Only five short, but sweet, months have gone by and your guy is already uttering those three little words. If you're still in the beginning stage of your relationship and your boyfriend already claims to love you, wondering if he truly does is understandable. While every relationship runs at a different pace, taking a long look at your own romance can help you to judge if his "I love you" is fact or fantasy.
It Feels Like Love
The initial intense attraction or infatuation that couples feel in the beginning of romantic relationships are built on real feelings. That said, these powerful emotions aren't always love. The chemistry that you feel is the product of actual chemicals that your brain releases as the excitement of getting to know someone new builds, according to therapist Debra Manchester MacMannis on the PsychCentral website's article "Why Do Fools Fall in Love? Our Brains Have Some Answers." Even though your boyfriend may think that he's falling for you, if your relationship hasn't gone past the first sparks of electricity the correct word for his feelings is lust according to MacMannis. While this isn't the case 100 percent of the time, at five months it's possible that he's confusing love with infatuation.
Call it Close
Although the attraction that you both feel is intense, it isn't the only ingredient of a loving relationship. Closeness, or a close emotional bond, is an essential part of real love, according to the article "Love and Romance" on the TeensHealth website. Building closeness takes time and includes sharing your deepest thoughts, greatest hopes, dreams and other serious inner subjects with your partner. If you and your guy have made a point to get to know each other on a truly deep level during the first five months, it's possible that he does really love you. On the other hand, if it's all superficial attraction, he doesn't know you well enough to say, "I love you."
The first five months of dating are a time when you're just figuring things out in your relationship. Are you "just dating" or is it official? If your boyfriend isn't ready to make a commitment to you, but claims to love you, think twice. The pledge or promise to stay together for the long haul is a key part of a serious, loving relationship. The inability to do so may mean that he isn't ready for a real relationship or that his "love" is on a superficial level. He may love that you're attractive or love that you're smart, but if he won't commit himself to you it's doubtful that he loves you for the long term.
Love at First Sight
Despite all of the indications that you need time to build love, believing in the idea of "love at first sight" isn't completely out there. This doesn't necessarily mean that at only five months in your boyfriend truly loves you. Instead, it means that there's always a chance that the two of you have that magical connection that very few couples do -- and it is love. Although in some cases "love" is actually attraction early on, true romantic love is possible at the beginning of a relationship, according to professor of philosophy at the University of Haifa Aaron Ben-Zeév in his article "Is Love at First Sight Possible?" on the Psychology Today website.
- Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images