Does your partner really love you or are they on the fence?
The psychology of love is a fascinating subject and it has real, practical answers for us.
A closer look at the psychology of love shows that there are numerous actions that men and women take when they’re truly in love. These actions and behaviors are unique and definite, but they aren’t always easy to spot if you aren’t quite sure what you’re looking for.
The behavior of a person in love is quite different from a person who’s just in like or in rutting season.
Here’s a look at the key signs that your partner truly and completely loves you.
1) They’re triangulated for you
There are three main elements of romantic love: physical, emotional and intellectual.
American psychologist Dr. Robert Sternberg says these three domains are part of a complete triangle, which form his triangulation theory of love.
Friendship and commitment can come about from only several parts of the triangle, but genuine full love (what Sternberg terms “consummate love”) only occurs when all three aspects are at play.
In other words, your partner physically desires you, likes talking to you and getting to know you and has a real emotional affection and care for you. These aspects often evolve in stages.
“Passion is the quickest to develop, and the quickest to fade.
“Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradually still.”
So let’s take a look at some of the more detailed signs that your partner desires you, cares about you and finds you interesting.
2) They’re on fire for you physically, but don’t sleep right after sex
As Sternberg points out, passion is a key part of love. Without physical attraction and the desire to kiss and make love are a key component of romantic love.
If this is missing you’re going to end up more as friends or in love on a mental and energetic level without the passion.
If your partner genuinely loves you, they will crave physical intimacy with you.
They’ll kiss first in many cases and keep kisses lingering. They’ll be excited about making love, not bored by it.
But, they’ll also still be into you after you have sex, caressing you and wanting to stay in your company.
3) They love talking to you, but he also get emotionally involved
On the intellectual level, your conversations are engrossing and they enjoy swapping ideas with you and hearing what you think.
You’re not just a kind person with a beautiful body to them, you’re also somebody whose advice and insights they value. They love to see into your mind and share their thoughts with you, too.
Completing the third part of the triangle, however, is that this isn’t merely an intellectual (and physical) kind of connection:
There’s also deep and genuine care.
When you’re hurt they come rushing to help and they are willing to put you first. They aren’t going through the motions or in it just for the sex or because there’s nobody else at the moment.
They’re in it for you. And it shows.
This brings up the next point…
4) They stick with you through thick and thin
When your partner is really in love they stick with you through thick and thin.
If you get ill or go through a crisis, they don’t hit the highway. They’re in love with you, so they stand beside you and comfort you.
While some struggles in life must be faced alone, your partner is there for you in any way he or she can be.
They aren’t doing this because it’s expected, either. It’s because they voluntarily want to give their time, attention, affection and energy to you.
It’s because they’re genuinely in love.
5) They’re comfortable talking about the future with you but don’t over-promise
When your partner is genuinely in love, they find the subject of the future exciting.
At the same time, they take it very seriously indeed.
They’re not interested in making a single empty promise, and they put weight behind every word they say.
If the subject of the future comes up they let you know what they’re thinking, but they don’t commit too easily or right away before they are completely sure about what’s going on in their life.
That’s because they respect that love can be a fragile creature and that promises too easily made can also be very easily broken.
6) They are humble around you and willing to admit when they’re wrong
Psychology has observed how those who are in love become more agreeable and willing to admit when they’re wrong.
Many of us have narcissistic tendencies, but being in love softens our hard edges and makes us want to get along just a little bit more and be just a bit nicer.
Life is short and love is worth it.
If your partner admits when they’re wrong and is willing to be a bit humble around you, they might not necessarily be submissive: in fact, it’s more likely that they’re just really in love with you.
“Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism.”
7) They are giving and generous in their time, energy and affection
Love makes even a miserly man generous.
If your partner is a loving and kind person, it’s easy to presume they’ve always been that way with everyone. And maybe they have been!
But being very generous and loving is a quality of a person who’s in love.
Instead of just thinking of themselves or doing what’s necessary to keep the relationship afloat, your partner legitimately goes out of their way to make your day a bit more special and help you out in a thousand small ways.
This is the kind of generosity that love inspires.
“Most people see the problem of love primarily as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one’s capacity to love,” writes psychologist Erich Fromm.
The partner who’s deeply in love has escaped this trap and truly wants to give love to you, not just get it.
8) They allow you to have your own life and respect your boundaries
True love allows freedom.
A partner who is genuinely in love with you wants the best for you. This can’t be overstated.
It plays out in very real ways.
It plays out because he or she lets you have your own life, your own friends and your own values. They don’t demand that you be them or even always agree with them.
There is a real and genuine respect coming from them towards you that makes your relationship tenable and worthwhile in the long-term.
9) They get high when they’re around you (not literally)
This may seem very simple, and it is, but it’s crucially important:
Even if the passion side of the connection has started to fade, a man or woman in love has a special look that they don’t get around other people.
Look at how a person who is romantically in love with another person reacts when that person walks into a room versus how they react when any other person walks in the room.
You’ll see it right away:
A kind of glow and euphoria comes over them. They can’t tear their eyes away. They’re high on you.
A note on true love
True love is a beautiful thing, and it starts with you.
Earlier I cited legendary psychologist and author Erich Fromm and his comment on those who are in love learning to focus on giving love rather than on getting it.
This is a key lesson, because it turns out that even romantic love begins to flourish and appear when we turn away from our search for receiving love and begin focusing on opportunities to give love without expecting it back.
If you have a partner who does this, you have a keeper. If you don’t have a partner like this or have been hurt badly by love, you have the chance to start becoming empowered in how you think of love.
It’s well worth returning to Fromm again for the profound way he phrases this:
“Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person;
“It is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one ‘object’ of love.”