Once you’re in love with someone, it’s hard to remember how you lived without him or her. Of course, you were alive before you met this person, but you really didn’t start “living” until the two of you met.
I remember when I first fell in love with my girlfriend; it was a very scary feeling, as I had managed to elude love for the entirety of my life before her. I specifically remember the transition from when I liked Vanessa to when I began to love her.
Vanessa went from being someone who made me smile to being the greatest catalyst of the happiness and joy in my life. She went from a gorgeous girl I met to the most beautiful girl I know. She went from my crush to the love of my life.
Everyone experiences love differently, and at different times. Even the meaning of love is extremely subjective, but I say for certain that anyone who’s experienced it knows it’s the best feeling ever.
Here are 10 ways to know if you might be in love — rather than in like — with someone:
1. The best part of your day
As Childish Gambino said, “When I’m alone, I’d rather be with you.” Seeing my girlfriend is always the highlight of my day. If you really love someone, you never truly get tired of him or her.
No matter how great your day might be going, your special person will make it better. When you just like someone, he or she might make your day better, but probably isn’t the best part.
2. The first person you think about
Your love will be the first person you think about when you wake up and the last person you think about before you go to sleep. When something good happens to you, this is the first person you want to tell.
When something bad happens to you, you look to this person for support.
3. Prioritize above your own needs
Love is selfless. I was the most important person in my world until I met my girlfriend. Once I fell in love with her, her needs became much more important than my own.
This is just how love is. Your needs always seem trivial in comparison to your significant other’s needs.
4. You’d do anything
If I tried to construct a list of things I wouldn’t do for my girlfriend, the list would be pretty empty. When you’re in love with someone, you do whatever you can to make the person happy.
When you like someone, you may feel like there is a lot you would do for the person, but you have your limits. True love knows no limits.
5. You are never afraid to express your feelings in public
I have this semi-bad habit of telling the world how in love I am with my girlfriend.
When you’re truly in love, you want everyone to know. You are not bashful about your feelings by any means. When you like someone, there is a lot of holding back on how you feel.
6. You love the imperfections
My girlfriend is the most beautiful girl I know, but she does have some imperfections. But, to me, they’re not imperfections — they’re unique qualities and things I love.
When I tease her about them, she thinks I am making fun of her, but I am truly just admiring them. Love is the ability to know and accept someone’s faults.
You may know the imperfections of a person you like, but having the capacity to embrace them likely won’t happen unless you fall in love.
7. You think long-term
When you’re in love with someone, it’s hard to imagine a future without the person in it. For this reason, you will think long-term about how you can build a life with this person.
You won’t give in to short-term temptations that might mess up your long-term goals. When you just like someone, thinking long-term can be pretty scary.
8. You become a better person
No one is perfect; we all have room for improvement. But, being in love will force you to work on these things.
You want to become the best version of yourself for the person you love. I am a better person now than I was before I met my girlfriend.
9. Your feelings are unconditional
When you love someone unconditionally, it means that your love knows no conditions and is absolute. I don’t actually like the term “unconditional love” because I think it’s redundant — I believe all true love is unconditional.
When you like someone, your feelings change depending on the condition.
10. Your love is your best friend
Sometime along the way, my girlfriend became my best friend. I believe this to be true for most people who fall in love.
Your significant other becomes your partner in crime. You feel like, together, you can take on the world.