March 18, 2011 at 11:54 AM ET
You've dated your fair share of women and have always enjoyed keeping your options open, but lately there's this one woman that has you wondering if she's "the one." In order to help you figure this out, I have compiled the following list of the top 10 ways to know you're in love.
More often than not, a breakup is followed by a significant amount of time spent thinking about your ex and wondering whether or not you made the right decision in going your separate ways. Depending on how long the two of you were together, these doubts can resurface again and again.
Ever since you met this new one, however, the thought of getting back together with your ex is the furthest thing from your mind. Come to think of it, you barely recall what you found so great about her in the first place.
Instead, you are consumed by thoughts of her. She just pops into your head for no apparent reason, and you wonder if she thinks of you half as much as you think of her. You wonder what she's up to and even consider calling her (but refrain from doing so for fear of looking overeager).
But it gets worse. You're out with your friends and you see something in a shop window and think about how much she would like that particular item, or you notice a poster for a show that she would love, but normally wouldn't even have looked twice at it.
If she's the last thing on your mind before you go to sleep and the first thing on your mind when you wake up — and you've even dreamed of her on a couple of occasions — then you don't really even need to read on to know if you're in love (but should anyway, just to be sure).
There is a reason why you don't really want to know too much about the chick you had a one-night stand with: You don't love her. When you're in love with a woman, you want to know all about her: who she is, what she thinks, what makes her laugh. You truly care about her and her feelings.
If you truly love a woman, you feel bad if she had a bad day or is upset about something. You don't try to cheer her up because you have to, but because you can't help it.
The fact that she carries her passport with her everywhere she goes — just in case — and that, when she's eating, she can't help but construct every forkful so that it's the perfect blend of ingredients fills you with an inexplicable feeling of happiness.
She does and says things that make her different, and you like it. You can't quite put your finger on why, but it doesn't even matter. You like her just the way she is.
You can't be in love with someone that you have no chemistry with. If you seem to always be on the same wavelength, and think in similar ways, that's a great sign. If you also generate enough heat to set off a five-alarm fire bell, then she is probably someone that you could fall in love with, if you aren't there already.
Did you see that gorgeous blonde that just walked by? What do you mean, "no"?!?
Although you can't help noticing a beautiful woman when one walks by, when you're in love, some of them tend to slip under the radar, while others just pale in comparison to her. Furthermore, you don't seem to be flirting half as much as you used to.
You are slowly realizing that she's often the only woman in the room that matters, and for some reason that suits you just fine.
This one is pretty obvious but important nonetheless. You look forward to seeing her, and don't care much about what the two of you will be doing. Lately, just going for a walk with her sounds like the best way you could possibly spend an evening.
Furthermore, when you're not together, you miss her and wish you were spending time together.
There was a time when it was your way or the highway, but with her it's different. Not that she asks you to, but you don't mind missing a night out with the guys to be with her. And you find yourself trying to incorporate her into your plans or altering them to accommodate her.
You also find yourself not putting up a fight when she wants to go to Shakespeare in the Park. Although your friends find this very amusing, you know that deep down, they wish that they had found a love like yours.
You used to train religiously, but lately, if she's free for dinner, you don't mind missing a workout. Not only that, but your workaholic tendency of bringing home your work on weekends to get ahead seems a bit excessive to you as of late.
Your ever-important "to do" list seems quite stagnant these days, as being with her always manages to render your other plans and obligations obsolete. What was it that you absolutely had to do by four o'clock again?
It used to be that the future with a woman meant your date on Saturday night, but with this woman, the future seems infinite. Not only do you plan to see her this weekend, but you want to see her a year from now as well.
When planning your next vacation, you know you want to spend it with her, and not a random beach bunny you happen to meet while you're there. And when you get an invitation to a wedding that takes place three months from now, you ask her to be your date without thinking that it's too far away to tell if you'll still be together.
If you are currently dating a woman that makes you act in any of the ways mentioned above, then you, my friend, are seriously falling for her. It's time to put away the little black book for a while and enjoy the ride.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.