So you and your significant other have been together for quite some time, and things are getting pretty serious. You think you're ready to say "I love you", but are you really ready?
Here are nine ways to know you two are really in love.
1. You want everyone you know to meet them
When you really love someone, you can't wait to introduce him or her to everyone. More specifically, you can't wait to show them off! You've been telling your family how great they are and you know they'll hit it off once they finally meet.
When your S.O. got that job, you celebrated even harder than they did. When their great-aunt passed away, you mourned with them. When you really love someone, you care about their happiness more than your own, so when they are happy, you're really happy.
3. Sometimes you get jealous, but not suspicious
Contrary to popular belief, a little jealousy in a relationship is healthy. It's when jealousy turns into suspicion or resentment when it becomes a problem. You can tell you're really in love when you respond to a little jealousy by addressing any problems directly with your partner instead of feeling defensive or suspicious.
4. You'd rather spend your time with them
Love is not selective. When you are truly in love, your S.O. is always at the top of your social list. When you are with your other friends and not your S.O., you miss them. You still obviously love spending time with your friends, but things are always better when you bring your partner along.
5. They make you want to be a better person
Let's be real, you don't need anyone to make you more whole. You are pretty great all on your own, but somehow, this partner of yours sees the best in you, and they inspire you to be the best version of yourself. In return, you see the best in them. You see the little acts of kindness they perform on a regular basis, which makes you want to do the same.
6. You feel emotionally and physiologically unstable
You know those butterflies, sweaty palms and dilated pupils that come with being in love? These things are normal and even are expected when you're around someone you love. Being in love can even cause exhilaration, euphoria, increased energy, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, trembling, a racing heart and accelerated breathing.
7. You change your priorities to align with your S.O
Suddenly, you find yourself trying out things you never would have before you met your S.O., like rock climbing. Or maybe you were never a morning person, but recently you've been waking up earlier and earlier so you can have breakfast together before you both head off to work. Whatever it is, you're changing the way you do things because your partner is more important than your old routines.
Falling in love is terrifying. It takes a lot of trust to completely give yourself to someone else. Maybe you're reading this list and starting to get nervous. You might be asking yourself, "Am I ready to be in love? Am I ready to risk that heartbreak?" But when you're with your S.O., all of your fears melt away. You feel comfortable, safe and ready to tackle anything.
9. You can see a future with them
The biggest sign of being in love is whether or not you can picture yourself with them in the long run. Can you imagine raising children with your S.O.? In 20 years, will you want to take them to your high school reunion? Will you love their wrinkles and age spots in 50 years? If you can't help but smile at the thought of getting saggy together, chances are, you're in love.
Love can be a scary thing, but it's worth putting fear aside to be with the one you love. If you're in love with someone, tell them! They probably feel the same way.
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.