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Old 07-08-2006, 04:55 PM   #1
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How do you know when you love someone?

Hi, I have been wondering about this lately...I tend to try to analyze everything logically rather than be emotional, and I think I try so hard to stay objective sometimes that I lose sight of how I feel. But the question remains, how do you know when you are in love with someone as opposed to loving them the way you love a close friend? I am not sure. Also, how can you tell when a guy loves you? Assume that neither of us is likely to ever mention it. I'd feel like a little kid saying to someone, "I like you, do you like me?" but I just don't know how to tell otherwise.

More and more I am noticing myself feeling lately that I REALLY like my old friend from high school. We have always been close, and our families and friends are close, but we have never officially dated in any way. Back in high school we used to hook up pretty discreetly and the same thing in college...now that we're both going back to school (he studies medicine and I study law among other things), we've been hanging out again a lot, and his dad is a close friend and mentor to me. We have been going out, playing golf, and mostly just hanging out...a lot of times in bed, which has been just wonderful. He is gentle like a doctor but also not at all squeamish and repressed about sex like most guys. Most guys, in my view, just aren't that great in bed, because of their genetics and physical traits and/or just a lack of experience/imagination/skill. I cannot possibly be with a man who doesn't love sex and know how to do it well and often.

But I don't know if all this necessarily makes us anything more than friends, as we have always been. I do know that no other guy interests me as much as he does and that he's pretty much my first choice of people to hang out with. It's nice because he's a huge nerd like me and can talk forever with me about science and history and all the other random stuff we like learning about. He also loves golf even more than I do, and we both share the view that a joint can make many of the things we enjoy together, like golf, eating, cooking, traveling, sleeping, reading, watching movies, music, and of course anything sexual. Many guys do not think that way, and it's also hard to find a guy who, like me, is an atheist and deep down very liberal even though we should be conservative if we thought with our wallets instead of our consciences.

I just really love having a guy around who is so much like me, with the same kind of personality and eccentricities, and also someone who I feel totally comfortable and never nervous around. That is rare for me--usually I don't trust people completely and let down my guard except with my oldest and closest friends, so I really like that I never worry around him if he's going to judge me or think differently of me for just being me. He is very gentle and accepting in that way. So I'm going on and on, but I obviously like this guy a lot. I even kept quiet so he could sleep in today, and with any other guy, I would have woken him up and wanted him to leave. But I don't get sick of him, and I really hope he doesn't get sick of me. I guess if we've been friends for 10 years, that would have already happened...hopefully. Anyway, I don't know what to do now...should I change my myspace to say I'm in a relationship? Should I tell my friend that I really like him and want to be more than friends, or is that obvious and redundant? I think he knows I like him, but it's hard to tell. Please help.

 
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Old 07-08-2006, 05:24 PM   #2
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

Hmmmmm...that is kind of a grey area! If you have never officially gone out on a date, then it is possible that he just thinks of you as a friend, albeit one he fools around with. It's hard trying to read somebody's mind! I would just bring it up, when the moment seems right..."Is this serious? Or are we just having fun?"

Well, to answer you question, I can tell when a guy loves me by the way he treats me. But it was one particular experience early on in my relationship with my boyfriend that really proved something to me. (I am giving warning that this is a little gross). I was sleeping at his house one night when I woke up to find that I had unexpectedly gotten my period! And it was all over the place. I was just horrified! I woke him up and, embarrassed as hell, showed him what happened. I thought our relationship might be over, it was so mortifying. But he reacted so amazingly - did not get upset or freaked out in the least, was so sweet, and reassured me that it was okay, no big deal. Then he just changed his sheet and went on like nothing had ever happened. I felt so much closer to him after that, because it was probably the most embarrassing thing that could possibly happen, and he handled it so well. After that I felt a thousand times more comfortable with him, closer to him, and knew I didn't have to be afraid to do anything around him.

I think when you can completely be yourself around someone, let your guard down all the way, not be afraid to let them know every possible thing about you...then that is real love, and not just dating.
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Old 07-08-2006, 06:19 PM   #3
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

I don't really think we fall in love as often as we might wish or think we do. For me, I know I love someone when I can see the man's faults and foibles yet still care for him, in spite of. Most other peoples opinions of him no longer seem to matter and I have his back and know he has mine. I feel that he becomes part of my family, in some cases, the most intense part. I find that I don't fall deeply for men who don't care equally for me. I think it's because I can't let my guard down, completely, with a man who doesn't love and accept me and I must let it down to fall really hard. That's about the best I can do to describe it in words, accept to say that love changes my feelings, my thinking, even my sight. It involves a hightened sense of awareness of everything around me and that feeling stays, deepens, widens. Sometimes I forget it's there, until I go through the pain of an ending, which involves a narrowing of awareness to the loss. I sometimes think loosing that awareness is even worse then loosing the love, but you have to close off if you want to get over.

 
Old 07-08-2006, 06:22 PM   #4
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

How do you know you love someone? You don't and never will. See, Vern, may I call you Vern? Romantic love is not hard wired into our brains. You know this. I know you do.
Survival, procreation, fear, etc. are all hardwired into the animal brain. Romantic love is not biological, it's sociological. One society says sew your flower shut until you're married or you will be stoned to death. One society says 'we've invented a pill that makes doing your own thing your own business." Where is the love? Is it there? Sometimes. What if you talk to these people about rose petal milk baths, candel lit sex, fidelity, respect and compassion. Don't we all want something like this romantic version of love in our relationships? How many marriages get a gold star after the first 2 years of marriage? How many RELATIONSHIPS fail because they didn't get a gold star after the female trying DESPERATELY to make it happen?
Girl, you want kids some day? Do you? That's what you need to figure out because you should be married in a committed relationship for that (and don't get on my back, people. It takes 2 incomes to raise a family, so I'm not going any further).
If you don't want kids or don't know if you want that yet, THAT'S OK. Take it easy, hon. Have fun. Enjoy your youth, freedom, sexuality, sensuality. Just try to do the right and responsible thing. And if you ***** up, join the club. The membership dues are just being a genuine human being. (Oh, don't scoff at them, many would rather pay 100 k a year or more to belong to clubs where they don't have to be genuine at all.... )

Take care of yourself, and try to be a good person, but hell, girl, NEVER apologize for having fun. You know how many women in this world and in the history of this world are/were banned from having fun?

 
Old 07-08-2006, 06:41 PM   #5
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

Hi Stacy! Well, I think in this situation, since you and B. have known each other for a long time and were sometimes intimately involved, he might not know that you would be open to something more now. So I think there's no way around it but to bring it up, the way I see it. Maybe you could jokingly say something like "do you think we would make a good couple?" or maybe introduce him to someone as your "boyfriend" and see how he reacts?? I don't even know if this is exactly the way to go about it, but just throwing some ideas. I completely understand your aversion to discussing such things formally, but this is a peculiar situation and if neither of you mentions anything, things might not ever change. It might be well worth the risk--what do you think?

 
Old 07-08-2006, 06:54 PM   #6
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

Yes, I think it would definitely be worth the risk. But part of me just wants to see how things go, because I don't want to screw anything up and it all seems to be proceeding so well and so naturally. I think you are right, Sophia, that B has no clue that I'd be open to anything more than being friends like we've always been. From his perspective, he probably thinks I'll always be dating a bunch of different men and never settle down. So I might have to bring something up at some point. The thing is, I think his family along with my family, and some of our mutual friends, consider us a couple. He may well think so too because we talk so much, hang out so much, and are so close in our weird way. So maybe it's all okay and it's just unspoken? I certainly don't get any indications that he's not receptive to being more than friends like I do with some guys who are just looking for a casual hookup. Not that there is anything wrong with casual hookups, but maybe there is something a whole lot better sitting right in front of me, and I am just too blind and cerebral and focused on making things complicated to see it and take advantage. I don't know, I just know I like him a lot more than I expected to, and ever since we started hanging out again, we have been together quite a bit. If we stayed the way we are now, I could be really happy with that, I am already beyond happy with how things are now. But I think I could also be open to more, maybe, in the future, so should I just wait and see how things go without trying to force the issue? Or do you think it might be worth saying something sooner rather than later? I'm not exactly sure how that would help. It's not like I'm trying to get him to be exclusive with me, because I know he already is, and even if he wasn't, I wouldn't even care because I know we have a different kind of bond than what either of us has with people we hook up with. But even though I wouldn't hold it against him or be upset if he was with someone else, I want to be with him, and I don't want to be with anyone else nearly as much.

 
Old 07-08-2006, 07:14 PM   #7
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

I don't know VM. I'm sorry, but I think it's much easier for a man to move a woman from the love to the friendship category, then it is for him to move a woman from the friendship to the love one. If you don't want to waste time or if you are afraid to getting in too deep and getting hurt, I'd bring up the subject now. You are a bold, modern woman. If he really knows you, this should not suprise him. You don't need to ask him if he'll love you forever, but you can find out if he would be receptive to an exclusive relationship. How would he know you're interested in one if you don't tell him? But I think first you need to decide if that is what you want.

 
Old 07-08-2006, 08:08 PM   #8
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

Well, this is just my opinion, but I don't think you can know you love someone romatically unless you have been in a romantic relationship with that person. Some people act differently towards friends than they do towards those they are in a relationship in. I know I have had quite a few male friends, and I act completely different towards guys who are just friends than I do with guys who I am dating. So I don't think someone can love someone in a "I want to be with you forever kind of way" until they have been dating and know that side of a person.

Anyways, along with what everyone else said, I really think you should just come out with it to him and let him know how you are feeling. Someone is going to have to take the step, and I think for as much as you have been thinking about/feeling about him, it would be worth it to give it a chance.
I know just how hard it is to say. I had to do that with my ex. And I said just as you posted, "I like you as more than a friend now." It did sound sorta kid-like , but what else do you say? And it took me 2 months to build up to that .
Anyway, I hope you go for it, soon. I couldn't imagine that you would get a bad reaction from him.

 
Old 07-08-2006, 08:18 PM   #9
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

my situation was kind of similar reguarding the "period" thing! I started unexpectedly one morning and realized I had no tampons at all! My BF happened to call and could tell I was stressing a bit. He asked what was wrong and I told him. He said he would be over in a little while, and when he got here, he had bought me tampons! That really said a lot to me because he told me I was the first woman he had ever done that for! Also, last month I got very sick with strep throat. He left work to take me to the doctor, stayed with me all night, and wrapped me up in a blanket when I was shaking like crazy! It's things like that men do to let you know they really love you. If they can be there for you during the "not so great" times, you know it's for real!

 
Old 07-08-2006, 08:28 PM   #10
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

man, stacy, sounds like the perfect guy for you, lucky guy anyway, do you really want a bf after all what you've said before about the single life and how much you love it? well i think there's no way on earth that he doesn't like you so you shouldn't worry about that. i think eventually you're going to have to talk about this stuff with him. its one of those really uncomfortable conversations in a situation like this but i think its necessary.

 
Old 07-09-2006, 12:08 AM   #11
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance0204
man, stacy, sounds like the perfect guy for you, lucky guy anyway, do you really want a bf after all what you've said before about the single life and how much you love it? well i think there's no way on earth that he doesn't like you so you shouldn't worry about that. i think eventually you're going to have to talk about this stuff with him. its one of those really uncomfortable conversations in a situation like this but i think its necessary.
Thanks! Lance, it's really good to see you around, Goody too--I spotted her around again today! This all makes sense. I know I'm not always good at explaining things, but I feel good about this. You bring up an excellent point--the issue really doesn't boil down to what he wants, but what I am capable of, and I'm not sure I'm capable of being in a super serious exclusive relationship at this time. So I probably shouldn't push things or try to force things to be more serious than they'd be if they evolved naturally, right? Since I don't really even know what I want? Actually, that's kind of why I'm happy about this, because even if nothing ever happens beyond what has already happened, I know I can always trust him to be one of my very best friends. I also know that I can totally be myself around him, that I can say what I think, and that he will always be my friend, because he always has in the past. That to me is a lot more important than anything romantic or sexual that goes on between us.

But maybe we're really just friends from his point of view, I truly don't know. That wouldn't be bad though if it was the case I tend to have quite intimate relationships with my close friends, and most of them are men, because I seem to find more men who are like me than women. Relating to many different men on a very close level makes me weird, I know, and it can also cause me to confuse friendship with love at times. Because loving someone as a friend for me is so close to a relationship...I see an ideal relationship as a best friend with whom you share great sex and chemistry as well as friendship, interests, your sense of humor, etc.

I guess what I'm wondering about isn't so much if he loves me and wants to be with me, but what I should do to avoid screwing up our friendship at all costs. That is not something I could forgive myself for. That said, since it's never been a normal friendship, I don't know how I could screw it up UNLESS we get all serious/official and I change my mind about not dating other men. See the part I left out is that the reason we were not boyfriend/girlfriend in high school is because I almost always had another boyfriend. I guess he has always been kind of like my secret boyfriend, or maybe my mistress? So he knows that men are a big vice for me and that there is always someone around...for him to think differently, I would have to tell him differently, and maybe I will, but right now I am so happy that I don't want things to change. I just always worry so much and get so far ahead of myself that I end up creating problems/drama/complications when in fact this might be a really simple situation if I stop overthinking it.

I have never been able to tell if men are in love with me in a romantic way or if they just love me as a friend. I don't know what the difference is there if anything, maybe the only difference is whether or not we're involved as more than friends. But I can tell a difference between two important groups of men: those who just want to hook up and those who care about me. I just can't always differentiate the guys who care into two groups based on exactly how and why they care about me. But after some recent experiences, I think I am getting better at telling which guys are only out for sex. Such men would NOT be happy about bleeding on their sheets (LOL! I loved those stories, boys can be so sweet ), they are not there when you are sick, they don't care about your life or your feelings other than how it directly affects them, they don't hug and kiss you goodbye when one of you leaves, they don't want to hang out unless a bed is involved, they don't want to sleep over and hang out the next day, they don't want you around their friends and family, they do not always follow through on plans like calling back and hanging out, and you do not feel like you can completely trust and rely on them no matter what.

I'm not so much into that, though I've definitely been there before with men who couldn't care less about me. That is a bad feeling. I'd like to think I can tell the difference, but how can I be sure I won't be duped by a really clever guy who knows just how to reel me in and get what he wants. I doubt that this particular guy would do that, but he doesn't owe me anything and I certainly can't expect more from him than I can or will give in return. So I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. I just can't help liking him more than I expected to...ever since I saw him again, I am just so fond of him that no other guy really seems to compare. I don't want to get hurt here, but the idea of hurting him scares me more, because I know I am tough enough to handle it, but he has never been anything but sweet, gentle, and understanding towards me, and I think he is in some ways more emotionally vulnerable, because he has always been the one who in the past pushed us toward more than a platonic friendship. No matter what happens, my main priority is making sure I don't hurt him or let him down. I really need to avoid that at all costs, but I am not sure how to guarantee it. See the thing is, I know that at this point I have much better odds of keeping a lifelong friend close by in my life than I do of keeping a boyfriend around forever.

So do you think I should just think of all this as just a more intense stage of friendship? That would take a lot of pressure off to think of him just like my best friend without having to worry about what other people would say about our official status. And to be honest, he makes a good best friend, because he is the only person I know other than my grandmother around whom I feel like I can be completely honest with without worrying about someone thinking differently of me or judging me. If I have a random problem or am worried or have a stupid question, I can ask him without being nervous, I can call him for whatever reason without feeling anxious about it, which is rare for me. He is also the only friend I have who I let in my house when I am not there, because I trust him not to snoop and find anything incriminating, and one of the few who ever sees the inside of my bedroom/lair. Also, his family, like him, has always gone out of their way to be kind and good friends with me, even though they have nothing to gain by being so nice to me because I have never been his girlfriend. Their whole family has stood up for me, took on controversy to be on my side, defended me, and been incredibly supportive throughout the years during times when few of my other "friends" were there for me. That kind of unselfish and generous loyalty means more than anything to me and seems to be extremely rare. Even the vast majority of my own blood relatives have not treated me as well over the years.

 
Old 07-09-2006, 07:25 AM   #12
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

That's interesting, Stacy that you prefer to get intimately involved with your male friends. I usually put guys into two separate categories: either friends or romantic interests and I never was able to develop romantic feelings for male friends. Well, maybe once, in high school, I developed a serious secret crush on a guy friend whom I never in a million years thought I'd find attractive LOL. But I always hear that relationships that were formed from friendships have the best chances of success/lasting, so you might be on the right track, after all!

Btw, I was also wondering about Goody lately. I hope she and her family, including Ollie, the hermit crab, are doing well

Last edited by SophiaM; 07-09-2006 at 07:29 AM.

 
Old 07-09-2006, 12:03 PM   #13
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

Did somebody say GOODY????? Okay Stacy, Stacy, Stacy!!!!! Wow, does your mom have her hands full with YOU!!! Love??? How will you know???

Well for starters everything else will seem bland in comparison. You will look at all that you have had to compare and there will be no more comparison.....the one you love will shine like a diamond in the rough!! I don't know, Stacy....honestly with you I don't know if one guy will ever be the one for you.......there are way too many variables. But who knows Goody has seen some unbelievable things happen and I have a feeling in your case you are no exception to the rule!!!

I just think that you ought to take your time and see what develops. Sometimes we are so in love with love that it looks like love and it isn't. but when it is you will know...the earth won't exactly shake but you will feel that peace and comfort knowing that the search is over and that the one who you are meant to be with is standing right before you....lmost of the time he wasn't even what you expected in your wildest dreams!! But he will be the one that has penetrated that part of your heart that no other man ever has.

As for Goody.....I am still here but so busy facing some of my own hurdles in life. Yup, we all have them and never did I think in my wildest dreams that I would be facing what I am at this point in time. But one thing I do know is that Tom is the one that I love and the true test of love is when you find yourself wondering how you will face what lies ahead but know that you are blessed with the one that stands by you in good times and bad and that holds you up even when you think you aren't even capable of standing anymore. And another thing is that you are blessed with family and friends from all walks of life, even in cyberspace who are willing to do the same thing. Too much to tell here willst I go off topic but love....it is all around you, you just have to look.

((((HUGS)))) to all you who are looking for love ~ Goody

 
Old 07-09-2006, 12:19 PM   #14
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

Glad to see you around Goody. I hope things start getting better for you.

 
Old 07-09-2006, 12:26 PM   #15
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Re: How do you know when you love someone?

Veronica...I want to ask you something. You have been ranting about trust, loyalty, etc. How is it you expect those kinds of things when you do not keep them in the past (and possibly present) with cheating on the men? How is it that you could expect that kind of things when men, you supposedly loved, gave their trust and loyalty to you only to be cheated on several times? I really would like to know that.

 
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