I Think I Am In Love
When you fall in love for the first time—or think you do—you may actually have a hard time knowing whether you’re in love or not. After all, everyone has different definitions for what love is and what it should feel like. What is love? How do you know whether you’re in love or not?
Fred from Atlanta, GA writes:
“I met a girl at school, and I think I am in love with her. I’ve never been in love though, and I don’t know. What bothers me is that it seems so different from what other people around me seem to experience. My friends tell me I’m not really in love or I’d feel differently. I know I care very deeply about this girl, but I don’t seem to feel all the ecstatic elation I expected. I didn’t even realize I cared for her for years. Am I in love or not?”
The thing with love is, no one can really tell you if you’re in love. It’s not something logical you can dissect. There’s not necessarily one single set of qualifiers that prove you are in love. Love in many ways is a form of faith—it’s something you know deep in your gut, regardless of what your head tells you.
Everyone experiences love in different ways. That’s because we are all wired differently and have our own unique sets of hormones and chemicals racing through us. For some people love may feel like an ecstatic high, for others it may register as something understated. For some people love strikes instantly on sight, while for others it grows gradually with time and experience. Some loves take us by surprise (and somewhat against our better judgment), and others are consciously chosen. Whether you “fall in love” or “grow in love” depends on you and your unique relationship. There is no one right way to be or to love. Every relationship you have will be completely unique as well.
Love is also not just an emotion—it is also an act. If you truly love someone, you will care deeply about that person’s welfare and you’ll perceive that she is a unique individual who is different from you and has her own desires and dreams. Those desires and dreams will be important to you, as your own are. One reason that love is so mysterious and ineffable is that human beings are as well. The person you love you love not only for her commonalities with you but also for her uniqueness. This will be someone you are willing to make hard choices for. But the details all depend on your relationship.
Only you can decide whether you are in love or not. You shouldn’t be concerned if you can’t figure it out for now. That is also something which is unique to each individual. Some people know they’re in love right away. Others can be in love for years and not realize it until some key moment in the future.