How do you know when it's love? A WAFF 48 News Special Report

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Love is something we all want, but how many of us actually get it? Many people mistake infatuation for the real thing. But how do you know the difference?

Megan Bates and her fiance' Scott Rich have been dating for almost two years. Rich loves to tell the story of how the two met when she was the leasing agent at his apartment complex. On a trip to the office one day, he noticed the pretty brunette sitting behind a desk.

"As I was getting ready to leave she said, 'Wait a minute. Come talk to me.' I sat down and we started talking and I soon found out she is a fellow world traveler; just very upbeat, very passionate about life, just had a fantastic attitude about life and a smile that could melt icebergs so I had to ask her out," said Rich.

The two got engaged this past November and are planning their wedding. They say they knew almost immediately it was true love, but how do you know the difference between love and infatuation?

According to a study, during the infatuation stage, which normally lasts anywhere from six to eight months, your brain is bombarded with endorphins or feel good chemicals like Dopamine. They give you this feeling of being high, like you are on drugs.

As a result you have increased energy and sexual desire. You can even go without food or sleep for long periods of time.

"Usually with infatuation, you're trying to get your needs met. You're attracted to them, maybe physically attracted to them and as time passes , you may still be physically attracted, but that's not what the goal is, the sexual part, the physical part, it's more about emotional intimacy," said Dr. Stacy Ikard, license professional counselor.

Huntsville resident Krista Taylor said she felt the same way when she married her husband at the age of 17.

Dr. Ikard said trust is the key to a successful, loving relationship.

Andy and Sandy Segal say after 24 years of marriage, they knew it was love at first sight. The two met at Georgetown University. He threw a party, and she was the only person who showed up.

Dr. Ikard said if couples would take the time to let the intimacy take its course and see if it will move into more of a deeper, emotional friendship, that's when you know it's real.

Megan Bates and her fiance' Scott Rich will wed in June and are looking forward to each new adventure as a married couple.

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