When you meet someone who excites your heart and it’s becoming clear that things are getting serious, it can be hard to tell whether you’re truly starting to fall in love.
Regardless of how long you’ve been going out, when the butterflies start flying, it is normal to wonder how long it takes to fall in love, before considering the right time to tell your partner how you truly feel. You cannot stop thinking about them and you cannot imagine life without them anymore.
But how can you know whether it’s been long enough?
According to expert dating therapist Dr. Gary Brown,
“There really is no average time it takes to know that you’re in love.”
“Some people fall in love on the first date. Some have been friends for months or years, and then one or both realize that they have developed much deeper feelings for each other.”
According to Gary, love can transform and change as time goes by.
Some people can immediately tell whether they’ll stick along for a happily-ever-after, while others, need a long time to get into a romantic relationship.
Gary says that couples that say “I love you ” quickly after they enter a relationship are really the ones who are consumed by love.
“Maybe yes. Maybe no: If you have those feelings, it is perfectly OK to say those three words,” he says.
“You do want to be careful about the timing of when you say this and how you say this. You also want to ask yourself, ‘Why do I want to say this now?’ What does the timing of this mean for you? Is it simply the right time, or are you afraid that you might lose them if you don’t say it.”
If you feel that you’re starting to fall head over heels with your significant other, it’s alright to let them know, even if it’s “too soon”.
But before you do that, make sure that you can truly envision a future with them. Understand why you want to let your feelings be known and find the best way to release them.
But how can we tell whether it’s sexual infatuation, or just a certain excitement for being with someone new, versus true, unconditional love?
“If you are like many people, there is likely going to be a difference between the first few weeks or months of falling [in] love, that may or may not be different from actually being in love,” Gary says.
“Being in love can happen at the same time as falling in love, but that can take awhile.”
After the initial phase of flying on the wings of love, comes the settling down, stability, and comfort of being in a strong relationship.
Falling in love and being in love can both happen simultaneously, but at each stage, your love with your partner will build as time goes by too.
“You are genuinely curious about your partner, an you want to know what is important to them,” Gary says.
“You realize that this is more than sexual excitation. You want to do things for them. You share more vulnerable parts of your inner [self] with them that you normally keep hidden away.”
Gary adds that if you have common moral values, you can easily see yourselves having a common future.
There are many little signs you may be in love and you never know when they’re going to appear.
Love has no definite timeline, but if you feel that you’re going crazy for your partner, let them know where you see the relationship going. We all fall in love differently – some quicker, some slower. You cannot plan when the deepest feelings will appear, but one thing is for sure – you can listen to your heart!
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