Love Love Love. The Beatles sang about it, thousands of books and hundreds of thousands of poems have been written about it. Hearts have been filled and broken because of it. We all want it, but how do we know if we have it, I mean, REALLY have it? Love, lust, desire and infatuation can all feel similar but the latter three can be fleeting. In these cases, a bonfire is built and flares up, but it may burn out just as quickly. When the attraction is strong, but so powerful, you can feel like you are “in love” because you are obsessed with this person, think about and want to be with them all the time. This sounds just like the love in all the love songs, doesn’t it? It must be love, then, you might think. But love is more solid and lasting, serves as more of a foundation inside yourself and in your life, with the attraction as the very sweet icing on the cake. It can be confusing to know what you are really feeling, and if you have an inquiring mind you may want to know what is happening to you.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to test if it, indeed, it may be love you are feeling. if you can’t answer yes to all of them, it could be infatuation or just too soon to tell if love has really made an appearance and is blossoming in your heart.
- Do you know this person very well? Have you had enough time and experiences together to have a real bond, to appreciate each other’s strengths, acknowledge weaknesses and undesirable characteristics, yet accept and appreciate each other anyway? If not, it may not be love, or it could be coming, but just not yet. If these are true, move on to the next questions.
- Do you really like this person, not just in a physical or sexual way? Do you admire and respect them?
- Do you like who YOU are with this person?
- Do you trust and feel safe with each other?
- Do you bring out good qualities, challenge and support each other to grow and to pursue your interests and dreams?
- Do you want to share who you are and share experiences together?
- Do you celebrate their wins, even if there is nothing in it for you? Do you truly want the best for them? Do they feel the same for you?
- Have you bonded and created interconnected “webs” between you in feelings, lifestyle and experiences shared?
These questions reveal far more depth and solidness than just the feelings of excitement that come at the very beginning of a new relationship with someone who is smoking hot, or when co-dependency abounds and neediness is filled. If you are in a relationship and want to know if it is love, give yourself time to let your connection and feelings marinate. Ensure that you don’t decide too quickly and don’t jump to any conclusions, or verbal declarations. Many of us are “in love with love” and want to feel it so badly that anything resembling it could easily convince us that we have found the holy grail. Either way, if you are feeling warm, tingly exhilarating feelings, enjoy them while they last! These are wonderful feelings and some of the best parts of being human. If it is indeed love, you will know soon enough.