I have had strong feelings in relationships that were not love. Love is different. I view love as an extreme form of attachment ("attachment theory") and that bond grows over time, if it's A right person.
I’m not sure I could be in love without chemistry. I think “chemistry” is a response to pheromones. Some women just feel right. I describe pheromone perception as “the smell that feels.” Pheromones don’t have a smell, but they are perceived as a feeling about someone (not just sexually, pheromones also transmit emotional information). Women who have compatible pheromones are among those I might fall in love with. There are obviously other factors such as compatible personalities, relationship skills, communication, physical attraction, emotional connection, good sex, the right circumstances, etc. Maybe I could fall in love without chemistry; however, I’ve never been in a relationship with someone I didn’t have chemistry with.
Another very important element of love is a fulfilling sexual connection and desire, which develops and maintains that. Besides being fun, sex intensifies the emotional bond (love is the strongest bond) and a deep emotional bond intensifies sex. An emotional bond is a necessary but not sufficient condition of romantic love. A relationship with an emotional bond but without desire/attraction is a friendship. (That being said it is important to note that sex is not an obligation nor bargaining tool, and treating it as either is a quick and effective way of destroying desire.) Good sex is shared: enthusiastic, passionate, loving, fun, sensual, intimate, hot, and anything less isn’t really worthy.
Personally, I enjoy being wanted a lot, and reciprocating that. Our desire for each other is a feedback loop that builds and deepens as we share in it. It’s fun to pleasure each other. It feels so good to make each other feel so good. That’s worthy.
One way to tell if I am in love is if the sex keeps getting better even after the newness.