10 Signs You Know It's Really Love

Two days after Thanksgiving, I went to Buffalo Wild Wings to simultaneously watch the Arizona vs. ASU and USC vs. UCLA games. Though I attended the athletics-driven University of Arizona, I dislike sports, but my significant other is obsessed with his alma mater USC and encouraged me to tune in for both matches if I could. He was in Palm Springs with his parents at the time, but we text messaged each other nonstop throughout the games, saddened our teams were losing but happy to lean on each other even from afar. I knew by the end of the night that I was in love. Why else would I have gone to a sports bar solo to watch football for four hours? The USC game meant a lot to my beau, and I was willing to park myself in front of a TV if it meant sharing something special with my favorite person.

The next night, I dropped the “L” bomb, which was (thankfully) reciprocated, and he mentioned his mom and dad had joked he must be in love to text someone throughout the big game. We all have our “aha!” moments, and that was mine. Here are other ways to know you’ve moved far beyond “like” territory and are there to stay.

10. You’re not putting on a dainty act anymore

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You don’t feel like you have to eat like a bird or shut your mouth when something is bothering you. If you have a stomach ache, you’ll mention it. If your S.O. takes you to a restaurant that just doesn’t appeal to you, you’ll admit you never want to go back, even if it happens to be his favorite place to eat. This will actually strengthen the relationship because no one will be hiding any discomforts or facts about themselves.

9. You can do embarrassing things around each other

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You can burp, trip or do other socially questionable things in each other’s presence and not even worry about judgment or looking stupid.

8. You’re aware of each other’s weird (and occasionally gross) nightly habits and don’t care

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Maybe you have a sleeptalking problem and he never stops snoring. One of you might even have a flatulence issue you can’t control. As annoying and disgusting as these things can be, you’d rather stay in the same bed as your S.O. than spend a night apart.

7. You want to know his/her family members

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It’s serious when you really want to get to know your boyfriend or girlfriend’s relatives. This is a big step for any couple, but if you’re interested in meeting the parents, siblings and beyond, you know you’re in it for the long haul, even if the family doesn’t turn out to be your cup of tea.

6. You don’t worry about him/her thinking you’re texting too much

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You guys stay in contact a lot because you care, not because you’re “desperate” or “needy.” With love, you can contact the other person anytime and not have to worry about seeming too clingy or obsessive.

5. You worry about him

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Anytime my boyfriend works super late at the office, I ask him to text me when he gets home so I know he made it back OK. It’s not easy worrying about someone besides yourself, but that’s what love is like, and if you have kids someday in the future, you’ll fret about their well-being too.

4. You miss him whenever he’s not around

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As much as you value your much-needed alone time, you’d rather be with your S.O. than away from him/her because everything is more fun with your favorite person around.

3. You want to tell the world all about it

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Whether you’re a private or outspoken person, you’re so proud to say you’re with someone awesome and don’t feel like you have to hide how happy he/she makes you for the sake of other people’s comfort.

2. You find little ways to make his/her life easier

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When my boyfriend puts in long hours at the office, I try to run errands for him so he’s not out of paper towels, dishwasher tablets or other household essentials during the week. The little things make all the difference, especially during stressful times, and the individual you’re with will appreciate your consideration and thoughtful gestures so much when everything else feels overwhelming.

1. It’s not about you anymore

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I read a great piece a while back titled “Marriage Isn’t For You.” I promise it’s not as negative as the headline seems, but essentially the author argues that marriage shouldn’t be about your own fulfillment, but that of your significant other. When you reach a point when the other person’s needs trump your own, you know it’s love. That doesn’t mean he/she is more important than you are, but lasting love comes from a place of selflessness, and when you’re willing to make some sacrifices and give everything to your S.O., you know you’ve got what it takes to stay together forever. That is, if your S.O. takes the same approach with you.

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How do you know when you’re in love? Share in the comments section.

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