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Signs You’re Falling in Love: How to Tell if It’s Real

“Kids, I won’t lie, that was a long weekend. More ups and downs than I can count.” Future Ted kicked off with this opening line as we saw our beloved gang gather for Barney and Robin’s wedding. In that iconic How I Met Your Mother finale scene, Ted reflected on the winding journey leading up to that moment at the altar. 

As the soon-to-be newlyweds prepared to exchange vows, Ted narrated: “It was a twisting, turning road that led to the end of the aisle and not everything along the way was perfect. To be honest, not everything to follow would be perfect either. But what is?” Then came the profound words every hopeless romantic holds dear: “Here’s the secret, kids. None of us can vow to be perfect. In the end, all we can do is promise to love each other with all that we’ve got. Because love is the best thing we do.”

I’ll admit, as someone who’s re-watched that series countless times, those lines made me misty-eyed. There’s something about Ted’s earnest romanticism that hooks you – reeling you into his belief that finding profound, unconditional love makes all the ups and downs worthwhile.

Not everyone gets to experience that all-consuming feeling of falling deeply in love. Not the “love at first sight” overly romanticized type of feeling. I’m talking about that love that starts with a little spark and grows into something real. But for the lucky few who do, the signs are unmistakable.

When you're not sure if it's love or just indigestion Meme

As someone who’s been a relationship coach writing on this topic for over a decade, I’m finely attuned to the subtle signals revealing when someone’s been struck by cupid’s fateful arrow. So if you think you may be falling in love, or want to know what to look for someday, here are the clearest signs that what you’re feeling is the real, enduring deal.

The Most Common Early Signs that You’re Falling in Love

The early flutterings of new love can feel like an intoxicating crush, leaving you deliriously distracted and your heart racing. If you find yourself experiencing some of these common signs, it may be the first tingles of romantic love taking hold:

You Can’t Stop Smiling

Even when alone, just thinking about your special someone brings a huge, unbidden smile to your face. You find yourself beaming ear-to-ear for no clear reason.

Your Phone Is an Obsession

You compulsively check your phone every few minutes, desperately hoping for a new message or reason to send another text their way. Your phone has become an object of obsession.

You Drift Into Constant Daydreams

Concentration is nearly impossible as you constantly space out into fantasizing about this person. Detailed daydreams about your future together unspool vividly in your mind’s eye.

Their Thoughts Consume You

They’re always on your mind. You can’t shake them off. Their thoughts keep resurfacing, replaying favorite moments and interactions on an endless loop.

You’re Intensely Curious About Them

An intense fascination has taken root – you have an voracious appetite for knowing everything about this person. You devour any new tiddly details or morsels of information.

You Need to Share Everything With Them

Even insignificant news, anecdotes and gossip feel important to immediately share with them. They’ve swiftly become your main confidant.

You Crave Their Company

You buzz with excitement leading up to your next date or hang out session. Scheduling quality time with them is the top priority on your calendar.

Butterflies Abound When You’re Together

When you’re around them, your stomach does somersaults as butterflies take flight – a quivery cocktail of nerves and exhilaration courses through you.

When butterflies make you feel like you're both in love and about to take a test meme

You’re More Open to New Experiences

Due to their influence, you find your sense of adventure being stoked. You’re newly open to exploring fresh activities, foods or interests outside your comfort zone.

Your Friends Notice Your Glow

Those closest to you start to tease you about your permanent smile and giddy distraction. Your bright new demeanor and preoccupation are obvious to them.

You Seek Their Friends’ Approval

For whatever reason, you feel invested in making a dazzling impression on their friends and wider social circle. Seeking their approval is important to you.

The Past Doesn’t Matter Anymore

Any previous romantic lives, relationships or heartbreaks have evaporated from your mind. You’re living completely in the ecstatic present with this new connection.

You Feel Flashes of Protectiveness

Occasionally, small pangs of jealousy or protectiveness can spike when others pay too much attention to your sweet baboo. A tinge of possessiveness emerges.

You’re Hyper-Aware of Relationship Pace

You’ve become hyperconscious of the pace and evolving status of your budding relationship. You read too much into each interaction’s momentum – is it advancing too quickly or too slowly?

Surefire Signs You are Falling in Love, or You’re Already in Love

While the early signs of falling in love can be intoxicating, there are some dead giveaways that what you’re feeling is the real, profound deal. If you’re experiencing a constellation of these intensely physical, psychological, and emotional markers, chances are you’ve well and truly been struck by cupid’s arrow. Take a look at these surefire signals that your feelings have blossomed into deep, enduring love.

Physical Signs You’re Falling in Love

Your Appetite Changes

You don’t feel hungry most of the time due to oxytocin release when in love. Oxytocin acts as an appetite regulator.

Your Heart Races with Excitement

Just being around your love interest sends your heart racing from the thrill and excitement they inspire.

You’re Captivated by Their Scent

Their natural scent has an almost hypnotic effect that you find yourself getting lost in.

You Crave Physical Closeness

The hit of dopamine from their presence makes you crave being physically near them as much as possible.

You’re More Physically Affectionate

You feel an overpowering impulse to show physical affection through touch, cuddling, and intimacy.

Sex is More Fulfilling

Physical intimacy takes on heightened passion and feels extraordinarily more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Other Attractions Fade Away

You have tunnel-vision for your love, barely registering others who may be objectively attractive.

You Mirror Their Mannerisms

You subconsciously start adopting their mannerisms, vocal patterns, and gestures.

Their Quirks Become Endearing

What others might see as flaws or idiosyncrasies, you find utterly charming and attractive.

Psychological Signs of Falling In Love

You Want to Merge Your Worlds

You feel compelled to fully share your world, introducing them to your family and friends.

Everything Reminds You of Them

Even small, insignificant things spark reminders and make you think of your love interest.  

You Plan a Future Together

You find yourself envisioning vacation plans, living situations, and a shared future mapped out with them.

Their Happiness is Your Priority

You put their needs and best interests ahead of your own, motivated by their joy above all else.

You Experience Positive Stress (Eustress)

Though stressful, being in love triggers a positive type of stress that energizes you to take on challenges together.

You’re Willing to Face Adversity United

Difficulties that once felt daunting seem manageable and surmountable when you conquer them as a unified team.

You Feel You Know Them Profoundly

You understand them at a deep, intuitive level, perceiving nuances others miss about their core essence.

You’re Compelled to Proclaim Your Love

The words “I love you” feel like they’re about to burst out at any moment, hard to contain.

You Know They’re “The One”

A certainty overcomes you that this person is your soulmate and forever partner.

"Believing they're the one, my heart does. Destiny, it must be." meme

Emotional Signs of Being In Love

Every Moment Together Brings Joy

No matter how small or routine the interaction, you find yourself having fun and lifted just by their presence.  

You Miss Them When Apart

When you’re not together, you genuinely ache from missing them and longing for their company.

You Feel Euphorically Happy

Love brings a sublime sense of euphoria and feeling like you’re forever floating on cloud nine.

You’re Motivated to Be Your Best Self

Your love fills you with inspiration to grow, saturated with potential for becoming a better person.

You Have a Positive Outlook

While not naive, you find yourself looking at life through an upbeat, rose-tinted lens more than usual.

You Want to Spread the Love

Your love feels so vast, you’re driven to share the wealth of affection with others around you.

You Encourage Their Growth

You become their biggest supporter, nurturing their ambitions and success like your own.  

You Share Their Emotional Landscape

When they’re down, you feel their sadness deeply, moved by an profound empathy reserved only for them.

You Feel an Effortless Connection

Conversation, chemistry and compatibility flow without strain – it clicks with an indescribable, glove-like fit.  

You Feel Safe Being Vulnerable

They provide a sanctuary of trust where you can open up without fear and be your most authentic self.

It Simply Feels Right

At the end of the day, being in love defies perfect explanation. It’s an indescribable feeling that just feels inexplicably, undeniably right.


Ted was absolutely right – love truly is the best thing we do. It is my with wish that each and every one of you gets to experience that feeling of being deeply, madly in love. To find that once-in-a-lifetime true love with someone. Everyone deserves to have that connection and sense of life’s full potential.

If you’re currently stuck in the raptures of new love, I hope this article has helped illuminate whether those dizzying emotions are the real deal. The unmistakable physical pangs, psychological longing, and overwhelming emotional bliss. When you run through the checklist, does it ring true to the intense feelings you’re swept up in?

If you haven’t been in love yet, keep a lookout for the signs we went through above. When those stomach butterflies flutter or you catch yourself smiling uncontrollably, you’ll know love is at play.

If this guide helped clarify what true love looks and feels like, do a friend a favor and share it. Pass the wisdom along to someone else who may need some romantic reassurance or a little nudge to keep believing. After all, recognizing the signs is half the battle.

And if you have any other questions about navigating the roller coaster of love, drop them in the comments! I’m always happy to lend some perspective from these soul-worn eyes. Let’s start a conversation to celebrate this most magical human emotion.

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