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October 4, 2012

How Do You Know When You’re In Love?

Love can be a tricky thing. It isn’t something that can be measured with any degree of accuracy. It can’t be quantified. There isn’t a machine a doctor can stick you in to tell you if you’re in love or not.

It might surprise you to know how often that question is googled. Then again, given the age we live in, it might not. Nevertheless, people google this a lot.

Lucky for you, you have your friendly neighbourhood syrup-chugging tree-felling shark-fighting Canadian IT guy, who happens to know something Skynet Google doesn’t.

What is love?

I know what song you have stuck in your head now. You’re welcome.

How many people are making Google their relationship advisor?

Let’s start simple. The exact terms “how do you know when you’re in love” are searched on Google an average of 50,000 times per month. If you combine the numbers for several possible variants of those terms (worded differently, and accounting for silly spelling and grammar mistakes), you have over 225,000 people posing the question to Google every month.

Don’t even get me started on the 301,000 people asking Google “how make girlfriend?” But that’s neither here, nor there…

So how do you know?

Here’s how it happens.

You’re young. You meet someone. You fall head over heels for them. It all happens so fast. They’re all you think about. You could listen to them talk all day. They could do no wrong. You’re in love.

Then it ends. You’re hurt. Some time passes. You question whether you were actually in love at all. Then you meet someone else. You fall for them, but this time, it’s different. You’re more mature. This feels right. You realize that what you felt the first time wasn’t love at all. How could it be? You were young, naive, and a little stupid.

More time passes. You’ve since moved on to someone else. What you begin to feel for them grows, it deepens. The thoughts of love start coursing through your head, once again. Is this the real thing? What about last time? You were so sure. Were you just fooling yourself then, too?

Finally, it hits you: All those times you looked back and thought you were just fooling yourself – you weren’t at all. You weren’t stupid. You were in love. But each time? Yeah, each time.

Because love isn’t the same every time. Because everyone is different, and because love does change as you grow.

The Things Google Can’t Tell You

Google can’t tell you if you’re in love. Neither can a person on Yahoo! Answers, Ask Geeves (am I dating myself here?), or some relationship forum.

Only you know when you’re in love. It’s a feeling inside you that only you can identify, because it’s different from everyone else’s feeling.

Part of growing up is learning to listen to yourself, learning to trust yourself. And when you do finally look back and recognize those feelings you had in your younger self’s gut, you’ll smile and realize that maybe, just maybe…

You had it right the whole time.

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