Updated: Mar 23, 2019
Oh to be in love. Is there really anything quite like it?
The slow cartwheels that turn over in your stomach every time you think of the other person, the slight hop and a skip in your step, the giddy anticipation at the thought of seeing them again, and how everything in the world around you suddenly just seems...better!
The trouble with love, as the saying goes, is that is can also render us temporarily – but powerfully – blind. At least cognitively speaking. There’s a reason somebody coined the phrase “love is a form of socially acceptable insanity.”
The intensity of biological factors and psychological emotions in the beginnings of a new relationship can weaken our judgment. In short, this happens so that we can see what we want to – and our relationship needs can be filled.
While it’s true that love may be both a feeling and an action, trust me on this: When it comes to letting others know whether or not we truly love them, it’s what we do over what we say that matters.
At the end of the day, there are some basic things that form the foundation of all healthy and loving relationships. Here are the top 6 ways for how to know if a person truly loves you:
1. They love themselves.
A person can’t love someone else unless they love themselves first. Self-love is so crucial because it equals self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-respect, and self-confidence. Self-loving individuals know how to set healthy boundaries in relationships, and rarely if ever end up in codependent situations. They are willing to give to and please others, but not to their own detriment. They are usually good at teaching people how to treat them well, and their assuredness typically brings out the best in those around them. They know how and when to trust others and if they love you, they will trust you.
2. They like you…just as you are.
For any dinosaurs out there or people who just love syndicated reruns of brilliant sit-coms from the 80s, you might recall the episode of The Cosby Show when Clair Huxtable says to Denise: “I’m very proud of you. Not because I love you, but because I like you.” And Bridget Jones’ Diary of course, where the title line came from.
People who truly love other people like them as well. They experience all of their feelings for them out of choice, not beliefs of being obligated to feel a certain way about them. They respect their choices, even if they wouldn’t make the same for themselves. The best love starts out as like – someone who you would want to be friends with.
Most importantly when a person truly loves you, they love and like the version of you now. All of you. And they can live with the things they don’t particularly like about you. They aren’t gambling on some version of you they are hoping you will change into – or that they will change you into. Bottom line: If someone keeps on needing things about you to change as a condition for them to “love you,” they probably don’t truly love “you” to begin with.
3. They want the best for you.
And they are thrilled when you succeed. When someone truly loves you, they admire you. They are not jealous of your achievements, and they don’t see you as competition. If they do, it suggests they have self-esteem issues. A person who truly loves someone does not feel threatened by that person, who they are, and their accomplishments. Rather, they are inspired and elevated by that person, and vice versa.
4. They fight for your relationship.
The opposite of love isn’t hate – it’s indifference. People who love each other actually want the relationship. They care. They don’t like seeing one or the other person unhappy. And they are willing to talk things out and try to work through disagreements and arguments.
It may not always have an ideal ending. But when you love someone, you are willing to put in the time, energy, and effort to see if you can make things right. Effort involves action, which as I said is the main requirement in conveying true love to someone.
5. They want to share in your world.
When a person truly loves you, they want to get to know and spend time with people who are important to you – like your friends or close family members.
They also want to occasionally share in your interests and passions in life, even if they don’t personally take interest. So they may occasionally go with you to the latest Hugh Grant rom-com or play-off hockey game, instead of insisting you go with your friends.
All of this shows they are interested in knowing all of you, and experiencing what else brings you joy in life together.
6. They can let you go.
When a person truly loves you they know that although they may desire you in their life, they don’t own or possess you. And they don’t depend on you for their sole existence.
Although it may hurt if you one day no longer feel the same way, a truly loving person can respect your choices – even if it’s a choice to leave the relationship. They don’t have to love the outcome, but they will respect your decisions for yourself and your right to make them.
NKS Therapy offers services such as Career Counselling Toronto, Couples Counselling Toronto, Relationship Counselling Toronto, Family Counselling Toronto, Psychoeducational Assessment Toronto, Toronto Mental Health Services, Psychotherapy for Depression Toronto, Toronto Psychologist Services, and Child Psychologist Toronto Services. Call us today at 416-745-4745. We love to help.
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