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This article was written by Tania Bhattacharya on behalf of Sherley Altidor.
Edited by Melody Simpson
Congrats, buddy! If you are thinking about that question now, “Am I in love?” then you are probably going through one of the most incredible phases in your life. That question, that time when the question is raw and fresh reminds me of the series of events that finally led to my marriage in 2010. But no personal digressions here, let’s talk all about you! I’m here for you!
In case you find yourself in a state of elation and are wondering why that is, let me tell you why. It is the benevolent mixture of magic and science in equal proportions. Yes, indeed, it is. Well, okay. To be honest, you can keep the ingredients but rearrange the proportions because I am not quite sure how much of each goes into the making of the ‘I am so happy’ state. That depends on who is being served! Either way, the magic is definitely stirring up and Cupid is definitely working his way through that special someone’s heart. As far as science goes, it is dopamine. You, my friend, are in love.
Scientists believe that love activates the release of a group of neurotransmitters that are responsible for the racing hearts, sweaty palms, and flushed skin during the first stages of falling in love. Researchers find these Cupid’s chemicals to be named dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Just so you know, dopamine is also activated by cocaine and nicotine! That explains the rush that you feel.
Now let us come to the part of the story where you confirm that you are indeed in love. Many people believe that there are a few unmistakable signs of being in love. They are as follows:
- You love to think about and talk to that special person. In fact, even when you are not talking to each other, you are thinking about the conversations you’ve had or will have. Your friends and family might even get a little tired of listening to the same dopey monologue over and over again, although it seems to be so exciting and brand new to you. A fair chance is they already know you are in love, even before you realize it yourself.
- You would like to spend every waking hour of the day with them. You don’t mind giving up a few hours of sleep if that means more time spent talking to them over the phone/through video chat or through texts, thinking about them, making a playlist for them, a watch list for them, a reading list for them, a scavenger hunt around the city for them. You are willing to set aside all of the time in the world for them.
- You can talk for ages. You don’t even have to think about it. One topic just leads to another and another. Before you know it, your phone is dead but you have a portable charger so all is well! The day is saved!
- You check your cell phone every other second for a missed call or a text message. Butterflies rise to your chest and flutter as you read each and every word that they wrote, over and over again until they respond once more.
- You’re trying new things that you typically would have never tried before. But because the person that you’re falling in love with adores these things, you are supporting them and falling in love with these things as well. Some might even say that you’re becoming more aware and more selfless. They wouldn’t be wrong.
- You want to introduce the person to everyone you know. You want to share the person who fills you with joy to the other people in your life who do the same. It’s important to them that they like this person and accept this person because you want all of this joy in your life to co-exist.
- Then, there is my personal favorite. Simply put, you will just know. You will know.
If you want to know all of the symptoms, consider reading the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver, set in a world where love is a disease and everyone has to get the cure. You’ll become very familiar with all of the signs that love is in the air while you’re reading that book. There will be no question by the middle of book one if you indeed are in love.
Also read: How Not To Lose Yourself Loving Your Partner
All of this said, this love-struck phase, albeit beautiful, does not last forever. When you find the perfect partner, phase will mature into deeper attachments and commitments and sacrifices that keep couples together for years and years. If you’re looking to have a love that lasts a lifetime, I challenge you to reach out to your grandparents if they are still in your life and have had marriages that have lasted longer twice as long as you’ve been alive. Ask the elders in your life what it takes to make it that ever elusive, in this day and age, golden anniversary. Don’t let up until they give you the goods! Because falling in love is the easy part. It’s the fun part. It’s the part that you never want to forget.
What comes next is hard work and dedication. They don’t call it the honeymoon phase for nothing. It’s when you’re coasting and the responsibilities of being a legally binding couple have not hit yet. So okay, you’re probably not thinking about marriage just yet – you have to find out if the other person loves you back first. But the same sentiment remains. So if you are in love with them and do want to talk about spending the rest of your life with that person or simply seeing where the relationship goes if you both are on the same page about this, enjoy this moment. Enjoy this moment and all that comes with it.
Also read: Does Real Love Really Exist?
If you find that you are falling in love or are in love and you’re scared, that’s okay. It’s okay to be nervous about this uncharted territory. It’s okay to be nervous about taking a chance on changing your entire life to blend the lifestyle of another person. These are big changes and big decisions. So take your time ironing out your feelings and if you feel that the other person may feel the same way, or even if you don’t, consider telling them too so that your lives can change for the better together.
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