How to Tell If You’re Actually in Love

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Falling in love is a beautiful thing– there’s something about it that makes us feel like little kids again. Whether you’re living the single life or at the settled, “old married couple” stage of your relationship, you can probably still appreciate the beauty of those first moments of falling in love.

As the wise father in the movie Juno put it, “In my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person will still think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”

A bunch of people took to Reddit to share the moment when they knew they were in love, and the results will make you happy cry. Read on for our favorites.

You can have fun doing anything together.

I realized I was in love with my SO while we were moving. We had made like six 30-minute trips back and forth and we were hot and tired but we were having so much fun together. I figure if he can make me enjoy moving, normally an incredibly stressful event, I could probably enjoy anything with him. And I do. BINGPOT Yep, he’s the one!

Food is love.

It’s really hard to get the motivation to make meals for myself, but it’s easy to make something for her. SwissyVictory Happiness is a meal cooked with love.

You’re excited about the future.

When you’re excited for all the things that scared you to death before. With my ex, something always felt a little bit off and I could never place why but it did. With the man I’m seeing now, it just all fits. I’m not scared to marry him or start a family instead, my heart races at the idea that I could be so lucky to spend the rest of this life with him. NyaPapaya Listen to your gut!

It doesn’t feel like work.

In my current relationship, I finally get it. I feel cared for and appreciated every day. I feel like I can talk to him about anything without judgment. We handle any issues by just addressing them up-front, there’s no rudeness or passive aggression. He actively supports my creative endeavors, doesn’t just tolerate them, which is huge for me. People always say “every relationship takes work” and that’s 100% true but it has taken on a new meaning since I met him because it doesn’t feel like “work” anymore. I never knew it could be this easy. ddeevv Love should build you up, not tear you down.

Or, put another way, the work is fun.

When I was married, the “work” of love was hard: The compliments, the housework, the physical closeness, and the gift-giving all drained me. I didn’t mind spending time with my ex-husband, because he is an interesting guy, but the rest of it was grueling. With my fiance, it is EASY. I tell him how damn good he looks every day because he always looks great. I thank him all the time because he does things that I appreciate. I keep up on the housework more than I ever did when I lived alone because I want to make his life easier. I see things that remind me of him, buy them, and give them to him (or just send him a bunch of silly memes to brighten his day). I’m not a touchy, snuggly person, but knowing how happy it makes him makes me want to get close. And really, wherever he is, I want to be too, just because he’s SO fun to be around. Love is work, and with the right person, that work is fun. 😀 insertcaffeine Love is a beautiful thing! Love can be hard but it can also be EASY.

When it hurts not to.

Around when I first realized I was in love with my SO, I came across a post titled “When is it okay to say ‘I love you?'” Someone answered, “When it hurts not to.” That’s always stuck with me. YaBoyMax We’re not crying, you’re crying.

Follow your heart.

When my SO and I were reaching that point, I wanted him to say it first (I don’t know why, looking back) but whenever we had a quiet lull in conversation, my brain would be shouting “I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU” but I’d just sit there saying nothing. Finally, it was too much and I told him one morning before he left for work. I can’t put into words how it felt when he said it back to me then. It was just this perfect intimate moment between us, and I’m about to cry thinking back on it because I love him so much. ummmnoway Cutest story ever!

Missing you.

I knew I was 100% in love when I went away for work for five weeks and missed him. I don’t get homesick, I don’t really miss people when I’m away normally, so the fact I missed his stupid face (the exact words I sent him) told me I was done. That was in the first year of us dating. Now we’re married with a one-year-old tyrant. LaurenDMSmith Aww, we’re here for this happily ever after.

You feel it in your toes.

When my cousin was in kindergarten she came home and said she was in love with a boy at school. Her parents thought it was cute and asked her how could she possibly know something like that at an early age. She replied “because it feels like my toes are running around in my shoes.” They married right after high school. Ikeepchangingphones From the mouths of babes!

Love at first sight.

Everyone is different. For me, I knew right away. I couldn’t stop looking at her. No matter what she wears, she’s beautiful to me. I never get mad at her, even when I want to be. I smile every time I see her. Vlaed When you know, you know.

The world at a standstill.

I knew I was in love with my girlfriend when we went to NYC to see a Broadway show. We walked through Times Square together and it felt like the entire world was at a standstill and that we were the only two there. Thousands of people surrounded us, but she’s the only one I saw. This continued to happen, regardless of where we went. Even now thinking back, I only remember her. All I see is her. oliverklozov_ Aww! We love, love.

Sometimes, being there is enough.

I’ve always been a loner. I prefer to do things by myself whenever possible, other people around give me anxiety especially when I’m working on something. Say I’m in the middle of a task, and someone shows up, my response is to automatically tense and sort of be on edge the whole time they’re around, waiting for them to just finally go so I can get back to what I was doing in peace. So that happened, I was in the middle of doing something at work (he worked the same job), and someone comes around the corner. I tense up as usual like, “there goes my peace and quiet,” until I realize it’s him. And the ice immediately melted. Instead of feeling disturbed, I was genuinely happy to see him. I wanted him to be there. And I could say that for absolutely no one else. I feel like love is when someone doesn’t even have to do something for you, just be there, and they automatically brighten your day. There’s no expectation of things, there’s no “I’ll feel good about you if you do this thing for me or give this thing to me,” it’s just there regardless. ViperT24 Here’s to brightened-up days.

Confidence is key.

I knew I was in love when she told me I couldn’t tell her what to do. She told me she was her own person, she didn’t need my approval, that if I disliked anything she did that I was welcome to my opinions, and I was also welcome to leave. She didn’t need me. But she wanted me. She didn’t need my time, but she wanted it. She didn’t need to be with me. She had a line of guys that would have loved a shot, but she chose me. And after a few months of her attention, I knew I couldn’t leave. Strong, self-dependent, confident with everything except intimacy, but we worked through that. She helped me be a better person. After we dated for 6 months I liked myself better than I used to, and it was because of her. I felt like she was filling the cracks in me. I knew that first year she was going to be my wife. We’re now married with 2 kids. I couldn’t be more happy or proud. upgrade93 You have to love yourself first!

You’re on the same team.

When you can have normal real-life arguments with them without fearing that they’re going to leave you; knowing that you’re just two people working out differences in life and that ultimately you’re on the same team, not dealing with an unspoken ultimatum. ohenry78 Maturity for the win!

Appreciating everything.

For me, it’s about appreciating everything about him. Not just the nice stuff that initially impressed me, but his crazy eating habits and all his stupid jokes. No person is perfect, but understanding how the imperfections create this wonderful interesting person and loving them because of that. cestyouwill Loving someone with all their imperfections is everything.

Best friends.

I realized he actually is my best friend. I had heard people say that about their SO before but I always thought they were just being nice. I never thought a boy could be closer to me than a girlfriend or my mom. redditorspaceeditor That’s so sweet, I totally agree– it’s hard to understand until you’re in it.

Love is unselfish.

When you’re willing to take their feelings into account above your own. It can be something small. I would have ‘relationships’ where I couldn’t be bothered to go and see them … and when I met the one I knew it because I was willing to go out of my comfort zone to accommodate their needs. RevEnFuego It doesn’t feel like a burden when it’s real love. It feels like a compromise.

Putting their feelings first.

You know you’re in love when you aren’t questioning it. You care and are concerned about their health, happiness, relationships, goals etc. you do things with them and for them because you want to, not because they want you to or society wants you to. you put them before yourself and you actually enjoy it. pizzalunchablez You’ll know when it feels right.

Skip to the end.

When I was dating my now-husband for about a month I was suddenly struck with the thought that, someday, one of us would eventually have to live without the other and I couldn’t stop crying. It was like I got this wave of nostalgia for a lifetime lived together and then some great sadness at the end. I told him I loved him the next day. He said, “oooh, I’m not really ready to say that yet.” I said, “I don’t care, you will.” We’ve been married 15 years and have 3 kids. ExtremelyBeige This might be the sweetest story ever. I’m crying.

They like you for you.

When you find someone you aren’t trying so hard around. When you’re young, you think that thing making you act like someone else is “love.” When you mature you realize that when it really is love, you don’t feel like you’re being someone else. Sometimes you hate that you are so… well… you, but you marvel at the fact that you put on no pretenses and they stayed anyway. PsychologicalCoat71 They love you just the way you are. Weird tendencies and all!

Time flies.

I have been with my girlfriend for over two years now. I have to be careful to not go over to her apartment unless I want time to absolutely *FLY* by. It will even fly by if we are just studying in silence. It is like magic. Even if we have spent the whole day together I will still be really sad, like being homesick, when I leave. I still feel like the infatuation hasn’t worn off. I’m absolutely sure I’m in love with her. But it isn’t like the “butterflies in your stomach” kind of feeling. It is more like your heart is pulled toward them when you’re away and it hurts when you leave even when you know you’ll see them the next day. Refrigeratorated Time flies when you’re in love. You want to make every second count.

They’re the constant.

When you simply can’t imagine life without them. When they become that one constant. You may try to imagine your future dozens of different ways, but in each reality, they’re there with you. olugardefrango As long as you have each other, everything will be okay.

Loving an introvert.

I’m a massive introvert. Which means that 99% of the time I am around other people, it wears me out. Love is that 1% of the time, where I can be around someone else, and still be so relaxed and comfortable that I do not feel like I am being drained, but being around them helps me feel charged and whole again. Jurayvis Find someone that recharges your batteries. I every sense of the word.

Simply, butterflies.

My now wife and I met the first week of college. We started dating immediately, we just clicked in every way. I knew I was in love the first break we had when I had butterflies just driving to see her. I still would get them months later, hell even a couple years later. StaticMaine It may be a cliché, but it’s true!

Running through your mind.

You constantly think about them, how you could make them happier, how to spend more time with them… Sheldor777 Love can be distracting. In a good way!

You want them to be happy.

Among other things – your happiness and theirs become completely and inextricably linked. I simply can’t have a good day if I know something’s wrong with my fiancée. Even if it’s just a small thing and something that doesn’t even really directly affect me, if I’m having a great day at work and my fiancée texts me saying she’s having a bad one, it really bothers me and I desperately want to make it better, even though that’s obviously not always an option. ItsJonesey94 You’re always looking for ways to help them out.

It’s the simple things.

When you simply want to be with them and just their presence makes you happy. When no matter what you do together, even if it’s something you would normally find boring, is fun to do. When just hearing them laugh and knowing they’re happy and content makes your heart leap with joy. CamulaHikari Being together is enough.

Helping makes you happy.

When taking care of them makes you happy. I’ve started working now, and my SO is still in school. Buying her nice groceries, and paying the rent and bills makes me genuinely happy. I know she’d do the same for me. isehokie Sharing is caring! That’s not just something sweet you tell your kids.

In sickness and in health.

When they get sick and you aren’t repulsed by holding a bucket as they vomit, and then help them clean their face afterwards. pinewind108 Gross but true.

All of me loves all of you.

When you’re truly in love, you realize friendship is what matters most. All the romantic stuff is just an afterthought. True love isn’t some fiery romp full of roses and romantic dinners. It’s just hanging out with your best friend in the entire world. It’s watching dumb shows together. It’s getting drunk and being idiots together. It’s pigging out on your favorite foods together. You spend all day in your pj’s and looking like crap together, and you still think they are the most beautiful and awesome person in the world. Also, you stop seeing their flaws as such and recognize that they are simply part of who they are. They form the grooves and ridges of their personality and make them unique. You love their flaws just as much as you love everything else. You can’t just cherry pick the best parts someone’s personality and say you love them. Plasteredpuma Our hearts just collectively melted. Spread the love and share this story with your special someone on Facebook!