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Author Topic: How do you know you're in love?
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 01:51      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
On 28 November 2005, eHarmony matched me with a man who lives about 20 miles away from me named Jonathan. He's 32 years old, hasn't dated much, owns a G4 PowerBook (or is it an iBook?), is highly intelligent (he likes me and Macs!), shares similar values and faith in Christ, etc. All's well and good there. Jonathan and I went through the guided communication part on eHarmony rather quickly, but didn't meet face-to-face until he helped me move to my new house on 15 January. We'd had some phone conversations before then, but nothing terribly exciting. Somehow, though, we've been developing an emotional closeness through e-mails and phone calls, and both of us were looking forward to our first "official" date on 5 February. I was somewhat nervous about being with him 'cause even though we had met once before, it's always a bit strange spending time with someone you've gotten to know through the Internet. Well, we had a great time together (all the details are in my blog), and since then we've been writing some pretty sappy e-mails to each other. We've talked on the phone a few times and left messages on each other's voicemail. I told him about my struggles with my weight and my parent's attitude toward it and he reassured me he likes me for who I am, not who I was or who I could be.

Tonight he tells me he's never felt like this before, I'm constantly on his mind, that hearing my voice on his machine makes him feel really happy and his heart races and all sorts of (innocent!) things. And that makes me wonder. He's 32, so I s'pose he should know his own mind by now, but are those really the symptoms of love? I told him he's probably just infatuated, and he said he's been infatuated before, but this feels totally different.

I felt butterflies the entire time I was with him, but couldn't that just be chalked up to hormones? Likewise, when I read his e-mails I get warm fuzzies. Are those just hormones too?

How do you know you love someone (and not just totally enraptured by the feeling of being with them)?

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snupy
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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 03:55      Profile for snupy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
IMO, "butterflies" are a sign of chemistry and connection, not hormones.

I'd never had butterflies with anyone until the first kiss from my fiance..that's how I knew! [Wink]

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"I just ordered an extra-long straw to avoid accidentally doing a sit-up"-Jay, Modern Family

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 05:38      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rhonnie - it sounds like things are going well [Applause]

But to try and answer your question - I think we need to differentiate between two separate ideas:
"to love someone" is very different from "being in love with someone". I would suggest that the latter is the romantic phase of a relationship when all the butterflies and the wistful sighing takes place.

Some relationships don't grow beyond this phase, and come to natural end when the happy hormones settle down again. Other relationships mature into a real love that is clearly deeper than the early romantic phase of the relationship.

So - how do you know if you love this man? When the butterflies have gone and the sound of his name no longer makes your heart skip a beat, when you no longer read one email from him ten times, when you have stopped hugging his clothes when he is not around, if then you cannot imagine your life without this man, that's when you know you love him.

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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fs

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 05:54      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Tonight he tells me he's never felt like this before, I'm constantly on his mind, that hearing my voice on his machine makes him feel really happy and his heart races and all sorts of (innocent!) things. And that makes me wonder. He's 32, so I s'pose he should know his own mind by now, but are those really the symptoms of love? I told him he's probably just infatuated, and he said he's been infatuated before, but this feels totally different.

I'm going to be completely serious here. Based on the preceding paragraph, I don't think that this issue is so much him. It sounds like you have some self esteem issues that you struggle with and may be having a hard time accepting the fact that someone else can think you are a beautiful, wonderful person and have those kinds of feelings for you.

Just my thoughts on reading your post.

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snupy
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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 06:14      Profile for snupy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Don't bank too much on this wondeful stuff he says during the infatuation period. In my experience, that can change quickly. It can lead to pain for you-be careful.

Just relax, take it slowly, and see how you both feel in 6 months. I agree with what Grummash said.

I do stand by my previous "butterflies" statement, which is a good gauge of initial attraction, but your future will be based on more than that. It also depends on how much experience you have to compare it to, and it doesn't sound like you've dated alot.

EDIT: most of all, have fun, enjoy, and don't think too much

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"I just ordered an extra-long straw to avoid accidentally doing a sit-up"-Jay, Modern Family

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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 09:31      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi Rhonnie

I hope you didn't honestly think I would see your post and mosey on without stopping. [Smile]

Snupy Grummash and Firesnake have already said some great things. I have nothing really to add except these 2 things.

No matter the butterflies or the nice things he says and does take your time.

While you are taking your time enjoy the butterfly sensation. Take a few moments everyday just to kick back and enjoy how they feel without any thinking and analysing. Then when those moments are over turn your thinking back on.

Good luck and ENJOY

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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 09:33      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by YaYawoman:
Hi Rhonnie

I hope you didn't honestly think I would see your post and mosey on without stopping. [Smile]

Snupy Grummash and Firesnake have already said some great things. I have nothing really to add except these 2 things.

No matter the butterflies or the nice things he says and does take your time.

While you are taking your time enjoy the butterfly sensation. Take a few moments everyday just to kick back and enjoy how they feel without any thinking and analysing. Then when those moments are over turn your thinking back on.

Good luck and ENJOY

P.S. You deserve a happy committed relationship. Don't ever forget that.

oops meant to hit the edit not the quote. Oh well. Just shows I need more coffee. Sorry everyone. [Big Grin]

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csk

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 09:41      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OK, here's my two cents (and mucho congratulations on finding him, too, as I've already said elsewhere).

Sounds like you've got the "in love" feeling. And it's strong. Intoxicating, even. In fact, it's one of the best feelings ever, in my experience. And completely to be expected at this stage.

However, this initial thing doesn't last, in my experience. As the DC Talk song goes, love is a verb. Not a feeling, although the feeling and the action are related. The trick is to commit to loving each other (action wise), and be able to carry it out. What you're now doing is to see if you can do that. It's going to take time, but as others have said, you don't want to rush this.

Another pitfall I might mention is one I have trouble with myself, and I'm guessing you might too. I tend to have a low self esteem, and thus what usually attracts me most to someone is their level of attraction to me. This is not a bad thing as such, but be careful not to underplay the bad things you observe, or magnify the good things just because it seems he really likes you. This may be easier said than done...

I sincerely wish you all the best, and hope it does work out for you. Thanks for sharing where you're up to...

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6 weeks to go!

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 13:56      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here is my rule:

Like: Spit
Love: Swallow
Lust: Gargle

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Callipygous
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Icon 14 posted February 11, 2006 14:44      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good Luck Rhonnie.

Don't over intellectualise , it's better to make a fool of yourself and get hurt than than to erect barriers of cynicism and mistrust, which make you dried up and only half alive. Time will tell if he's on the level.

In the meantime enjoy the roller coaster ride.

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 18:00      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sounds like you've got the classic sensations of early relationship ecstasy - butterflies, warm fuzzies, swoony swoony, etc. Enjoy it for what it is - it might lead on to more solid things, or it might not.

All the others have said some pretty sensible things and I think I would agree solidly with all of them.

But you do deserve to find a soulmate - just as we all do. Just remember that the warm fuzzies do wear off and when they do is when you will really find out if it is true love or just truely lovely while it lasted....

Take your time and enjoy the experience - even if in the end it doesn't work out it will have been fun while it lasted.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 20:02      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for all your input. I really wish someone somewhere could come up with a definitive definition, y'know? And too, it'd be awesome if someone composed an ideal timeline for the progression of relationships. Like, what's normal, appropriate, and respectable. [ohwell]

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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 20:31      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I know it is frustrating. Appropriate timely and respectable are all dependent on the person and the relationship.

Just take the time to know your own mind and what you want and what you are comfortable with. Do not let what others want and expect to influence you too much.

Trust yourself to make the decision that is right for you.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 20:50      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Thanks for all your input. I really wish someone somewhere could come up with a definitive definition, y'know? And too, it'd be awesome if someone composed an ideal timeline for the progression of relationships. Like, what's normal, appropriate, and respectable. [ohwell]

And I wish we could have world peace. [Wink]

Oh...and that everyone would use Linux from the commandline, and that I could find a girl who loved Perl. [Razz]

But...that's just not going to happen.

From what I've read above, I'd say it's /way/ too early to call it 'love.' Give it time, get to know each other very well, and take it from there. Kick back, and enjoy the ride. [Smile]

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 21:11      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rhonwyyn wrote:
I really wish someone somewhere could come up with a definitive definition, y'know? And too, it'd be awesome if someone composed an ideal timeline for the progression of relationships. Like, what's normal, appropriate, and respectable.

Spoken like a true geek [Applause]

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Demosthenes
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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2006 21:24      Profile for Demosthenes     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
...eHarmony matched me with a man...

You know, I was bored once and filled out the eHarmony questionnaire. It told me a bunch of stuff that I already know about myself, then informed me that it was "unable to match me at this time."

OT, I know, but it was pretty disheartening. [ohwell]

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 12, 2006 01:38      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
Rhonwyyn wrote:
I really wish someone somewhere could come up with a definitive definition, y'know? And too, it'd be awesome if someone composed an ideal timeline for the progression of relationships. Like, what's normal, appropriate, and respectable.

Spoken like a true geek [Applause]

Awwwww, Steen!!! That's the best compliment I've ever received! w00t!!! [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 12, 2006 01:40      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Demosthenes:
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
...eHarmony matched me with a man...

You know, I was bored once and filled out the eHarmony questionnaire. It told me a bunch of stuff that I already know about myself, then informed me that it was "unable to match me at this time."

OT, I know, but it was pretty disheartening. [ohwell]

Oh hey, I have a friend for you then. He filled out the questionnaire and was told the same thing. You'd definitely get his engines going. Want his MySpace link? [Wink]

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted February 12, 2006 01:46      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Normal, appropriate and respectable?

I think you have enough to think about without worrying about anything that may be described by these three dull words.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 12, 2006 01:53      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
Normal, appropriate and respectable?

I think you have enough to think about without worrying about anything that may be described by these three dull words.

But I don't want to do anything stupid... [ohwell]

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted February 12, 2006 03:33      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Like, what's normal, appropriate, and respectable.
and
But I don't want to do anything stupid...

Rule Number 1 You get to decide what is normal, appropriate, and respectable - nobody else. It is your life and your heart, unless you ask someone for their opinion they should butt out.

Rule Number 2 You will inevitably do something stupid. Everyone does, it is part of being in love. This does not mean that you shouldn't do what you need to do to stay safe, simply that not all of your choices need to be intellectual ones.

Being in love is an experience, not a process. We have been on this planet a long time, and no-one has yet come up with a flow-chart to map out what is supposed to happen.

Relax, enjoy, have fun. We all deserve some good times. [Big Grin]

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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Spam
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Icon 1 posted February 12, 2006 14:10      Profile for Spam   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Glad to hear the good news Rhonwynn :^).

there's a lot of good advice around here.
As far as doing something stupid, I say go for it. Do something stupid.

I've spent so much of my life afraid of doing stupid things, that in my old age, I realize there are a lot of people I could have met, and a lot of adventures I could have had if I wasn't so afraid of getting hurt, or affecting people's opinions of me.

I think it is the human condition to be in an eternal battle between the brain and the heart. Between Logic and Emotion.

We know what it is to make a calculated decision. To consider all the consequences of an action, and commit to it with a whole headt and mind.
But sometimes we get so wrapped up in things, that our minds can't operate like that. It happens to us all.

Sometimes you just realize, that despite all the terrible consequences of the action, you Need to, Today, drive 40 miles to your Ex's front door, and tell her you still love her. She will laugh at you. Your friends will find out. They will talk about you. But you need to do it.
Sometimes you need, or want to do something irrational.

It's humanity.

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snupy
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Icon 1 posted February 12, 2006 17:26      Profile for snupy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
Rhonwyyn wrote:
I really wish someone somewhere could come up with a definitive definition, y'know? And too, it'd be awesome if someone composed an ideal timeline for the progression of relationships. Like, what's normal, appropriate, and respectable.

Spoken like a true geek [Applause]

LMAO!!

good one, Steen.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted February 12, 2006 18:14      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
Normal, appropriate and respectable?

I think you have enough to think about without worrying about anything that may be described by these three dull words.

But I don't want to do anything stupid... [ohwell]
Well, in that case, avoid falling in love. Nothing's stupider than falling in love.

That said, falling in love is about as avoidable as the plague. One moment you're fine, the next you're sliding into insanity. I hate it. I hope this is the last time I ever have to do it, but nothing's certain.

If it's real it will hold, even after the hormones have settled down and the two of you have gotten used to each other. But only time can tell. Just don't be insecure. Insecurity will doom a relationship. Don't overthink it. Guys will say flattering things for three reasons: they mean it, they want in your pants, or once you guys are out of the lovey-dovely phase, he's done something stupid and he wants to avoid getting slapped. Assuming that you've made your view on pre-marital sex clear to him, he's saying the things he says because he means it. So kick back and enjoy it.

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Geordie

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Icon 1 posted February 12, 2006 20:49      Profile for Geordie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Demosthenes:
You know, I was bored once and filled out the eHarmony questionnaire. It told me a bunch of stuff that I already know about myself, then informed me that it was "unable to match me at this time."

OT, I know, but it was pretty disheartening. [ohwell]

OT continuation: And pretty typical according to the reviews online. I tried it too and after a couple of months I received one match. Although I fear it is an accurate figure of the compatible people out there, I would prefer to believe it is not.

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Geordie

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