You’ve took the plunge and started officially dating the same guy. You’re making the conscience effort to take yourself off the market and make a go of it with someone new.
And the first few months are great! Getting to know everything about him, spending hours and hours into the night chatting about anything and everything, meeting his friends and generally seeing if you two are a good match.
But how can you spot that the guy you’ve started to date could potentially develop into a long term thing and you can really make a go of it as a couple? How can you decipher the feelings? And what should you do when you start to feel you are falling for him?
He is on your mind all the time
This seems like an obvious one. If you’re spending a lot of time thinking about him and missing him when he is not around, then surely you really like him, right? But sometimes the amount your new partner is actually on your mind can pass you by, and if you stop and consciously ask yourself that question, ‘How much of my time is spent thinking about him?’ it can surprise you, and really affirm your feelings for him.
You develop ‘mentionitis’
Thinking about him a lot usually leads to word vomiting his name every chance you get.
Friend: Do you want a coffee?
You: Oh, *insert boyfriend’s name here* likes coffee.
I like to call this ‘mentionitis’, which basically means any conversation you have, any chance you get you’re going to mention him as much as possible. Yes, you can see the annoyance on your friends faces, but you just can’t help it. He’s really invaded your brain and all you want to talk about is him, and tell everyone how happy you are about your new relationship. And sometimes saying your thoughts and feelings out loud to someone impartial is a good way to discover how you’re really feeling.
Everyone does it, so your friends will understand, even if they are rolling their eyes every time you manage to bring every subject matter back to being about your new boyfriend. Just wait until they get a new partner, the tables will surely turn.
You start to plan for the future
There’s usually a point in a new relationship where one of you mentions a party that’s happening in a month, the wedding that’s in six months time, the family gathering at Christmas, and the sceptic in me automatically thinks, ‘You think we will still be a couple to go together? You want me to meet important people in your life? Should I turn and run for the door now or…?’
But it becomes apparent that you are falling for him when you no longer think that’s so far in the future and instead it’s replaced with what will I wear? I’ll mark the date off in my diary. It becomes comforting to know that not only are you cool and comfortable and that you have faith in this new relationship, it also clarifies his commitment to you, without having to have a deep and meaningful, and mostly awkward conversation about how you both feel. No one wants to be the first person to declare their love in case they get shot down right?
You stop looking
When you’re single and looking to date, every opportunity becomes a chance to maybe meet someone new. You find yourself being constantly aware of the opposite sex in bars, cafes, on the street, at parties… and the list continues. But you really know you like someone when your single habits melt away and you are no longer bothered about the cute guy across from you at the coffee shop, or the ‘fittie’ you always see at your gym. You are no longer interested as all your interest is taken. And as quickly as that single ritual came into your life, it instantly seeps into your single past.
You are constantly saying “we”
As you say goodbye to your single status, the ‘I’ in your life quickly becomes a ‘we’. And when this is a natural transition, you really know that you want this person to be a part of your life. The plus one section on invitations suddenly has a purpose, joint Christmas cards are now a thing again and you no longer have to be a third wheel to everything! Hurray!
Yes you still have separate lives, (and it’s really important you do) but let’s face it, most things are built for two anyway! And it’s always a good thing when you visit your grandparents and they ask you if you’re ‘courting’ you can finally shock them by saying “Actually, now you come to mention it grandma, I am!”
And what should you do?
Take it from a girl who usually freaks at this point of liking someone. The first thing to do is to embrace it and go with the flow! Yes it’s natural to want to protect your heart from potential heartbreak, and if things haven’t worked out in the past, it’s normal to doubt your judgement, but if you are being treated right, and you are happy yourself, then why ruin something that could blossom into something special? The second thing is you should tell him how you feel. I’m not talking about big over the top declarations of love, but if you feel like you are really falling for him, then you should be honest with yourself and with him too. Hopefully he will be feeling the same, going through the same motions and it is important to have that reassurance that you are both on the same page.
And if he doesn’t feel the same way, don’t beat yourself up about it. You can put it all down to experience, no biggie. It’s better to know now when it’s early days, than months down the line when you have fallen past the point of not getting hurt.