Don’t confuse being “in love” with “love.” One’s a feeling and one’s an action. There are ways you can tell if someone really loves you or if you really love them. There are also ways to get those “in love” feelings back.
If you are wondering whether you are in love with your partner, then you are not. Being “in love” is something that grabs us like a snake biting us in the butt. However, not feeling in love is not necessarily a sign that something is wrong with your relationship. Don’t confuse being “in love” with “love.” One’s a feeling and one’s an action. There are ways you can tell if someone really loves you or if you really love them. There are also ways to get those “in love” feelings back.
It’s quite possible for someone to feel in love with you and at the same time not love you. When they say they love you, you can look in their eyes and know they really do feel it. The best way of knowing if someone loves you is not by asking them. It’s by observing their actions. If love, the action, isn’t there, then beware. Once the feeling passes, the relationship will pass also.
What are the actions that signal genuine love? Loving actions are always in your best interest although they are not always what you like. Many teens come to the conclusion that their parents no longer love them because they won’t let them stay up all night or come and go as they please. But, it is precisely because parents do love their teens that they set these limits on their behaviors.
Love works in adult relationships in a similar way. Someone who gives you everything you want probably is either feeling in love with you or just wants something from you (or both). Someone who just won’t go along with things that are bad for you or the relationship, on the other hand, may signal lasting love. This is the caring kind that goes beyond our immediate gratification. Unfortunately, because of wrong beliefs, many people break up with those who truly love them in favor of someone who will only feel in love with them for a little while.
Truly loving others by doing what is in their best interest will not always get us the best immediate reaction, but in the long run promotes respect, health, and an environment in which the love is most likely to be returned. Many times we will do something that we don’t like to do because it pleases someone else or makes their life easier. That is healthy and part of the give and take of a healthy relationship. But, we must be careful not to do things that harm us (like give up our friends) because it pleases our partner. Self harm is as destructive to a relationship as harming our partner. Self-care is something that we do for our partner as well as ourselves.
Relationship coaches help people to achieve personal goals that enhance both the individual and the relationship. To be good at anything, we must be in shape and use the right techniques. Relationships are no different. We have healthy inclinations toward what we want and need. Stuffing those desires in the back of the drawer does not excite us in our relationship. Making our desires a reality and enjoying our life really makes us a great partner. We love more easily and become easier to love. One person working with a relationship coach often saves two.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jack Ito, PhD is a licensed psychologist and relationship coach. Visit Relationship Coach where you can download his