Recently, I've been thinking a ton about love. How do I tell if it's true love? How do I know if I am in love? How many different types of love are there? Just love, love, love; everything love is on my mind. I don't necessarily have a reason why beyond the fact that I'm a human who loves romanticizing, but I thought I came up with some interesting conclusions, so I decided to share my answers to all of these questions that I was asking myself.

While I have not been in a relationship once in my life, I have seen many of those around me in them. Taking what I know from those relationships, both intelligently and empathetically, I came to the realization that a relationship needs three things to work: friendship, attraction, and infatuation. If the relationship is missing at least one of the three, it won't work out no matter how hard you try. Below this text is the diagram I made to help explain what I mean, so feel free to refer to it! First, let me define and explain each aspect in correlation to relationships.

Katherine Sheetz

Friendship is mutual companionship, someone you can trust with your life, mutual respect, loyalty, and mutual trust. For me, it's that person you can call at 3 am to spill the tea, someone who can tell you're not okay no matter how many times you say that you are, and someone who has seen and/or knows the worst of you but loves you despite it all.

Attraction is being drawn to someone for their physical traits and/or their character traits. It's getting flustered at the sight of them, feeling the elephant stampede raging on in your stomach, and getting that airy feeling around them. Attraction can also be referred to as a connection, a bond, or chemistry. Basically, it's that initial spark of love/electricity you feel when you see them.

Infatuation is an intense admiration for someone, whether that be pertaining to their physical attributes or their personality. Personally, I view infatuation on more of a personal level than a physical level. It's being so unbelievably grateful for who they are as a person. Additionally, it's loving the idea of them (specifically the idea of being in a relationship with them).

When all three of these work together, you have true love that will stand the test of time. If you don't then the relationship most likely will not work out. And yes, I understand that it may be hard to take my advice since I haven't been in a relationship before, but I think you'd be surprised what you'll learn about your relationship if you take a look at these three aspects.

Now when it comes to knowing if you're in love, I ultimately believe that you just know it deep down in your heart and soul. However, if you're having trouble getting the answer out of yourself, I think it helps to look at/analyze the three aspects I previously talked about. Do some soul searching and heart hearing; only they know the answer.