Being in love is an amazing feeling. It’s something that can’t be described when you’re in it, and something you also feel as though, once you’ve known it, you can never live without.
But the thing about love is that it’s more about actions, than words. Saying “I love you,” is far easier than showing I love you. Sure, the thought of saying the words out loud might be scary, but what’s even scarier is showing love and risking the chance that you might not get the emotional response for which you had hoped.
We spoke to an expert on the matter, YourTango expert Julia Flood, LCSW, of New Start Therapy in San Francisco, and she shared some things that both men and women do — and don’t do — when they’re in love.
1. You DO put your best foot forward.
Love brings out the positive thinking. As Flood explains, “When we’re in love, we tend to put our best foot forward, and our thinking about our partner’s differences range somewhere between ‘I don’t mind’ to maybe that will change.'”
2. You DO feel over the moon.
There’s no denying that the euphoria you feel when you’re in love is intoxicating. Everything is adorable, quirks are seen as endearing and, as Flood told us, our “differences are being minimized.” Who wants to focus on what doesn’t overlap, when there’s so much beauty in all that does?
3. You DON’T act completely honestly.
As we already pointed out, love forces us to show our good sides, downplay what doesn’t seem important at the moment and maybe even in some small ways become the person whom we’re with. This isn’t about being deceitful or lying, it’s just that, in the beginning stages when love is at its highest, you don’t want to rock the boat with silly quibbles.
4. You DO fear the future.
As Flood points out, eventually “dis-illusionment” sets in, and you’re forced to see a bit clearer than you did in the beginning: “You will discover your partner’s flaws and shortcomings, and start feeling disappointments in your relationship. This is your first real test as a couple, and many partnerships don’t survive this new developmental phase in their relationship out of fear of “not being a good match” after all.
5. You DO trust.
It takes a lot to trust someone so much that you’re willing to show all sides of you. You may have presented your “best foot” in the beginning, but only with trust can you share everything you are — even the stuff about which you might be ashamed. In learning to love yourself, you, in turn, learn how to love and be loved. “You can only truly appreciate your partner for who he or she is when you have seen all sides of them,” says Flood.
6. You DON’T give up.
This should be a no-brainer, but sometimes people don’t make it past that disillusionment phase, and sometimes they just give up because it’s not as easy as it used to be. If it involves some couples therapy to make things get back on track, then that’s what you do. When you’re really in love, you don’t half-ass, it, you stick to your guns and make it work. Some people live their entire lives and never know true love, so consider yourself grateful that you have — don’t throw it away.