Being 18, I wasn’t sure if I knew what love meant. But I realized that I had a clearer definition of ‘love’ at age 7 than I do now. It’s a word that gets abused a lot, and trampled on, and even neglected. So I’ve compiled a list of clues that might mean you’re in love with someone. This is of course, all completely biased.
1. Do you like how they smell?
Now, you can love someone while also thinking that they smell like a garbage can. But more often than not, the person you love smells…different. It might be their perfume or cologne, or maybe just their skin. It’s something you pick up on only after being close to someone for a while, and then recognize immediately when they’re with you. Smell is also crucial to memory formation, so that’s also why getting a whiff of a random stranger at the grocery store will immediately make you think of nights with an old lover you hadn’t thought about in ages.
2. Have you showed them something embarrassing for a reason you can’t figure out?
Sometime we open up to people for reasons that we can’t even explain. Before we know it, we’re spilling crazy details about ourselves that we hadn’t even said out loud before. For me, it was this 8 minute long Bob Dylan song, I played it for some boy and halfway into it felt incredibly stupid, like I was taking my clothes off when he didn’t even ask for it. But when I tried to turn it off he said gently, “Hey, I was listening to that!” He didn’t even like Bob Dylan, and I knew this, and I loved him.
3. Are you thinking about their body differently?
You can “want to” screw anyone. The person in line behind you at the grocery store, the person serving you at a restaurant, we’re basically designed to find sex partners. And that’s totally fine, you’re gonna be attracted to loads of people. But when you start fantasizing about laying your head on someone’s chest, you might be in love with them. If you think about more than just sex, but of their naked body as some glorious canvas you want to please in every way possible, then you just might love them. For me, it was the way he tilted his head back and smirked at me. The way his neck caught the light, to his big almond brown eyes, to the curve of his lips, his gaze felt like sunshine on my skin.
4. Do they make you think differently about yourself?
People can affect you in so many ways. Your friends, colleagues, family… everyone is going to have some sort of an impact on you. That new girl in your social circle with a better butt than you might make you consider taking up some sort of exercise, a celebrity might make you want to try a new hairstyle. But no one is going to change your life more than the person you’re in love with. They might make you feel wider, like you have more potential of reaching great things and becoming a better person. They might inspire you to read more, to write more, to eat better, to be better for them. Their gentleness and care will make you want to be better to yourself, to take more time to appreciate what they find so fantastic about you. When you’re in love with someone, it’s like discovering a whole new beautiful person you never knew existed inside of you. Love doesn’t tear down or destroy, it brings light and new energy.
5. Do you automatically include them in future long-term goals?
Is their presence in your life not only something you’re used to, but plan on maintaining? If you start thinking about where you’re going to move with them, and the places you’ll travel to, and the people you’ll become together, you might love them.
6. Are they suddenly present in other aspects of your life, even if they’re not physically there?
Everyone has a hobby, or something they do to take their mind off things. You might draw, or paint, or write, or blog. Everyone has their thing. When your thing starts suddenly becoming about them, you might love them. For me, it was when all my blog posts stopped being about my favorite bands and started becoming 5 paragraphs on the way it felt when he ran his fingers up my thighs. When you go to your escape, and suddenly they’re there in your head with you, you might be in love. The only question now is what you’re gonna do about it!