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How do you know you are in love?

How do you know you are in love? — The original question

I came across that headline the other day when searching for something completely unrelated.

I couldn’t stop but think – is that really a question that we need to be asking ourselves? Doesn’t every young heart know that it happened when it skipped a beat one too many times in a day? Doesn’t every body recognize the signs? Your face turns red, your palms start getting sweaty, butterflies in your stomach – all before the person of interest even had a chance to turn around and lay eyes on you.


We all know once we are in love that we are in love. We know the signs. There is no question about it.

  • You can’t stop thinking about the person
  • You can’t remember what life looked like before you two met
  • The moment you part ways you wish could be together again
  • Time loses its value when you are together
  • When you see them walk in the room, the room lights up
  • Your entire existence and happiness is in his/her hands
  • You utterly ignore their imperfections
  • Life is bliss

And the list goes on and on, right? Going back to my original question, though – is that really the question we should be asking ourselves?

How do you know you are in love? – The follow up question

Shouldn’t we instead be asking, how do you know that you love him/her?

Isn’t THAT the part that truly matters in life?

How do you know that you successfully moved from that ‘in love’ phase to the ‘I love you’ phase? The cycle of falling in love and falling out of love happens several times in a lifetime for most people. The in-love phase most often is rather short-lived and cannot sustain a long-term relationship. If you have been in a long-term relationship with someone, or have been married more than a day, you know I’m right.

  • ·         There is no need for a ‘because’ or a ‘but’ to follow after you say I love you
  • ·         You are aware of their imperfect nature but love them in spite of it
  • ·         You think long-term
  • ·         You do well with some time apart
  • ·         You can’t imagine your future without the other person
  • ·         What you feel is more than just sexual attraction
  • ·         Having an disagreement or two will not send you (or him/her) out the door

Saying ‘I love you’ means knowing the truth and despite it all, deciding to stay. It means I love you now and I will never stop loving you. It means making a conscious decision to keep showing up. If that’s not what “I love you” means, I don’t know what does.


If you think you just met THE one, or have known for a while and now you are onto planning a wedding – You might be looking for premarital counseling. See our page dedicated to precisely that HERE and give us a call at 612.212.3564 OR schedule an initial phone consultation HERE to see if we would be a good fit. There is no better way to starting a marriage than with some time dedicated to the two of you.