Charles J. Orlando shares the top seven tips for identifying that scary four letter word.
1) They make time for you
Jobs, commutes, errands, bills, responsibilities, obligations… we all have lots of things going on. But here’s the harsh reality: Someone who is truly interested in you will find an endless number of reasons why they must see you. Someone who is just playing around—or confused about their own feelings—will find an endless number of excuses why they just don’t have the time.
2) They treat you as valuable
Someone who cares about you will go the extra mile to show you through actions… not just words. And they will keep showing you long after the dating phase of your relationship is over. They pay attention to the things that matter to you, value the things you do, and reciprocate consistently.
3) They don’t allow too much time to pass without seeing you.
They definitely have their own life and their own individuality, but they want spend time with you — and not just in the bedroom. And in a long distance relationship, they will carve out time to talk or video chat, as well as planning in-person time as both of your schedules allow. Major holidays should be together, as well.
4) They support what’s important to you.
Someone who loves you cares about things you are passionate about. They encourage you to do things you love, even if it means you are doing those things and activities without them. They want you to spend time with family and friends, and then truly enjoy hearing you recount your activities. They encourage you to find and embrace activities that bring out your talents and your passions—and they aren’t threatened by the time you spend away from them, or any/all success you achieve while doing it.
5) They want people to know.
They might not want full-on PDAs, but hand-holding and affection is effortless. They are grateful and proud that you are in their life, and want others to know about you. You have met their family and friends, and they bring you to functions that involve both (as appropriate).
6) They make you a priority.
When making plans or decisions, they consider your wants and needs, and make sure your feelings are considered. Even if they aren’t around you, they are thinking of you—maybe sending you little text messages. They make a consistent effort to stay in-contact throughout the day (as schedules allow).
7) They give you their honesty.
They follow-through on what they say, and will tell you honestly and openly if they can’t. They are open about their past, and they accept yours without judgement. When issues come up, they are willing to work through them. They recognize that they aren’t perfect, and they don’t expect you to be, either.
The bottom line
Saying “I love you” is one thing… but actions speak volumes, and what they DO—with you, for you, and around you—needs to back up their words. The bottom line: If they love you, you’ll know it… you’ll feel it. If they don’t, you’ll wonder all the time if they do.
This article originally appeared on The Problem Is Men.
Photo credit: gabrielizalo /flickr