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42 not-so-obvious signs you're falling in love

Signs you're falling in love
Signs you're falling in love
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Falling in love is, without a doubt, one of the best feelings ever.

That's why there are so many movies, songs, and reality shows centred around it. It's just that fucking magical—especially when you finally escape the whole “what-are-we?” purgatory filled with mixed signals, 2-3 hour text responses, and lots of Instagram stalking.

But the reason falling in love is so great isn't only because of the feel-good hormones pumping through your body. It's also great because of the romantic feelings you know that are mutually reciprocated. And when romantic feelings are mutual, that's when the real magic happens.

So let's take a peak at some not-so-obvious signs you're mutually falling in love with your person. Obviously, signs you’re falling in love will look different for everyone, but there are some basic things that happen for most people when their feelings start to turn from casual to "could this be forever?"

Regardless of whether you’re ready to go all-in or you’re more of a skeptic and need to pause and reevaluate after this big realization, here are some signs you're falling in love, per dating and relationship experts.

  1. You love how they smell

Even when they like...kinda smell bad? "Pheromones play a huge role in attraction," says licensed clinical social worker Ashley Starwood. If you find yourself sniffing that shirt they left at your house or nuzzling into their neck (even if they haven't showered or just went to the gym), chances are, your body is literally drawn to theirs.

  1. You actually have fun no matter what

You got a flat tire. You had to walk a couple of miles because you couldn't get an Uber. You drove around for an hour trying to find a parking spot in downtown Austin on a Friday night before ditching your dinner plan and just going home and ordering pizza. Relationship therapist and host of E!’s Famously Single Darcy Sterling, PhD, says being "able to have fun when shit goes wrong," points to a deeper connection that could be the real deal.

  1. You wanna know their love language

Love languages are so important when it comes to lasting relationships because it helps you understand how your partner best gives and receives love (because we can't all be fabulous gift-givers). Certified life coach and therapist KeVonya Webb-Riley says if you're eager to learn their love language, you might be feeling more than a crush because "even though you find joy in doing things for them, you want to do the things that they absolutely love."

  1. You prioritize their needs

Not like, at an expense to your own, of course. But in healthy, loving relationships, ensuring everyone's needs are met is key to a strong bond. "When you’re starting to fall for someone, you want them to feel prioritized," says licensed LGBTQ+ marriage and family therapist Adrienne Michelle. If you find yourself getting them a glass of water when you come back from the kitchen or picking up that special, skin-sensitive soap they like for your shower, you prob think about them as more than just a hookup.

  1. You look at them when they sleep

In a cute way, not in a Joe Goldberg, stalker-y way. Psychiatrist and wellness coach Era Dutta, MD, says this could be a sign you care about them more than the average crush. But how can you help it? They look so cozy and cuddly and happy and oh my God, you really might be in love.

  1. You're willing to try new foods for them

Bonus points if it's a food you always thought was gross. Weird, right? But it's true! "Sharing your interests with someone and trying something new is a sign of interest in the person on more than a physical level," says Starwood. "You may not be falling in love with sushi, but you're most likely falling in love with them."

  1. You encourage them

Now, this doesn't mean pressure, hound, or overly push them, so don't get it twisted. But if you find yourself encouraging them based on vulnerable convos you had, you're starting to care more than just casually. "When you both start to remind each other of the goals and desires for life, you can tell you're falling big time," Michelle explains. Just make sure you're encouraging in a way that's not overbearing, because hi, not cool.

  1. And you value their opinion about future plans

Maybe when things were casual, you wouldn't consider them when making Big Plans, but now you not only want their advice, but their input as well. When you're falling in love, "you find yourself asking what they think about going to college, starting new jobs, or trying different things," notes Starwood. "Their opinion becomes important to you, and you begin to value their thoughts."

  1. You don't think twice about inviting them over

"Anything normal you would do in your life, seems like something you would ask them if they want to join you in," says Webb-Riley. Hell, you might even ask them what they're making for dinner (or what they'd like, if you usually do the cooking) since you always see each other anyway. Even stranger: It's super casual and you don't overthink it because it's just a thing! That happens! Almost every day!

  1. You start to understand their flaws

Everyone has flaws (even you, bb), and when you start to come to terms with your partner's less-than-desirable traits—like never putting their dishes in the gd sink—multiple experts say this means you're starting to fall hard. Of course, ignoring red flags is never good, but letting go of the fact that they'll always slurp soup through their front teeth? That's love, my friends.

  1. You’re all like “Ex, who?”

Oh, you mean you haven't thought about the ex recently who you, let me remind you, made a Finsta for in order to stalk guilt-free? Yup, this is good news, my friend. “If you're no longer trolling your ex's social media account, you're engaged in making memories with your new love,” says psychiatrist and mental health consultant Rhonda Mattox, MD.

  1. You're craving the cuddles and not the sex.

Yup, cuddling = emotional feels. “When you’re just as excited to cuddle in bed with them all night as you are to get hot and heavy with sex, that’s when you know you’re starting to fall into real love,” says dating and relationship expert Nicole Moore. “Laying on your partner's chest fills you with this secure bliss that’s like the last part of your orgasm but extended through the whole cuddling session.”

  1. You’re not counting the seconds until they text you back

You know, in the early stages of a relationship, when everything is so new and fresh that you consider how long it took them to text you, in order to determine how long you should take to text them? Yeah, TL;DR: Not worrying about that means you feel confident they will, in fact, text you back and not ghost. Goals.

  1. You make their bed in the morning

You can’t even get yourself to make your own damn bed, but for some reason, when you’re sleeping over at their place, you find yourself doing little daily tasks like this to make their life easier. Maybe acts of service are totally your thing.

  1. You notice that literally everything reminds you of them

Eating a chicken nugget? That's their go-to McDs order. Listening to Celine Dion? Oh, their mom really loves her. Wearing black jeans? You rocked the same pair on your first date.

  1. You don’t feel the need to ask them for their birth chart

Sure, it’s super beneficial to know, but you’re not stressing about whether or not they’re a Scorpio (and to be honest, you wouldn’t care if they were anyway).

  1. When an ex does pop back into your life, you’re completely unfazed by it

It just so happens that *every time* you find yourself moving on, your ex has a radar and wants to hit you up again. But that’s okay: They did, and you’re completely uninterested.

  1. You don't feel constantly anxious about getting hurt

A lot of times, people think feeling like someone could really hurt them means they really like someone. Which may be true, but it isn't love. No one who loves you will want to make you feel like you're at risk of getting hurt.

  1. It feels super easy

Yes, relationships take work. But when you're falling in love with someone, it's at least work you want to be doing. Which isn't really work at all.

  1. You don't have to plan your dates around fun activities

Because you have just as much fun sitting together and doing nothing as you would riding a roller coaster together. Or something like that. You get it.

  1. You talk about things you'll do together in the future

...without realizing you're talking about the future. It's not weird to talk about that concert that's in three months or the trip you want to take to the beach this summer around them, because they'll be around to go with you.

  1. When you say, "I miss you," it's because you really do miss them after only a day apart

It's not just a cute thing to say, it's a real ache that says they're a part of your life now.

  1. You can't remember the last time you thought about your former fling who "broke your heart."

Things with your person now are so good, you can't be bothered with whatever's in the past. Especially thinking about that random person who ghosted you and made you swear off dating, for instance.

  1. Things you usually hate seem okay—and even fun

Riding a roller coaster you're terrified of? Fine, as long as they hold your hand and promise not to laugh at how you scream. Doing laundry? Totally fine, so long as they're hanging with you too.

  1. You're comfortable with making little sacrifices for them

You wouldn't put off your responsibilities for them, but if they're sick and need you to help take care of them instead of going to brunch one morning, you're totally cool with that.

  1. They're the "something good" you think about when everything else is really rough

Work is driving you crazy, but at least you've got them to cheer you up when you get home. Oh, and they're probs the first person you want to unleash the latest work drama on too.

  1. You feel safe when you're around them

It's hard to describe this feeling, but it really is the best thing in the world. Like nothing bad can happen.

  1. You're comfortable enough around them to make bad jokes and be your fully weird self

You might've been trying to impress them before, but now you're cool to hum around the kitchen and wear your pants tucked into your socks when they come over.

  1. You keep seeing things out in public that you know they'd love

Stuff you used to walk by every day suddenly has their name all over it. This includes those random corgi socks (because they love corgis) or a favorite flower of theirs.

  1. They're your person

When something really good or really bad happens, they're who you go to first.

  1. You're not worried about "scaring them off."

You're comfortable enough to cry in front of them or show them huge, slightly embarrassing collection of Beanie Babies (that you swear could be worth a fortune one day), because you feel secure that they're not going anywhere at the drop of a hat.

  1. Little things, like going to the grocery store, are better when they're around

A walk down the cereal aisle can be a very romantic date if you're with the right person. Doing *anything* can be very romantic if you're with the right person.

  1. They annoy the hell out of you, but you still want to be around them

"I love you, but I don't like you right now," is something you're almost ready to say. And it's definitely A Thing to love someone but not like them. (IYKYK).

  1. You don't freak out if they call you

All that phone anxiety is gone, and you finally have enough chill to be okay with talking on the phone.

  1. When they're sad, you're genuinely sad too

You feel their pain and they feel yours in a super real way.

  1. You're actually entertained by their cute AF childhood photos

And you actually like listening to their long, rambly stories. Just hanging out and talking about anything is fun.

  1. You'd rather stay in and do nothing with them than go out

"Started staying in and going out less" is your new Instagram mantra, and it's totally okay with you.

  1. You want to show them all of your favorite things

Not because you want them to be their favorite things too, but because you want them to know you better than anyone else.

  1. You have to restrain yourself from talking about them with your friends all the time

If you could, you'd gush about this person constantly. But out of respect for your friends and their sanity, you hold back (a little).

  1. You've started thinking about introducing them to your family

If you haven't already, you genuinely want to know how they fit in around them. The same goes for being this fam and how your person acts around those who know them best.

  1. You regularly catch yourself doing deep dives of their Instagram

And the best part is, you aren't even scared of accidentally "Liking" a photo because you're past the point of feeling like you'll freak them out if you do.

  1. You want to do things you've already done again so they can be there with you this time

Time to take a return trip to the Grand Canyon so you can kiss while the sun goes down and not care how cute or gross you look—you're in love, dammit! And you don't care who knows.