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

giphy (7)

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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Blond attractive woman buying groceries in supermarket.

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


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.

Featured images and GIFs via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via and via.

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1233745259 Asimina Gonzalez

    so… yes, he is the real deal πŸ˜‰

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10135202 Laura Elizabeth Donovan

      Heck yea!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15600392 Colva Weissenstein

    This is such a lovely, truthful article. I really like that it doesn’t make love overblown, and idealistic, but rather practical. Great work!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10135202 Laura Elizabeth Donovan

      Thanks, Colva!!! #1 is important to remember!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513381681 Liz Banks

    Romantic movies give girls artificial and dramatic ideas on what real love is. This is honest and truthful! I love it!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10135202 Laura Elizabeth Donovan

      Aw thanks! I agree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1849828582 Meghan Morris

    This was just great! The images you used were spot-on, and the words were just personal enough to be engaging but not too sickeningly sweet πŸ˜€
    (Also, Bear Down! Do the sports for the points!)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10135202 Laura Elizabeth Donovan

      Thank you! I try to avoid cheesiness when I can!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512104932 Annie Primeau

    I think the “marriage isn’t for you” article was more saying that marriage is for the family. Basically you should choose, love and cherish your significant other because together you’re a unit that will build a family and the rest of your lives together. I don’t think it’s about the other persons’ needs trumping yours, but rather, knowing that you should rely on each other without trying to give and receive an “even” amount, because you’re creating something so much greater than just a relationship together.

    But great article :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10135202 Laura Elizabeth Donovan

      Good point, that’s just what I gathered from the piece. Thanks for reading πŸ˜€

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=711566112 Kennedy Chadwick

    Laura, I enjoy every piece that I’ve read of yours! The quality is high, the topics vary, and you produce work that is captivating and enjoyable to read. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your contributions. I look forward to reading more of your work!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10135202 Laura Elizabeth Donovan

      That’s way too generous and kind of you to say! Thank you for reading and sending your support, Kennedy! Glad my work helps you in some way!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=686267575 Meredith Towne-DeVito

    I knew I was in love when my now husband was the first person I wanted to call when something was going wrong. My support system shifted from girl friends/family to him. My mother had told me that “true love” doesn’t hurt and it is easy to love the other person. After many relationship fiascos that resulted in copious tears, it was foreign to be with someone where love felt effortless and being together didn’t involve any stress. 8 years later, we are still going strong. Marriage is not easy by any stretch but it is worth it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10135202 Laura Elizabeth Donovan

      I originally used that line item but swapped it out for some reason. Agree with you 100 percent!! Nothing amazing is easy to maintain or get!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1637415338 Margaret Carson

    I had my one true love when I was too young to realize it. I worked at a residential summer camp for many years. I met the pool director and we dated that whole summer. He was a few years older than I and went to Boston University. He so loved me and told me many many times and he would drive down every weekend from Boston to CT. He lived about 40 minutes from me in CT and would drive down every Friday and Saturday Night. Well his Mom put her foot down and we would see each other on holidays or school vacations. The next summer we dated again as we worked at the camp again. He started doing the drive down thing again, however his Mom made him break up with me and get back to continue his studies. We wrote the most beautiful letters to each other and it ended……I was so young and did not realize until now that I am 56 years old, that he was the “One True Love” and I being so young thought I had a whole lifetime ahead of me. Which I did and I got involved years later, with someone for 15 years , the prime of my life and got nothing for it, he walked away and met someone else and married her 2 years later. But I can sit and so remember my true love Neil and how that man loved me so. I found him within an hour of getting my first computer (lol). He is happily married and actually lives in another state as I due also, but only 2 hours away! So there is my Love Story and I at least know one man truly loved me with his whole heart, who else would drive back and forth every weekend? Oh and also tell me over and over how much he loved me. :)

    • Laura Donovan

      Cute story!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1401962948 Senica Patience Hill

    I knew my boyfriend was my one true love, honestly, at first sight. There was just something about him. Then after the first kiss, I loved him a little bit more. After being together for a month, we both dropped the L-bomb on each other, pretty much at the same time. 3 years later, we are still together, happily in love. Everyone told us we wouldn’t last because, of course high school love never last (sarcasm intended)! Despite all the negative comments, we still are going strong. We even talk about getting married (we really aren’t both ready yet, but we do want that in our future).
    I loved this article because it really hit my heart, I really understood and felt like this was 100% accurate.

    • Laura Donovan

      Adorable!!! Thank you for reading and sharing your own cute story πŸ˜€

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1346555533 Debra Yaeger

    This is too true, I find that I can relate to all of this. We also frequently comment that it seems like it’s been much longer than two and a half years… In a good way! I feel like I’ve been friends with this sweet man my entire life!
    Thanks for the good read :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10135202 Laura Elizabeth Donovan

      Cute! Thanks for reading πŸ˜€

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1444096236 Kori Leger Jeudy

    I knew my husband was the man I was going to marry the night I met him. I had almost given up on the whole “happily ever after” thing after years of spending time with the wrong men knowing at the time that I might have cared for many of them, but if I had married them I would have been settling just for the sake of not being alone. He lived in Boston, and I was about 45 mins outside of Boston in the burbs. I knew he cared about me too because he would travel by train every weekend since the day we met to see and spend time with me. I went out to him some too, but he had roommates so my place was more comfortable for us to just chill in. Even though he is a man of few words, I figured out he loved me without yet hearing him say it when he bought a car just for the sake of seeing me about 3 months into the relationship. He showed up one day an hour before his train would have arrived to surprise me. Living in the city he had no need for a car. He uprooted his city life and moved in with me a couple months after that and now we have been together 7 years and married for almost 2 years.
    On a side note I have also read the “marriage isn’t for you” article and thought it was an amazing take on what love is really about.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10135202 Laura Elizabeth Donovan

      What a nice story! Glad it all worked out for you two! Yes, I really love that article as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001277942242 Bianca Gasparino Ruas

    I really can relate… I met my boyfriend in 2008, when I was 15 and he was 18. He lives around 400km away from me (different states, 7 hours by bus), and he’s been travelling all that way to see me for 6 years! If that ain’t love, I really don’t know what love is supposed to be. Spending so much time away we learned to be patient, to care less about stupid stuff and to be mature… It’s been really hard. I miss him a lot and I know he misses me too, but I understand that loving someone is learning how to deal with the circumstances, so we can choose either making our circumstance the end of the world or study and work hard so we can be together by the end of this year.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10135202 Laura Elizabeth Donovan

      “loving someone is learning how to deal with the circumstances, so we can choose either making our circumstance the end of the world or study and work hard so we can be together by the end of this year.” So true! You two will figure it out πŸ˜€ Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000542550963 Robert Remillard

    And all of that is still true 25 years later.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10135202 Laura Elizabeth Donovan


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003335693373 Rebecca Martinez

    I read this because I think i’m falling in love. It’s so complicated though. I met him in Argentina while I was studying abroad! It’s almost been a year and we’ve talked nearly everyday. I can tell him anything and vice versa. We haven’t discussed the matter. There are times where I really miss him and I wish we could hang out but he’s 5,000 miles away. *sigh* I wish i could find the American equivalent to him.

  • sarah

    i am in love with my best friend and he is my ex

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