Are you totally gaga about your boyf or girlf? Think it could be love? Check out the tell-tale signs of being in love here, plus advice on sharing your feelings...

It's important to maintain your identity outside of the one you love

That lovin' feeling

They're on your mind 24/7, they're all you can talk about, everything they say is deeply, deeply fascinating to you, and their mere presence gives you butterflies. But is it the real thing?

Tell-tale love signs

Does everything you do relate back to that special person? Are you wearing stuff you know they like? Perhaps spending all your monthly minutes on the phone to them? Tagging them in every Facebook status?

An overall feeling that you'd do anything for this person, and spending all your time thinking and talking about them is a pretty good indication that this could be a bona fide love-thing.

But be careful - it can be easy to confuse strong feelings of infatuation for those of true love, especially if you've never experienced strong feelings like this before.

How is it for them?

Some people are a bit freaked out by the thought of saying how they feel out loud, but even if this is the case, you can generally spot the signs of someone in love.

  • They're really polite to your parents and laugh at your dad's lame jokes. They even let you drag them around doing things they have no interest in without moaning.
  • They just can't get enough of you. They want to see you all the time and seem to spend a lot of the time you are together smiling and laughing.
  • Of course, the most obvious sign is if they say 'I love you'. Or if you tell them you do and they say it back. Aaahh.

What's next?

OK, telling them you love them is a big step but if you're sure about your feelings, why not express them? Go on, share the love. It can take a while to pluck up the courage but it can be a wonderful moment that you remember for a long time.

But don't feel pressured into having sex before you're ready. If they love you they won't mind what your boundaries are.

Don't say 'I love you' if you don't mean it. It needs to come from the heart, and it may change the dynamics of your relationship - so be as sure as you can be before you speak.

And remember: don't go dropping your mates completely for the object of your affections. Love doesn't always last forever, and it's important to maintain your identity outside of the one you love.

BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations.