Perhaps you don’t need an Internet listicle to tell you it’s love. If so you are more fortunate than some. Many days in both my work and play, I get the question, “How do you know when it’s really love?” The Romcoms make that shit seem way more painless than it is, but I’m here to tell you it’s not all springtime and daffodils; maybe that’s why we got so angry at Katherin Heigl for deceiving us. Here are the real-life symptoms of love, so you don’t have to Ask Your Doctor…
1. Nausea- Mostly when your love object is leaving, or you’re leaving, or just the thought of them dying, ya know- that mortality stuff you were trying to avoid thinking about.
2. Neediness- When you don’t care, you don’t cling. As soon as love is involved, time to head to therapy/crack out the co-dependence books/pry your fingers off the object of your love.
3. Stalking- from relatively light (me on Facebook) to relatively heavy (I got some crazy ass friends) that whole standing outside their window with a boom box a la John Cusack just doesn’t seem as romantic now that you can just text them your playlist. Back away from his email account, psycho…
4. Regrets- Ah, the symphony of insight that bubbles up once someone actually treats you well. Wait- you were putting up with what?
5. Memories- Hey this whole falling in love caper remind you of something? Oh yeah, those other times you fell in love, the ones that ended in that epic breakup-where-you-thought-you-would die/divorce/death. Aw, the way we were…
6. Butterflies- see 1.
7. Fear- Nothing to see here, he/she already said it and you’re even making future plans so everything is OH MY FUCKING GOD JUST DON’T LEAVE ME I WILL DIE DADDY IS THAT YOU?
8. Compromise- Just when you thought your kids had already sucked out your remaining goodwill with a curly straw (mmmm your blood- delicious) here comes a new significant other to drain the few drops you had left. And by drain I mean, “Of course I am willing to change and grow and make concessions, I am only in my forties not that set in my ways hehe…”
9. Emo- When your heart cracks open, all your ventricles fall out. In the immortal words of that Pro-Ana poet, “Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near?” But those poor birds though; between poachers, global warming and GMOs completely messing up the ecosystem, I just can’t with the birds, and fuck when did my kids get so cute suddenly, I love everyone Ow ow so much leakage from my eyes…
10. Happiness- Yes that’s right, a deep, abiding joy when with the person, a sense that they fit with you like no one else, even when not in your immediate proximity, your whole life is better with them in it. Unfortunately sometimes the rest of your life seems to suck in comparison, but don’t worry, gradually it won’t. The right relationship will spur you towards wanting to be better, and do better, just don’t expect it to while you’re still in limerence.
11. The Feeling Is Mutual- Sure I have been infatuated and obsessed plenty of times since the end of my marriage, but when someone returns your commitment in tangible ways (wanting to see you/spend time with you/bang you frequently) it’s a whole other event. When the love is reflected back to you without fear it makes you drop your own fear, and make space for more love. (Also, more fucking.)
12. The Sex Is Different- Sex with someone you are deeply in love with almost doesn’t even feel like sex, more like interplanetary travel. I know some people don’t think boning and all its ancillary activities are all that important and look forward to settling in to a lifetime of cuddles and chill, but I don’t think those people read me. Sex can be the ultimate expression of how you feel, if you’re lucky enough to be with someone who is also wired to express love through (increasingly) dirty acts of communion. So ignore what “they” say about true love being more comfortable than sexy, and have at it!
I hope you are more clear on whether or not it’s really love, and that great chemistry can also cause vomiting. Still feel a little lost? If you need more personalized help, e-mail me HERE.