• The early stages of a relationship can often be confusing
  • Sometimes you’ll even find yourself doubting your own feelings
  • But here are five surefire signs that you’re really falling in love with your partner

Falling in love is a beautiful experience.

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While we all experience love differently, there are a few aspects to the elusive emotion that are pretty universal. These five signs are backed up by psychologists and may suggest that you’re falling head over heels for your significant other.

1. They don’t gross you out

Humans are pretty disgusting creatures. When meeting someone new we might pretend that we’re polished and pristine, but it’s impossible to keep this up once you invite someone into your home and private life. There’s no way of hiding the less appealing sides to your personality forever: sooner or later your partner will find out that you leave crumbs all over the kitchen and hair in the shower plughole just like everyone else.

A sign that you’re potentially falling in love is when your partner starts to let their guard down – but you’re not repulsed by their gross habits. “The power of love and new love, in particular, is primitive,” psychologist Marc Hekster tells The Independent. “Love can be immensely powerful and can be associated with the loss of all inhibition,” he adds. “Think about parents who are in love with their baby and how they will acknowledge that they love their child no matter how dirty they are, or how much they stop them from sleeping.”

So if you aren’t disgusted by the way your partner’s breath smells in the morning, there’s a good chance you’re falling for them.

2. You’re doing new things

Dating psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree tells The Independent that you may start to take up new hobbies when you’re falling in love. “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 them by proxy,” she explains. “It also gives you something else you can talk to them about, and perhaps it’s a way to entice them to get closer to you.”

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Psychology Today also corroborates this. “As people fall in love, they often branch out beyond their normal range of activities and try those that their partners favor,” the site reads. “You might find yourself trying new foods, watching new shows, or attempting new activities like running, fishing, or gambling. People who fall in love tend to report growth in the content and diversity of their own self-concepts.”

3. They’re always on your mind

When you’re falling in love with someone, it’s natural to think about them a lot. Everything will remind you of them – maybe you’ll see their favourite type of chocolate while doing your weekly food shop or hear a song they like on the radio and they’ll instantly pop into your head.

A lot of us are also guilty of frequently name-dropping our partners in conversations with our friends. If you’ve found that you’ll somehow manage to mention your partner no matter what you’re chatting about – be it the current political climate or the latest viral meme – that’s a sign you could be head over heels.

“Love is determined. When you like someone, you can brush it off and think of other things as you go about your day,” dating expert Maria Sullivan tells Seventeen. “When you love someone, you are physically, mentally and emotionally impacted at theoretically any/all time(s). It is a calm and secure reality you will consistently crave.”

4. You feel optimistic about the future

When you’re falling in love, you might be a bit chirpier than usual. If you believe that your partner is going to be with you for months and years to come, it’s no surprise that you’ll feel a little lighter and a lot less anxious when looking forward to the future.

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“You might also feel a little more energetic for no apparent reason,” Roantree adds. “This is the result of all those ‘dopamine hits’ you have been getting from thinking about your partner and doing things, either with them or that remind you of them.”

She continues: “The act of positive anticipation helps reduce feelings of stress, so the anticipation of being with your partner boosts your mental health making you feel better about life.”

5. You feel like saying ‘I love you’

Chances are, if you feel like saying it, you probably do. If every single time you cuddle up to your partner the only thought in your head is I love you, it’s pretty likely that – shock – you do love them.

Maybe you feel as though the words are on the tip of your tongue, but you convince yourself it’s the wrong time to say it. But, sometimes, it’s okay to let your heart rule over your head. If you’ve got a good feeling about someone and they’ve never given you cause to doubt their own feelings for you, there’s no need to complicate or overthink things. It’s always possible that you have just met someone who’s right for you.

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“When you hear that small voice inside of you saying, “it’s okay to let your guard down” and you listen, you’re in love,” life coach Gayles Johns-Carter tells Business Insider. “You trust and believe that without a doubt, the person has your best interest at heart, and wouldn’t want to see you hurt in any way.”

As the saying goes: when you know, you know.