1. Your decision-making is impaired.
When you are in love, especially in those first heady stages, just about everything seems like a good idea. Let’s just quit work, and spend the rest of our days lying naked in bed watching it rain, punctuated by photogenic trips to the French Riviera! We’ll fund this… with money! That we’ll earn… somehow!
It’s awful, but if you are really feeling those precious hits of love hormones, there is simply nothing that you are going to say no to. I’ve seen people do ridiculous things — spend their whole checking account, change their entire persona, move to Kansas* — all in the name of some good dick. A tragedy, to be sure, but it just hurts too good to quit.
2. You know you’re being an asshole, you just can’t help it.
You’re going to become that person who promises to go out to lunch with your friend and then end up canceling 20 minutes before because your bed was just so comfortable and your love was just so perfect. Everything sort of melts away on the periphery of your social vision, and you forget that you used to be a person with commitments and relationships to maintain outside of the one you are obsessing over. In the bottom of your cluttered heart, you actually want to do the right thing and not just turn off your phone for entire weekends because all you want to do is kiss, but there is just no way to not be an asshole.
3. You have a constant fear of losing them.
One of the downsides of love that is only exacerbated with time has to be the lingering fear of what would happen if you were to lose this person. They sort of take root in your life and wrap their presence around everything you love, and at a certain point become part of you in the most profound way a human can. Just as much as you used to stay up for nights on end thinking about how much you can’t wait to see them tomorrow, you are now going to stay up for nights on end after nightmares about them dying or leaving you in some incredibly awful way. It’s the new sex dream, and all the cool kids are having them.
4. You have officially become “that guy.”
When you were single, you used to make fun of the couple sitting on the same side of the table and the restaurant and feeding each other veal parmesan. You used to talk about how obnoxious public transportation PDA is. You used to have at least an ounce or two of perspective on your own actions. And now you are that guy in spades, just standing on the corner of the street kissing each other and prolonging your “goodbye” for 45 minutes because one of you has to run errands and you can’t bear to separate in such a permanent way.
5. You can’t stop creepily planning for the future.
At a certain point, you are guaranteed to start referring to it as “when we get married,” “our kids,” “our apartment,” “our made-to-scale voodoo doll that we pin monogrammed hand towels with our future initials from Crate and Barrel on.” And nothing is going to stop that slow descent into madness, not even the embarrassment that usually befalls humans upon making such gross assumptions about the desires of another person. It’s okay, it’s natural.
6. You start to forget what life was like without them.
Even though you know it’s unhealthy, you are going to watch your entire history as a human being sort of blur out behind you like the lens was liberally smeared with Vaseline. You know that you were once a single person, you know that you used to do different things and date people who were distinctly not your current love, but it’s hard to remember in a visceral way. It’s almost like the past was in two-dimensional animation and all of a sudden you were unexpectedly upgraded to hyper-realistic Technicolor 3D. Everything is more vivid and more significant, in a way you can’t really explain. And you know that makes you sound like the biggest tool in the whole entire world, but you simply can’t find a fuck to give. You have cuddling to do.
*I’m just kidding, of course. Kansas is wonderful, and anyone would be lucky to follow their heady infatuation to that meth-sprinkled corn field of sexual energy.