Maria Sullivan, Dating Expert and Vice President of Dating.com
How do you know you're in love? Does anything change mentally and/or physically?
"When you're in love, the basis of your perception changes. I compare it to a feeling of being really awake and excited. Things that typically would bother you simply no longer do and boredom practically disappears. You have found someone that makes everything feel new and intriguing – even if it's just sitting on the couch watching TV."
What are some signs? What should you be looking for when evaluating whether or not you're in love?
"A sign is if you are not only happy, but also a little nervous. Lots of people compare love to something they could not lose or let pass them by, yet the uncertainty of its unknown outcome is exciting. When you get the chance to experience love, you can expect to feel this way too. But don't let those butterflies throw you off – push yourself to see this through and find out where it can take you both."
How do you know it's a healthy kind of love and not some sort of toxic infatuation?
"Determine if you are becoming a better person. If a partner isn't building you up, then you must consider looking elsewhere for love – no matter what other characteristics he or she may have that you are infatuated with. Common warning signs include consistent negative, critical thoughts about you or things that you are interested in."
Can you be in love with someone if they don't love you back?
"You can be, but it is unadvisable to allow unrequited feelings to develop to this level. What makes love truly astounding is when it is shared and experienced together."
How is love different from like?
"Love is determined. When you like someone, you can brush it off and think of other things as you go about your day. When you love someone, you are physically, mentally and emotionally impacted at theoretically any/all time(s). It is a calm and secure reality you will consistently crave."
Can you be in love with someone even if you're not over your ex?
"It is possible; actually common. More than 35 percent of Dating.com users admit to contacting their ex post-break up, regardless of their current relationship status. It's simply human nature to defer back to a familiar, comfortable situation when facing the uncharted territory of new love. But remember why you left that past relationship – something new has the potential to change your life for the better."