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How to Tell If You Are Really in Love With Someone ...

Last week in How do You Know You are Really in Love with Someone? we provided some modern and classic answers to this age-old question, then asked readers to share their own answers.

One thing did NOT surprise us about the answers we received ... because this question is as deep and wide as human experience itself, we anticipated a wide range of answers and got precisely that.

LoveOn the other hand, one tenet ran through the responses far above and beyond any other: the willingness, the desire, to sacrifice for the other.

Below is a small sampling of the responses we received. Whether you agree or not with their claims, you will find they are all eloquent in their own way. We close with the response of Cathy Viergever, a reader from Shelby Township, MI, whose response, as you will read, seems ideal to end this piece.

"Love is a choice. The chemical feel-good reaction can always be there but is not to be trusted. Find someone whose moral values are the same as yours and if you love yourself, you will be in love with that person. Commitment is the next step and love follows."

-- Pat Zietlow, Cashton, WI

"You can never "know" you are in love, you can only feel it inside with your heart. The mind is a separate matter. Only when mind and heart become one in the enlightened man do you know love of the Self, of Another, and then of All others."

--J.E. Ante

"I know that I am in love when I experience the tension of strong longing mixed with loving feelings. I am feeling love toward another when I feel warmth and openness with a confident melting sensation."

"I am a truckdriver. Driving through a forest in California I had to get out of the truck and climb up a ways on a hill and lay on the ground and connect with the earth. I think we become more connected with everything when we are in love."

"When you like to do anything for him or her, without thinking right or wrong, then you really love him or her."

"Love takes the initiative and acts sacrificially to meet the needs of others. When I am thinking more about him, and what he needs than myself, then I know I am loving."

"Love is the intense absence of Fear."

"Although there must be some form of attraction in the beginning, when you are contemplating sharing your life with this person forever you must step back and look at the whole picture he/she represents. Love is really a choice!"

"Life is either wonderful or terrible, depending on whether your love is returned."

"When you are in love, life becomes very embraceable. All that you encounter is rationalized without effort. There is an undeniable completeness when you become one with your other."

"Love is not the fluttery feeling you get when you've only known someone a few months. Love is the fluttery feeling you still get when you've been with someone 10, 20, 30 years. Love is kindness, respect (for yourself and your partner), honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, boundaries, growth. Love is admitting when you're wrong and rectifying the situation. Love is knowing when to fight and when to let it go. Love is doing things you may not want to do but know it's important to your spouse so you do it for him/her.

"Love is never wanting your spouse to do something that is emotionally or physically damaging to him/her or against their moral beliefs. Love is knowing that even after the huge fight and the present anger, you still want to be with that person. Love is being able to be angry but still respectful. Love is agreeing to disagree. Love is all this and so much more. How can anyone possibly describe all that it is?

These things are only the tip of the iceberg, and yet they are everything."

-- Cathy Viergever, Shelby Township, M

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