We know what love looks like in the movies and fairy tales, but when it hits you in reality it can be a whirlwind of emotions and life changes.
I thought I had been in love before, and maybe I had to some degree.
But it wasn’t until I met my partner that I found out what happens when you love someone deeply, intensely, and unconditionally.
Let me tell you, it’s still a whirlwind but in the best possible way.
So if you’re wondering whether you’re truly in love, this is the article to help you find out.
And that’s what I’m going to share with you – everything you feel when you are lucky enough to experience this type of love, but first, let’s take a look at the idea of love vs lust.
What is love?
It’s an age-old question, one that can’t be explained with science or theories, but through feelings and emotions.
We love people around us like our family and friends, and that just seems to come naturally – there’s no manual or guide on how to love, it’s just an innate feeling.
Then you start dating and eventually fall in love with a partner.
But the problem here is that many people, like I did, think they’re in love but they mistake it for another feeling of affection.
These are the main feelings that get confused:
Lust happens when you desire someone intensely, you’re sexually aroused by them or their energy attracts you and makes you want to be around them all the time.
They feel like a drug that you just can’t get enough of.
Infatuation is when you become attracted, or attached to a person, maybe you enjoy the attention they give you or the way they make you feel.
You find yourself daydreaming about them constantly and making up romantic scenarios in your head, all playing upon the “good feelings” the person gives you.
And then we get to love.
Everyone has their unique definition of love, but collectively we tend to associate love with deeply caring about someone, always wanting the best for them, and being affectionate towards them.
When you love someone deeply, there are also elements of lust and infatuation, especially in the beginning.
But soon that transforms until you reach a level of love where you truly accept that person for who they are; there are no conditions or limitations on your love.
Soon, this person feels like an extension of you – you know them inside out and you still love them even when they’re being difficult.
So when was the moment I knew it was deep love?
I’d love to say it was a romantic, novel-worthy event, but in reality, my love had evolved and deepened gradually.
I started noticing how the dynamics in the relationship were changing – both of us willing to do more for the other person, putting our egos aside for the good of the relationship, and always supporting each other.
It’s not something that happened overnight – love has many elements to it, and the more you open yourself up, the more you learn to love others.
But when it does happen, it’s possibly one of the best feelings in the world *cue the violins*.
So without wasting any more time, let’s get straight to those important things that happen when cupid strikes and you get a good dose of the love bug:
Things that happen when you love someone deeply
1) Your partner feels like home
You know that feeling when you finally get home, change into your pajamas, and snuggle up on the sofa?
Or when you get in after being on holiday for a week and you finally get to sleep in your bed?
Well, when you’re deeply in love, that’s the same feeling you get whenever you’re around your partner – a sense of comfort and belonging.
Everything from their smell to how they talk makes you feel instantly relaxed (it’s not hard to see why love can be addictive).
2) You step up for them
When you love someone, you step up to the plate for them. No questions asked.
For men, this means they’ll protect the woman they love and make sure she’s always okay.
Subtle gestures like facing his body to the side of the traffic when you’re crossing the road, or placing his hand on her back when they’re walking in a busy area, or even stepping in one someone criticizes her, are excellent signs that he wants to assume the protector role.
He is doing this because he loves her deeply and he wants you to be safe.
There’s actually a psychological concept that explains why men are so protective of the woman they love.
It’s called the hero instinct.
Simply put, men have a thirst for admiration and respect. They want to protect and provide for the woman they love. This is deeply rooted in male biology.
In other words, men simply want to be your everyday hero.
I know it sounds a bit silly. Women don’t need a “hero” to protect them.
And I couldn’t agree more.
But here’s the ironic truth. Men do still need to feel like they are a hero. After all, it’s built into their DNA to seek out a relationship with a woman that makes them feel like one.
And the kicker?
A man won’t fall in love with a woman when this thirst isn’t satisfied.
The best way to learn how to trigger the hero instinct in your guy is to watch this free online video.
James Bauer, a relationship psychologist, gives a terrific introduction to this concept. You’ll learn the little things you can do right now to trigger this very natural male instinct.
I don’t often buy into popular new concepts in psychology or recommend videos. But if you want your guy to fall (and stay) in love with you, I think learning about the hero instinct can make all the difference.
3) You feel secure in the relationship
And a big part of making you feel comfortable is the fact that you feel safe and secure in the relationship.
Loving them deeply and being loved back takes away all the worry and uncertainty that comes in the beginning when you first get to know someone.
But now, you don’t need constant reassurance to know that everything is okay and that things are on track – you just know it.
4) All that terrible anxiety melts away
Let’s face it, dating is tough.
All the waiting around, over-analyzing each text message, and never truly being sure whether they’re still playing the field or if you’re fully exclusive yet.
But when you’re deeply in love, all of that gut-wrenching, tummy-twisting anxiety seems to fade into the background.
There’s no more waiting around for a text or call, and none of the usual suspicions that come about in the beginning – you know in your heart where you stand with your partner.
5) You focus on the problem instead of the person
This has been a real lesson that I’ve learned:
When my partner and I argue, it’s not about who said what, or who slammed which door louder, it’s simply about looking at what the problem is in the first place.
Why does this matter in love?
Well, most arguments couples stem from poor communication and misunderstandings.
Once you start seeing the problem as the issue, and not your partner, it becomes easier to fix it.
And being deeply in love pushes you to move past the petty arguments and blame games, and instead focus on what matters the most – resolving the issue quickly.
6) Ex? What ex?
Even if you feel like you’re over your ex, you might still have the odd daydream about them or the occasional stalk on social media (let’s be honest, we’ve all done it).
But when you fall deeply in love, all that curiosity goes straight out of the window, and you have no urge to check up on your ex anymore because your sole focus is on your love.
And even more importantly:
If your ex randomly messages or bumps into you one day, you couldn’t care less. This ship has completely sailed and your ex no longer affects you.
7) You want to build a future with them
The biggest difference between my current relationship and all the previous ones?
We’re fully invested in building a future together.
It’s a hard feeling to describe, but when you know you’re deeply in love, it feels as if nothing can hold you back, individually and as a couple.
Suddenly, things that used to freak me out in the past like living together or buying a house, starting a business, or having a family, all feel right.
8) You can imagine being with them years into the future
And what’s the key to building a future together?
It’s being able to imagine being together in 5, 10 even 20 years into the future.
At this point, you know you’ve found your person and that the deep love you have will help you achieve all your goals and ambitions together.
9) Making sacrifices for them comes easy
Here’s the thing:
When you like someone, you’ll do favors for them or even go out of your way to help them out.
But when you love someone deeply, you don’t think twice about putting their happiness or needs before your own – it becomes an unspoken rule that you look after each other.
And on the flip side of that:
If your partner loves you back equally, you’ll never feel like you have to neglect your self-care to look after them.
There’ll always be a balance between giving and taking and the sacrifices you both make.
10) You don’t have to hide anything
Now for one of my absolute favorites – being able to share everything with your partner and never feeling that you have to hide who you are.
From important life decisions to silly thoughts (or in my case, a constant stream of theoretical “what if” scenarios), nothing is off-limits to talk about.
You feel free around them, and you know that nothing you tell them will ever be met with judgment – it’s the ultimate form of love.
11) You know you love them even when they drive you crazy
But just because you’ve got a lot of love for them, it doesn’t mean they’re not going to make you want to pull your hair out from time to time.
After all, they’re still human, you still have feelings, and they know all the right buttons to press.
But the key here is loving them even when they’re driving you insane – deep down you know that you still care about them, even if you don’t particularly like them at that moment in time.
And that’s okay – it’s completely normal to not always like the person you love – even the most loved up couples get sick of each other from time to time.
12) You’re willing to make changes for them
Another change I experienced whilst falling deeply in love with my partner was an incredible urge to improve myself and work on my limitations in life.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t because I felt inadequate or self-conscious, or that I felt I had to keep up to his standards.
Instead, I felt inspired and confident, and any changes I made or am in the process of making comes from a place of love and wanting to be the best I can be.
13) They bring out the best version of you
And that leads to our next point – the changes you make are all your way of trying to be better, for your partner and yourself.
Let’s face it:
Falling in love deeply is a phenomenal experience.
And if that doesn’t jolt you awake and make you start paying attention to your life, I don’t know what will.
Suddenly, all those things you’ve put off doing, or the fears you’ve avoided facing, they’re not impossible to accomplish anymore.
Put simply – you need to love yourself to hold all this love for your partner too.
One important way a woman can bring out the best version of their man is by triggering his hero instinct.
I mentioned this concept above.
The hero instinct is probably the best kept secret in relationship psychology. It goes to the heart of why some men commit to a loving and long lasting relationship, while others pull away.
If you want to learn how to trigger the hero instinct in your man, watch this simple and genuine video.
The video reveals the words you can say and texts you can send to make your man feel like your everyday hero.
14) You always look forward to seeing them
It doesn’t matter if you’ve only spent the day apart or a few hours, seeing their face again just makes you feel warm inside.
Does it sound cringey?
Yes, (borderline needy, too) but something about being reunited with the person you love makes you feel like you can finally breathe and relax again.
And if that makes you look a little clingy, so be it.
There’s nothing wrong with missing the person you love whenever you’re apart, it just shows how strong of a connection you share.
15) Your sex life evolves
Before falling in love, sex is passionate, lustful, and thrilling (or it should be, anyway).
And once you fall in love with someone deeply, it’s still passionate, lustful, and thrilling, but now with a touch of tenderness and intimacy too…you feel connected physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Put simply, the sex gets even better.
Making love isn’t just about satisfying both your needs, but it becomes about exploring each other’s bodies and knowing the other person inside out.
16) You feel safe to be vulnerable around them
A big part of that intimacy in sex also comes from allowing yourself to be vulnerable around them.
When you fall in love deeply, you want them to know everything about you – the good, the bad, and the ugly, because you know they can handle it.
And the best part?
You get to learn all that stuff about them too, and even the things that surprise you won’t shake your love because you appreciate their honesty.
17) You feel each other’s pain
And the more you learn about each other, the deeper your love grows.
Once this happens, it’s hard to not feel empathy, even to the point where you feel the pain yourself when your partner is going through a tough time.
You share a connection and this allows you to put yourself into that person’s shoes, feel what they’re feeling and you won’t feel back to normal until they’re okay again.
It sounds pretty morbid, right?
But in reality, knowing that you can help them feel better and that they understand your pain too, makes those hard times a little easier to get through together.
18) You’d rather stay in with them than go out
When you love someone deeply, it doesn’t mean that all the fun date nights have to stop.
You can still go wild together, do all the crazy things you did when you first met that made you fall in love in the first place.
But now, there’s not much of a need to do it all the time.
Because you’d rather have fun cooking together, messing around as much as you want, or arguing over the best film to watch, without the constraints of being outside.
19) No task is boring if they’re by your side
As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun.
And when the person you love is around, not even waiting in line at the bank or hanging laundry out feels like a chore – it’s easy to make it feel like an adventure.
This level of love means that you’re always in good company.
And even if you’re both doing your own thing but in the same room, you never feel lonely or bored because their presence alone gives you energy.
20) You can’t imagine life without them
It’s never nice to imagine breaking up with someone you love, or even worse, something bad happening to the person you care about.
But when it’s someone you love deeply, it’s a gut-wrenching feeling.
Think of it like this:
The same type of love you have for your parents, or maybe for your kids if you have any, is what you feel for that person.
It’s unconditional, it’s ever-lasting, and you know your life wouldn’t be the same without them in it.
21) You accept their flaws
After the honeymoon period, in most relationships, you get a real view of who your partner is.
You start to see all those little annoying things that you somehow overlooked when you were all swept up in romance at the start…like being forgetful, or having a stubborn personality.
But once those rose-tinted glasses come off, if you have a deep love for that person, you learn to accept these flaws and bad habits.
Essentially, their good stuff outweighs the bad, and you love them for it regardless.
22) You don’t always need to be in control
In love, people can still feel a need to control their partner or hold expectations over them.
Sometimes they don’t even realize they’re doing it.
But when you’re in deep, unconditional, authentic love?
You no longer need to have a hand in every situation, you respect and love your partner enough to let them make their own choices and simply be free.
23) Other people’s opinions matter less
And just as you can let go of issues like having anxiety or being controlling, suddenly societal and peer pressure becomes less important too.
You know what it’s like, you introduce a guy or girl to your friends and they’re not very impressed, sometimes to the point that it can sway your feelings too.
But when you love someone deeply, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks because your mind and heart are already made up.
24) You’re willing to try new things
As if experiencing intense love isn’t thrilling enough, this newfound energy and appreciation for life will also push you out of your comfort zone.
Your guy likes bungee jumping even though you’ve got a fear of heights?
There’s a good chance you’re going to be up there, ready to jump and already regretting it, but the point is you’ll be doing it.
She enjoys eating Indian even though black pepper is your spice limit?
You’ll soon be a regular at the local Indian restaurant.
This type of love makes you feel brave and confident, and both of you will push your boundaries and limits in a good way for each other.
25) They’re the first person you want to tell good news to
It doesn’t matter how small or big it is – you’ve got a promotion at work or you finally found the headphones you lost a month ago – you’ll want to share it with them.
After all, we all want to feel listened to, supported, and to have someone share in our successes in life, and when you love a person deeply, all of these feelings intensify.
And the best part?
They’ll want to hear about it, no matter how mundane or ridiculous it is.
26) It just feels right
But the ultimate thing that happens when you love someone deeply is the sense of “just knowing”.
It’s like a gut feeling mixed with a calm reassurance in your heart. Your mind is at peace and any doubts that try to creep in gradually peter out.
But this feeling doesn’t always come straight away, for some people they know instantly, for others their love has to grow over time before they’re sure.
When it does happen though, and you have that intuitive feeling that this is your person, all those other emotions and doubts fade away.
The key message to take away is that being deeply in love is life-changing – it can shake you to your core and make you expand in ways you didn’t think possible.
Will it feel amazing?
Yes…but that doesn’t mean that the relationship won’t take work and commitment.
And one easy way to know whether you’re stuck in lust or infatuation instead of love is that you won’t feel invested enough to put in all that hard work of support, communication, and vulnerability.
One main difference I’ve personally found between “ thinking I’m in love” and “deep love” is that the latter brings a lot more peace to the mind, heart, and soul…
And certainly less of the ups and downs that come with lust or infatuation.
So if you’re in love, enjoy the feeling and cherish what you have, because ultimately, deep love is something everyone longs for and hopes to find.
Struggling to Love Yourself? This Quiz Reveals Why and Shows You How
Do you sometimes feel unworthy, flawed, or not good enough? Like you’ll never measure up no matter how hard you try?
Most of us grapple with self-doubt and low self-esteem at times. And when we don’t love ourselves, it permeates everything – our relationships, our work, our inner peace.
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The first step is bringing awareness to the problem. The solution will follow.