6 Things You May Mistake For Love

Love is a pretty difficult concept to peg down. There are times when you completely swear that you have fallen in love but could be confusing love for something different entirely. Trust me, we've all been there. In one of my favorite '90s jams of all time, One Hit Wonder Haddaway famously asked, “What is love?”. And even though I've grown up a lot since that song first came out, I still couldn't tell him.

A lot of people will tell you that when it happens, there will be no questions at all, you'll just know . And in a perfect world that would totally be the case but more often than not, there is some guessing involved.

Let's say when you're starting something off with someone and you're at a point where you're looking for something serious you might question whether you will love him or her. Further down the line, as things start to get more serious you may start to wonder if you're beginning to fall in love. Maybe you just really want something serious with someone for once so you convince yourself it's love or you're just so obsessed with the idea of that person and that infatuation feels like love. Whatever the case, here are a few things you need to look out for that you may be confusing for love. At the end of the day there may be some guessing but there really shouldn't be too much thought involved.

1. Jealousy

Have you ever been with someone you were pretty indifferent to until they decided to start seeing someone else? Was it in that moment that you suddenly realized that was someone you didn't want to let go of? Yeah, I hate to tell you but that's not love, that's just jealousy. Jealousy has a funny way of playing on our emotions with such intensity we can mistake the feeling for love. After all, who else would be able to make you feel such horrible heartache and terrible rage other than a person you truly loved? Not the case. It's part of our human nature to want what we can't have, and want it even more strongly when it's being taken away from us. If you're starting to feel you love someone just because they're unavailable to you, ask yourself how you felt for them before they started wearing less and going out more (a la Hotline Bling). You'll probably get your answer.

2. Lust

Mmm, lust. It gives you that all-consuming, rip my clothes off now-type passion that leads to the most wild and uninhibited sex. But lust doesn't necessarily mean love and the same goes for vice versa. Yes, you can have cray cray amazing sexual chemistry with someone, but that doesn't mean you're in love with them. If the only place you two function well is in the bedroom, then take a step back and look at your relationship for what it really is. Downstairs may be confusing your upstairs into thinking things are more than they really are.

3. Infatuation

Infatuation is one of the easiest emotions to conflate with love, but they really aren't the same thing. That being said, it can be insanely difficult to tell the difference. From my experience, there is one definitive way you can tell: Everything happens super quickly. When it comes to infatuation, you may feel completely enamored with a person, swearing up and down they're the perfect human being that does absolutely everything right and fits you like the metaphorical puzzle piece you've been searching for. But if you're expressing these sort of hardcore emotions at the beginning of your relationship, chances are it's infatuation over love because you're still in the honeymoon stage of things.

Everything's great at the beginning of a relationship; you guys haven't even been together long enough to have your first fight. As a result, you may feel like a person is perfect because of your excitement over the newness of the relationship and having this person in your life. My best suggestion? Take some time before you say those three, magical words especially if you don't even know your differences yet.

4. Fantasy

Occasionally when we start dating someone, especially if we knew them before, we will believe we're in love with them because we've created an idea of who they are in our heads that doesn't necessarily match up with who they really are. As a result, we've built up an illusion of the perfect person that we want to love, rather than loving that person for who they truly are. If your partner starts complaining that you have unrealistic expectations of them, or you start getting disappointed when you realize they don't meet those expectations, recognize that your ideas of love are not built on the truth. Keep fantasy in the bedroom, and learn the actual characteristics of the person you're with rather than those you've created in your mind.

5. Comfort and Security

This is probably the main reason a lot of us try to get back with our exes. When you're involved with someone for a while you may start to become complacent, even though things aren't working out. If this happens, you'll forgo ending the relationship (or cutting ties with an ex) so that you don't have to be alone or face the harrowing process of looking for someone else. As a result, you start to confuse comfort and a sense of security with love. Yes, you're in a situation that feels nice and you enjoy having someone around but if you truly think about it your relationship isn't as fulfilling as you'd like. Be aware of the reason you're still holding on to that person: To have someone in your life, regardless of how they makes you feel.

6. Boredom

This sounds ridiculous, but it totally happens. If your life isn't particularly interesting at the moment, you may want to spice things up by adding a bit of romance. And to get things back to being exciting, you may convince yourself that the new man or woman in your life is your next great love. This one dips into the realm of fantasy just a tad; when you're bored, fabricating an amazing relationship in your mind will keep things interesting for you. But take a step back and look at whether you truly do feel love, or you want to feel it. If it's the latter, try slowing down a bit and see where things head.

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