– The first and most important thing to remember is to take everyone’s advice about love with a grain of salt – everyone on this planet has a different opinion of what love is. Love is an abstract concept and a personal feeling, so it cant be defined or shared; love is a uniquely personal thing. Never let anyone tell you how you feel and take your time in deciding what your emotions are telling you – give it at least a week or two of serious contemplation before coming to any important relationship decisions.
– In order to help you determine whether or not you’re in love with your girlfriend I am going to give you my definition of romantic love based on my own personal experiences in life. (There is more than 1 type of love see: What is love?)
– I define romantic love as a mixture of three things: Primitive attraction, companion familiarity and dependence. Basically, you are attracted to this person in a non-platonic way, you have enough history together, and you depend on each other for mental or physical needs.
– Understand that love isn’t always obvious, its not overwhelming or intense like lust. It’s sort of just there, in the background, adding to your overall happiness and keeping your need for companionship and acceptance at ease. Love is appeasing and relaxing; lust is intense, adrenaline-fueled, anxiety. Don’t confuse the two.
– Inexperienced daters frequently think that the fading of intense lust translates to the loss of love – it doesn’t. That lull you feel after the honeymoon period of 6-12 months is normal.
– The only time you EVER truly know you’re in love is when you lose it or put yourself at risk of losing it. Heartbreak, ironically, is the only major indicator of love. You know that depressed feeling you get after a fight with your girlfriend? Or the jealousy that snuck up on you when you heard she was flirting with another guy? These intense emotions are the signal that you are in romantic love – these reactions simply don’t happen for friends or even family.
Now on to “Do I Love my Girlfriend?” | The 5 Ways to Tell
5- Intense Emotional Reactions
Maybe it doesn’t happen often, but if your girlfriend has EVER triggered powerful emotional reactions of anger, jealousy, happiness, joy or sadness – you’re probably in love with her. Notice this list doesn’t include rejection, pride or insecurity? Its because these emotions can be triggered by girls you are dating who you are not in love with. For example, a girl you went on two dates with, and who dumped you, may be able to trigger a sense of rejection and a hurt ego, but its not the same as the deep aching sadness or blissful joy that a women you love can induce.
4 – Length of the Relationship
You cant be in love with your girlfriend if you’ve only been dating for a month or two – period. Love takes time, its like a change of season or a slow-cooked meal (excuse the super-cheesy analogies, but its the best way to relate this point!) The level of familiarity required to love your girlfriend will depend from situation to situation but a good rule of thumb is at least 4 months together. This will give you enough time to become familiarized with routines, habits, smells and inside-jokes that remind you of her. Basically, by this time you will know “the real her”, and develop a human-bond.
3- Respect and True Thoughts of your Girlfriend
I want you you stop reading and to take note of the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your girlfriend…………….Seriously, do it.
Did you smile? Do you think about how cool she is, how caring she is, or how interesting her hobbies are? Or, did you think about she tortures you emotionally, she hurts you, how you don’t actually like her personality, or how shes mean to others? I ask because, your first thoughts are often the most accurate portrayal of how you actually feel; they are unfiltered by self-denial.
Another way to find out how you truly feel about her is to wait until someone asks you “How is your relationship going?” Pay close attention to your own reaction to this question – do you have to lie and force out a “Its Perfect!” or do you genuinely, without hesitation, say “Oh its going great!” with a smile on your face.
A deep-seeded and fundamental respect and liking for your girlfriend is vital for true love. If you found that your FIRST thoughts were mostly negative ones about your girlfriend it may be lust or fear, and not love, holding you guys together.
2 – She Fulfills Your Needs
Do you feel complete with your girlfriend in your life or is there something missing?
Typically, men only require three things from a romantic relationship:
2. Quality, trusting, companionship
3. Little stress
If you find yourself feeling lonely, that shes just like a friend, or cant help but to have wandering eyes (keep in mind for this to apply, these should happen over a long-term, not just for a week or two) she probably isn’t giving you what you need. Like I wrote earlier, true love requires that she fulfills your needs and you fulfill hers. Its the giving of compassion, understanding and kindness that will allow you to develop a long-lasting bond with your girlfriend. Does she offer you those things?
In short, if you haven’t established a solid support system involving “how’d your day go?” ‘s and “congrats on your test!” ‘s then no, you do not love her yet; although you may be attracted to her.
“Do I love my girlfriend?” The Number 1 Sign
You truly, and deeply, don’t want to lose her
This is the biggest sign that you are in love with your girlfriend. Do you get a deep profound sadness when you fight or think of losing her? Does the thought of losing her shake you to your core? Another important question to ask yourself is: Have you even had a chance to miss her? I ask because, you may not necessarily miss her when she goes away on trips, this is normal for people in love. Think of it this way, you can hit the pause button on a relationship without any emotional reaction – it’s the thought of the stop button that really bring out your true feelings for someone.
If you haven’t had a big fight or a challenge to your relationship yet, don’t rely on this sign. Use the others, as you may deceive yourself into thinking you don’t love her, and then learn the hard way after you break up, that you did.
Image:photostock, Ref: Study, love
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