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Dish-It: How Do You Know You’re In Love?

Dear Dish-It,

How do you know if and when you’re in love?

Grace

Dear Grace,

Love is one of those things that no one really understand, not even adults. The good news is you don't really need to understand love. In fact, the only thing you really need to know about it is this: Love never really does make sense, so there’s no point trying to come up with any final or logical answers about it. It’s one of those sit back and enjoy the ride kinda things.

At the same time, though, you're going to feel things and experience things that you must act upon or choose not to act upon. Your parents and other adults have all probably told you that you should wait until you're in love before you consider serious relationships, before you consider marriage and before you consider sex.

So How Do You Know You're In Love?

It's a hard question to answer. I suppose that I could tell you that you just know. That's probably what other adults will tell you: you'll just ... know. But you know what? Sometimes that's not true. And then what happens if you're feeling the same feelings for more than one person? How can you tell which one is love?

These aren't easy questions and there's not any easy answers either. Let's try to answer them though, best as they can be answered.

Lust Vs. Love

Ah, the rush of attraction. When you see him at the locker and he winks at you, you get goosebumps, you feel the flip flop in your stomach. It's easy to walk around during the day in a daze, smiling like a silly fool, forgetting to bring your homework home and jumping every time your phone rings.

This, however, is not love. This is lust, attraction, infatuation, puppy-love. Eventually, the big rush of it fades, and that's when you can ask yourself, "Do I still feel something special for this person?"

Trust

Can you trust this guy with your secrets? Are you willing to tell him about your childhood, even the embarrassing, goofy stuff and know he won't tell everyone else? If he's going to a party with a group of people and you're not with him, do you know in your heart he won't dance with or make out with another girl?

Trust is important in a relationship, even a teen relationship. If you don't feel you can trust the one you are infatuated with, it probably isn't quite to that "being in love" stage yet.

Being Yourself

If you're having to pretend to be something or someone you are not, putting on a front or an image that is false, it won't matter how much you might feel for the other person, you'll never know if they love you for you. Do you think they are being genuine with you? If you don't feel like you can be yourself, then you're probably not truly in love.

Communication

Is your boyfriend someone you feel comfortable talking to about things that interest you both? If you feel like you're the one doing all the talking, or you feel like they are doing nothing but talking about themselves, then the communication is lacking in your relationship. You can't get down to true love without quality a mutual communication.

Secure Vs. Jealous

Does your boyfriend have to be constantly by your side or does he accuse you of cheating on him frequently? Does he call you constantly and always ask you where you've been and what you've been doing, and who you've been doing it with? Do the two of you have things you do together as well as things you're comfortable doing by yourself too?

Real love is secure in the relationship and it comes back to the trust issues. You shouldn't have to spend every waking moment together when it's real love.

How Do You Feel?

Do you feel like you're in love? I'm not talking about being crazy, head over heels in love, but more of a peaceful, content and happy feeling of comfort and understanding and shared friendship and communication. When it comes down to it, you will feel when you're in love long before you probably know you’re in love.

Keep in mind that very few teen relationships last forever and ever amen. While some people do grow up and marry their childhood sweethearts, it's very likely that somewhere along the line, you're going to break up, fall in love, and break up and fall in love again. That doesn't mean you can enjoy yourself and the time you spend together, and treasure the love and feelings you have in the moment.

If you trust your heart and temper it with your head, being a teenager can be fun and falling in love and sharing that won't be a painful or awkward experience.

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Love poll

Have You Ever Been in Love?

  • Yes.
  • No, not yet.
  • I thought so, but it didn't work out.
  • Yes - I totally love Zac Efron (and Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake... you get the picture).

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

vwala_12
vwala_12 posted in Friends:
I guess I mean I have been in a lot of drama since the school year started I also recommend if the bullying gets worst tell someone and don’t just walk away it will be worst if you do and if there gonna beat you up just run and tell a teacher or tell your parent so always keep alert!
reply 16 minutes
SnowAngel15
SnowAngel15 posted in Friends:
Monday-Friday, I have to deal with this girl, now none of you know me, so you can't really say I don't do this, but I'll just say it anyway, I don't like being mean, and I HATE talking bad about people I rarely ever do it, but this is just something I can't even fathom. Two of my best friends just got hurt because of her. You'd think that being in an ONLINE SCHOOL this would never happen but it did and it did not go well. I'm a straight A student, I'm a sophomore and I take both 10th grade and 11th grade courses, I'm also doing Advanced Honors and next year I hope to be able to do college courses AND high school courses, anyway. This girl joined our school last year she acts cool like she does all this stuff and every guy falls for it but I've thrown little tests here and there and she's even admitted to me that most of the things she claims to do are lies. She always bullies my friends and I get involved but then my other classmates try to say "You're being mean to her leave her alone!" I of course don't care if she's mean to me but my friends are off limits. So then she starts asking me for help with her school because  I help other students in my free time she was refusing to listen and didn't do well on the quiz and she tells me "I THOUGHT you were supposed to help!?" So she kept asking me for help now I love my teachers and respect them she asked one of them to come into the room because she refused to listen to me, and I was polite and nice like usual and she said "You sure do like your teachers." I called her on it and she was shocked I did. Then I was helping two of my best friends. They are friends with her but I don't get involved, now this girl let's call her Maggie likes the guy let's call him John. John liked her and told me to tell Maggie and I did they were about to get together when this girl the bully begged him to date her instead. He said yes, now this bully has a new boyfriend every other week, and he started being mean to Maggie after he started dating the bully. She just dumped him when he tried to come back into Maggie's life I started snapping him out and being very crude towards him. Is what I did right?
reply about 4 hours
vwala_12
vwala_12 posted in Family Issues:
They mean what does there family think about them
reply 1 day
vwala_12
vwala_12 posted in Family Issues:
I think you come out great even though I don’t have any you do you and people will love your personali
reply 1 day
NightSpoon
Okay lots of fandoms out there going up to these forum posts above but, tell your family plenty of nice things out there with the fandom you're in. If they don't like it, its their lost. Their opinion is their lost woopdedoo. But if they're all disgusted and trying to force you to """""live like a normal being"""""(Realize everyone's different and I doubt this would happen), dont mind to them. You be you. Whatever makes you happy and joyful about something.
reply 1 day