[This article was originally published in July 2020]
Falling in love is one of the strangest and most wonderful things a human being can experience. And while it’s different for everyone, there are some common thoughts and feelings that can help people identify when it’s happening.
You might be experiencing one of the obvious indicators — like not being able to think about anyone or anything else but that person — or the signs could be more obfuscated.
Whatever it may be, there’s no doubt that falling in love in today’s labyrinthine dating landscape is complicated. In a bid to simplify things a little, The Independent spoke to psychologists to identify some of the clear signs that you might be falling in love with someone.
1. You can’t stop staring at them
It’s a classic sign of infatuation: losing yourself in the eyes of the one you love. Consultant psychologist Marc Hekster explains that this is one of the most obvious signs that you’re falling in love with someone. “Why wouldn’t you want to look into the eyes of someone who you experience as the most beautiful and attractive person in your world?” he says.
The thing is, when you look at someone you love, you don’t just see what they look like. You might see your entire future together, or at least imagine what it could be.
“You are looking for something,” says Hekster. “If you have ever seen a mother looking at their newborn baby, or looking at their child in a loving way, then you will recognise some of this constant staring at your love object.”
2. You abandon your usual activities
If you’re enjoying spending time with someone, the reward system in the brain increases your motivation to want “more” of that time, explains dating psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree. “You start to crave their presence,” she adds.
You may start thinking of ways to be near them, too, which can include taking up their interests in the hope it could help strengthen the fledgling bond between you.
“For example, you may detest salsa, but find yourself enrolling on a salsa course, even if they are not on the course, because you feel closer to …….