Love, Sex

How To Know If You're Actually In Love (Or Just In Love With The Idea Of Him)

You've recently met someone new, and it's been all butterflies and rainbows ever since. Ah, swoon!

But, are the magical feelings you're experiencing for this person are actually real love? Sometimes our hearts can get going and not let our brains catch up with them. So how do you know for sure that it’s real love, or if you're just falling for the loving feelings and romantic experiences this new guy is giving you?

In other words, are you so set on finding "the one" and wrapped up in your own romantic fantasies that you’re refusing to see your new relationship clearly?

RELATED: 50 Love Quotes That Express Exactly What 'I Love You' Really Means

In this YourTango Expert video above, coach, healer and YourTango expert Louann Schwager Tung explains the difference between falling in love with the romanticized fantasy of this person's love, as opposed to the actual person you're with.

What exactly does this mean? It means that rather than seeing the person in front of you for who they are, you’re seeing who you want them to be.

You’re creating a fantasy of what love is and feels like in your head, and using this new someone as the character who fulfills this fantasy. “Expectation is the first enemy of love,” Louann explains.

If your love is the real deal, you will be able to accept the person you’re with fully, even if they don’t always live up to your fantasy expectations. You’ll see his flaws, and the things that annoy you about him. You’ll understand his weaknesses — and accept them.

So if you're able to see the whole person in front of you — including his hopes and dreams, needs and wants, and yes, even things that you don’t care for about him — then your feelings have a chance of growing into real love. If not, then there might some disconnection between what you’re expecting from your partner, and what you’re actually getting.

And if you’re building up a fantasy in your head, then how can you tell if your relationship is building toward something? How will you ever know if you’ve found your “one”, if you’re not able to see the whole picture of who you’re dating?

When you’re with someone, it’s important to pay attention to their words and their actions.

Are they claiming to be Prince Charming, while actually acting like a scrub? People in this situation are often just ignoring what their partner is really saying or doing, in order to keep him as a stand-in for the lovely relationship ideal they’ve built up in their own head.

But by doing this, they’re not creating a lasting, love-filled relationship that’s built on a foundation of solidarity, understanding, and trust. Sooner or later, his flaws and incompatibilities will cause the relationship to crumble.

Sure, a fairy tale sort of love is nice in your daydreams. But in reality, it’s not the stuff that real, working relationships are made of.

If you’re concerned about whether your love is fantasy or reality, look for the tell-tale signs that prove what you're feeling is real. And if you want to learn more, check out the YourTango Expert video above for additional advice!

RELATED: 6 Ways To Show Unconditional Love WITHOUT Being A Total Doormat

Louann Schwager Tung is a relationship coach who works with people to help them find the person that makes their hearts sing! You can contact her here for any relationship or love questions that you need answered!