In the spirit of this month’s many romantic holidays–you know, Groundhog Day, National Battery Day, Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, and, sure, Valentine’s Day–it only feels right, I think, to talk a little bit about love. You are familiar with the concept (which can more or less be summed up as a chemical reaction that occurs in the body that results in one feeling intense feeling of deep affection) I assume? It is only shoved down your throat in every single movie, TV show, and book, after all, whether or not it is something you have ever experienced or ever want to experience.
There are also, as it turns out, a bunch of scientific studies on how to tell if you’re in love.
Obviously, random studies on love (many of which, I am sure, are funded by dating apps that want the study to arrive at a certain result and, because of this, are probably unreliable) are not the only thing you should use to determine how you feel about someone. You want to trust your own gut feelings first, not, like, the Farmer’s Only-sponsored study on how the presence of American-grown corn in one’s diet actually makes someone more likely to fall in love, or something. Still, if you’re not sure, it can be fun to look at random scientific studies and see how they apply to you.
So, check out these things that, according to science, prove if you’re actually in love or not:
You Celebrate Their Accomplishments In Addition To Your OwnAccording to Psychology Today, falling in love often means that you start feeling genuinely happy for your partner's successes, even if you're experiencing failures at the same time. This doesn't mean that you won't feel the sting of anything that goes badly in your own life, of course, but it means that you'll be able to acknowledge your sadness and your partner's happiness at the same time. You'll even feel a little bit of pride, even though it wasn't technically you who accomplished anything. Image source: iStock
Your Sense Of Self ImprovesIf you have a good, healthy relationship, it can help you expand your own worldview and self-perception. Why is this? Basically, being in love--or being in any long-lasting relationship, really--can help you take on new traits and ideas about the world, which, in turn, can help you grow as a person. It's worth noting, however, that this can also have a pretty bad effect if you're in an unhealthy or abusive relationship--instead of expanding your worldview and self-confidence, it'll make you feel small and diminished. So, it's important to stay aware not only of how you feel, but how a relationship is changing you, too. Image source: iStock
You Want Them To Approve Of Things You DoApparently, another characteristic of falling in love is that you start to re-prioritize and slightly alter your clothing, habits, and/or mannerisms. It's pretty important to note that this could easily be a bad thing, too--it's totally fine to consider your partner's wishes and input when you're doing something, but you shouldn't let their opinions consume you, either. Doing something solely to make your partner happy should be a bonus, not an expectation, and if they start to expect this from you without doing the same in return, this is bad news. Image source: iStock
You Feel Physically Drawn To Them At All TimesIf you find yourself missing your partner throughout the day, even if you just saw them the day before, .chances are good that you're in love This isn't particularly surprising--of course you're going to miss the person you're in love with--but what is interesting is why this happens. Apparently this drive to be with the person you love is as strong as the drive you have for food and water, which implies that romantic love serves a vital evolutionary purpose, and, for many people, is pretty important to survive. Image source: iStock
You Get A 'Good' Amount Of JealousyJealousy is a tricky emotion--usually, it's (rightly) thought to be a negative one, but, according to a study done in 2004, a little bit of jealousy is actually a sign that you're more committed to your relationship. Basically, it's a difference between feeling something called "reactive" jealousy, which happens when you see an occurence that might rationally make one jealous of their partner, and "suspicious" jealousy, which is when you don't see anything happening, but always worry that something might. So, if you keep each type of jealousy in check, you should be good. Image source: iStock
You Feel...A Lot Of ThingsThere is a common aphorism that love is a many-splendored thing--which, if you think of all of the emotions that love can wreak, is definitely true. There's a reason why people who are in love in the movies are often portrayed as feeling euphoric one moment and despondent the next, and this is because love can lead to emotional and physiological instability. The good news? This mostly only applies at first--after a while, you'll grow more used to the person you love and be able to stay calmer around them. Image source: iStock
You Know It's Not About SexFeeling like you want to cuddle and talk with bae more than you want to just hook up with them? Statistically speaking, you might be in love--apparently, 64 percent of people in long-term, committed relationships say that sex isn't the most important part of their relationship. This might seem a little obvious (everyone knows you can't build a relationship on sex alone, obviously) but, since this study surveyed both men and women , it's interesting to know that both sexes seem to be on the same page when it comes to what makes for a long-lasting relationship. Image source: iStock
Were you surprised by any of these facts? Which ones? Let us know in the comments!
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