Wondering whether you”re really, truly falling in love with someone? Chances are, you”ve probably already asked a close friend or family member for the telltale signs. And if they”re like most people, they probably responded with “you just know,” “it”s hard to describe,” or something equally vague—all of which, needless to say, are pretty unhelpful.
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But just as there is no hard-and-fast rule for how long it takes to fall in love, there”s no set checklist for how to know if what you”re feeling is the real deal. Some people know after a single moment; others develop the feelings after months or even years of small gestures.
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That said, though, there are some common (and scientifically-backed) signals that you”re likely falling in love. For instance, you feel the need to share even the smallest moments of your day with your person, and maybe you discover that their interests are suddenly becoming your interests, too. Or, perhaps you seamlessly start rearranging your schedule to make more time for your guy or gal. And, of course, you might start wondering—perhaps even daydreaming—about the moment when your special someone will admit they love you, too.
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Ahead, we ask therapists, researchers, and other relationship experts to share the classic indications that you are, indeed, falling in love. So now, all you have to do is prepare to say those three big words.
Dawoon Kang, co-founder and co-CEO of online dating platform Coffee Meets Bagel, tells Oprah Daily, “Falling in love is different for everyone,” adding she believes in Dr. Robert J. Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love, which identifies three main aspects: intimacy (the desire to feel closely connected), passion (physical and emotional stimulation), and decision/commitment (the resolve to stick together).
“You don’t need all three components to know that you’re falling in love, but they are strong indicators that you’re on the way,” she explains. “But don”t conclude that someone isn”t falling in love with you because they aren”t showing the same exact signals as you do.”