Are you thinking your current beau is the one for you but not sure if it’s been long enough? Here’s your guide to how long does it take to fall in love.
If you ask 100 different couples around the world how long does it take to fall in love, you will probably get 100 different answers. Love is one of the trickiest things to measure because it doesn’t take a physical form.
The thing about love is it differs from couple to couple and people feel things at different rates. Not only does it change from person to person, but it might also change as you age. When you were five, you probably fell in love with any cute person that made you feel special.
As you get older, it changes—maybe you don’t fall in love nearly as quickly as you once did. I can even tell the difference between how quickly I fell in love five years ago, versus how I fall in love now. Before, it wouldn’t take me much time at all to fall for someone. Now, it takes a bit longer, due to what I’ve been through.
There are a number of different things that impact how quickly or slowly you fall in love. To really determine how long it takes, know a few factors that inhibit the development of affection. [Read: 18 tips to fall in love slowly like you’re in a fairytale]
Love and age
As you get older, the pace at which you fall in love differs greatly. Maybe it’s because you realize love is something different. Maybe it’s because you didn’t know what love was when you were younger, but have since felt it and know what you’re looking for.
Either way, how long it takes to fall in love has a lot to do with your own age. Now, this isn’t always the case. I’m sure you’ve heard of 70-year-olds who fell in love the very first day they met.
But would they truly be in love? Or just consumed with lust?
Prior heartache and love
Another inhibiting factor that causes someone to fall in love slower is if they’ve been in love before… and ended up getting hurt. That heartache and pain cause a person to shut down and guard their feelings, making it really hard for them to fall in love again.
They are more cautious around people they have deeper feelings for and may even keep them at arm’s length so they won’t fall in love. It takes those people much, much longer to fall in love than the average person who hasn’t been heartbroken. [Read: Falling in love too fast and why you need to slow down]
Love from person to person
Some people just fall in love a LOT faster than other people. So, really, it just depends on the person and their rate of loving. Honestly, I fall in love fairly quickly and a lot of girls seem to fall quicker than most men. It’s just the way we’re wired.
It depends on who you are as a person. Those who have a lot of love to give find it easier to fall in love than people who are naturally more guarded and not as in touch with their feelings. First determine which type of person you are.
Not only does it change from individual to individual, it also changes depending on the person you’re with. You could fall for someone much faster in one relationship than you will with someone else in your next. [Read: 9 relationship stages all couples HAVE to go through]
Love versus lust
I can’t ignore this topic when discussing how long it takes to fall in love, because too many people confuse lust with love. Those people would be the “love at first sight” folks. I’m not saying love at first sight doesn’t exist, but when there are people who say they fell in love immediately with a LOT of people, well…
Let’s just say that the old tale of the boy who cried wolf comes to mind. The actual definition of love is an intense feeling of deep affection. The real definition of lust is very strong sexual desire. [Read: 10 signs you’re feeling lust and not love]
I think wires get crossed when people mistake affection for sexual desire. You can be really, really attracted to someone and think you’re in love, when in reality, you’re just in lust. Admittedly, the two are related. Normally, you experience extreme sexual desire for a person you fall in love with.
Signs you’re in love
In order to gauge how long it takes you fall in love, you have to figure out if you’re in love for real or not. Here are some signs that you’re really in love.
#1 The thought of them makes you smile. If someone brings up their name and you can’t help but smile, it’s a sign they’ve got your heart. [Read: 18 ways to split casual dates from real love]
#2 They’re the first person you want to tell news to. Be it good or bad, they’re the person you turn to whenever you have news in your life. You can’t help but race to keep them in the loop in your life.
#3 Their happiness means more to you than your own. This one speaks for itself. Love means being selfless when it comes to their happiness.
#4 You see them as a part of your future… forever. If you can’t envision your life without them always by your side, you’re in love.
#5 You are 100% your natural self with them. You know that no matter what you do, they won’t judge you and you’re comfortable being completely yourself around them. [Read: 15 special ways true love sets itself apart]
So… how long does it take to fall in love?
Ah, finally! The big question answered. I’ll tell you how long it takes for you to fall in love. The answer is actually quite simple: it depends. I know, I know. Not exactly what you wanted. But the truth is that love is different for each person individually and for each couple.
You might fall in love way faster with one person than with another—and that’s completely normal. Different circumstances dictate the rate at which you fall in love. You can never put a specific time on love because it’s just not natural.
Love isn’t simple. It’s not measurable. It changes from person to person and relationship to relationship. However long it takes you to fall in love is how long it takes to fall in love—it’s that easy.