They’re in this for the long haul.
The funny thing about love is that it never looks the same. Because everyone displays love in different ways, the process of falling for someone can be exciting and surprising every single time. It can, however, also be a major cause of confusion and uncertainty — especially if you and your SO aren’t necessarily on the same page. Maybe you're feeling more all-in than your partner. Maybe you need some space from someone who is feeling you a little harder than you're feeling him or her.
Naturally, you might be wondering if there are certain clues you can spot that someone is really hooked on you, some kind of guidance to tell you that your intuitions are correct and feelings are reciprocated. PSA: It’s not just about your physical attraction.
Despite many common assumptions, love is about so much more than sex. Creating arbitrary markers for what someone’s behavior in bed means, such as thinking that if he goes down on you he loves you, doesn’t actually focus on what makes relationships last — even if sexual chemistry is important to you. Deep emotional connection is incredibly valuable and hard to find in a partner, and this is exactly what you should be focusing on (along with great sex… because you deserve both).
“There are great emotional factors for finding love that require a little bit of patience and time to see,” Laura Jacobs, a professional matchmaker and founder of Modern Dating Coach, tells Elite Daily. There are some things the woman or man in your life will only do for you if she or he truly, wholeheartedly loves you. Here’s what the experts have to say about it.
1. They Will Listen
When you're talking to your partner and notice their mind — or worse, their eyes — wandering mid-conversation, that might be a red flag for you and your relationship. If a girl or guy really loves you, you will have their undivided attention when it matters, and a conversation with you should almost always matter to them.
“If someone's really willing to get to know you for who you are, not just your appearance, not just what you do, not just matching their checklist, it means they're also a very empathetic and caring partner,” says Jacobs.
A good partner won’t just hear you, but will also absorb what you're saying and take you seriously. A man or woman who loves you will hear you, listen to your advice and heed it, or at least counter it with a reasonable opinion of their own. Either way, they’ll listen to you because they love you. “If you find a partner that is a great listener, and reacts to what you say, you have won the jackpot,” adds Jacobs.
2. They Will Argue In A Productive Way
I know what you're thinking: WTF? Why would a guy who loves me argue with me?
It might be surprising to see fighting on this list, but rest assured, sometimes having a few disagreements is actually a good thing for a relationship. Someone who is willing to argue with you in positive, healthy ways is an incredibly good sign. It means she or she cares. It means that if they see something in the relationship that isn't working for them, rather than hit the road, they choose to try and fix it.
“As long as it's constructive, it's always going to be positive and make your relationship stronger,” says Jacobs. “If you’re both hearing the other person, it can absolutely make you closer and make your relationship better.”
A partner with whom you occasionally fight likely wants to work on the relationship because they love you and can't bear to see you go. In fact, arguing can give you both opportunities to air your issues — let’s be honest, they’re going to happen — and give constructive feedback, according to Lisa Concepcion, certified dating and relationship expert and founder of LoveQuest Coaching.
“When you offer feedback from a place of love and not judgment and practice unconditional love of yourself, you'll strengthen the love in your relationship," Conception previously told Elite Daily.
Constant arguing, however, is not a sign of a healthy relationship, and neither are arguments that are intentionally hurtful and negative. “As soon as arguing gets into being toxic, or emotionally abusive, that's when it crosses the line into a deal breaker,” says Jacobs.
3. They Will Compromise
People can be incredibly stubborn. And in a lot of relationships — unsuccessful ones — partners are unwilling to change their minds or compromise for the sake of their relationship. The reason for that? A lack of respect and a lack of love.
“Some people, they run into one little issue in a relationship and they just give up,” says Jacobs. “If you've invested in that emotional connection with your partner, it's essential to compromise, negotiate, and communicate on all issues and not just throw in the towel when you have one little thing go wrong.”
A guy or girl who loves and respects you will seek to compromise with you because they see you as an equal. Maybe you won't always reach a compromise for every single disagreement, because, let's face it, things don't always align. But the effort to compromise will always be there, and usually, in a healthy relationship full of love, the two of you will find a way to make any given situation work.
4. They Will Fight For You
No one is fighting for a hookup. You can definitely sense when something is just a fling, and who is going to fight for something that’s only temporary from the beginning? If someone loves you, on the other hand, they’ll fight for you.
They will stick up for you to strangers, their friends, your friends, and, most importantly, you. A good partner won't let anyone cut you down, even if you're having a bad day and your biggest enemy is yourself. It will be like a reflex to them, and they won't even think twice about going to bat for you.
“Your partner should be your biggest cheerleader, your biggest supporter. They should be like standing up for you in your absence,” says Jacobs. “If you have a hard day at work, they should support you. They’ll stand up for you even when you don’t stand up for yourself.”
5. They Will Go Out Of Their Way For You
There's nothing someone can’t do when they have the love of a woman or partner behind them. If you have an important event, they’ll be there to support you. If you have a big meeting at work, they’ll help you prepare beforehand and be there to ask you how it went after. These things will be second nature to a great partner.
“If someone makes your life easier, that's absolutely priceless,” says Jacobs. “They should go out of their way to make your day better.” And when push comes to shove, if they need to compromise something they love in order to be with you — living somewhere they grew up, altering their current career path — they will do so if it means staying with you and maintaining a working relationship. Or, at the very least, they’ll be willing to modify their current situation to fit whatever the universe throws your way.
When a girl or guy loves you, they will regard you as the most important thing in their life. And as one of the most important things in their life, there's nothing they won't do for you. Someone who loves you "predicts your wants and needs and tends to [them] before being asked," relationship expert Jen Kirsch explained. This could be anything from taking care of you (stuffy nose and all) when you’re sick, moving their life to be with you after you accepted a job in another city, or simply just picking up your favorite snack when they’re at the supermarket.
6. They Will Remind You What You Mean To Them
If you find yourself asking what a man wants from a woman he loves, your first instinct might be to do nice things for him. So, in the same way that you feel the need to remind your partner how much they mean to you, if you notice they do the same for you, you’re likely both in the same headspace of love.
"Gratitude and appreciation are like water and sunlight for the garden of a healthy, enduring relationship," Concepcion told Elite Daily.
You might also see this take the form of compliments — highly specific ones, as opposed to more general ones that come at the beginning of relationships. “The more specific they are, the more she can be sure he truly loves her," relationship expert Mark Stefanishyn told Elite Daily.
7. They Will Say “Us” And “We”
When your partner is fully committed to your relationship, they will start incorporating you into everything they do and plan to do. Talking about you two together, rather than just themself, is something only someone in love will do, because they clearly are making a conscious effort to have you be a constant part of their life — even in their language.
“It’s like the merging of two lives, really," Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of Live for Yourself Consulting, previously told Elite Daily. "Their current view of who they are in their life now includes you. You become a significant portion of that."
Again, everybody expresses love in unique ways, but if you find that your partner exhibits any or some of these behaviors, it’s a pretty good bet they are falling hard and committed to you deeply. Ultimately, if she or he loves you, you’ll definitely know it.
Laura Jacobs, professional matchmaker and founder of Modern Dating Coach
Lisa Concepcion, certified dating and relationship expert and founder of LoveQuest Coaching
Jen Kirsch, relationship expert
Mark Stefanishyn, relationship expert
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