Being in love is awesome.
Whether it's the exhilarating, novel feeling of a brand new love or the deep, comfortable feeling of a love that has lasted years, being in love really can't be beat.
It's nice to hear your partner say those three little words. After all, not much bad comes from someone you love saying "I love you" back. That said, how can you know if your partner really loves you when they say it?
Elite Daily spoke to some experts for the low-down on the ways you can tell if your partner truly means it when they say they love you.
1. They Treat You Like A Priority
When someone is truly in love with you, they won't just say it; they'll act it. A person in love prioritizes their partner, night and day.
One of my favorite things about my husband is that he never, ever makes me feel like I'm on the back burner. No matter what he's doing or how important it is, if I need him, he'll be there.
Not only that, but on a daily basis, he is constantly considering me for the big things, like wanting to speak to me right away when a new job opportunity comes up, and also for the little things, like if I'd appreciate him grabbing lunch for me on his way home.
Licensed Psychotherapist Allison Abrams says your partner's prioritization of you says a lot about whether they mean what they say in those three little words.
"The biggest giveaway overall is how they treat you," she says. "Do they consider your feelings? Are you a priority in their life? If someone loves you and cares about you truly, they will always take your feelings into consideration."
If they say they love you and they mean it, they'll show it to you in how much they prioritize you and the relationship.
2. They Compromise And Sacrifice For You
A person who means what they say when they express love will show it not only when it's easy, but also when it's a little harder. In other words, someone who loves you will be OK compromising on what they might want, and maybe even sacrificing it all together.
Author and relationship expert Alexis Nicole White says, "One of the biggest ways a woman would be able to really understand if a man really loves them or not would be to measure the depth of the sacrifices that are being made for her. If he's unwilling to compromise or to make sacrifices for her well-being, then that's a for sure sign he's a joker playing games."
Your partner doesn't have to drop everything and come running every time you ask for something, but they do have to make clear that they realize compromise is necessary for a loving partnership.
And it's not about sacrificing money or gifts, says White. It's about his time. "During holidays or during a major life crisis, where is he? That determines the real levels of love," she says.
3. Their Love Is Unconditional
Saying "I love you" means that there's something underlying that statement: The love is unconditional.
When my husband and I got married, we told each other that no matter what, we were going to wake up and decide to love each other every day. We didn't say we'd try really hard and bounce if things got hard — we said that our love was an intentional choice we were making every day, and that we would love each other with zero strings attached.
Abrams says you should look to whether or not your partner still loves you when you may not be your best self: "Can they still love you at your worst — on a bad day — with an idealized image of you? We all come with flaws. Even the most seemingly perfect of us has an ugly side. Have they seen yours and love you anyway?"
Someone who truly loves you would never pull away or belittle you for any flaws you might have. Instead, they love you always.
"The best way for someone to discern if they are loved is if they feel safe, accepted and comfortable to be themselves without fear of harsh judgment," says Abrams.
4. They Remember The Little Things
Showing real love doesn't just mean being around for the big things. It means remembering the little things as well.
In all my prior relationships, people would have difficulty remembering the little things I really valued, the things that made up my personality. My husband, though, has no problem remembering that my favorite Disney character is Tinkerbell or that I want to be Darth Vader for Halloween. And he has no problem remembering the day-to-day stuff that matters, like when my puppy needs to take her pills or when I have a work deadline.
Abrams says the things that seem insignificant aren't, because when your partner notices them, it means they're paying attention — even down to details like how you take your coffee. "When someone loves you, they want to know as much about you as possible, to get closer to you. This is true intimacy," she says.