Is It Love or an Illusion? 16 Clear Signs You Love Him

Self-awareness
22 Jul 2023
12 min read
Do I Love Him or My Fantasy of Him? 16 Signs It's True Love

Love, lust, infatuation, and more. They all seem to feel the same when we start a new relationship. We have all sorts of strong feelings, physical attraction, jittery feelings in our tummies when we see or have a mere thought about him, live for his text messages, and all of those feel-good happy hormones are raging. And just the idea of seeing or hearing from him is all you need to put on your favorite song and do a happy dance. “Do I love him?” you ask. “Is he that special someone who just might be the lasting love I have been looking for – a partner for life?”.

The answer to your question may not be so obvious, even if you think it is.

So, take a deep breath and just slow down a bit. When a relationship is new, you cannot answer the question, “Do I love him?”. Many women before you have thought they were in love only to realize they were involved with the wrong person, in the wrong relationship, and not in love.

Unfortunately, there is no standard timeline or hard and fast rule for figuring this out. There are just telltale signs that will point in the direction of answering your question. Let’s look at those good indicators – first, what love isn’t, and then, what it is.

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4 Things Love Can Look Like – But Isn’t

Love is a complex thing causing strong feelings that mix together and, if you cannot comprehend them fully, may leave you lost and confused. To be true love, this cocktail should have a perfect proportion of true feelings and happy hormones. But before we dive into that joyful topic, let’s check out the cases when the answer to the question, “Do I love him?” is surely “No.”

Related reading: Are You in Love? Here Are 10 Signs You’re Wrong

1. You Are Infatuated

You meet a guy, and there’s an instant attraction. His smile makes you melt. You start dating, and in between, you call and text each other. You have a whirlwind dating period, and you can think of little else but him. You tell all your friends about him and just know it is love at first sight.

Yes, it happens, but not often.

After a while, you begin to lose interest. You might start making excuses like your busy schedule means you can’t see him tonight. In fact, the glow is fading. What did you have here? It’s just infatuation, and unfortunately, it never lasts long.

The answer to, "Do I love him?" may be, "No, it's just lust."

2. You Are in Lust

You meet a guy, and the physical attraction can’t be denied. In fact, sex happens almost immediately. And every time you get together, you can’t wait to get into bed. But, there is not much substance underneath the sex life. You are not discussing goals, values, and a future together.

If sex is the primary focus of your relationship and you care about what your boyfriend loves in bed only, it’s not love.

Related reading: Are You in Love or Lust? Here’s Your Answer

3. You Are In a Toxic Relationship

There are different types of toxic relationships, usually involving a man who is manipulative and controlling, isolates you, is emotionally and/or physically abusive, or just makes it all about him, not you.

His facade will begin to fall off, and you see who he really is. Listen to your best friend, and you’ll see it sooner.

Related reading: Toxic Love: Are You Feeling It?

4. You Love Being in Love

This confusion between love and falling in love can take many forms – but most of them deal with emotional maturity. But in all, you just want to be in love, so you mistake your feelings for that.

Now, when a relationship is new, you are certainly “in love” and have all of those early happy moments and thoughts that everyone has with this newness. But if you keep asking yourself, “Do I love him?” it’s different, as science suggests. So, you’d better distinguish all the “wrong” shades of love before getting your answer to the question, “Do I love him?”.

Related reading: Are You In Love or Just Clingy? 8 Love vs Attachment Differences

16 Signs What True Love Looks Like

We’re all aware that when we fall in love, our brain releases hormones (called endorphins), and every scientific study confirms this. The brain actually looks different. But those changes will occur with infatuation, lust, and all other forms of temporary or even toxic love. So, it’s important to understand the true signs of love before asking, “Do I love him really?”.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered here. If it’s real love, there are 16 clear signs as the relationship develops. Use them as a checklist as you try to answer your question.

1. He’s on Your Mind – A Lot

Well, of course, when your relationship is new, that person will naturally remain on your mind. But it is a good sign of true love when, as time passes, he is still on your mind a lot during your day and night. People fall in love past, but not everyone is happy remaining there.

If you are happy to make some little sacrifices to show that you love him when time passes, it’s a pretty good sign you do love him.

You think about the food or other little things your boyfriend loves and how you can satisfy some of those things. So, when you grocery shop, you ask yourself what meals he will enjoy even though they may not be your favorite.

2. You No Longer Regret or Think About Past Relationships

If you had one or more painful breakups over the last year or two, you might still be thinking about those guys. The questions on your mind may involve wondering what went wrong, suffering some low self-esteem issues, and maybe even trying to rekindle something.

But with new love, all of that has gone away. This partner can erase those past relationships from your mind and help you start a new chapter in your life.

3. You Want Your New Partner to Meet Your Friends and Family

This is a pretty clear sign. You want to bring him into your circle of friends because you know they will like one another. And you want family members to meet him too. So, you begin to take him to activities and events, and he willingly and happily wants to do this.

And you are happy to meet his friends and family members too. You want them to like you. If that’s the case, that’s a powerful sign you do love him a lot.

4. You Want to Know Everything About Him

When it’s love, you crave long conversations about life goals, values, growing up, family relationships, and past relationships. You want the little details too, and you want to give the same details about yourself.

All these things show that you’re interested in knowing this person better and deeper and building a genuine emotional connection with them. After all, how do you know if your lives will mesh as you move forward?

5. You Want to Support Your Partner in All Ways

We all have goals and passions out of relationship. They might involve career growth, hobbies and interests that don’t include you, or commitments to social or environmental issues.

Whatever those may be, his pursuit of all these things is important to you. You want him to be independent enough to engage in his goals and interests, even when it means you sacrifice your time together. And you are not feeling neglected or jealous as he pursues other life interests. In fact, you encourage him to get out and do his thing.

6. You Want to Spend Time with Him and Try New Things

Does your partner love to fish? And you have never even held a fishing pole, much less baited a hook? If you tried that, true love is likely to be here.

When you are enthusiastic about trying new things with him, your relationship goes beyond sex and infatuation. You want to spend time with him in all sorts of environments, including introducing him to things you love to do that aren’t in his background experience. In essence, these activities are quality time, and it’s a clear sign that the relationship with your partner is moving forward well.

Quality time is what you want to give the person you truly love

7. You Want to Devote as Much Time as Possible with Him

You may have a busy and demanding schedule. But you do what you can to rearrange it to spend more time with him.

And your love becomes mutual when you discover that he does the same. This way, you begin coordinating your schedules to see each other as often as possible and strengthen your connection.

8. You Lose Track of Time When You Are with Him

This can happen early on in a relationship. But as you continue to date, the same thing happens. You are so engrossed in just being with him and enjoying his company that you do lose track of time spent.

All of a sudden, it’s midnight, you have been talking and snacking for hours, and you have to be up at 6 tomorrow morning! A nice yikes! But the time has been filled with happiness, and your world just feels right.

9. He Is Your Go-To Person When You Have Problems, and You Are His

Whether big or small, you want to share your problems and issues with him. Suppose your car breaks down. You choose to call him rather than some other friend. Maybe you have a terrible day at work or a major falling out with a friend or family member. Who do you call? Your partner. He will empathize and help you through the issues or challenges.

And you want to do the same for him. You want to hear about all of his successes and issues. You haven’t felt this way about other guys you have been with, at least not recently. But you want to put yourself in his shoes and help him work through anything.

But please, don’t confuse empathy with sympathy! Sympathy is just feeling sorry for someone.

10. You Are Willing to Overlook His Small Flaws and Address Others

No woman or man is perfect. And as you continue to date, his quirks and flaws will begin to show themselves (and so will yours). Some of those you will laugh or at least smile about together (e.g., he may be a bit sloppy). Others that might be a bit more irritating you don’t feel that comfortable addressing.

When you’re in love, you will just tell him how you are feeling about some of his bad habits and will ask him to share yours that irritate him. These are the types of conversations that happen in a healthy relationship. And after you have both aired your feelings, you will reach compromises. This is how most people in a mature love interact with each other.

Related reading: Setting Relationship Rules For a Healthy Partnership

11. You Feel Comfortable Sharing Your Innermost Feelings

When you ask yourself, “Do I love him,” here is something to consider.

It’s called social penetration theory. And it speaks to what we reveal about ourselves to others. The outermost layer is your public persona – that which you reveal to our world of people who are just acquaintances or you really don’t know. You never reveal the innermost layer to anyone, not even your lifelong mate.

But in between are other layers. When a woman first falls in love, she only reveals the first couple of layers. As the relationship grows, she exposes more thoughts and feelings as those layers peel off.

When you see yourself revealing intimate true feelings about things, you know that you are getting into a loving relationship that has every potential to last. He’s becoming a big and significant part of your world, and you like it.

12. You Are Thinking and Start Talking About a Future

This is perhaps the most important thing when you ask, “Do I love him?” Do you find yourself thinking about a long-term future with this good guy? Moving in together or even marriage. Do you think about how your life, career, and personal goals in your world can mesh your future endeavors together to fit into a combined future?

More importantly, are you and your partner talking about these things, and do you feel happy talking about them and making plans for the rest of your life? If so, chances are he is the right person for you.

13. You Feel Safe and Secure with Him

When you first fall in love and the relationship is new, no woman will dare to reveal all the complex emotions and feelings inside to a stranger. Numerous insecurities raise up:

  • Will he come on strong, lose interest, and then hurt you?
  • Are you comfortable telling him things you want others to know?
  • Are you able to share your emotions and feelings without fear of judgment or criticism?

In the early stages of falling in love, you wouldn’t dare do this. But now, you know that he will keep your secrets safe, protect you in all circumstances, defend you if necessary, and would never intentionally hurt you. This is a great feeling that encourages love between you to blossom.

You can go to person anytime when your love blossoms

14. You Can Be Yourself Around Him

As you fall in love, everything about your actions will matter. You will make sure you really look good and be careful about how you act in his presence at any gatherings. You will spend time and money on all of this because you are still feeling a little insecure.

But this may not be who you really are when you are most comfortable. You may love being in your old sweats and with no makeup when you are in your own digs. Maybe you really don’t like having your hair perfect – or like to let your emotions out once in a while.

If your guy has seen you in every moment of you being who you really are, and it doesn’t matter, what more can you ask for? And if this makes you feel so comfortable and happy, then you don’t need to ask, “Do I love him?” You know the answer.

15. You Can Share Silence Without Discomfort

If you can sit in silence with another person and just be totally comfortable in that vibe, you have a real connection.

You don’t need to speak – you just need to be in each other’s presence and feel peaceful, loving, happy, and satisfied. It’s a wonderful feeling and a grand sign that you and he have a relationship that reaches into the soul – soul mates, if you will, along with the romance, the fun, the sex, and the shared vision of a future.

Related reading: Appreciating a Platonic Soulmate

16. His Happiness Is Just as Important as Yours

It’s called altruistic love, and it’s what a person feels when someone else’s well-being and happiness are just as important as theirs. The love of a parent for a child is like this.

Now, altruism in a relationship does not mean that a person gives up their own needs or goals. It means that they stay mindful of the needs, wants, and even emotions of their partner and are willing to work to see that he is just as happy as they are.

Don’t Be Pulling Petals From a Flower

Years ago (and maybe still today), girls used to take a flower and pull petals off one by one, chanting, “He loves me, he loves me not,” as they pulled each until there was just one left. Certainly, you could do the same with the chant, “I love him, I love him not.” But let’s get real.

You may need to hold onto this list as you analyze and evaluate the relationship you are in now and as it progresses. All of these signs will not show up at once or in any specific order, and some may not show up at all before you answer the question, “Do I love him?” with a “Yes.” The point is that you have a guide to use as you ask yourself that question.

And this guide gives the 16 most common signs that you should be looking at to decide not just if you love him but what the prospects are for a future with this guy. If you are looking for strong, true love and a fully healthy relationship, this list will serve you well.

Now it’s time to get going. If you are not in a current relationship or the one you are in is just wrong and going nowhere, it’s time to start looking for “the one.” You could start on Hily, state your preferences, and take a look at who’s out there. You have your list – find a match, move forward, and see what happens.

Love&Sex Expert
Cherie Hamilton
I’ve always been inspired by women who are outgoing, very sure of themselves, and not afraid to be who they were, including their sex lives. Under their tutelage, I gradually shed my old self, hung out and socialized with them, and, over time, became the empowered, self-confident, and sexual woman I am today. Happy to share my insights with other women today!
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