We all have doubts from time to time. And if you’re like many who contact me, you will have questioned your partners’ true feelings for you on more than one occasion.
I’m often asked, “Hey Michael, does my boyfriend love me?” — and yes, guys ask the same about their girlfriend. No one is immune to doubt.
It isn’t strange to wonder if someone loves you or to wonder if they love you as much as you like them. We all have our doubts and bouts of insecurities etc.
The problem with this uncertainty is it can put an unnecessary strain on the relationship. As such, it is vitally important to tackle your doubts as soon as possible. Confirm or squash them, and act accordingly. Otherwise you only prolong the pain, and in turn, increase the possibility of a breakup occurring.
Below I have identified three areas of a relationship that give plenty of clues about whether his or her feelings for you have changed.
3 Ways to Tell if They Love you
There could be many reasons why you have been questioning your partners’ true feelings for you. Each sign being a potential clue. But rather than list every possible one, I found it easier to break down a relationship to the following three zones, which can then be examined to establish if love has gone cold.
Read on to learn how these can gauge your partners’ affections for you.
As the saying goes, it’s not what they say that counts, it’s what they do. And while I wouldn’t suggest you take that literally (what people say matters, too,) this is a great place to begin our investigation.
Look back at your partners’ regular pattern of actions in the relationship. What do you notice?
Here are a few examples of actions that someone may regularly perform in a relationship:
- The giving of gifts, like flowers and chocolates;
- Holding your hand;
- Willing to drop something they had planned to do… for you;
- Taking you out to eat;
- Cooking for you;
- Taking the time to kiss you, even when in a rush;
- Opening doors (especially guys);
- Taking the time check in and see you’re OK;
- Will hug you without being asked to;
- Giving massages;
- Running you a nice bath;
- Taking care of chores on your behalf;
- And so on…
I’m sure I’ve missed some obvious examples.
Can you identify any actions that your lover has either stopped doing or is now doing less of?
If so, that could reveal a loss of attraction for you.
When you notice a change, look at when it happened as well. This could be a potential turning point to investigate other possible clues.
Under the category of actions, you can also include the efforts they make in their overall appearance, and the frequency of taking showers, etc.
These are all clues.
However, something to keep in mind:
The longer you’ve been dating, the more likely some actions will occur less and less, as a matter of course. Quite normal. And not necessarily because we fall out of love.
It is expected we will become more comfortable and familiar with our partner. And as we do so, more relaxed with our actions.
You have to judge for yourself whether any reduction or change of actions you notice is due to increases in comfort in the relationship, or due to a genuine loss of love and affection.
However, if you notice your partner is doing less of something rather suddenly, it would not be unreasonable to wonder why. Because usually, actions change gradually.
A reduction of doing something deemed “nice” doesn’t typically stop overnight. We are creatures of habit after all.
Something to keep in mind.
And what if they’re doing MORE of a given action? Well, that could point to guilt. But be careful with that. It might not be guilt. You have to tread carefully here.
The point is there will always be a reason for noticeable changes in your partners’ actions.
Your job is to figure out what that might be.
Using the same principle, we can now look at the other two areas for your consideration.
2. Language or Communication
Men certainly differ to women on the communication front. But that is for another article. Instead, we are merely interested in seeing if the pattern of language between you both has changed and when?
Typically you will notice this most in face-to-face exchanges. Especially when you combine it with the 3rd factor, which we’ll touch upon in just a moment.
With communication, you may — for example — note subtle changes in telephone calls. Not just in frequency (which is more of an action example,) but in the choice of words and general openness to communicate with you.
It would be silly of me to also not mention the tone and sincerity in their voice as yet another factor to watch, though this will be explained below.
We don’t just talk on the phone or face-to-face. You might also note differences in their text messages to you, and in the emails.
Did the wording (and therefore meaning) change?
Questions you might ask yourself are:
- Does he ask — and does he genuinely care — how I feel?
- How often does she tell me what I mean to her?
- Is he as open with me now as he was at the start?
- Are her text messages shorter now than they used to be?
- Does he tell me “I love you” without being prompted?
Observe how the communication and language between you both evolved (or devolved) throughout your relationship, especially of late.
Openness, the willingness to share, and a deep level of intimacy is a sign that someone trusts you and points to a meaningful connection. If you noticed a reduction in this, you might have a clue that the love is going cold.
The last clue entwines with the above two rather nicely.
3. Presence or Attitude
Have you ever felt as though there was a disconnection between you and your partner? Ever been in a situation where everything appeared to be in order, but something was “off” or wrong?
This is what I mean by presence.
This overlaps with both “action” and “language,” as it is at the very core of your boyfriend or girlfriend’s behavior towards you, and in everything they do. Which is something that can not be faked easily, at least not for long periods. Some argue that it can’t be faked at all.
An example of this is when your partner is a little distant with you, as though their mind is elsewhere. Which is an invisible factor, but one clearly felt.
Did they sound genuinely pleased to hear from you when you called, or when they saw you? You can often tell.
This, out of the three, is the aspect that is the most telling.
One way to measure this one is to monitor your feelings in response to whatever it is your partner is doing at that time.
How did you feel when you were around them last? Did you think something was missing, or lacking? You can sometimes use your feelings as a gauge for what is going on.
Caveat: annoyingly, while feelings can be useful, they can also mislead. If you’re upset, or if something has happened to cause you emotional angst then their usefulness as a tool to guide diminishes.
Be Careful How You Proceed
I have purposely avoided giving you an “if this do that” instruction on this page.
You have to be careful about how you proceed based on what you discover. It is quite easy to interpret almost any action, language or presence factor wrongly.
Note: if you want to find clues for something, you may be biased to see what you want to see!
Start by looking at your partners’ actions, language, and presence in recent times, compared to when you felt the relationship was surer or more fulfilling.
What changed, and when?
Then consider whether any of those changes might be due to factors that occur through the natural aging process of a relationship.
Allow for natural dips or off-days.
Any number of noticeable changes in your partners’ actions, language or presence could hint at a problem in your relationship. But? It is also entirely possible that these changes are caused by something utterly unrelated to you, and how he or she feels about you.
This is a point worth remembering. I wouldn’t want you jumping to the wrong conclusion.
For example, they may have had family problems, stress at work, or a health condition.
A different plan would be needed if this was the case. In this instance, the real issue might be why your partner felt they couldn’t confide in you (assuming you didn’t know of course.)
However, if you are sure it is about you and the relationship, here are some common causes of a general drop in interest:
- They may be irritated by something you do (you may not even be aware of it);
- They might feel you are not trusting them fully (perhaps they give you reason not to);
- Perhaps they have misunderstood your good intentions (are you trying too hard to be helpful?);
- It could just be boredom!
Those are the more general causes that you might start with.
While the specifics will be unique to each couple, you can generally round them up into issues of trust, freedom, and importance.
In other words, we all want to be trusted. And we also want to trust. Secondly, we all want freedom, rather than feel trapped. And lastly, we want to feel important as well.
I am sure you can think of some others along the same line.
Wrapping This All Up
It won’t surprise you to know that relationships have been known to end abruptly, not last forever, or merely sizzle out. Talk about an understatement! But that is just how it goes.
If your partner is beginning to run a little cold in the relationship, it is entirely possible that their love for you is diminishing. If true, figure out why and act accordingly. Otherwise, your relationship is in danger.
Before we end, I have one final question for you: how has your actions, language, and presence changed, in the course of the relationship?