Last year, my friend Emma was dating a guy, Liam, for whom she was head over heels. They were living in the same neighborhood, but they used to only see each other once every two weeks. Liam was particularly busy at work and he said that was the reason he couldn’t spend more time with Emma.
He often told her he was in love with her, but still, she could feel something was not quite right. “I don’t feel loved. And I don’t feel emotionally secure.” This is how she described her side of things. Later, she found out that Liam was intentionally keeping their relationship secret and that he was only living in town temporarily for work. He actually lived in Miami, where he had a wife waiting for him.
You see, when someone loves you, they don’t make excuses, they don’t hide things from you, they want to spend time with you, and definitely more than once every two weeks. They don’t keep your relationship secret. And most importantly, you feel emotionally secure.
Here’s what you’ll see when someone genuinely loves you.
There is Emotional Intimacy
Emma is now in a great relationship with Michael, a guy who cherishes her and makes her feel emotionally secure. She told me one of the things that makes her happy about her new relationship with Michael is they have emotional intimacy. She feels their relationship is a bubble of safety for both of them.
As Acamea Deadwiler, M.S. explains in an article published in Mind Body Green, “emotional intimacy involves candid, authentic sharing of thoughts and feelings. It also involves being able to tell each other your deepest fears, dreams, disappointments, and most complicated emotions, as well as feeling seen and understood when you do.”
This type of intimacy, as Linda Bloom, LCSW, and Charlie Bloom, M.S.W explain in Psychology Today, requires a certain level of transparency and vulnerability. And couples who engage in this level of connectivity enjoy a sense of being at peace within themselves and with each other.
They Make Your Time Together a Priority
Another thing that makes Emma feel great is Michael wants to see her at least once or twice a week, and seeing her is a priority. Also, he always organizes their dates and often surprises her with small gifts.
For example, last month, he left the office one hour earlier, just to take her out for dinner and spend some quality time together.
When someone loves you, they make you a priority, because they love to spend quality time with you. They crave that time together, and they try to make it special every time.
They Love to Make Your Life Easier
Michael consistently does small things for Emma, like cooking for her and picking her up at the office when she has the late shift. Last time she traveled to her hometown to see her parents, he went pick her up at the airport and gave her some beautiful flowers.
You see, when someone loves you, they do small things for you out of love, without wanting anything in return.
As Theresa E. Di Donato Ph.D. explains in an article published in Psychology Today, feeling motivated to make your partner’s life easier is one of the clearest sign of love.
They Introduce You to Their Loved Ones and Want the World to Know You Are Together
Michael introduced Emma to his friends after a few dates. He organized a dinner at his place and made pizza. Three months after they began dating, he asked Emma if she was comfortable meeting his family as well, as he couldn’t wait to introduce her to his sister and his parents. Emma was over the moon — she obviously said yes.
After a few weeks, Emma introduced him to her best friends and part of her family. Michael was equally enthusiastic.
When someone loves you, they not only want to introduce you to their loved ones; they also want to know about your world and become part of it.
They Include You in Their Future Plans
Michael has always dreamed of relocating to Colorado someday, and he recently asked Emma if she would like to move to Denver with him. He also added that if she didn’t want to, he wouldn’t relocate there without her.
According to an article published in Business Insider, if someone starts speaking about a future with you, it’s a sign that they are falling in love or are already in love with you.
Also, as Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D. explains in an article in Psychology Today, someone who is in love with you includes you in their short and long-term decisions, always.
You Feel Emotionally Secure
As I mentioned, Emma told me she feels emotionally secure with Michael — while she didn’t feel secure with Liam.
As psychotherapist Ellen Boeder wrote in The Gottman Institute Blog, emotional security is one of the most important aspects of a satisfying connection in a relationship. In fact, everyone needs to feel emotionally secure before being able to be vulnerable — and vulnerability is what allows us to deeply connect with someone.
As John Amodeo, PhD explains in an article published in Psych Central, feeling emotionally secure means feeling internally relaxed with another person. And it also means that we feel free to let down our guard and show our most authentic self.
Now you might ask, “What exactly makes us feel emotionally secure in a relationship?”
As John Gottman explains in his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, defensiveness is one of the key factors that can lead to troubled relationships.
According to John Amodeo, when it come to defensiveness, what we often defend against is potential criticism, blaming, shaming, or rejection. So, when a partner doesn’t make us feel criticized, and there is no blaming, shaming or rejection, we feel emotionally secure.
When someone genuinely loves you, they don’t just say “I love you,” they consistently show you they care through their actions. They are there for you every day, and you feel they’re being authentic. Most importantly, the relationship is a secure environment, where each partner can be their authentic self.
It can’t be overstressed that when it comes to love, actions do, genuinely speak far louder than words, while that love, if genuine and real, should also be unconditional. Love should never be used as a bargaining tool or an emotional weapon.
The love of someone, if genuine, should make you feel complete, confident, and cherished. If someone tells you they love you, but you feel pressured, uncomfortable, and insecure, then those words are not being backed up with the actions of a loving person.
Though it is hard, sometimes we have to listen to our head, rather than our heart, if we have any doubts about the authenticity of someone’s love.