This idea swarmed my mind, ironically, after I googled the question “How do I know I’m in love?” Looking back, I was really just searching for an answer that I already had. Feeling the need to google that very question showed me that if I was unsure, it was probably for a reason. The results page provided me with articles illustrating the cliches we normally associate love with. However, knots in your stomach, along with a rapidly beating heart, don’t always signify love. It made sense considering that I always felt butterflies whenever I’d see them. Usually, those butterflies were accompanied by headaches and sweaty palms, reminding me that it was anxiety running through my bones when I was in their presence and not love. These small realizations made me wonder how else was I able to answer my own question. Did my inability to see past their imperfections mean that I probably never would? Unfortunately, it did.
Although I’m not sure what it’s like to be in love, I do know that it is not waking up and turning your back to the wall on the person laying next to you. I know it’s not a sense of loneliness when you’re walking beside them. I know you’re not in love when you secretly ache for love whenever it’s close. Love is not what you experience when you’re trying to fill parts of you that feel empty, unaware that only you can fill them.
Oftentimes we kiss people to momentarily feel complete because that’s what we needed at that moment. Not the person or their love, but a kiss. Confusing physical desires with love is not uncommon to humans, though. We do it all the time after small conversations on foreign balconies in beautiful cities, when your eyes meet someone else’s and you can’t help but notice their big lips or curved hips. The conversation pulls you, but their body ignites the desire for you to stay.
What I’m saying is that I have very often laid my head on laps of people I figured would be temporary. I’ve held hands with people I never saw a future with, hoping that eventually, I would be able to. Not caring if someone goes and not bothering to hold on if someone stays is a huge sign that you are not in love. Overthinking every feeling that jolts through your heart when you’re with them will be there to tell you that. Googling answers to something you should be able to feel will tell you what you already know. So if you’re wondering what being in love is like or if you are in love, take a second to ask yourself what it doesn’t feel like for you.