't wait to talk to your bestie;discuss him
When Ross tells Chandler women tell each other everything, he wasn’t exaggerating. Of course, more often than not, that other woman is the bestie. At this point, your calls to your bestie are the only other long calls, because you need all the help you can to “figure him out”. Screenshots are involved at every step and you need expert opinion on whether “I’ll see you soon” is something to get happy or sad about, or in other cases, you simply need someone else to reiterate what you’re already thinking. Positive affirmations in the game of love, as I like to call them. “Do you think he likes me?” “Likes you? Ugh, sweetie, he’s practically driving to Tiffany’s right now to buy you a ring!”
You defend him when she points out negatives
However, as invaluable as your bestie’s opinion might be on the matter, you’re not quite ready to hear anything other than the fact that he’s the one - that’s what you want him to be. Your adult sense of reasoning and logic might as well have taken a vacation, because the heart rules and how! No matter how scientifically backed your bestie’s allegation of him being incompatible with you are, you want to jump to his defense. In reality, you’re just being defensive of your feelings and the conviction that comes with it.
You’re conscious of how you present yourself to him
Suddenly the need for him to like you in every possible way is borderline desperate. And no matter how much of a well-dressed person you naturally might be (this coming from someone who matches her PJs to her sliders to her headband, no less), you find yourself taking extra minutes to get dressed of he’s going to be around. And we’ll talk about the mess you make of your wardrobe and room to find one “damned thing that makes me look pretty for god’s sake” some other day. My point is, if you’re really trying that hard to impress him, you’re likely yearning to be his girlfriend.
A state of emotional instability
You feel happy through most of the day
This one is so obvious you didn’t even need a list to tell you that. Love leaves you in a constant state of euphoria. As part of an adult life, we’re taught that we need very specific reasons to be happy. If you smirk or grin at any point, people immediately jump to ask you, “What you smiling for?” Well, love as we know it, defies all those adult rules. It makes you happy when there isn’t even any apparent reason. Like you might be doing the dishes and still feel like this is the best moment you’ve ever lived.
You periodically hate yourself too
Falling in love really takes a toll on the state of your mind. Like mentioned earlier, your mind, heart and soul experience this full range of emotions that are negative; just that they are positive. It’s not always happiness you feel; you also have sporadic moments of angst, anger, jealousy and self-loathing. You hate yourself often because you sense yourself losing control of your own damned mind. You hate to be so deeply affected by someone else’s words and actions. But this hate is actually a deep-seated fear – of being hurt because deep down you know already how important that person is to you.
Convinced you're going cray
You smile to yourself; you’re thinking
Your thoughts are no longer in your head. They’re spreading all over your face. You smile and giggle and sometimes even talk to yourself, either thinking about past conversations and meetings with him or envisioning future ones for whenever they happen. Like how it would feel like to go on that trip to Spain he’s planned to take his girlfriend to. You’re constantly in your mind’s palace ruled over by thoughts of him and your body is reacting to it. And if you have actually broken into a dance in the middle of the street at night when no one was watching, or maybe someone was but you never noticed, just get married already!
You’re somehow reminded of him by everything
How the sound of the radiator of your car reminds you of him is a riddle only you can solve, but it does. And other such completely unrelated or maybe only remotely related things. Like that stray cat sitting on the ledge of your window reminds you of him because you had once watched a Charlie’s Angels rerun with him and Cameron Diaz has a pet cat. It's like the universe is repeatedly giving you signs of how special he is to you. That, or your perception, is just skewed because you really, really love him.
You stalk him on social media like a crazy psychopath
No one has ever admitted it so I’ll do it first: social media was, first and foremost, made for the ease of stalking people, albeit in a harmless way (for most people at least). When your interest level in someone is that level of extra, you want to know every minute detail about them, again, in an effort to figure them out. Like what they do they’re with friends, who are these friends, what are their food preferences, their liquor choices and anything else they haven’t told you upfront. But that’s not the only reason. You’d also be stalking them day and night because you just can’t get enough of them, and if you haven’t already downloaded all of their pictures that you keep hidden in a secret folder on your phone, you simply can’t get enough of looking at those pictures.
You’re jealous of all his female contacts
No matter how sorted out a person you are, if there's not a wee bit jealousy involved here, it's unlikely to be love, at least in the initial stages of it. Being jealous is just a way of being affected by someone, sometimes negatively so. Your mind knows he’s kinda interested in you too, but your heart makes you feel all kinds of jealous every time he hangs out with that childhood bestie (why couldn’t he have found a guy bestie anyway?). Or, if you’re his girlfriend already, you’d resend it if he cancelled on a dinner date with you because he had to catch up with an old college friend because she’s in town for just a day. Just remember, that crazy possessive woman isn’t you, it’s the love you feel.
Those sweet things love makes you do
You re-read his messages. Multiple times.
You never even accidentally delete his messages because you know you’re going to read them like teen a reads a John Green novel! You probably even have a glass of wine handy; and candles and music. It’s almost like placing both of you as epic lovers in a romantic novel. If you’ve been being silly in your head like this, it’s a tell-tale sign you’ve fallen in love or that you’re about to, very, very soon.
You hang on to every word he says and remember them
You practically memorize your conversations because you don’t want to miss out on any details. If you’re his girlfriend or if you’re to be his potential girlfriend, you must know all about what he likes and what he doesn’t, as paraphrased by himself. Moreover, you truly want to know details about him because you want to make sure you do everything he loves and avoid everything he doesn’t because his preferences have become just that much important to you. This is, in fact, how adults show their priority to someone.
You’re always in a rush to complete all other activities
Understandably, everything else that doesn’t include him in some way or the other is not just unimportant but a total liability too. Work or school, and even eating and showering are stuff you can’t wait to get over with as soon as possible just so you can get down to the real business –hit him up for a chat. And all the time you’re engaged in all this work, you’re also likely day dreaming through it. This happens when you’re infatuated too, but if you’re usually great at handling all your adult responsibilities but missing the mark repeatedly and for prolonged periods of time, you’re possibly in that first stage of love where everything is about him.
Missing him 24/7
Lo sai che non sono bravo con le parole, quindi prova a leggere nei miei occhi la mia dedica per te! Buon terzo anniversario amore mio. Ti amo alla follia ❤ #love #couple #cute#me #girl #boy #beautiful #instagood #instalove #loveher #lovehim #pretty #adorable #kiss #kisses #hugs #romance #forever #girlfriend #boyfriend #gf #bf #bff #together #photooftheday #happy #fun #smile #xoxo
You miss him the moment he hangs up the phone
Remember when I said you just can’t get enough of him? If you’re in love, you’ll want to be around him all 24 hours and still complain you haven’t seen him enough. You have a pressing need to either meet him or talk to him –just be in touch in whichever way possible, because if you don’t you’d be lost in his thoughts. And actually being with him in person is so much better than being with just the idea of him, don’t you agree?
You try to cook up reasons for talking to him or seeing him
And just because you miss him, you now resort to looking for all sorts of excuses to meet him or talk to him. If you’re already in the coveted position of being his girlfriend, you find reasons to make him stay home longer, or offer to tag along if he has to go out. You don’t really have to do anything fancy, or anything at all. You can be home all day doing absolutely nothing and still crave for those moments simply because you want to be near him. And sometimes the reasons you create are downright flimsy and laughable, but we understand, we do!
You don’t even wait for him to text or call
During the initial days of dating, you are usually extremely conscious of what they’d think of you if made the first moves. Maybe they’d think you’re easy, or too pushy or something as dreadful as that. But when you’re in love, these fears seem insignificant to getting to see him or talk to him. As much as you’re still conscious of what he thinks of you and how he feels about you, you don’t want that to be a reason for missing a chance of staying in touch with him, so you’ve decided to take matters in your own hands. You’d explain to him later when you get married.
And getting downright dirrrrty
If you were on Tinder, you’re not anymore
You don’t feel the need to. Why should you, when the subject of all your fantasies in the recent times has been one particular man? Sex turns into love-making, and dating turns into love. It is no more about men and bodies, but one man and his soul. You don’t feel the necessity to look at options because you know that even if you were surrounded by options, you’d still want just this one person. It is both a frustrating and uplifting feeling at the same time, the way you’re ready to commit yourself to get physical with just one man in your entire lifetime, more so if you already see yourself getting married to him.
He suddenly seems better than any guy you’ve ever known
Continuing from the last point, he seems better than not just the guys looking for sex on Tinder, but ANY guy that has ever walked the earth. Leonardo Di Caprio from his Titanic days, or Ryan Gosling from his Notebook times –these fellas have nothing on this man. He just suddenly appears to be smarter, funnier and so much more gorgeous than any man you’ve ever seen, and not just because he really is extraordinarily handsome (although, no judgements, he might as well be), but because you're biased towards everything about him. And if you’re one of those girls who secretly nurture an idea of the perfect man since your adolescent days, you now see that his face (and body) kinda starts replacing that image in your head. Your idea of perfection is him.
You get all touchy feely with him
You’re no longer quite satisfied with experiencing him with just your eyes. You want to engage the tactile sense as well. And you find yourself reaching out to touch him more often now. We’re not just talking about the sexual kind of touch here, although that’s very much included too, but just the need to be in physical contact is paramount. When walking, you entwine your fingers with his, sit cozily beside him each time, touch his hair and smell his cologne. Several times in a day. This want of physical closeness comes from a much deeper need of emotional intimacy. And even when you’re married for years and this crazy strong attraction wanes, this need for intimacy stays strong.
You include them in your inappropriate thoughts, and often
Hello, adult needs! Wanting to get physically dirty is a biological process, but we all know that that process doesn’t work with every random person. It takes a very special person to make us all hot for him and if by this time, that special person is already in your life, yep, a strong sign of possible love. You might or might not have chosen to do the act with him yet, but you’ve sure as hell crossed all boundaries in your mind. And even when you talk to him or text him, your mind makes you feel all these filthy things and you often find yourself biting your lips and tossing on your bed like Candice Swanepoel in a Victoria’s Secret ad. And if things are still PG between you guys, you most definitely wish they were not.
Signs of a deeper love
You’re kinder, empathetic and more forgiving towards him
You might be a very snappy person IRL but you show signs of great understanding towards him. While some of his habits and behavior does annoy you, you can’t stay mad for too long because you don’t want to go without talking too long. You’re way too easy and forgiving on him.
You want to take care of him like a baby
Dating is no more about dinners at fancy places for you. Your affection towards him transcends to a want of taking care of him like your mum did of you when you were a toddler. You want to be there for him, tend to all his needs and provide moral support at every point of his life.
You try to start liking and practicing their hobbies
This is an attempt at staying around them in the short term, and also being a part of everything they love, because you see your association as a long-time one, possibly as a married couple. So you make genuine efforts to enjoy those baseball games you used to passionately hate.
You feel ready to give up any habits they don’t like
Besides trying to get on board with what they like, you also try to further please them throwing away anything he feels is wrong for you, and maybe sometimes blindly so. You’re willing to make sacrifices for his happiness because there’s nothing else you’d prioritize more right now.
Every “first” thing with him becomes sacred
That first time you both discovered that new pizza place together, the first time he painted your toe nails, the first time he friggin’ farted accidentally in front you… something makes you want to record them all in your calendar with notifications set for anniversary reminders!
You’re trying to fit them into your vision of a perfect life
No matter how “lost” you are in life, you do have a loose idea of how you want your ideal life to be. Even if that entails fleeing to a deserted island and indulging in “magic” mushrooms all your life, you see him as a part of it now. You PLAN on him being a part of your future, you’re probably sitting there planning to get married right this second.
You like, actually love, even his most unflattering photos
You know it is love when your attraction to a person has absolutely nothing to do with his looks or talents or achievements, taken as separate entities. It’s about the whole person, and everything that makes him, good or bad, makes him attractive. So you love him even when he looks like total crap.
You’re ready to take a chance at love
Most importantly, if you’ve ever been in an unfulfilling relationship earlier, vowing never to make that mistake again when it ended, you know how difficult it is to break that oath. But if you’ve met someone who’s making you see hope again, it is a feeling for the keeps. True love makes us feel powerful enough to overcome challenges and doubts, and if that’s what’s been happening with you, you, my lady, are in deep love.
“Follow your heart it knows the way”
These signs are a general guide to how love makes you feel and act, but it is your heart, above everything, that gives you the clearest sign of whether or not you should continue to mentally design your wedding dress because you’re so far ahead with your plans to get married. Listen to it!