Man and woman smile at each other and man wonders how you know you love someone

How do you know you love someone? 10 signs it’s more than a crush

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by eharmony Editorial Team - November 22, 2023

Picture this: you’ve been dating someone for a while now, whether it’s offline or in the real world. The conversations are great, the chemistry is electric, the butterflies are fluttering away… it’s no surprise that you’re wondering, how do you know you love someone? Is what I’m feeling just a crush, or something more? What does being in love feel like? In this article, we’ll take a look at what real love feels like and go over ten signs that you’re in love with someone. 

What does real love mean?

While Hollywood may have you thinking that real love means drama and grand gestures, in real life love is a little more subtle. If you’re wondering how to know if you’re in love with someone – an important consideration when you might be dating more than one person – look at how you feel. Real love is unconditional – you love that person despite their flaws and don’t expect anything in return. It’s based on mutual respect – you think of that person as your equal. It’s nurturing – you want to take care of them. It’s physical – your palms sweat, your heart races, your body reacts even if you’re only thinking about them. It’s contentment – real love reduces the amount of drama and stress in your life, rather than upping your anxiety. When you wonder, ‘do I love him?’ or ‘do I love her?’, think about the future. Is your date part of it? Can you imagine them there in bad times as well as good ones? Real love, like they say during the wedding service, is for better or worse – you should feel loved and supported by your partner, in both good times and bad.

10 signs that you’re in love

If you’re wondering, ‘how do I know if I love someone?’ it’s different for everyone. That said, there are a few common signs you love him (or her) deeply.

1. You want to share things with them

How do you know you love someone? You turn to tell them things even when they’re not there, you have dozens of text messages with links to cool things you found or telling them about something you saw or did, you call as often as you can so you can tell them things even if you’re apart. You want to share every detail of your life with them, the good parts as well as the bad, and you want to hear about what they’ve been up to and what they’re going through. It doesn’t matter if it’s the most mundane ever – it’s interesting because it’s about them.

2. You make them a priority

There’s a famous saying in Spanish that means, roughly, tell me who you spend time with and I’ll tell you who you are. One of the signs that you’re in love is making time for someone, even if that means shifting your life around. You don’t mind getting up a little earlier, or cutting down on your commitments to other people, or giving less than 150% at work, if it means more time spent with your paramour. Be careful, though – while your significant other should be an important part of your life, making them the sun around whom you orbit can be a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

3. Their quirks are adorable, not annoying

With anyone else, leaving towels on the bathroom floor or their habit of wearing sandals with socks would be like nails on a chalkboard – but if you’re wondering, how do you know when you love someone? Finding their more idiosyncratic habits charming rather than exasperating is a good sign. Granted, it may not last – there’s only so long even the most devoted lover can put up with some things – but being amused rather than annoyed definitely bodes well.

4. It’s not just about sex

Sex is important and science agrees1. Studies show a correlation between regular sexual activities and well-being. Sex can also be good for you physically – there are a whole raft of studies demonstrating its capacity to lower stress, boost immune function, and reduce pain2. However, if you’re wondering, ‘how do you know if you really love a person?’ a good way to figure out is to think about what sex means in your relationship. If your connection is strong outside the bedroom, or if you would still be together even if sex was temporarily off the table, then you know it’s more than a crush.

5. You pick stuff up from each other without realizing

You love K-pop, he’s suddenly humming along to BTS while driving. Your partner’s a massive fan of red or yellow, you find your wardrobe choices heading in that direction, too. Whether consciously or unconsciously, couples often take on traits from each other – witness all the adorable old couples in matching sweaters! Even if you’re not to the point of coordinating your fashion choices, you might pick up a partner’s favorite catchphrase or find their taste in music bleeding into yours. This can be a wonderful thing – what’s life without some novelty, after all? – but you should take care that you don’t become one person in two bodies.

6. Other attractive people don’t register any more

You’re still on dating apps, but you hardly swipe right anymore. Or you run into a cutie at a bar that you would have flirted with before but right now all you can think is that outfit would have looked better on your partner. While you might still notice hot people around you – you’re only human, after all, one answer to ‘how do you know you’re in love’ is a lack of desire to take it any further. While this isn’t a universal rule – polyamorous people exist, after all – your interest, or lack thereof, in other people, can sometimes give you the answer to ‘how do you know if you’re really in love?’

7. You’re a little jealous of anyone who gets to spend time with them

We’re not talking about the unhealthy, relationship-ruining kind of jealousy – this is more a mild disappointment that someone who isn’t you has any kind of claim on your partner, whether it’s work, his friends, or even his family. It’s not that you don’t want your partner to have their own life – in fact you probably wouldn’t want to be joined at the hip – it’s that you miss them when they’re not around. This is a very common and perfectly natural sentiment in moderation and is a good way to tell if there’s still a spark between you two.

8. They make the world feel like a brighter place

If you’re asking yourself, ‘Am I in love?’ and the world seems like a nicer place than it was before you met them, the answer is probably yes. When you’re in love with someone, your brain increases production of hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, all of which elevate your mood and make you happier3.Additionally, life just feels more exciting when you’re in love, with the possibility of adventure around every corner. Additionally, a good partner often makes it a point to be supportive, compliment you, and make your life easier, all of which can improve your general mood.

9. You see a future with them

Close your eyes for a second and imagine the future. Not a big event; an ordinary day. Maybe you’re going grocery shopping, or doing the laundry, or wrangling the kids. Is your partner there? If you’re wondering, how do you know you love someone, being able to clearly see them sharing the more mundane parts of your life, really being a partner rather than just a boyfriend or girlfriend, then chances are you do.

10. You just know

It’s practically a cliché at this point, that you ‘just know’ that you’re in love. Just because it’s a cliché doesn’t mean it’s not true, though. Our brains and hearts are complex creatures, and despite all the progress science has made in understanding how they work, we’re still not quite there yet, especially when it comes to how to know if you love someone. So if you have a feeling that you’re in love? You probably are.

How do you know you love someone? One of eharmony’s relationship experts answers

We also asked one of eharmony’s relationship experts Laurel House about the typical signs of being in love and she answered: “Being in love can be easy for some and hard for others to identify. In my experience, when you meet someone who shifts your priorities this can be a sign that you’re in love. You will also allow yourself to let your guard down, allowing them to truly “see” you, even in your most challenging moments. When you are with them, you simultaneously feel excited and at ease because they make you feel safe. You want to share your thoughts and hear their opinions, insights, and perspectives. You truly care about their feelings, and you consider how your words and actions might affect them. And vice versa.”

How long does it take to fall in love?

One of the other most asked questions is how long does it take to fall in love? Laurel House’s answer: “There is no normal when it comes to falling in love. From two weeks to two years, it depends on how open and available you and your partner are. You won’t be able to feel love for another if you’re not inherently open to this experience. The best way to open your heart is by being vulnerable with another person. If you allow that to happen, you are on your way to finding someone to love and someone who loves you in return.”

Falling in love is a wonderful feeling; appreciate it!

‘How do you know you love someone?’ can be a very hard question to answer, because it’s such an individual thing; it comes in an instant for some people, slower for others. It can start with a friendship or strike out of the blue. One thing is true, though; falling in love is easier when you have things in common. At eharmony, our unique compatibility matching system pairs you with people who share your values, increasing the odds of you connecting right from the start. Sign up for eharmony and take the first step on the path to real love today!

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