Knowing when you’re ready to be in love isn’t always as straight-forward as it may seem. Lots of things can make knowing when you’re ready to fall in love complicated. And sometimes, we aren’t even sure if we know what love really is.
Understand how you may be feeling and why
Letting yourself be in love may take time. There are lots of reasons why the idea of falling in love can be scary! It can also feel good, or exciting, or many things all at the same time.
It’s okay to feel confused or to question how you’re feeling. Understanding if you’re ready to fall in love, and what love is, can be challenging. You could try asking yourself things like:
- When I think about love, what comes to my mind?
- How do my partners feel about love?
- What do my partners and I want love to feel like?
- Do I want to be in love? Why or why not?
- Do my partners want to be in love?
- Does it matter to my partners if I am in love?
- Do I care if my partners are in love?
- Do my partners and I agree on what loves means to us and what we want our relationship with love to be like?
- Am I sure about my answers to all these questions?
Try to remember that these questions are just guidelines. You can use them, or have them inspire you to think of other questions about love! The important thing is to try and help you get a sense of what love can mean to you! Also, remember that your answers to these questions are not permanent. You can change your answers at any time! For some people, it can be helpful to come back and reevaluate your answers from time to time. Checking in with yourself and your partners can be a good way to maintain healthy communication in your relationships.
Relationships can evolve and change, just like your feelings for someone. Deciding if you’re in love now doesn’t mean you will always feel that way, or even that you should.
What is love?
Knowing what love is and what love means is something very unique to you! Only you can know what love is and what it might mean for you. Sometimes, it can help to ask people that you may be close to or that you may trust about what love means to them. This could help you get a sense of how other people have experienced love in their lives and how they found ways to realize what love was. In the end though, what matters most is how you feel about love!
Remember, love is an emotion. Like other emotions, what may make one person happy or angry or surprised, can make another person feel differently. This is often the same thing for love! That’s why it can be helpful to understand what your thoughts on love are for yourself. When you can start feeling comfortable understanding what love means to you, answering the question of knowing if you’re ready to be in love may come easier.
What does it mean if I’m in love?
Sometimes when people talk about being in love, they are talking about a romantic connection. This isn’t always the case, though! You can love someone as a friend, or as family. Some people talk about love in terms of relationships. But just like love can feel different to different people, lots of people can want different things when they’re in love! You can love someone without wanting to date or have sex with them. You can love someone for a little while, or for a long time. What you do about being in love is totally up to you!
For more on love, relationships, and communication, you can check out the resources below!
“True love” — could it be true? – Ask Alice
This shorter Q +A debunks the idea of “true love”: that people can fall for someone and live happily ever after without working on the relationship. They also offer a few different ideas on what love could mean for you.
Love Letter – Scarleteen
Heather Corinna explains what love can mean and feel like, and what it might not. This longer article gives a few definitions and talks how to handle saying “i love you” or figuring out if you’re in love.
Key Ingredients for Healthy Relationships – Heart Your Parts
Heart your Parts describes what makes up a healthy relationship, and some tips for how to create a healthy relationship–to yourself, to friends, and to lovers/partners.
Wait to date again? – GoAskAlice
How can you know if you’re ready to start a new relationship again after coming out of one? GoAskAlice has some suggestions for how to figure it out.
Want! Will… Won’t. Charts – Smart Hot Fun
Smart Hot Fun has some free pdf templates of want/will/won’t tables for different scenarios along with instructions on how to use their charts.
A sexual inventory stocklist – Scarleteen
This resource from Scarleteen offers guidance for how to make your very own want/will/won’t list, which they call a “yes/no/maybe” list. It even has a free downloadable pdf file to help you get started.