Me: “What does love feel like? How do you know when someone loves you? Wait, how do you know if it is true love or fake love? How long does it take to fall in love?”
My mother: “Are you sure you don’t have any more questions?”
I still vividly remember this scene when I asked my mom one too many questions about romantic love.
Besides driving her crazy, she was fascinated with my overthinking abilities given that I was still a child. As I was growing up, I gradually found answers to all of my questions (and yes, my mother has never been happier).
I no longer see love as a concept because it has become a reality.
At first, the intense feeling of love scared me, but now I understand why. A few years ago, I didn’t know that feeling scared and questioning things is also one of the stages of falling in love.
Now, I can say proudly and confidently that falling head over heels with someone is the best feeling in the world!
If you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing the same, below you’ll find answers to the above questions.
We’ll also mention how men and women experience love, the physical symptoms of love, and love at first sight, so stay tuned!
What Does Love Feel Like?
What does it feel like to fall in love? Love is a complex emotion, and every single one of us experiences it differently. However, there are some things that are in common to all of us when we’re experiencing feelings of love:
- When you fall in love, you feel like you’re in the middle of a vintage romantic movie. Also, you might feel like you’re in the middle of a rollercoaster ride because of the intensity of your emotions (but this shall pass).
- Love feels like a summer breeze. It feels like someone woke you up from one reality and put you into another one that is ten times more vibrant, energetic, and colorful.
- All of a sudden, you feel like you finally found your so-long-awaited special person. You no longer feel lonely because your heartbeats and mindsets are in sync.
- Love feels like a promise that you’ll always take care of each other. You’ll keep watering your special plant called Love not because you have to, but because it feels like the right thing to do.
What does love feel like for a man?
When a man falls in love, intense feelings might make him feel confused at first. Once that confusion stage passes, men experience love similarly to women.
They feel connected and ready to overshare things. They feel free to share their deepest fears and feelings. They don’t overthink commitment.
When a man falls in love, he feels like he has found a safe haven and a treasure that needs to be cherished and protected. Indeed, love brings out the hero instinct in men.
This instinct motivates them to act like superheroes around their loved ones. Making their woman happy becomes their main goal.
What does love feel like for a woman?
When a woman falls in love, she might start overthinking things. Through time, this overthinking stage turns into something more stable and promising.
Women associate love mostly with a feeling of deep connection. It’s the feeling that inspires you to daydream, write love letters, keep thinking of your loved one, and looking for new ways to make your special one happy.
When a woman falls in love, she feels free to express herself. She feels protected, understood, and taken care of.
Women see love as a strength, a feeling of belonging, and a promise that it’s worth fighting for.
Clear Signs You’re (Falling) In Love
Even though men and women experience love in a slightly different way, there are some signs that are universal indicators of love. If any of the following signs resonate with you, then you know you’re in love:
Intense feelings take over your mind and body
When I fell in love for the first time, a rollercoaster of emotions overwhelmed me. I remember when I felt butterflies in my stomach day and night. Honestly, I thought about visiting the doctor because I was convinced that I had digestive problems.
Later, it turned out that these restless butterflies were actually early feelings of love. From feelings of bursting happiness to excessive worrying, you never know which one will hit you.
Intense feelings take over your mind and body, and you feel like you’re no longer in control of it. If you feel like this, don’t let these feelings scare you (or turn into philophobia).
Yes, it’s totally normal to vomit a few times before seeing your special person (speaking from experience). It’s also normal to have insomnia for a few days in a row or to suffer from the nothing-to-wear syndrome.
Yes, falling in love is one of the weirdest and most wonderful things a human being can experience.
You feel more sensitive (and freaked out)
Damn, I don’t want to fall in love. I’m SO not ready for it. Will they guard my heart? Am I doing this love thing right?
These are the questions that were running through my head as I was slowly but surely falling in love. I felt ten times more sensitive than before because I was giving all of myself to that one person.
When you do that, you can’t help but feel anxious about them reciprocating. You can’t help but freak out about a potential heartbreak and overthink thousands of other case scenarios.
I remember also thinking: What if we break up? What if something happens to me or them?
The fear of loss was really strong with me. The main reason why we freak out when falling in love is that we’re afraid of losing that one person who means so much to us (which is completely normal).
I’m totally embarrassed about this one, but anyway, I’ll share it with you, my dear reader. As I was falling in love, I remember talking about myself ALL the time.
I literally couldn’t stop oversharing with them every single aspect of my life from my childhood to my hobbies. I felt like the more I shared with them, the deeper our connection was.
And, I was (kind of) right about it, even though I did it the wrong way. I felt the urge to overshare my entire life story all at once, so I did it. (Lucky me, they didn’t see me as a potential psycho.)
Don’t worry, this oversharing phase doesn’t last forever. Even if it did last forever, I doubt that I would be able to talk that much about myself.
If you feel the urge to share your entire life story all at once with your special one, it’s one of the clear signs that you’re in love with them.
Obviously, you want them to get to know you better, and vice versa. You have a strong desire to connect and there’s nothing you can do about it.
It’s more than just lust or infatuation
It took me some time to realize that lust and infatuation are two extremes, whereas love is just right. Love requires more than just physical attraction.
It requires understanding, reciprocity, emotional connection, and embracing each other’s imperfections.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being infatuated by your loved one or lusting after them, but this doesn’t mean love if there aren’t other elements included (which I stated above).
Love is seeing someone for who they are, with all their imperfections and “perfections”. Love is loving someone for who they are on the inside and outside, not only on the outside.
Yes, love is deep, and that is why it’s so hard to understand it. But, if you realize that it’s more than just lust or infatuation, then this shall be enough.
You feel connected on so many levels
Do you ever feel like OMG, they’re the only person who totally understands me. Where have they been all my life?
I certainly did. I thought that all this time, people didn’t even try to connect with me, let alone understand me… but I was wrong. It’s not about other people, but it’s about the intensity of your connection with them.
When you feel connected on so many levels, you can’t help but glorify that one person as if they are the only human being you should ever hang out with.
This ultimate connection includes the following elements:
- Caring about each other’s needs and desires
- Finishing each other’s sentences
- Strong sexual attraction
- REALLY listening to each other
- NO judging
- Feeling seen and understood
I would like to add one more thing to the list, and that is: Feeling free to be your weirdest selves when together. I don’t know about you, but to me, this is a deal-breaker.
Commitment feels natural
Do you know that feeling when you fall in love and you’re not anxious about committing to that one person (even if it means for the rest of your life)? Well, me neither.
Just kidding! ?
When you fall in love with someone, commitment feels natural. What does this mean? It means that you don’t have any internal obstacles (read: doubts) about giving your heart to that one person and taking care of theirs.
Of course, you might overthink it a little bit in the beginning, but generally, you feel like you’re ready to become one with them in every sense of its meaning.
Prioritizing them doesn’t feel like a boring chore (read: washing dishes). You don’t want to commit to them because you’re afraid that you’ll never meet anyone else who will treat you like they do.
You want commitment because it feels like freedom. It feels like something that you REALLY want to do, and vice versa.
When you’re not together, you feel like a part of you is missing
You know you’re in love when spending time together feels like a vacation. You knowow you’re in love when staring at the ceiling together or teasing each other becomes one of your favorite fun couple activities.
And then, when you’re not together, you feel like something’s missing. The same second they walk out the door, you grab your cell phone impatiently waiting for them to text you.
Your texting sessions are really LONG because you have strong textual chemistry. Writing novel-length texts is your new hobby. You can’t imagine falling asleep without first wishing them good night (be it via text or in person).
When you’re together, you feel like all the dots are connected and you’re grateful to the universe for helping you find your special one.
When you’re not together, you imagine what they would say in certain situations. You can predict their reactions without even trying hard, and you can’t stop missing them like crazy!
You’re more focused on giving than receiving
You know you’re in love when you no longer care if they will eat the last piece of something you really like! For me, this is dark chocolate with orange peel. If I give anyone the last piece of that chocolate, then they can be sure I TRULY love them! ?
Joking aside, but you get the idea. You know you’re in love when you’re more focused on giving than receiving.
You give without expecting anything in return. When your love is reciprocated, the other person feels the same way. A fulfilling and balanced romantic relationship is all about that.
If you’re more focused on their happiness than your own, this kind of love is known as unconditional love.
You’re ready to give them everything because they are your favorite person, your partner in crime, and your best friend.
You know when they need your support, and you’re more than willing to hug them tightly and tell them that everything will be fine. You’re more focused on their well-being than your own and they feel the same way about you.
You only focus on their good qualities
“Love is blind.” Raise your hand if you’re sick of reading this sentence over and over again (because I surely am).
Well, no matter how much this statement irritates us (mostly because of its repetitiveness), we can’t deny its truthfulness.
So, what exactly does “Love is blind” mean?
It means that falling in love makes you, in a way, blind. You only focus on their good qualities and you don’t pay much attention to their flaws.
Their good qualities overshadow their flaws. As a matter of fact, when you fall in love with someone, you see them as a perfect being. Why?
Because you fall in love with their flaws. You fall in love with every single thing about them. And then, after some time, you realize that they’re not as perfect as you thought them to be.
Their weird habits start annoying you, but still, you don’t love them less than before. You love them the same way (if not more), but now you’re more realistic about their personality.
You’re no longer “blind”, but you finally see and you still damn like what you see!
You feel like you’ve FINALLY reunited with your long-forgotten best friend
Love (read: a long-term relationship) is not only about being the ultimate couple. Every inspiring love story starts with something like: We were best friends for years. First, we were friends and then we became something more.
As your relationship progresses, your friendship becomes stronger. You know you’re in love when you feel like you can be who you are with them, and vice versa.
Love feels like finally reuniting with your long-forgotten best friend because they are the only person with whom you can communicate without using words. By simply looking at each other, you know what they feel and what’s on their mind.
No matter how confusing it sounds, love is having a lover and your best friend in one. It’s the feeling of belonging to someone special and knowing they feel the same way about you.
It’s annoying each other, fighting together against the world, and being convinced that you can do anything only if you want to. Love is empowering and inspiring. That’s how you know that it’s real.
You have a hard time focusing on the things you need to do
Here’s exactly what’s happening inside my mind once the feelings of love overwhelm me:
“Okay, I have to finish my job. Hmm… I’m wondering what they are doing right now. Damn, I have to buy that dress that I saw the other day. JOB! Well, maybe I could finish it later after I talk to my loved one.”
Sounds familiar? When you fall in love, every single thing that you used to do before starts being “unimportant” because you’re mainly focused on your love object.
You have a hard time focusing on the things you need to do because when you meet the right person, you just can’t stop thinking about them.
Your new love life may interfere with your sleeping patterns, job, energy, and focus. At one point, you might feel like freaking out, but worry not… you’re perfectly fine (until you start stalking them).
Planning a future with them feels just right
I remember a few years ago when I imagined a future with my ex-boyfriend. Needless to say that I was terrified, and the idea of us living together under the same roof (or having kids) wasn’t really inviting.
That’s how I knew that I wasn’t in love at all. Today, I’m not afraid of planning a future with my special person because I can’t wait to spend every second with them.
When you’re truly in love with someone, planning a future with them feels just right. It doesn’t scare you, and it doesn’t make you overthink.
You just know that whatever happens, you will be there for each other and that’s why you don’t have problems seeing a future with them.
You can’t wait to move in together (if you haven’t already), to decorate your place to your own preferences, to fight over stupid things like where you’re going to put the new lamp you just bought and similar.
You know that the future is full of ups and downs but you’re not afraid of it as long as you’re together.
You feel valued, empowered, and free
“A healthy relationship is a feast of affection/giving for both people; not one receiving crumbs and trying to convince themselves it’s enough.” – Shannon Thomas
Love takes many forms, and it can change over time, but one thing always remains the same. When you’re truly in love with each other, you both feel valued, empowered, and free.
You feel energetic around them as if every day is a New Year. Planning your next adventures and doing anything together feels so exciting.
You know you’re in love if you don’t feel the need to be a people pleaser around them. You feel valued for who you are, you feel strong enough to be who you are, and most importantly, you feel FREE.
You don’t feel the pressure to do anything you’re not comfortable with. Your relationship doesn’t suffocate you, but it liberates you. It brings out the best in you.
They feel like home
When someone asks me, What does love feel like?, I always tell them: Love feels like home. A home is not only a place where you stay. A home can be a hug, a person, or an old memory.
You know you’re in love when that one person feels like home. When they hug you, you feel protected and at peace. From the intensity of their kiss and different types of hugs, you can know how much they love you without saying it.
Indeed, love is not only saying those three words and repeating them occasionally. Love is a feeling of belonging, happiness, and trust.
Love is knowing they will always hold your hand even if the whole world is against you. You know you love someone if they are the first person you want to text or call when something happens (be it good or bad).
You know you love them when you feel comfortable being vulnerable in front of them, and vice versa because love is honest and it feels like a warm hug on a cold, winter day.
Is It True Love Or Fake Love?
As with everything in life, things are never that simple when it comes to love. Okay, sometimes they are simple and we’re the ones who complicate it. If you don’t agree with me, then I’m speaking for myself. ?
These are the trending questions regarding love nowadays:
- Is love real or just an illusion?
- Is love true or fake?
If you haven’t found an answer to the first question, I’ll be straightforward. Yes, love is real and it does exist, but everyone experiences it differently.
There is no one legit definition of love because it is a feeling that can be interpreted in multiple ways (hence, all those love poems, love quotes, and similar).
The easiest way to capture love is by paying attention to little things happening to you and around you.
But beware; not every love is true. Sometimes, it’s covered in fake promises. Sometimes, those kisses and hugs mean nothing more than just that.
For love to be true, it has to have a deeper meaning. Yes, there are fake kisses, fake hugs, and fake promises. So, how can you know when love is true or fake?
What does true love feel like?
What does real love feel like? I could make an extensive list of things that define true love, but let’s be honest… nobody has time to read that. So, I’ll try to explain the essence of true love in the simplest way possible.
True love encompasses the following aspects:
True love looks and feels like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. It has the power to transform you completely both mentally and spiritually. Most importantly, it has the power to bring the best out of you.
These true love quotes perfectly define the essence of real love:
“True love doesn’t happen right away; it’s an ever-growing process. It develops after you’ve gone through many ups and downs, when you’ve suffered together, cried together, laughed together.” – Ricardo Montalban
“True love is selfless. It is prepared to sacrifice.” – Sadhu Vaswani
“True love – that is, deep, abiding love that is impervious to emotional whims or fancy – is a choice. It’s a constant commitment to a person regardless of the present circumstances.” – Mark Manson
“True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked.” – Erich Segal
“True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.” – Honore de Balzac
What does fake love feel like?
Fake love feels like having a beautiful cake in front of you. The cake is so inviting and mesmerizing that you’re afraid to start eating it because you don’t want to “ruin” its beauty.
But, once you start eating it, piece by piece, the cake loses its appeal. The more you eat it, the less you’re satisfied with it, but you still continue convincing yourself that this is the best cake you’ve ever eaten!
In the end, you realize that all this time, it wasn’t you who were eating the cake in the first place but the cake was consuming you just like fake love does.
Fake love encompasses the following aspects:
- Playing games
Fake love looks and feels like something that can make your life ten times harder than it was. Also, such love is not selfless, and it always wants something in return.
These fake love quotes summarize fake love to the core:
“You can’t always go by actions because some people will ACT like they love you just to get what they want from you.” – Sonya Parker
“The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone who says they love you is the moment you know they have been lying to you.” – Alysia Harris
“No one ever gets tired of loving. But, everyone gets tired of waiting, assuming, hearing lies, saying sorry, and hurting.” – Frank Ocean
“If you really care about someone, you’ll make an effort to make things work out instead of leaving them unhappy and confused.” – Unknown
“Real love, you feel it, you show it! But, fake love is just words. Fake people have an image to maintain. Real people just don’t care. I haven’t met Mr. Right yet, but I have met Mr. Fake, Mr. Rude, and Mr. Asshole.” – Mansi Dangra
What Does Love Feel Like Physically?
When you’re with or you think of the object of your affection (the person you love), you can experience physical symptoms like accelerated heart rate, sweating, blushing, and similar.
Also, you might feel shaky and unable to talk properly.
Love is a powerful force that influences both our mind and body. Simply thinking about your loved one can trigger dopamine release. It’s the feeling of excitement before and when seeing them.
Other key hormones such as oxytocin, serotonin, and vasopressin help boost feelings of attachment, trust, safety, empathy, and other factors of attachment.
These hormones also provide a sense of well-being and increase mutual attraction.
Sex hormones (such as testosterone and estrogen) also play an important part here because they boost libido and intensify feelings of lust.
Other physical symptoms and benefits of experiencing love:
- Dilated pupils
- Sweaty palms
- A nervous stomach
- Improved physical health (lower blood pressure, decreased risk of heart disease, improved immune health, etc.)
- Pain relief
- Less stress
As you can see, love can trigger both positive and negative effects on our mind and body. It can make our stomach nervous, it can make us sleep-deprived, and at the same time, it can be a great pain and stress relief.
When we put it like that, we can confirm that love is balanced in every sense of its meaning. It can make you the happiest person in the world, and at the same time, interfere with your daily routine.
Still, this doesn’t make love more complicated or less enticing. It makes it even more magical than it already is.
What Does Love At First Sight Feel Like?
Every single one of us has our own interpretation of love at first sight. Some of us see it as locking eyes with that one person in the middle of the street, while others see it as a process.
I have to admit that for a long time, I used to be the person who believed the former. I thought that it’s totally possible to fall in love with someone at first sight just by locking eyes with them.
Well, things aren’t that simple (as expected).
Love at first sight is basically an instant attraction that happens between two people. This attraction is fueled by chemicals produced in our brains, such as oxytocin and dopamine.
Instant attraction doesn’t happen often, but when it does, we call it love at first sight. I hope this sounds more realistic and reasonable to you because to me, it surely does.
Here are a few signs that what you’re experiencing is love at first sight:
You feel nervous before meeting them
I’m sure that we’ve all been there! It’s when you try twenty outfits and every single one of them doesn’t look good enough for this occasion of meeting your “love at first sight”.
Suddenly, your hair has never looked worse (even though others convince you that you look amazing).
Before seeing them for the first time, you have shared this news with every single friend (and maybe family member) because you were so excited about it. You’re one hundred percent sure that they could be The One for you. Why?
Because they have that vibe. With them, you feel like the world is a more relaxing place and adventures have never been more appealing.
Regardless if it is your fifth date or your tenth, you still feel nervous before meeting them. Why? Because you like them SO much, and the chemistry between the two of you is driving you crazy.
You’re dying to know every single thing about them
Do you have any hobbies? What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite food? Where were you yesterday? What do you think about cheating in relationships?
Suddenly, you have one million questions in your head, and you don’t stop there.
These questions are somehow magically piling up, and you feel like you don’t have much time before bursting with curiosity, so you need those questions answered!
One of the signs of love at first sight is the urge to know every single detail about their life because you want to connect with them on a deeper level. You want to know their passions, what motivates them, and their life story.
Asking too many questions can make you feel like you’re being intrusive, but all you’re doing is experiencing the symptoms of love at first sight.
You feel like you’ve already met this person before
When I experienced love at first sight, I had to ask them a few times this one question: Are you sure that we haven’t met before?
I was convinced that I had amnesia, so I erased them from my life. I just couldn’t believe that it’s possible to have so many things in common with someone you just met.
I felt like I’d met them before because nothing felt forced. There weren’t awkward silences known as the biggest destroyers of communication or anything like that.
Every single conversation went smoothly, with lots of teasing and inside jokes. Yes, we knew each other for three days and we already had an extensive list of inside jokes.
This feeling of instant comfortability is what amazed me the most. You feel like you’ve spent days and days with them, and that they already know everything about you and how you function.
You feel free to talk about the weirdest things ever because you know they won’t judge you. Wait, how do you know that they won’t judge you? Well, you don’t, but you feel it.
The key word here is FEEL. You feel like they’ve already been a part of your life before, and that’s why you feel so comfortable around them.
You’re solely focused on them
When you’re with them, you simply can’t see anyone around you even if your life depends on it. When talking with them, other people become blurry and out of focus. Why?
Because you’re solely focused on them. You can’t help but absorb as many details as possible when talking to them.
You observe their body language, the way they touch their hair when they are nervous, the way they react when you say something funny, or the way they look you in the eye.
You memorize every single thing they say to you without even trying. They excite you, surprise you, and inspire you. Your connection is out of this world because you’re both solely focused on each other and being in the moment.
How Long Does It Take To Fall In Love?
According to a 2013 survey by YouGov and Harmony, men take an average of 88 days to tell their partner they love them, whereas women need 134 days to express love.
In other words, men need about three months to say those three words, whereas women need four and a half months to do so.
They also found that 39% of men say those three words within a month, whereas 23% of women do so within a month.
However, these are just statistics, and it’s smart to take them with a grain of salt because we’re all different and that’s what makes us so special. (I had to say it ?).
Some people need more time to express love, and that doesn’t mean they don’t feel it in the early stages of a relationship. Other people feel ready to express love early.
Falling in love is an individual thing, and there are many factors that can influence the duration of it such as personality, past experiences, and similar.
Love Is Simply Complex
What does love feel like? I’ll tell you this: When it’s true, love feels like a summer breeze. It is simple and giving. You don’t have to beg it to stay.
Love is also a complex emotion. Sometimes, it can make you overthink or turn you into a sleep-deprived creature.
But, above all, love is the most genuine emotion of all. It is perfectly balanced, which makes it simply powerful and complex.
If you want to learn more about love, I suggest reading the following: What Is Love? Deciphering This Ethereal Emotion. Enjoy! ?