Is This Love? 6 Unsexy Questions That Will Lead You Straight To The Answer

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couple in a rowboat in a snowy canyon lake

Are you in a new relationship and wondering if what you're feeling is love?

It can be hard to know, especially if you are expecting a big sign to drop out of the sky and hit you over the head.

Does falling in love have to be intense or dramatic? Should love be something that is all-consuming, or can it be quiet and easy? How long does it take?

These are some of the common questions you may have in your mind, but the truth actually lies in you being honest with yourself. 

First, know that there is no timetable for you to know implicitly if you love someone. There doesn't need to be a rush to get an answer.

If your romantic interest is pursuing you for a relationship, then he or she probably isn’t going anywhere and you can relax and allow yourself to be courted by them.

This will allow you to get more in touch with how you feel so you can gain insight into a much more important question — is it love?

RELATED: 6 Scientific Reasons Falling In Love Feels So Good

Is it love? Six questions to ask yourself (and answer honestly) to find out

Are you expecting a big sign to drop out of the sky and hit you over the head? Does falling in love have to be intense or dramatic? Should love be something that is all-consuming, or can it be quiet and easy?

The first step is simple but may not be easy.

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1. Be realistic about what you expect to feel when you fall in love

You might have an expectation blocking you from your experience of what is actually going on inside of you right now.

For instance, you may expect to feel it immediately, but the truth is, there is no time limit to falling in love with someone. It can happen in a moment, or it can develop over time. Ask a hundred couples and you’ll get answers that vary from immediate to months or even years.

Unfortunately, if you don’t know what you are looking for or if you have unrealistic expectations about falling in love, then you can miss something amazing that is right in front of you.

Let go of the need to know and instead get curious about what it means to you to fall in love and what it might feel like.

RELATED: You Won't Find True Love Until You Accept These 10 Things

The subconscious mind is tasked with keeping you alive. Its job is to keep your body alive and functional within a very narrow range of temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. If your body moves outside of this narrow range of homeostasis, you will die.

This is also the way your subconscious regulates your behavior and your emotional responses to outside stimuli. You also have behavioral homeostasis. Basically, your subconscious is working to keep things the same to keep you alive. It uses two criteria – known and unknown. If it is known, the subconscious can recognize it and will allow you to proceed without much hesitation.

The spark of attraction to another person is a signal of your subconscious recognizing a familiar energy or dynamic. It sends a signal announcing, “This is familiar! This is familiar!”

If you have negative experiences from your childhood about connection and intimacy, that familiar signal could be an alarm announcing, “Watch out! Danger ahead!”

This creates a false positive if you misinterpret the signal as excitement rather than fright. A supposed “love at first sight” could be a danger signal telling you to run away from a possibly toxic person.

So it's important to sort out what real love will feel like, rather than just a rush of brain chemicals. 

RELATED: The Scientific Answer To Whether Or Not Falling In Love At First Sight Is Possible

2. Be honest about how it feels to be with them

Do you feel safe and cared for when you are with him? Or do you feel uncertain and afraid you are going to make a mistake? The answer will tell you a lot about whether he is an ideal match for you.

The goal is to be in a relationship that inspires you to feel good about yourself (not one that triggers feelings of insecurity or that you have to prove yourself).

Pay attention to how you feel when you are with him, as well as how you feel when you part from him. Notice your inner dialog. Is your mind quiet or is it spinning about what you should have said or what you did wrong?

Instead of worrying about how long it takes to fall in love, focus on what emotions he inspires in you.

Getting in touch with the emotions he inspires in you will give you the clarity you need to identify the feelings you have for him.

RELATED: What Happens To Your Brain On A Chemical Level When You Fall In Love?

3. Look for true emotional connection 

Are you looking for the lightning bolt of chemistry to let you know that you’re falling in love? While chemistry and attraction are important, having a strong emotional connection with him will deepen your feelings.

Chemistry is a product of your differences while emotional connection comes from your similarities. This sounds contradictory but it is your differences that create the spark of attraction. Masculine and feminine energy, introverts and extroverts, these naturally opposing energies work like magnets to bring the two of you together.

Emotional connection comes from what the two of you share in common. When you share how you feel and can see each other and be seen, then you feel a powerful connection and bond that is the source of emotional intimacy.

When both exist between you there is a powerful connection and attraction that can lead to a satisfying and lasting relationship.

This kind of connection doesn’t just happen by accident. Taking a more conscious approach to love will help you create an ideal partnership that can withstand the test of time.

RELATED: If You're Not Sure If It's Love Or Lust, Ask Yourself These 5 Questions

4. Notice how you navigate conflict together

Being able to navigate conflict together is one of the most important indications that you can maintain a long-term intimate relationship with your guy. (It’s possible that the two of you have not had any bumps in the road yet.)

Conflict in your intimate relationships is inevitable. There will be challenges that the two of you will need to work out.

That’s why it’s important that you don’t try to avoid discord during the dating process.

There’s no need to create conflict, but it is okay to occasionally rock the boat if it comes about by speaking your truth.

Knowing that the two of you can repair and reconnect through conflict is one of the most important deciding factors to determine an ideal match for love to last.

If you haven’t overcome any obstacles together it’s more of an infatuation with the potential for love in the future.

RELATED: Why We Need Love To Resolve Conflicts

5. Pay attention to whether you're being your most authentic self

Wanting to be loved for who you really are, you must be willing to show up as your authentic self. It can be exhausting and anxiety-producing to be constantly twisting into a pretzel trying to please your guy.

An ideal relationship is one where you can be yourself and the connection between you is easy. What happens when you share with him how you feel? Does he get defensive and argue with you? Or is he able to hear you and acknowledge your feelings?

Start letting him know how you feel. You could even share with him that you like hearing that he loves you and that you’re still figuring out your feelings for him.

Share your truth about your attraction for him and that you’re enjoying the journey to see how it unfolds.

Being authentic is like sending him an invitation to meet you at a high vibration. When your partner is able to meet you with his authenticity then you can create a deep connection.

When you can be authentic and share your truth with one another you’ve laid the groundwork for love to blossom.

RELATED: Be True To Yourself: The Power & Importance Of Authenticity

6. Get real about your life goals

Common interests are nice, but they are no indication that the two of you are on the same page about what is really important. Your relationship is still young, so this is a great time to his values and goals and sees if you share the same perspective on what’s important in life.

You may have different strategies for dealing with challenges, but if you share the same values and goals then you can find a way to work together to solve any problems that arise.

Worrying about how long it takes you to fall in love isn’t helping you stay present to what you are actually feeling and evaluate if he would be a good match for you for the long term. Let go of the need to know if it’s love or not, and instead, get in touch with how you feel about him right now.

This will allow you to be present at the moment so you can evaluate the relationship for its long-term potential.

RELATED: Falling In Love Is Easy — Staying In Love Is A Choice

Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker. They're the authors of the free ebook, 7 Steps To Soulmating.

This article was originally published at Love On Purpose. Reprinted with permission from the author.