If you ask me what experiences count as the most intense in my life, I would say that falling in love is easily one of them. That heady, butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling…it’s a thrill like no other.
But it’s also terrifying, especially when you’re not quite sure if your partner feels the same way about you. Some days you think they do, and other times, you’re left wondering.
So, how can you tell for sure? Well, I believe that actions will always speak louder than words. And just as it’s important what they do for you, it also matters what they’d never do. Not if they truly love you.
In this article, I’ll lay out all of that. Hopefully, these signs can put your mind and heart at ease so you can just sit back and bask in your partner’s love. Let’s dive in!
1) They won’t keep secrets from you
Let me start with this: secrets can be toxic. Insidiously so. I once had a boyfriend who was never quite forthright with me.
He’d disappear for days, then resurface without a clear explanation. And when I’d ask him who he was talking to on the phone, he’d turn evasive and change the topic.
I mean, I’m not the clingy type and I’m all for maintaining a certain level of privacy. But in the back of my mind, I felt like something was off.
Obviously, we didn’t last long. Those secrets? They took a toll on our relationship; I just couldn’t trust him. And they certainly made me feel like he didn’t really love me.
Real talk – when someone genuinely loves you, they’ll be open and transparent with you. They’ll share their thoughts, goals, dreams, and even their fears. That’s a sign they trust and love you and are ready for real intimacy.
2) They won’t dismiss your feelings
Ever had your feelings dismissed as being ‘dramatic’ or ‘over the top’? It doesn’t feel good, does it?
When someone truly loves you, they will take your feelings seriously. They’ll take the time to really listen to your concerns and try to understand, even if they don’t feel the same way.
Take that boyfriend I told you about, for instance. When I mentioned that I didn’t like how he was hiding things from me, he merely brushed my concerns aside.
Even worse, he said I was imagining things.
I didn’t know the name for it at the time, but I was being gaslit.
If you’ve ever felt dismissed or invalidated, take that as a cue that it’s time to let go of this person. Or at least express how you feel and see how it goes from there. Hopefully, you won’t get dismissed yet again!
3) They won’t make you feel insecure or alone
Dismissing your feelings, keeping secrets, playing mind games…all of these are actions that make you feel insecure. Or alone, as if you don’t really have a partner.
These things have no place in a healthy relationship. A partner who loves you will always make you feel safe and secure in every possible way…physically, mentally, and emotionally.
They would never deliberately put you down, make you question your worth, or compare you to other people.
After all, isn’t the point of being in a relationship to have someone to share life’s joys and struggles with? To have a companion who builds you up and reminds you of how strong and beautiful you are?
Love should make you feel great about yourself, not the other way around!
4) They would never disrespect you
Speaking of feeling great, here’s another thing a partner who truly loves you would never do. They’d never belittle or disrespect you.
Now let me be clear: It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t ever disagree with you. Disagreements cannot be helped, no matter how strong a relationship is.
The difference is, there should never be any kind of disrespect, whether it’s name-calling, mocking, or just plain rudeness.
Because real love carries with it kindness and respect. There’s a certain mindfulness and consideration of how you feel, and their words and actions will reflect that.
5) They won’t keep score
While we’re on the topic of conflicts, I’d like to point out a telltale sign that someone doesn’t truly love you.
Do they hold past mistakes against you? Have an imaginary scoreboard where they tally up all the times you’ve messed up?
If yes, then I hate to say it, but that’s a red flag.
True love doesn’t keep score. True love forgives and understands we all mess up from time to time. It lets go of old hurts and moves on because it has no room for grudges and resentment.
6) They won’t put their needs before yours all the time
I once had a colleague who was in a marriage that seemed so unbalanced to me. By unbalanced, I mean that it wasn’t an equal give-and-take.
She seemed to be the one making all the decisions – whatever she wanted, she got, never mind if it was at her husband’s expense.
It was so clear to me that she didn’t really love him; otherwise, she would take his needs into account as well.
Because that’s what loving partners do. They aim for a balance where both of them feel happy and satisfied.
They think of ways to make each other happy not because they have to, but because they want to.
7) They won’t push your boundaries
Imagine this scenario: you want some time for yourself after a long, hellish week at work. But your partner insists that you go out on a date.
Would that make you feel loved? Or…disrespected?
Here’s the thing: in relationships, boundaries can easily become blurred, especially as partners become closer and their lives become more intertwined.
But they are necessary, even in the closest relationships. And a partner who loves you understands that.
They won’t push you to go further than you’re comfortable with, and they’ll respect your need to be your own person. If your partner can do this, rest assured they’ve got your best interests at heart.
This leads me to my next point…
8) They’ll never try to change who you are
Your own person. I’m not talking about little things like your unhealthy habits or hairstyle. I’m talking about the big stuff – your personality, your values, your passions…everything that makes you YOU.
See, a partner who truly loves you will fully accept you as you are. They would encourage you to grow and improve, but they won’t want to change who you are as a person.
In case that isn’t quite clear, let me give you an example. There are many things I’d like to change about my husband – I wish he wasn’t so forgetful or I wish he would be more vocal about his feelings.
But I would never dream of changing the core of who he is – a man who shows his love through acts of service, who thinks of ways to make life better for his loved ones, who laughs at the silliest and dumbest jokes…
I could talk about this forever, but I’ll spare you my starry-eyed ramblings. My point is, a loving partner will see the real you through all the mess and chaos and still choose to love you.
9) They won’t stop working on the relationship
I repeat: a partner who truly loves you will always choose to love you.
If there’s anything I’d like to leave you with, it’s this – love isn’t just a feeling, it’s a decision.
Day in and day out, a loving partner will choose to put in the effort and hard work to keep the relationship strong and healthy.
They understand that it isn’t always going to be smooth sailing; some days will be harder than others. And it’s in those days when you’ll really see their commitment to the love you share.
When it comes to love, actions truly speak louder than words. Keep in mind, though, that nobody is perfect – even someone who loves you will mess up from time to time.
For me, the key is in consistency, off days aside. Are there clearly more good days than bad? Do I feel loved despite our issues?
Ultimately, trust yourself. Reflect on how they make you feel. If you consistently feel loved, respected, and valued, chances are you’ve found someone special.
If you’re having doubts, it’s okay to express those. As this list shows, someone who truly loves you will always be up for those tough conversations.
And most importantly, never settle for less than you deserve. Love is a battlefield, yes, but it’s also a beautiful thing, and it’s definitely worth getting right.