How do you know if you’re falling in love? As a San Francisco therapist, I get asked this question a lot. In the beginning of a relationship everything is new and wonderful. If you find you can’t get that new person out of your head, you might be wondering if you’re falling in love.

Most people will tell you that when they are falling in love they lose control. Many report that they felt a pull to the other person, one they were powerless to control or stop – the falling part.

Falling in love is a wonderful thing, and while it may not always result in attachment that leads to a lifelong partnership, it’s still a wonderful thing. So how can you tell if you’re falling in love? It turns out there are specific things that happen to us as we are falling love, you can read about the science behind falling in love here.

Are you Falling in Love?

There’s No One Else For You – Researches found that when you’re falling in love you believe your partner is unique and no one else is for you. Researches believe this is due to elevated levels of central dopamine – the happiness hormone.

It’s All Good – When falling in love people tend to focus on the positive in most situations. Even a Debbie Downer finds it hard to suppress a smile, laugh or simply feeling good while falling love. Additionally, people focus on the positive traits of their beloved and ignore the negative ones. Unfortunately, this is when most red flags go unnoticed or ignored.

Feeling Safe/Feel Protective – Whether gay or straight or somewhere in between, couples falling in love reported feeling both safe and protected by their partner. It could be that sense of “we’re in this together” or knowing that someone has your back. Either way, it’s a fantastic feeling.

Be Yourself – When couples first meet they tend to be on their best behavior putting their best self forward in the hopes of attracting the right person. When couples start to fall in love, they let the walls come down and start showing their partner who they really are. This is not to be confused with complacency – when couples let themselves go because they don’t care anymore. This “showing your true colors” means you feel comfortable and secure with this other person.

Everything Reminds you of Him/Her – When you’re falling in love EVERYTHING reminds you of your partner. That watermelon in the grocery store… same color as his socks. The bus on the street…. her car broke down, she didn’t take the bus, but might have if she didn’t have AAA. It’s silly that everything reminds you of your significant other and yet it’s a great sign you’re falling hard and fast.

Sharing Stories – Suddenly you want to tell all your stories to this person. You want them to know all the good, bad and ugly about you. It’s almost as if you want them to consume you, because you certainly want to consume them, and not just sexually.

Let’s Talk about Sex – You think about sex with your partner all the time. Thank those pesky hormones for this one. You may find that your non existent sexual appetite is suddenly hungry for everything at the buffet.

You Become Goofy – When falling in love you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and do things you’d never consider doing before. This could mean watching sports, because he loves sports or it could mean he’s willing to go shopping with you and even hold your purse. It could also mean jumping on Oprah’s couch.

You Develop the Same Interests – Couples who are falling love report they started to do things their partner did. If he’s into microbrewing his own beer, she may find she has a sudden interest in learning how to make wine. You find yourself listening to (and loving) country music because he likes country music.

Life is Better – No matter how convinced you were that you were happy, satisfied and fulfilled when you were single, there’s no denying that having someone walk your path with you is a wonderful thing. Even if you don’t spend every waking moment with your love, you feel stronger, more secure, happier and loved because you have someone to share your journey.