How does love feel? The experts say

Movies and TV shows depict first love as a complete whirlwind of emotions and a kissing-in-the-rain type of passion that turns your whole world upside down. But is this what love feels like in real life? As you go from falling in love with someone to dating them, you may be wondering when deep The connection level is supposed to kick in, you know, the one that indicates true love. Well, there’s no set amount of time to fall in love with someone, or a universal sign that you’ve fallen in love. But there are some specific feelings and emotions that can help you realize that you are in love.

Romantic love can feel overwhelming, exhilarating, and passionate, but it can be complicated at times. It requires trust and vulnerability, and as your connection grows from flirting to first love, it can get a bit confusing. If you’re falling for someone, here are expert opinions on what love feels like and the signs most commonly associated with falling in love.

How long does it take to fall in love?

There’s no set timeline for falling in love, but it usually takes at least a few months, explains Dr. Rebekah Montgomery, a licensed clinical psychologist. Sometimes it can even take years, if, for example, a close friendship turns into love over time. “It depends on the context of the meeting and how the relationship with that person develops,” adds Dr. Pauline Yeghnazar Peck, a licensed psychologist.

So don’t worry if you don’t feel completely smitten with your SO after only a couple of weeks of dating; it may take some time to develop that deep connection.

Signs that you are falling in love

Although love is subjective and not all relationships look exactly the same, there are some common signs that indicate true love. Here are the experts on what it feels like to be in love.

You feel like the real heart eyes emoji

You feel intensely happy when you are in love. You can’t stop thinking about them, talking about them with your friends, and your heart still races when their name appears on your phone screen. “You get excited to see them and you rejoice when you’re around them,” says Dr. Montgomery.

In fact, love has a *important* effect on the brain. “Scientifically, there is a change in dopamine that shows that we are experiencing love,” explains Natalie Kohlhaas, psychotherapist and author. Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter, according to Harvard Medical School, which plays a role in the “reward system” in your brain. You can even feel the physical effects of love. These include responses like restlessness, insomnia, loss of appetite, heart palpitations and rapid breathing, Kohlhaas adds.

Can you imagine a future together?

“When we start thinking about a future with someone, it’s a sign that we’re falling in love,” says Kohlhaas. Your dreams go far beyond your summer plans. You think about where you might go to college (and how you might manage the distance if you go to separate schools), how your families will be reunited, the city or town you’ll live in after graduation, and maybe even what your wedding will be. what the day will look like (if that’s your vibe). When you are in love, you cannot imagine a future without them.

You love *all* the little things about them

You appreciate the little things that make your partner unique. them. “Like the funny way you laugh, or a certain expression they have when they’re confused,” says Kohlhaas. “Perceived ‘imperfections’ become endearing.”

Even when you acknowledge their flaws or annoying traits in general (like always talking during a movie), you accept and come to terms with them, instead of being turned off. “Healthy, safe love tends to focus on the whole person, not just their good qualities or superficial characteristics,” explains Dr. Montgomery.

It’s much more than lust

The attraction is there, ofc, but their relationship runs so much deeper than the physical stuff. “Lust can be a part of love,” Dr. Peck clarifies, but their connection grows beyond their sexual feelings. “Love is broader and encompasses a component of friendship and companionship as well,” she says.

“With lust, emotions are centered around sex,” adds Kohlhaas. But in love, emotions are focused, yes, on passion and intimacy, but also on commitment, trust, respect, companionship and security.

You prioritize their needs

When you’re in love, you want to be there for your partner. They should never sacrifice their own needs, but they do ensure that the needs of others are met and lean on each other to provide support.

“You care about your own growth and goals,” Dr. Montgomery explains, even if it means making small sacrifices. “For example, helping your partner take an advanced class or play a demanding sport, even if it means spending less time together,” she says.

You balance each other out

While you and your partner may share values, interests, or beliefs, you may not be exactly the same. And that’s okay! you do not agree all, but you can have healthy and productive discussions when there is conflict. “Research has found that our partners may share priorities and values, and we may want to align with our partners to create a closer bond,” explains Kohlhaas. “However, when we are different, these differences complement each other.”

You may even feel closer after talking about a disagreement and open up to see their point of view. “This can create a sense of deep and meaningful connection,” adds Kohlhaas.

you feel safe

When you are with them, you feel at home. You feel relaxed and free to be 100 percent authentic with them. Even when you’re not together, you don’t find yourself constantly checking your phone or worried that something bad might happen. You trust each other and have confidence and security in your relationship.

you have fun with each other

Even if they’re just lying on the couch watching Netflix, or sitting next to each other on the bus and browsing TikTok, they’re just content and happy to be together.

How can you know that someone is falling in love with you?

If his actions reflect your thoughtful actions and his feelings reflect your strong feelings, then he probably has a crush on you. “If someone is falling in love with you, they’ll be just as excited to be around you,” says Dr. Montgomery. “They will make you a priority with time, communication and consideration. They will try hard to listen to you and remember the things you share with them.” They might even start to get interested in the things you like, like your favorite type of music, TV show, or hobby, adds Dr. Peck.

“When your partner is falling in love with you, they will show compassion, hang on to your every word, and give you thoughtful gestures,” Kohlhaas explains. “Empathy will be there when you are hurting or confused, and they will want to help you.”

If you’re upset after not getting a good grade on a test or getting into your dream school, your partner will be there to comfort you. Likewise, if you just got an A+ on an incredibly difficult math test or got accepted to your #1 school, your SO will want to celebrate with you. And this doesn’t just last for the first two weeks or months of dating, it’s consistent behavior in your relationship.

How do you tell someone you’re in love with him?

In short, there is no one way to tell someone you love them. “It all depends on the context,” explains Dr. Peck.

Maybe it’s done with a grand romantic gesture or it’s dropped in the middle of a conversation. Maybe you’ve been intimate with someone for months, or you fall in love with your best friend and want your friendship to grow into something more. No matter the situation, it’s important to be honest and open with how you feel. “Being brave and letting someone know how you feel is the most important thing,” says Kohlhaas. “Sharing this can be scary, but the rewards received when the other person expresses their love for her are immense.”

The possibility of rejection is real, and if you’re not entirely sure you’re ready to say those three big words, give yourself some time. “I encourage you to think less about them and think more about yourself,” advises Dr. Peck. “There’s always the possibility of rejection and disappointment, but most people can handle that better than they can regret things they didn’t say out of fear.”

“Find ways to be authentic and express your heart, while acknowledging the space so they don’t feel the same way,” she adds. “There are no guarantees, but when we are true to our own experience and move forward in alignment with our values, integrity and feelings, we leave little room for regret.”

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