Whether you’ve felt it once or a few times, falling in love is an indescribable emotion that makes you lose complete control over everything. You never have a choice; it just happens naturally. It could be an immediate feeling that comes over you or something that grows stronger over time. Maybe it’s a conversation, a touch, or even just the locking of eyes - there’s no definitive way of falling in love; every person feels it differently. But, falling in love is the easy part. It’s exciting, electric, and vulnerable, and at that time, it feels like it will last forever, but the truth is, happily ever after isn’t always realistic. Staying in love and maintaining that deep, profound connection can be hard work. Here’s why it’s important to differentiate between the two…
Falling in love
If you ask people what falling in love feels like, most will describe the butterflies they get when their partner walks in the room or how effortless life feels when they are together. In the early stages of a relationship, it’s easy to mistake lust for love. According to relationship experts, lust is purely a physical and sexual attraction to someone, while love is passionate and compassionate. The confusing part comes in when the categories overlap, but the greatest sign of all is that different hormones and brain chemicals are involved in each stage. After significant research from experts, the signs you’re falling in love are as follows:
Curiosity - When falling in love, you will often find yourself being fascinated by your partner. They’re mannerisms, how they speak, sleep, their hobbies, likes, and dislikes. You want to know everything about them and appreciate all the things they enjoy.
Empathy - Love makes you grow closer to your partner in more ways than one. Instead of just taking the good, you’re in for the whole ride. When they’re sad, you’re sad, and when they’re happy, so are you. More than listening, you want to help them through it, and you will do it in whatever way they will respond to.
They are your priority - The more you fall for your partner, the more you withdraw from everyone else - at least to begin with. You want to spend all day with them, socializing with other people doesn’t matter; if your spouse is free, you want to be the person they bond with.
Sex - The honeymoon period is a real thing. Testosterone and dopamine create an arousal spike for men, giving them an intense desire to have sex wherever, whenever. It’s a greater emotion than a natural need for sex; it’s one of the signs a man is falling in love. For women, oxytocin helps them bond with their partner and is released through sex and other intimate gestures.
You feel invincible - Ever felt like you had superpowers when you started dating someone new? When falling in love, you may find you have more energy, you’re enthusiastic about doing things, you’re operating at a higher level, and you feel like nothing and no one can hold you back. This feeling is due to elevated levels of testosterone, dopamine, and epinephrine which allow you to fully function, even with a lack of sleep and food.
Staying in love
Love is like most things in life; the longer you have something, the less excited you become about it. Every relationship has its ups and downs as you go through life together, and while some couples go their separate ways, others stick it out for the long haul. But even though some stay together, many couples have committed to staying married when they’re not in love. Staying in love rather than falling in love is a choice. We live in a society where you can log on to an app and match with ten singles in a matter of minutes. The options in the dating pool are endless, so if you’re looking to share your life with someone and maintain a meaningful love, it’s a much tougher yet more valuable path to take. While it’s not easy, here are some of the ways you can keep the love going…
Make an effort to connect - With so many distractions in the world and our lives being ruled by our phones, couples who stay in love make the effort to put the devices down and be present with one another. It could be at a restaurant, at home, or anywhere else, but the couples who stay in love are the ones who give each other their undivided attention when alone together.
Show appreciation for one another - Staying in love means appreciating everything about the other person, flaws and all. More than believing it, you need to show it. Whether it’s through telling them, physical touch, or even acts of kindness, making sure your partner feels loved and wanted will keep your relationship on the right track.
Grow from conflict - Every couple argues, and it’s human nature that you will not see eye-to-eye on everything. But, there are ways to resolve situations that can help you grow, rather than harboring resentment. Instead of there being a right and wrong, understanding your partner’s perspective and making an effort to alter the way you respond is an empathetic and healthy way of dealing with the situation and makes your partner feel heard and supported.
Seek new adventures - Married life or long-term relationships can often get repetitive and boring, leaving many people getting frustrated. In order to keep things exciting, it’s important to try new things together, plan new adventures, and do things that take you out of your comfort zone. A joint experience will draw you closer and more in love.
Be independent - Staying in love doesn’t mean that you have to spend time with your partner 24/7 or revolve your life around them. It’s crucial that you find a healthy balance between spending time together and apart. By having your independence, you can take a breather, practice self-care, and appreciate quality time with your partner.