Thought Catalog
September 12, 2013

21 People On How You Know You’re In Love

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I knew I was in love when I pulled his body from a car wreck. A semi truck hit us from the side, totalling my car and bruising my leg. I could barely walk, but all I could think of was getting him out of there. I dragged him out of a window and he felt weightless, pulled by something bigger than me. Before that moment, I wasn’t sure how I felt about him, but then I knew: I was in love.

On the way home from the hospital, I laid my head on his shoulder in the backseat of my father’s car and whispered it into his ear. It have been the morphine drip talking, but at the moment, the ecstasy all felt the same.

To me, that’s what love was. It was the salvage after the crash. And on Reddit, respondents chimed in on what love means to them and that moment that clarified it for them. How do you know you’re in love? The answers are strange and sad, beautiful and sometimes a little gross. Welcome to the human heart.

1. Edson_Nascimento

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” – Dr. Seuss

2. Silly_Buisness

You’re in love if you’ve had the longest, more frustrating day but you see them upset and you’re only goal is to make sure they don’t go to sleep upset.

You’re in love when the smell of you and them helps you sleep at night.

You’re in love when you take 10-hour bus rides because if it’s what you have to do to see them, then, well…it’s what you have to do.

3. Vanbuscus

Love is like pushing a button that says “get a cookie for pushing this button” and when you press it, shit comes out, press again, it’s still shit. You keep pressing it and every time, you get shit. But that one special time, you get a cookie, and it’s the best fucking cookie that you’ve ever had.

4. ThatOneGirl43

The day of my first car wreck. I had picked her up for a date, we were heading to the movies. At an intersection, I was waiting to make a left turn into the plaza. This intersection is completely unsafe and making this left turn is always dangerous because you can’t see the oncoming traffic due to a hill that makes it impossible to see around the cars coming from the other direction trying to also make a turn to their left and there is no turn arrow so you just have to go for it. Well, the light was green, I saw no one coming and so I took my chance. A speeding truck comes up over the hill, and I just knew it was going to hit my car one way or another.

Out of pure instinct, I jerked my wheel to the left and basically threw the tail end of my car into the truck to avoid it hitting my girlfriend in the passenger seat. All and all, I was to blame for the accident. My parents showed up and were surprisingly not mad/upset. We still went to the movie (we just walked, it was that close.)

While waiting for the movie to start, I just thought, “What would I do if she got hurt? How could I possibly live without this woman in my life? And to know I was the blame for her injury/death?” To say the least I cried the entire movie. I later found out that she had realized at that moment just HOW MUCH I felt for her and knew that I would go to any length to protect her. I love her and knowing that there are people out there that don’t believe two people of the same sex CAN be in love is just….the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard.

5. Carrierpigment

Honestly, it’s when you have reached a point in life where you love yourself enough to know what you are worth, how you need to work on your faults and know better than to take part in unhealthy relationship habits. Then you find someone else why has done the same.

From there things seem to come easy. Fights that would crumble old relationships seem to be constructive. Insecurities that would have ripped you apart before become something you no longer bat an eye at- or if you do feel bothered you can talk about it openly without feeling ashamed.

It sounds like the opposite of love, but caring for yourself enough to know what you need is the best foundation you can set for a relationship. Because if you are not satisfied in your own life, you cannot be expected to satisfy a joined life with another person.

6. redcrush

I keep assuming it will be like an orgasm. What…is this it? Or wait, this? Oh, I see — this is it. And then the mystery and doubt is gone, and you just know. It can’t be rushed, it can’t be predicted or even imagined. But when it’s there, you know it.

7. Marokiii

“All the songs make sense.” – Kate Beckett

8. nasskt

You know you’re in love when the reasons why don’t even matter anymore. When you realise it, its like an inner glowing warmth that flows through your body of complete enlightenment…much like the moment before you fall asleep and everything else doesn’t seem to matter so much and you’re just…in love.

9. Doom274

For me, it is a simply question of “Do I want to be near her?/Do I want to be spending time with her?” When we are in the middle of a fight, or I’m just exhausted at the end of the day, or I’m just sick of everything, the answer is always yes.

Yeah, sometimes I get mad at her, sometimes I think she’s an idiot, sometimes I want to throw her out a window, but there is no one I would rather fight and argue with.

At the end of the day, no matter how shitty things get, I know she’s got my back. And when she has her bad days, I want to be there it help her back on her feet.

10. nothingstupid000

When holding her hand feels as good as holding her boobs.

11. dontjustlethisgo

I like to think of “in love” as a feeling, it happens in my head, it’s out of my control, I could fall “in love” with anyone.

“Loving” someone, in contrast, is an action. It is surely a consequence of being “in love,” but it is not passive nor fleeting. It is giving another persons desires, interests, happiness, good, goals–essentially their life– weight in mine. “Loving” someone means examining what I do not only in the context of how it will effect me but how it will effect them and wanting wholeheartedly to do what is good for them.

In short, “in love” is an emotional response, “loving” is an action and a choice.

12. santhonyjohn

When you’re still attracted to them even after you finish masturbating.

13. 36Zoltar

For me it was the day I realised that I would literally protect her with my life…I would sacrifice my life to try to save the life of a stranger if I could, but for my girlfriend, I’d protect her. As in, a prolonged security guard kind of protect. I would be on the lookout, train for (as I have been) and be ready for anything so that I can protect her from any danger. For a stranger, I would take a single bullet. For my gf, I’d Rambo Taliban headquarters to get her back.

14. deleted_account

“When there is love there is no question. When there is question there is no love.” – Fortune Cookie

15. Space_Tardigrade

My long distance significant other once said, “You know how when you know someone really well, you know what their poop smells like and you can always tell who was in the bathroom because the smell is distinct? I want us to be like that. I can’t wait until I know what your poop smells like.” It was weird, but when we’re apart I can’t help but think about it and smile. To me, that’s love.

16. Mellae

For me, I realized I was in love with my now-boyfriend, when faced with the ever-approaching reality that he might move 3000 miles away to be with his family, and that he would be happier living there, and that I wanted him to find that happiness, even if it meant leaving me behind.

Even if I never saw him again, that feeling of knowing that I was okay with waking every morning without seeing his face on the pillow next to mine, never kissing his lips, never sharing those little stories in the evening about what went on with my day, never being able to just look at him as the sun catches his face in just the right way and gives him this little halo and makes his eyelashes look golden, and accepting the loss of all that, with a little bit of dignity and satisfaction, because at least he would be happy.

That’s when I knew I was truly, deeply in love, and that all the paltry infatuations and crushes and lusts before him paled in comparison to the bone-gripping, soul-filling elation and utter pain of being really in love with someone, and facing the loss of that love.

17. WhiteBoyStephens

When you like them more than you like pizza. Because I REALLY like pizza.

18. jruyle

It is not something that develops over time. It is something that happens instantaneously. It courses through you like the water of a river after a storm, filling you and emptying you all at once. You feel it throughout your body, in your hands, in your heart, in your stomach, in your skin…Have you ever felt this way about someone?

19. wafflestomp

You aren’t scared of being alone. You are just scared of not being with them for the rest of your life.

20. ootchang

I was in a class in college called “Human Sexuality”. At one point we were talking about love vs. lust vs. obsession.

The professor asks what the real difference between love and lust is. A bunch of different people have opinions, and we have a pretty good discussion for about 15-20 minutes.

It’s starting to die down a bit, but before the professor can move on, this one kid in the back, who had not participated so far in the class, just says:

“You sleep in the wet spot.”

The Professor asks him for more details.

“After sex. If you’re in love you sleep in the wet spot.”

The class pretty much unanimously agreed his was the best answer.

21. PandaSchmanda

You find yourself asking your peers on the internet about it.

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