The beginning stages of a relationship can feel very vulnerable. Maybe you’ve been betrayed or burned in the past and doubt your judgement about whether this guy is for real—or not! Here are seven guiding signs to see clearly through the clouds of vulnerability and determine if he truly loves you:
1. He values you knowing your value.
I could tell my friend James really valued and loved his girlfriend, Claire. James knew, in a healthy way, about the details of her life. He knew about her family background, likes and dislikes, and her accomplishments. James was thrilled when Claire got an outstanding review at her job. And, even though Claire’s job entailed her having to travel and cut into their time together, he let her know that he was behind her all the way.
2. He wants you to be part of his future plans.
Does he make references to upcoming events and ask if you are available or willing to join him? Linda, a thirty year old client of mine, beamed with excitement when telling me her boyfriend had invited her to his upcoming family get together? Does he joke about how your future children may look? If he is in to you then he is also wanting you in—big time—as part of his future.
3. You are his priority.
In the words of Elaine, a female colleague of mine, “When a man values and loves you, you know you are high up on his list of priorities.” Does he make spending time with you a priority? Do you feel like the most important person is his life?
4. He is happy that you’re happy.
Ted, a male client of mine, when discussing with me his thirty years of long lasting love for his wife, shared with me, “Her happiness is my happiness too!” A man who loves you will avoid doing things that make you unhappy. Whether is it going to a botanical garden, taking dance lessons, going to a sports event, or rubbing your feet, he will learn the things will make you happy, and he’ll make an effort to do those things.
5. He values you missing him and he misses you when you’re apart.
Does he appreciate that you miss him? Does he miss you? Does he make an effort to reach out? This doesn’t mean he is constantly thinking about every molecule of your being! That would be an unhealthy obsession. On the healthy side, however, is him texting to see how you are doing. Perhaps he may send you a work related article of value or a funny joke he found online.
6. He goes out of his way for you.
Joan, a forty-five year old physician, had tears of joy when telling me about her boyfriend who drove thirty miles out of his way to make sure she felt safe when leaving work on a night she had to work unusually late. Is he there for you when there is a problem? True love is about meeting needs of the other person.
7. His ego is your friend, not your enemy
Tony, a thirty-three year old rising executive, felt pride in being able to turn off his corporate ego and admit when he is wrong with wife, Leah. Love means engaging in self-reflection rather than self-love when you have to reach deep inside and admit that you are wrong.