We all have an image in our heads, courtesy of our favorite film or shows growing up, about what love is supposed to look like.
However, falling in love is almost always far different than how it appears in movies.
If you’re looking for that special someone or you’ve just met someone you think could be the one, there are some things you need to know about falling in love.
Some are just about setting the record straight on that fictional love story misconception. But the other ones are about helping you make the most of the experience so you can give love a fighting chance.
You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.
– Albert Einstein
Here are six things you need to know about falling in love.
1. You need to love yourself before you can fully love another
If you haven’t learned this yet, it might be the most important thing to know about falling in love.
Love is a capability, it’s something you need to be both able and willing to do. If you’re not able to treat yourself with kindness, compassion, and respect, it’s impossible to fully love and appreciate another.
Take time to identify your inner dialogue and find what kind of limiting beliefs are residing within you. If you can identify these belief structures you can start to rewrite them, and learn how to love yourself and others fully and freely.
2. Falling in love isn’t about finding your “missing piece”
It’s a universal aspect of the human condition– the feeling that something is missing and the resulting behaviors that lead us to try to find that missing piece.
For most, this becomes finding “the one” and falling in love. We believe that by finding this person we’ll be “completed” and no longer feel this void in our hearts.
However, until you find something gives you a sense of meaning or purpose, whether through connecting with others or pursuing your passion, you’ll never escape this feeling.
Your priority should be finding your purpose and pursuing it with all of your being. Once you’re firmly rooted in your own personal journey, you can fall in love in a healthy and sustainable way that doesn’t just attract you to the nearest person you think will make you feel whole.
3. It’s easy to be deceived when you’re falling in love
The deceptive, good-talker types will be hard to differentiate from the real thing in the beginning unless you’ve already had a ton of experience (and if that’s you, you probably don’t need to read this).
However, one of the more common behaviors you’ll encounter with such a toxic person is the desire to change you into something you’re not.
If the other person subtly tries to get you to change any of these things, it’s probably false love:
Your hair or body
How you dress
Who you hang out with
Where you work
What you do on your off time
That person won’t always have an ulterior motive, however, this behavior is always toxic in and of itself. That person has a vision of who their perfect partner is and they believe they can make you change yourself to fit their vision.
What does this have to do with falling in love? It’s just as important to know when that love is false so you can get out quickly as possible as it is to know how to handle real love when you first meet someone.
Falling in love, genuine love, isn’t about either person changing– it’s about each of you unraveling your genuine self to one another. It’s your job simply to accept them fully with all of your heart.
4. It takes work
For the most part, falling in love should feel effortless. Both people are learning about one another, experiencing every inch of one another’s being, and enjoying every minute.
However, even in these early stages, it’s important to know that love takes work from both people. Your partner should be making a visible effort to show kindness, compassion, and consideration. And so should you.
If either you or your partner aren’t doing enough, it will result in problems later on in the relationship. If will be up to you to judge if this is a problem that can be solved or if it’s a sign it’s not going to work out. However, assuming you love each other, you need to be willing to invest the time like anything else in life of value.
5. It should feel like you’ve found your new best friend, not a sex partner
Sure, sex is a defining part of the early stages of a genuine relationship and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it needs to feel far more like you’ve found a new best friend than a sex partner.
The part you should be most excited about is getting to know them, talking with them, and just sitting with each other.
If you truly feel in love with the other person but don’t feel you’re spending enough time being intimate in non-sex ways, talk to them and try something new. There are all kinds of things you can do to deepen your relationship, especially if they’re a bit closed off and you need to make them comfortable before they open up (if they’re willing).
6. You’ll be blinded (and it will wear off)
This is one of the most difficult things to come to terms with. That is, the truth that falling in love leaves us unable to view the other person in their completeness.
While you’re falling in love, the other person will often appear absolutely perfect. You won’t notice their imperfections and might even completely overlook a flaw that could be fatal to your relationship later.
For that reason, it’s important to identify certain basic characteristics that are important to you in the very beginning, before the love bug hits you.
Are they respectful, kind, and compassionate?
Are they open about themselves and their life?
Are they respectful towards you and your friends/family?
These are all things you can pick up on when you first meet someone, so make sure you’re not picking love interests based on superficial metrics and look for someone who you have a genuine connection with.
Falling in love is like a ton of fireworks going off in your head all at once. It’s incredible but it kind of throws you off for a time. Just do your best to only invest yourself in someone that shows a genuine, kind, and open nature and get ready to have the time of your life.