Yes, you’ve heard it a thousand times and, yes, it’s totally cringe, but who cares: falling in love is a beautiful thing. It can also, however, be a major stressor in your life. You want to let yourself fall, but there are always unknowns holding you back, like knowing whether or not your partner loves you too. It’s natural to have doubts and to wonder if there are signs your boyfriend is in love with you or concrete ways to tell your girlfriend loves you back.
“To me, it’s really the small things that show love,” Anita Chlipala, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Elite Daily. “Small things often.” There may not be one single moment that answers your question, “Does he love me?” Instead, think of love as a process that develops over time.
It’s easy to be afraid of loving someone who doesn’t love you back, and to be afraid of getting hurt. (That’s a natural worry!) But just because your partner has never told you outright that she or he loves you doesn't mean that they don’t. Everybody displays love differently, and words aren’t the only way they can show their feelings for you. In some cases, actions speak just as loud as words. If your boyfriend or girlfriend does these 10 things, you can rest assured that they love you, according to experts.
1. They check up on you randomly just to see how you're doing.
Once you fall in love, you begin to care just as much about another person as you do yourself. Your ego is taken completely out of the picture. If you find your partner is hitting you up multiple times a week, for seemingly no reason at all other than authentic interest, that's when you know they’re hooked. This can be in person or over text.
“A way you can tell your partner loves you is if they let you know that you're on their mind, whether it's through a text to just say, ‘Hey, I'm thinking about you,’ or [asking] if you need anything while they’re out,” Chlipala says.
If you notice that they don’t just check in to see what you’re up to or if you’re having a good day, but they also text you first thing in the morning or right before bed, it’s a pretty clear sign that you are a regular priority in their mind. “Take note of when someone texts you,” certified life coach Randi Levin, previously told Bustle. “If someone is beginning or ending their day with you or showing up repeatedly throughout the day to just say hello, you are more significant to them than you may realize.”
2. They miss you when you’re not together.
Love is a form of obsession — a very healthy and incredibly rewarding one. It’s not uncommon to wake up thinking of your partner every morning (or for them to wake up thinking of you). Of course, not everyone is open about the way they feel, and some even do their best to resist the urge to reveal the extent of their obsession. Your boyfriend might avoid texting you every morning because he wants to give you space, and that’s OK.
Being in love means loving being around someone, but it also means being comfortable having your own life and boundaries. If you find that your partner misses you when you’re apart, but also respects your respective times away from each other, it’s a good sign that your relationship is strong.
As sex therapist and sexuality educator Kristen Lilla previously told Elite Daily, “Being in love means there is a connection, while being attached implies dependency. I think it is important to ask yourself the question, ‘Do I have to be with this person, or do I get to be with this person?’ If you feel like you have to be in a relationship, perhaps it is out of an attachment issue, but if you feel like you get to be with someone, and it is a privilege, you may be in love.” Love is a constant balance between wanting to be with your partner and maintaining your own independence. If your SO misses you when you’re not with him (even if he doesn’t always vocalize it), that’s a telltale sign he loves you.
3. They go out of their way to make your life easier.
Partners who are in love don’t mind inconveniencing themselves just to help you out. This could be anything from picking you up when you need a ride to going to the store to pick up your favorite snack to staying quiet in the background during your Zoom meeting. You should be able to confidently rely on your boyfriend or girlfriend in times of need. “Trust creates the essential feelings of safety, security, and openness for both partners," Chlipala says.
4. They light up when they see you.
If he grins from ear to ear or if her eyes light up at the sight of you, they are in love with you. When someone is head over heels in love, their face and body language can’t hide it. Especially if you’ve noticed that your partner doesn’t convey their emotions through words very often, nonverbal cues like big smiles and sparkling eyes are helpful ways to decipher their true feelings. “You can’t help but smile when you’re with someone who makes you feel good,” body language expert Blanca Cobb previously told Elite Daily.
5. They ask you for your opinion.
And this isn't just so that you feel like you're giving your two cents. Your partner wants to know your thoughts on any number of topics because they value your opinion and the way that you see the world. They want to make sure that their life aligns with yours as much as possible.
“It's a sign of respect,” says Chlipala. “If you respect someone enough to ask for their opinion, it means you value what they think.” When someone loves you, they’ll want your input on their life because they’re trying to merge theirs with yours — and that’s a big compliment. What better way than to start seeing the world through your eyes?
6. They ask about your life, and they listen (like, actually listen).
Not only do they actively ask about what you think, but they also fully listen to what you have to say. It’s a good sign that your partner truly loves you if you feel like you are always heard in your relationship. They want to know what you did today, what you saw, how you succeeded and failed, and the adventures that you went on. They want to know about your day because they want to be part of it in some way or another. Your boyfriend or girlfriend will be open to hearing what you have to say and sincerely taking in what you communicate.
And when they hear you out, even if you’re just ranting about something small and silly, they listen to what you have to say without any judgement. “It’s important that they really just listen to their partner's feelings and validate their hurt or their disappointment,” Chlipala says. “It’s all about listening and empathizing.”
7. They compromise with you.
Strong, complex relationships are full of give and take. If your partner is in love, they should see you as an ally at all times, not a competitor — if one of you wins, both of you win.
“A partner who loves and respects you will be willing to make adjustments to their own schedules, forgo certain commitments to meet one of yours, and meet you halfway on big, important decisions," Kara Lissy, a psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, previously told Bustle.
Disagreements, both large and small, are bound to happen in relationships. But you’ll know yours is full of love if the both of you are willing to work together to find fair solutions.
8. They make you feel safe.
You might notice that your boyfriend or girlfriend feels protective toward you — in small, simple ways. This could take the form of walking on the outside of the sidewalk, because if a car were to swerve, it would hit them first. It might look like checking up on you if you look uncomfortable in a situation, standing up for you when someone doesn’t treat you well, or bringing you hot soup when you’re under the weather.
Overall, your partner will make sure you feel safe and supported at all times, and you will be able to feel it, too. Being around someone who loves you will feel like the most comfortable and natural place to be.
9. They are genuinely happy around you.
Of course, not everyone is going to be happy all the time. But, in general, your partner will be in a good mood around you if they are in love. You might even notice they are instantly in a better mood when you spend time together, because they are that infatuated with you (and the feeling should be mutual).
A meaningful marker of a relationship's health is observing what it brings out in you and in your life," clinical psychologist Dr. Rebekah Montgomery previously told Elite Daily. "When we are in healthy relationships, we are often happier and healthier."
10. They accept you in your entirety.
If your partner is madly in love, they’ll love you for you without exception. You should feel as though you can be your most authentic self around them, flaws and all.
"[Being] in love means that you've weathered the storms of your partner's negative qualities and still choose to remain in the relationship," Susan Winter, a bestselling author and relationship expert, previously told Elite Daily. "Your love is unconditional. It's all-inclusive as you accept the positive and the negative aspects of your mate."
Remember, love manifests in many forms, most of which aren’t as straightforward and simple as saying, “I love you.” If you’re looking for signs that she or he loves you, think about all the small ways you display your love. Even if your partner doesn’t say those three little words, their actions and behaviors toward you will reveal how they really feel.
Anita Chlipala, licensed marriage and family therapist
Randi Levin, certified life coach
Kristen Lilla, sex therapist and sexuality educator
Blanca Cobb, body language expert
Kara Lissy, licensed psychotherapist
Dr. Rebekah Montgomery, clinical psychologist
Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author
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