How to Know if Your Girlfriend Really Loves You
“O love is a crooked thing, there is nobody wise enough to find out all that is in it,” wrote the poet William Butler Yeats. It can be hard to tell if someone is in love with you, even if you have been dating for a while. But love can be expressed in many different ways, and recognizing the qualities of a long term commitment, as well as paying attention to your girlfriend’s words and actions, could help you determine if she loves you.
Method 1 of 3:
1. Recognizing the Signs of a Long Term Commitment
Be aware of the difference between falling in love and staying in love. While there are many complicated feelings associated with falling in love with someone, it is usually a very passive and emotional experience. But staying in love can be incredibly difficult and requires a more active and involved approach to the relationship.
- Think of “love” as a verb, or an action you have to continue to reinforce and support as you move forward in your relationship. Consider how your girlfriend actively contributes and cultivates her relationship with you, and if your relationship is just as good, if not better, than when you first fell in love.
- Through action and words, your girlfriend can reinforce and commit to the relationship every day, even in small or seemingly insignificant ways.
- Consider how you both deal with conflict in your relationship. Most couples with poor conflict resolution skills engage in Fight, Flight, or Freeze behaviors. So, they fight and stay mad, sometimes holding grudges or resentment for months or years. They take flight and avoid uncomfortable or difficult issues by sweeping them under the rug. Or, they freeze up emotionally and shut down, blocking out any attempts at communicating or discussing the issue.
- Successful couples who are committed to the relationship for the long term will try to work on solving any problems and letting them go. They will focus on taking care of the issue, rather than attacking each other or freezing each other out.
- In a healthy, loving relationship, both partners should be able to forgive and forget, as any lingering resentment that is not addressed and dealt with can lead to further drama or conflict down the line and will work against sustaining the relationship for the long term.
- Think about if you both have similar priorities and life goals. This is an important step to committing on a practical level to being with your girlfriend and will be an important step for her commitment to you.
- Opposites may attract, but they rarely make for a good long-term relationship, and compatibility in your tastes and preferences, as well as your values, priorities, and life goals, will help to create a deep and lasting connection between you and your girlfriend.
- Determine if you and your girlfriend have the four dimensions of intimacy. Authors Ronald Adler and Russell Proctor II identified four ways we can feel closely connected with our significant other: physical, emotional, intellectual, and shared activities. Complete the following exercise to see if you and your girlfriend have all four dimensions of intimacy:
- List the four dimensions in a vertical line. Write Partner A and Partner B on top of the list of dimensions.
- Next to each dimension, rank whether it is a “Must” have, a “Should” have, or a “Could” have for your relationship.
- Pass the list to your partner, and have them rank the dimensions. Or, mark down how you think your partner would prioritize these dimensions.
- The more “must-must” and “must-should” combinations between you and your partner, the greater the possibility of an intimate and long term relationship. Since no relationship is static, especially a healthy, loving one, the rankings of each dimension may evolve to be even more compatible over time.
- Understanding each other’s priorities, especially in these core areas, will help to ensure long term success in a relationship and staying in love.
- Ask your friends and family how they feel about your girlfriend. If the people closest to you are encouraging you to break up or get away from your girlfriend, this may be an indication the person is not for you.
- Though it’s important to trust your own instincts and feelings, it’s usually a positive sign if your friends and family support your relationship with your girlfriend and think you have long term potential together.
Method 2 of 3:
Paying Attention to Your Girlfriend’s Words and Actions
- Listen to the tone of her voice when she talks to you. Compare how she talks to you with how she talks to others. If your partner uses a sweet, caring, and compassionate tone when talking to you, it’s likely she considers you a special person in her life and cares deeply about you.
- Notice if she wants to spend the majority of her time with you and calls you frequently. Investing time in a relationship is a major indicator of long term commitment, especially if your partner is trying to balance other commitments like school, work, or family. Someone who truly cares about you will use whatever available time they have to spend some alone time together.
- Love triggers the release of serotonin in your brain, and it is believed that high levels of serotonin can cause you to think constantly about a partner. So the more your partner calls you or talks to you, the more they are thinking about you, which is a (chemical) indication of their feelings of love for you.
- Think about if she asks about your day when she sees you. While this may seem like a small gesture, it will show she is interested in even the minor details of your life. These check ins will also keep the lines of communication between you open and build a practical, supportive element to your relationship.
- Look for signs that she respects your opinion and your judgement. Perhaps you have opposing political views or different ways of making the best risotto. Regardless of these differences, she should still open to listening to your perspective and treat your views with respect and interest.
- If your partner truly cares about you, they should be willing to hear your opinions and ideas, and engage in a civil, respectful discussion about subjects you may not agree on.
- She should also be comfortable with including you in decisions, from mundane things like where you should eat dinner to high-stake questions like whether she should accept a new position at work. Though she may not always take your advice, she should still be interested in hearing what you have to say and take it into consideration.
- Notice if she avoids keeping tabs on you or asking you constantly where you are. Partners who truly care will give you the benefit of the doubt and will not snoop around on your cellphone or check your credit card bills to determine where you’ve been or who you’ve been with as they will be committed to trusting you.
- This kind of trust shows true caring, and is a big sign of a long term commitment.
- Consider if your girlfriend makes you feel good about yourself. A partner who cares about you will boost your self-esteem and sense of self. They should provide positive reinforcement and make you feel loved.
- This doesn’t mean your relationship will always be a bed of roses, but overall, you should feel like your girlfriend gives you self-confidence and support, rather than negative thoughts or low self-esteem. If you are with someone who makes you feel good, you will not only want to spend more time with them, but also regard yourself more positively during the times that you are apart from them.
Method 3 of 3:
Discussing Your Feelings
- Create an intimate, private setting. Declarations of love, whether from you or from her, might be harder to do in a crowded room, so make dinner at home or take her to a secluded spot in the park where you can have a deep conversation about your feelings.
- This will also put you both at easy and make you both more comfortable with talking honestly and openly.
- Be honest and straightforward. By being blunt and straightforward, you will have the best chance at knowing exactly how your girlfriend feels about you.
- Don’t be afraid to show emotion. Your girlfriend may need some encouragement to tell you about her feelings for you, so don’t be shy about displaying your emotions.
- If you feel strongly about her, indicate this to her so that she feels comfortable enough to share how she feels about you.
The best way to find out if she loves you is to ask your girlfriend, but you can also reflect on your relationship with these questions:
- Does she talk to you when you haven’t seen her in a while? Does she text you after class or call you on the weekend?
- Does she do little things to make you feel loved, like remembering your favorite song or giving you something that made her think of you?
- Is your relationship exclusive, or would she rather keep things casual?
- When you’re together, does she show affection by looking at you deeply, touching your shoulder or knee, holding your hand?
- Do you two do fun things together? Does she seem to be happy when she’s around you?