1. Eye contact with the object of your affection feels like an entirely new, chill-inducing sensation, as if you’re connecting within some special, secret dimension.
2. You anticipate the next time you’ll get to see the person you’re falling for more acutely than you’ve anticipated any other future event.
3. So when you don’t hear back from them within a given (arbitrary) timeframe, you’re prone to irrational freak-outs and doomsday thoughts about losing the love of your life.
4. The relief and joy that set in once you do hear back is almost better than sex.
5. You’re way more aloof than usual because you’re consumed by thoughts about your soon-to-be boyfriend or girlfriend. But you don’t care that your performance at work is a bit off, or that your friends are sick and tired of listening to you talk about your budding relationship.
6. All you care about is boyfriending or girlfriending this particular person since you’re absolutely certain they’re the one you’re supposed to grow old with.
7. Once things do become official, you walk around smiling wide, as if nothing could go wrong in the world as long as your relationship remains in tact. You can’t believe you were ever one of those cynical people who dismissed true love as a silly fairytale concept.
8. You find yourself thinking ridiculously idealistic thoughts pretty much always. Of course long-term happiness is possible! Of course you’ll stay faithful for decades, until death do you part! Of course it’s your duty to procreate and to continue the human race!
9. In the presence of your beaux, you’re smarter, wittier, funnier, more pleasant, passionate and energized. You’re the best possible version of yourself because the person you’re dating makes you that damn happy.
10. You have so many questions for each other—about your lives prior to meeting, about your innermost desires, and hopes for the future. You want to know each other inside and out, so you stay awake chatting into the wee hours, even when you have an early meeting the next day. Adrenaline pushes you forward.
11. Your habits start to change as you incorporate each other into your lives. Maybe you wake up earlier or later or start reading more or watching different kinds of television or you try out a new exercise regimen or you eat less meat or give up dairy. You want to do things just like them—to experience the world as they do, alongside them.
12. You start adopting your partner’s mannerisms and favorite phrases, too. Your cadence even mimics theirs. Sometimes, you say the exact same thing out loud at the exact same time because you’re spending that much time together, and you couldn’t be happier with this proof that you’re in each other’s heads.
13. You make grand proclamations without irony, sincerely believing that no one else has ever felt as strongly towards another human as you feel towards your partner. You are grateful to have met your soulmate! You are the luckiest person on the planet! You are never going to betray their trust! You would rather die than lose them! You would happily die for them!
14. You both willingly make sacrifices large and small. You support each other professionally, attend each other’s familial events and lean on each other throughout tough times. You are entirely co-dependent, and you refuse to apologize for it.
15. You know that fighting isn’t a sign that you’re incompatible, even if you scream nasty, regrettable things in the midst of arguing. You fight and then you apologize and then you have awesome make-up sex.
16. You recognize that sex is different now that you’re truly in love. You’re not too unrealistic to assume that the sex will always be great, but it is always good and sometimes it is absolutely mind-blowing.
17. Since you’re so obsessed with (and sexually satisfied by) your significant other, you barely bother to check out other people and you definitely don’t envy other couples.
18. You know you’re better off facing the world as a unit rather than two separate individuals and you regularly tell your partner that you don’t know what you’d do without them—because you actually don’t. Your visions of the future depend upon staying together and tackling the world as a team forever.
19. When you’re apart, your partner is still with you in some way, a sort of lovable yet intangible phantom limb. The comforting awareness that they’re out there, loving you from somewhere, transcends time, space, and distance.
20. You are so in love that you miss your partner even when they’re around. It doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t have to. You desire the impossible—to be so intertwined that you are actually one. To experience the world with them, and as them.
21. As time passes, your couples’ intuition gets stronger and stronger. You know what your significant other is thinking or feeling before they even realize it. You can read each other’s minds, hearts, facial expressions, and vocal cues instantaneously. You have a rare form of ESP rooted in closeness, understanding, shared history, and true love.