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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

jordand08
Sounds like you have a crush. 
reply about 2 hours
Kaori_46
Talk it through. Ask them out maybe? don't worry about it. It'll work out. If they like you as much as you them, you have nothing to worry about. :)
reply about 3 hours
PerksBeingABookworm
How do I stop thinking about this guy in my school? Like seriously it's pissing me off. Every time we're in the same room, I have this uncanny awareness of where he is and what he is doing. He makes me want to watch the door of the two classes we have together whenever he enters or leaves the room, he makes me look forward to Art and Spanish and disappointed when he isn't there despite the fact I don't even talk to him much. He makes butterflies surge in my stomach and my heart pound in my ears, he makes me so nervous when I'm around him and I have to keep myself from making shaky movements. He makes me want to stare, but I don't want people to know that I care. (And great, he just made me rhyme as well).And a series of coincidences have resulted in me having to interact with him in Art. Ex). We had to draw a # out of a hat and review someone else's artwork...guess whose I got? And my teacher randomly gave us new tables-so now he sits right across from me. ...this is driving me insane. What do I do? (And I'm praying to God right now that he doesn't go on Kidzworld-if he does I hope he doesn't put two and two-oh look fantastic I rhymed again. I'm not even trying make this STOP I'm not even writing rationally anymore)
reply about 3 hours
PerksBeingABookworm
"Dpsdps55" wrote:someone likes me and I like them but we dont know what 2 do... plz help!!! P.S if you help thanks soooo much I'm not exactly an expert on this but...why not talk it out with them? Get to know them better and figure out what you both want? I mean, you both apparently feel the same way, that's half the battle.  I can only assume you both are unsure what to do because you guys are hesitant about making a move and actually forming a relationship. I mean, I get it: relationships are scary; though I've never actually been in one, I know the thought of it can be. You're voluntarily making yourself vulnerable to another human being, you're letting someone in to your life in a way that you've never done before, a way that can leave you hurting or actually make your life better.  Humans fear the unknown and crave familiarity, and a new relationship is definitely new territory.  But just because there's the possibility of getting hurt doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Take that plunge into the unknown, let yourself fall, say Geronimo and dive into that waterfall (see what I did there?)-because you'll never know what could be unless you take a chance. 
reply about 3 hours
Dpsdps55
someone likes me and I like them but we dont know what 2 do... plz help!!! P.S if you help thanks soooo much
reply about 4 hours