Does a Fluttery Feeling Mean Love?

The ups and downs of initial attraction don't always indicate love.
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He walks into the room, and, in an instant, your heart is beating faster and your belly has butterflies. Is this love? It's a possibility. While having a fluttery feeling may make you feel like you're desperately, madly and deeply in love with the object of your affection, unless you really know the guy, it's more likely that you're simply crushing on him.

1 Initial Attraction

What causes that fluttery feeling that's taking over your body? It's less about real love and more about physical attraction. When you first fall for someone new, your body releases chemicals that cause the rush that you're feeling, according to licensed clinical social worker Debra Manchester MacMannis in the "Psych Central" article "Why Do Fools Fall in Love? Our Brains Have Some of the Answers." While you might have "loving" emotions toward your new girl, until you get to know her better, you're in "lust" instead of "love."

2 First Step

Even though that first fluttery feeling doesn't necessarily mean that you're in love, it's often a first step on the road to a relationship. A deep attraction on its own is an infatuation. Adding closeness onto it can -- over time -- result in love, according to the article "Love and Romance" on the "Teens Health" website. Instead of dismissing the butterflies in your stomach as a crush, continue to get to know your potential partner and see where it goes.

3 Long Lasting

Don't expect the flutters to stay with you as your relationship transitions from a crush into true coupledom. As you begin to share your innermost thoughts and feelings with your new guy, a sense of more serene love will replace the giddy butterflies. Does this mean that you aren't still attracted to your partner? Hopefully not. Attraction is a key part of a healthy relationship. That said, other aspects -- such as mutual respect, trust and support -- need to pair with attraction before you can have a loving commitment.

4 Personal Decision

While the typical loving relationship takes time, closeness and commitment, not every person experiences love in the same way. The fluttery flush that you feel in the beginning may mean love for you, while it may not for someone else. Love is a mysterious thing, making it almost impossible to judge whether the initial infatuation that you feel is real or not. Instead of rushing to declare your love -- based on your first feelings -- slow down and figure out what these emotions really mean for you and your relationship.

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.