Checklist for How to Know if You Are in Love

Love isn't the same as passion.
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If you're picking daisy petals off -- he loves me, he loves me not -- you're not likely to discover whether you're truly in love. Thinking that your newest fling is the real deal requires understanding what to look for when it comes to lasting love. Checking off a list, whether in your head or in writing, can help you to determine whether you're in love.

1 Pull of Attraction

The initial spark of electricity that you feel when you first meet your love is a must to carry on a romantic relationship. While this isn't typically enough on its own to keep a relationship going long term, attraction is a necessity for falling in love, according to the article "Love and Romance" on the TeensHealth website. Attraction may feel like an intense longing to be near the other person, butterflies in your stomach whenever he's near or a euphoric state when your are around him.

2 Close Call

Without a sense of closeness, the physical chemistry between you and your partner is more of an infatuation than true love. Closeness doesn't happen overnight, and takes time to build in a relationship. Through sharing your thoughts, feelings, dreams, hopes and fears, you and your partner are building a close bond that is part of a loving relationship. Before you consider yourself "in love," ask yourself whether your relationship includes the ability to share with each other.

3 Talking Trust

An essential part of love is the ability to feel safe with and trust the other person, according to clinical and health psychologist Melanie Greenberg on the Psychology Today website. You can trust someone without necessarily falling in love with them. But without trust, you can't have a loving relationship. For example, if you can't trust that your girlfriend won't run off with the first cute guy who flirts with her, you don't have a relationship built on love.

4 Commitment to Each Other

You feel butterflies in your belly when you look at him, but then again, that happens with Tom, Rob, Bill and Jack, too. Just having a chemical connection to someone without making the commitment to stick by him is a red flag that you aren't in love. When you make a promise to stay with your partner -- through life's ups and downs -- you are entering into a loving relationship. Depending on your age, this may mean a pledge to stay together, an engagement or a marriage.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.