Articles About Love and Marriage
How Will I Know I Am In Love?
In our many interviews with people “in love” we ask them, perhaps, the most revealing question of the interview – “How will I know I am in love?” We have heard very consistent answers. And conversely, many people involved in a new loving relationship, particularly young people, often ask us, “How do I know if I am in love?” We think we know the answer.
While we have heard a number of answers to our “How do you know you are in love” question, we can place them in seven categories. And, perhaps surprisingly, they have stayed the same over our 25 years of research on couples in love. Here they are, in a nutshell.
The first category is physical. People who say they are in love report getting “goosebumps,” “a palpating heart,” “sweaty palms,” “a lump in my throat,” “teary-eyed when I say goodbye,” “a tingling sensation all over my body,” and the like. People in love have a positive physical reaction when they think about or see the one they love in person.
The second category is emotional. When they think about or see the person they love most lovers report similar feelings – “I laugh more often when I am with the person I love,” “an uncontrollable smile comes over my face whenever I see her,” and “I miss him when he leaves the room.” People in love feel emotions for the person they love that they do not routinely feel for others.
The third category is positive worry. Over the years, we continue to be amazed about the consistency with which people in love report to us that they “worry about their lover” when they are not around. Little thoughts of what we have come to call “positive worry” about the one they love begins to creep into their mind – things like car accidents, falling down, getting hurt at work, and getting sick. The folks we interview for the most part do not worry compulsively or negatively. These thoughts are normal and natural when you are “in love.”
The fourth category is what we call the I-cannot-imagine-life-without-her category. This is the point in love when you begin to think about the future – your future with the one you love. When you cannot imagine your life without him, you are in love!
The fifth category focuses on the oneness of your relationship. You begin to realize that you truly want this other person in your life. You want to be with them. You want to share with them. You want to live with them, share a bed with them, hold them and hug them. In our book, we refer to the notion of “turning two into one.” You actually begin to think about the one you love and not just about yourself or your needs. You think about theirs – their wants, their needs, and their desires. When the feeling of oneness consumes your body you are in love!
The sixth category is about pre-occupied love. Simply stated, you think about the one you love most of the time. You can’t get them out of your mind. You pull their photo out of your wallet and you smile. You are pre-occupied with them. When you are pre-occupied with them, you are in love with them!
The seventh and final category is love itself and your ability to express that love. You finally have the courage to tell them you love them! You miss them when they are not around. You worry about them. You care about their safety and welfare. You feel about them in ways you have never felt about another human being before. You suddenly and out of nowhere are inspired to say I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! You shout it to the stars. You are in love!
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
Authors of Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the 2009 Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book 2009 Nautilus Book Awards
(Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2010) Available wherever books are sold.
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