You’ve met a man who makes you feel like the happiest girl alive. You couldn’t be more smug if you were Cinderella at a ball with a celeb after-party hosted by Elton John.
You know that you’re falling for him, because you’re no longer excited by anything or anyone else. You don’t know what Angelina sees in that Brad fella. You can’t concentrate at work, and you don’t care.
It must be love, right? Not necessarily. Those early weeks and months with a new man are a chemical rush of infatuation. When your system calms down, the infatuation clears and you can see your man more objectively. If you’re lucky, you’re in love. If you’re not so lucky, you’ve gone off him. If you’re really unlucky, you’re in love with him – but he’s gone off you.
Infatuation fills your body with a chemical haze of dopamine and adrenline. You are, in effect, wasted. Friends and Mum warn you not to fall too fast – not because they’re killjoys, but because they don’t want to you to emerge from your rosy cloud in a few months and notice that you’ve got married to a bloke you don’t even like, let alone love.
Take our quiz to find out whether you and your man are heading into the sunset or off a cliff.
1. It’s 4am and you’re in next to your man. You are…
a. Lying awake while he sleeps. Your body is exhausted, but his presence makes you too excited to sleep.
b. Up against the wall with your ankles behind your ears.
c. Ordering a Chinese. You’d rather be asleep, but he had the munchies.
d. Sleeping in each other’s arms.
2. It’s your brithday. What pressie does your best friend give you?
a. Aargh! Oh dear, your boyfriend was whisking you off to dinner and you left your friend’s still-wrapped pressie in the pub.
b. A T-shirt that says “Smug, sore, senior”.
c. A lockable safe “so you don’t get ripped off by this one.”
d. A leather-bound address book for you and your man to combine contacts.
3. You’re along with your boyfriend at the end of your birthday. How do you celebrate?
a. You ask him to come to your favourite bridge over the river in town, and sit staring at his face all night.
b. Have sex in your birthday T-shirt, while he sings “Smug, sore, senior” to the tune of O Sole Mio.
c. He asks you to marry him. You say yes, because that’s what people do, isn’t it?
d. An impromptu DIY wine tasting session for two in the garden, where you talk until the sun comes up.
4. How has your relationshop with your friends changed since you started sseing your man?
a. You don’t see them nearly as much. But you’re so happy that they’re happy for you. Probaby.
b. They’ go out on the pull a lot more. They’re determined to have a sex life as rampant is yours.
c. They think you have mood swings, which you totally don’t.
d. You see them a bit less, but you and your boyfriend make a point of going out separately with your respective friends. You’re not joined to him at the hip.
5. Had either of you said “I love you” when you’d been going out for four weeks?
a. No. You’ve wanted to say it since you met him, but men are scared off by that kind of thing. He’ll say it. Soon.
b. You frequently say “I love your company” to each other, or “I love ebing in bed with you.” But ”I love you” would drop big soppy boulder in front of the high-speed train that is your sex life. Not worth the risk.
c. Over breakfast he shyly prompted “do you think you’re in love?”, which was so sweet. You said yes, and you think you meant it.
d. At four weeks, he was saying stuff like “that’s what I love about you.” He said “I love you” after two months. You already knew that he did, but hearing it was something special.
6. Do you believe in love at first sight?
a. Yes. It happened to you with your current man, and with your first boyfriend.
b. No! Lust a first sight is brilliant, but love means two people truly knowing each other. That takes time.
c. No. Men seems to believe in it more than women. Maybe they’re superstitious fools, or maybe they think it’s what we want to hear.
d. No. Two months was right for you. You know that they mean it, and they’ve really thought about it.
7. Did you and your man have sex on your first date?
a. No. You deliberately didn’t shave my legs so that you wouldn’t sleep with him and wreck your chances.
b. Yes. If a man thinks you’re “easy” for wanting him, he’s an idiot.
c. Yes. You didn’t want to, but he seemed hurt and you didn’t want to make him feel rejected. You fancied him, after all.
d. You kissed and cuddled in bed, but you saved sex for the second date – so you’ve have something to fantastise about.
8. Do you remember what you talked about on your first date?
a. You were too flustered to have a proper conversation, so you asked him lots of questions.
b. You flirted like mad with your eyes, and ended up in bed before you’d even swapped names. Naughty and exciting!
c. He asked about your travels, and he seemed awed that you’d been to New York – so you offered to take him there for his birthday. Not sure how you’ll afford it, but never mind.
d. You talked some nonsense, shared some life story stuff, and bar-crawled until you went to his place at 4am and kissed for hours.
9. Your man makes you a music mix CD. You…
a. Played it all week. His tastes are much better than yours.
b. Have never met a man who can mix Barry White into Led Zeppelin, let alone make it sound sexy.
c. Are surprised to find that he has really good music taste, and feel guilty for not asking him more about it.
d. Are freaked out to find that you have such similar tastes. Some of this is really obscure stuff, but you love it.
10. He cancels a Friday evening date at short notice, blaming work deadlines. You feel…
a. Devastated. You cry until your face is raw, convinced that you’ve been dumped.
b. Behind the sofa for Aaron, your vibrator (Aaron, because he needs AAs to start). It’s now a bubble bath, a glass of wine and Aaron night.
c. Worried that you’ve done something wrong.
d. Peckish for curry. You spent all evening cooking, and he arrives just as you’re serving a curry feast for two.
What your answers mean…
Mostly A: You’re infatuated – and you’re going to get burned
You invite your man to walk all over you, and he obliges. He likes you, but you’re infatuated – and you’re pushing him away. Your instincts tell you not to “I love you,” and so do your friends, and they’re right. Regain some self-respect by ending this fling before he does. it’ll be like ripping off a scab. Painful and messy one day, but underneath you’re fine. Next time, save yourself for a man who adores you.
Mostly B: You’re in lust – and you’re enjoying every sexy second
A libido as strong as yours can break male hearts. You’ve had flings with men who, if you were marooned together, you’d shag to death and then cook. You succeed where many women have tried and failed: separating lust from messy emotions. But hearts have a habit of gatecrashing “F-Buddy” arrangements. If it feels good and it’s mutual, don’t fight it . Your lives could fit together as well as your bodies do.
Mostly C: You’re not in love – and don’t forget it
Life is short, but it’s not that short. Stop treating love like a charity 100-metre sprint. It’s OK to be single. Don’t make the mistake of staying with a guy because he loves you more than you love him. Set yourself free, play the field, and stop looking after men. They were fine before you came along, and they’ll be fine after you’ve gone.
Mostly D: This must be love
Keeper alert! You’re in it for the long haul – and you fancy the pants, kneecaps and neck hair off each other. You trust and respect each other as individuals, with outside friends and interests. You don’t go berserk if your boyfriend comes home late, because you’re mature enough to know that he can exist without you – and that time apart makes your time together even sweeter.