Does Your Partner Really Care About You?

E.B. Johnson

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by: E.B. Johnson (Image via Twenty20.com)

As we move through this life, we attach ourselves to people we think will bring us comfort and support. While this doesn’t always prove true, when we’re lucky we run into the right person who believes in us and cares for us genuinely. Is your partner someone who cares for you deeply? Are they there for you in your lowest moments and celebrating with you in your triumphs? Awareness is one of the primary keys to any happy relationship.

Love requires action and words.

Many of us find that intimate relationships bring a lot of value into our lives. We find them comforting and we find them supportive. We search throughout this life for someone who can see us for who we are. We search for someone to value us and appreciate us. Finding that person is a journey, but it’s one that can bring us a lot of comfort and peace in a hard life. At least, that’s the case when we find someone who truly cares for us and our needs.

When someone really cares for us, they demonstrate it through their actions.

Is your partner caring? Do they really consider your needs, and how their behavior impacts your feelings? Finding a caring person isn’t always easy, but it can add an extra layer of trust and security to a relationship that’s transformation. This care can’t be demonstrated in words alone, however. It’s demonstrated in the way our loved ones and spouses behave around us, and it’s demonstrated in the way they treat us when no one is looking. Are you valued? Appreciated? Loved? Return the favor with gratitude and a show of action.

Signs your partner truly cares about you.

When we’re invested in someone who really cares about us, there’s a number of signs we can look out for. From a pattern of actively listening to unconditional acceptance, and a willing accountability — true care is demonstrated not just in our words, but the way in which we behave with our partners as well.

Actively listening

Active listening is one of the best skills we can master when it comes to a successful and lasting relationship. So many of us hear what is being said, but we don’t actually listen. We’re too busy anticipating what we’re going to say next. That’s not the case with active listening. When you listen actively, you’re engaged with the other person and focused only on what they’re saying. You ask questions that demonstrate interest and show you want to know more.

Seeking to understand

Understanding is an important part of every relationship. We need to understand ourselves, but we also need to understand our partners. Is your partner understanding of you? Do they try to see things from your perspective whenever new ideas are presented, or you encounter challenges as a couple? When someone goes out of their way to try to understand where we’re coming from, we know we’re invested in a compassionate partner.

Never dismissive

Genuinely caring for someone causes you to see them in a different way. You want the best for them, and you want to see the best in them. Above that, though, you want them to be happy and be comfortable and at peace. Keeping all that in mind, it becomes hard (if not impossible) to become dismissive of that person. Rather than pushing them away, or pretending their feelings don’t matter, the good partner is concerned for your wellbeing. They don’t want to hurt you and won’t dismiss your feelings as anything less than valuable.

Always attentive

A caring partner is one who is attentive to your needs. They don’t live in a world where only their happiness exists. They look at you with empathy, and know that you are a living, breathing person with your own needs and desires that are independent of their own. Caring partners are mature enough to know how to prioritize your needs alongside theirs. They don’t see it as a devaluing of their own needs.

Willing to respond

It’s not enough to be attentive to another person’s needs, you also have to be responsive to them as well. If a partner really cares for you, they don’t just note your needs — they actively respond to them (Collins, 2006). When things go wrong, they actively try to improve your relationship. They’re willing to step up to the plate and put in the work it takes to make sure you know you’re loved, respected, wanted, and a part of the team.

Communication is easy

No couple thrives without honest and open communication. We have to talk to one another to share our feelings, our goals, our love, and our concern. Communication is the way in which we demonstrate our expectations and align ourselves. It’s how we find resolution when we get upset and work things out rather than throwing them away. Once you’re invested in a caring partner, the communication comes easily.

Being a help-meet

What is your home life like with your partner? Do they step up to the plate to help you with chores and tasks? Do they get involved when work gets tough and they see you overwhelmed and stressed to the max? The people we build a life with should be supportive and they should be a help-meet to us. We shouldn’t have to beg them to step in when things get too tough. The partner who cares for you is one who is always supportive and concerned.

Taking responsibility

Caring for someone else isn’t always about what we offer them. Sometimes, it’s about how we comport ourselves as adults. Part of that is taking responsibility for our own actions. Does your partner take responsibility when they get things wrong? Are they willing to step up to the plate and do whatever work is needed on improving themselves (and the relationship)? That means that they care for yourselves and your partnerships as much as their own self-interest and needs.

Unconditional acceptance

No relationship can hope to survive with a high degree of happiness when there is no level of acceptance within it. We have to accept our partners for who they are, rather than trying to change them. True love does not seek to change or reshape. It opens its arms to the good and the bad and desires the company, anyway. Does your partner accept you no matter who or what you choose to be? They truly care for you in a selfless place.

Putting it all together...

Landing in a good relationship leaves us feeling lucky. Having a partner who genuinely cares about us is a gift, and one we shouldn’t take lightly. When someone demonstrates a willingness to support and love us — we should return the favor. The best way to do that is through committed action, though — not words alone.

Show your partner a little gratitude and let them know that you appreciate having them in your life. When you see them struggling, or you see them stressed, reach out and help them. Don’t wait to be asked. Listen to them when they’re having a hard time and don’t listen with the expectation of receiving something in return. Simply being there for someone is a powerful bonding agent. If it all head south, get out of your corner and try to see things from their perspective. Someone who steps outside of themselves demonstrates a desire to know us in all ways. Be accountable for your own mess, too. It takes two people to make a relationship work. Carry your weight and come to the table as equals, ready to build as a team.

  • Collins, N. L., Guichard, A. C., Ford, M. B., & Feeney, B. C. (2006). Responding to Need in Intimate Relationships: Normative Processes and Individual Differences. In M. Mikulincer & G. S. Goodman (Eds.), Dynamics of romantic love: Attachment, caregiving, and sex (p. 149–189). The Guilford Press.

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