"When someone else's happiness is your happiness, that is love." - Lana Del Rey
I'll confess: I've never really been the lovey-dovey type.
When I used to write songs on a regular basis, I couldn't arrange a sexy, baby-making ballad if I tried. So I never tried.
I never really wanted to.
Every love song, poem, book or movie just always sounds, feels, reads and looks the same in my opinion.
Artistically, it's almost like love is an exhausted genre.
The only way it's ever fresh & original for me is when it's centered around Christ & His love.
... but I digress.

It doesn't matter where you turn. Even if you're trying to run from it, you'll find some love nearby.
Somebody's getting married.
Somebody's birthing a baby.
Somebody's looking for a date.
Somebody's celebrating an anniversary.
Somebody's juggling multiple dates... and so on and so forth.
Life is better when we embrace the love around us.
Everybody's looking for it anyway.
It's the ultimate ecstasy. 
Even Adam wasn't complete in Eden until another human stepped on the scene.
Sure, Eve stirred up some trouble, but after it all went down, at least they had each other.
... but I digress.

I'm a firm believer in that idea that, if you date around for a while, there will only be a few people with whom you truly fall in love, everyone else you just like. That’s why dating can get so exasperating for me, because the people I like never live up to the people I love.
With that in mind, I posed the aforementioned title question to a few people.
Y'all lovers are so darn sweet, btw.

Answers from the men:
"Interesting question. Well first, most ppl don't know that love is a choice, not just a feeling. I know I'm in love when I know their flaws but look past them. When I'm more concerned about their well being than mine. And when I'm willing to die for them. There's a lot more to it, but those are majors."
"I think you know you're in love when you care for the significant other as you do yourself, ready to give 100% expecting 0%. Passion & effort flowing relentlessly from the heart and the hand. You're in love with someone when actions and feelings combine beautifully resulting in something so good that words can't express..."
"The amount of peace I have, its easy to be honest and real, there is a high level of respect and honor that is giving, spiriualy we are compatible, God is first... you don't have to wonder BBC if they love you because the actions speak loud..you feel safe and secure, and you will be full of joy and happiness, most of all you will increases each others worth..."
"When you wake up, and that person is the second person on your mind after the Lord, when that person makes you smile even when you're mad, when you hug that person and your day just turns fantastic, when you're with that person and only that person, when you can look at that person and know they're the one."
"When you think about them all the time, without even trying. When you plan things around them - not necessarily your whole life, but your daily routine. Like, you incorporate them in your plans and decision making. And you start doing things for that person to try and show you love them, because you would want to be shown love in return." ***

Answers from the women:

"Its really a feeling that you get, when you realize it it gives you jitters and makes you smile and want to be around that person all the time."
"I know I'm in love when I don't feel complete without that person."
"When I'm trying to convince myself that I'm not, and when they are the first and last person on my mind."
"When you're away from that person and it feels like something's missing... No matter where you go, who you meet you can't get them out of your head."
"I basically don't have interest in other men, I start thinking about being married and building a family with him, he's one if the first I think about when I awake, I want him to be the last I speak to before I close my eyes, I always wanna be in his presence..."

I'm no trained, analytical expert, and I'm in no way trying to deeply dissect these details, but I immediately noticed how much shorter the answers were from the ladies, than those from the gentlemen. Could it be.. that we women are... less complicated & emotional than we're made out to be? It was like pulling teeth to get some of those male answers, and their female counterparts responded right away, with just a quick sentence or two.

As for the similarities, there weren't really that many. My guys experience being in love through actions - showing concern, passion, giving, decision-making, etc., and my ladies experience it through inaction - feeling complete & craving closeness. Everyone (including myself) can agree on one thing, though: you can't get that person off your mind. When I'm in love, it's almost sickening how much I can't stop thinking about the man. Thank God I never remember my dreams, because he'd probably be all up and through there, too.

Matters of the heart can be tough to wrap your head around - pun intended.
Even while I'm writing this post, I struggle with making sure my thoughts don't sound like one big jumbled mess. There's no moral to the story; I didn't set out to prove some thesis.
I wasn't looking to solve any personal problems.
In conclusion.
The end.
They tried to live happily ever after.

I just wanted to let all this love hang out.


***this quotation was paraphrased, since the man behind the words refused to spell it out for me.