A romantic relationship is a place of comfort. It’s where you feel safe enough to be vulnerable. It’s where you rest your head after a long day of stress. It’s home.
However, even homes need the occasional repair. A relationship that’s comfortable can only last if the people in it don’t get *too* comfortable to actually put in the work.
Your decision to be a fundamental part of your partner’s life is a gift, and their actions should show just how much they appreciate you – not just three months into the relationship, but even three or thirty years.
Does your partner genuinely value your presence in their life? These are the 9 signs to watch out for.
1) They put their phone away whilst in your company
Have you ever heard the term “partner phubbing”? It means “partner phone snubbing”, which happens when your partner’s often distracted by their phone while you’re around.
Partner phubbing reportedly lowers relationship satisfaction, increases chances of conflict, and leads to higher levels of depression.
This probably isn’t very surprising – just imagine going for coffee with an acquaintance and seeing them look at their phone every ten minutes. You’d think they were being rude.
Since a romantic relationship comes with a great level of comfort, it’s easy for partners to think that phubbing isn’t as bad. However, the behavior is just as rude to your loved one as it would be to a colleague from work.
What’s more, your partner is someone who plays such a vital role in your life that it is precisely their presence you ought to value most.
If your significant other puts their phone away while you’re on dates or are having a conversation at home, it shows they’re genuinely engaged in the conversation and there’s nowhere else they’d rather be.
2) They tell you how much they appreciate you
Not everyone’s a fan of words of affirmation, and that’s completely okay as long as your love languages are compatible.
But if your partner’s love shines through their words, hearing how much they value you is one of the most obvious signs they love having you in their life.
“Hey, I just wanted to let you know I really appreciate you. You’re one of the most important people in my life and I’m grateful we got to meet each other.”
Wouldn’t something like this absolutely make your day?
Of course it would. It’s amazing to hear how happy you make the person you love.
(There’s always a but, isn’t there?)
Beware of people whose behavior doesn’t align with their words. If they’re all talk and no action – for instance, if they tell you how much they love spending time with you only to be on their phone all the time – their confessions of love may not be entirely genuine.
3) They often come to you for advice
When we’re standing at a crossroads in life, the people we love most often help us choose the right path.
While we should always listen to our own inner voice first and foremost, the advice of our partner, friends, and family members is a valuable factor that ought to be considered.
Does your partner ask you for advice? Do they value your opinion? Do they see you as someone who can help them gain clarity and make the right choice?
Congratulations! This is a huge sign your presence in your partner’s life is cherished and appreciated. You’re not just there because it’s convenient; you’re there because your opinions and good intentions are of much value.
4) They love sitting in comfortable silence with you
Whilst connection is often built through conversation, comfortable silences have their own perks, too.
For one, it shows you feel so at ease that you don’t always need to keep the discussion going. Both of you can get lost in your heads for a moment, and it’s more than okay to just enjoy each other’s quiet presence.
And then there’s the value of time. If your partner truly enjoys spending time with you even though you’re not exactly the best entertainer 24/7, it means your physical presence is more valuable to them than the constant thrill of new adventures.
However, it’s important to be able to distinguish between the dead silence of a connection long gone and the comfortable silence of a connection so deep it doesn’t need constant reinforcement.
The first is a sign of trouble; the latter is a sign of two souls vibing on the same wavelength without any words needed.
5) They’re all for parallel play
Speaking of comfortable silences, parallel play is an amazing way to enjoy one another’s presence without any direct interaction.
Parallel play happens when two children play near each other but not *with* each other.
Once we transfer this term into an adult context, it’s what occurs when you’re both sitting in the living room, working away on your laptops or reading different books.
In a situation like this, it’s not the intellectual stimulation or the entertainment you can provide for your partner that matters – it’s your presence, pure and simple.
They just love having you close.
6) They’re very affectionate toward you
Physical closeness is a big one.
Non-sexual intimacy is a fundamental part of romantic relationships – it releases plenty of feel-good hormones that have a bonding function, such as oxytocin – and it also works to show your partner just how much you appreciate having them around.
Sometimes, a tight hug says more than a love letter and a kiss on the forehead says more than “I love you.”
7) They ask you about your day
When you genuinely love someone and value their presence in your life, you want to know how they’re doing. Period.
“How have you been today?”
“Did that work meeting go well?”
“How’s your dissertation coming along?”
That’s not where it ends, though. Once your partner asks you a question about yourself, they should actively listen to what you have to say and ask follow-up questions.
That part’s really important – it shows genuine interest. Anyone can ask you questions and then stop paying attention, but only those who truly care about you will put all their focus into a conversation that doesn’t revolve around them.
8) They take you out on dates
A relationship easily falls into a rut if you don’t nurture it. And as the name suggests, romantic relationships are all about romance.
If your partner often plans fun activities for you to do and takes you out on dates, they are actively choosing to spend quality time with you and get to know you on a deeper level.
You’re not just a prop in the background of their life – you’re a vital part of the forefront. The connection you’ve built is one of the primary things they cherish, so planning dates doesn’t even feel like a chore.
It’s just another great day spent with the person they love.
9) They work on themselves
We all have some baggage. While person A is terrified of conflict, person B gets a little bit too jealous, and person C is too afraid to open up.
No one enters a relationship as their perfect self. In fact, romantic relationships are often the triggers we need in order to realize how much of ourselves is still unhealed and needs working on.
A partner who genuinely values your presence in their life will do their very best to ensure you don’t have to walk away. They’ll read helpful books, journal, communicate effectively, or go to therapy if that’s a viable option for them.
Because they love you too much to lose you. Because they want to see the relationship thrive. Because they know both of you deserve the best kind of love – and they’ll do anything in their power to make it so.