It can be hard to wait for your partner to say those three magic words: "I love you." This is especially true if you've already said them or else have been waiting to utter them at the same time. Instead of constantly wondering if your partner loves you—and sending your brain into an exhausting spiral of evaluative "what if?" scenarios along the way—look for the key signs that indicate that your significant other has fallen in love with you.
We spoke with psychology expert Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., and asked for her insights on how to spot the telltale signs of a lovestruck partner.
Meet the Expert
Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emerita of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also a speaker and author of over 20 books on adult development.
They Consider Your Happiness
When someone loves you, they will be concerned about your happiness. Whether it's planning fun dates or lending a helping hand when you need it, caring about your needs—within reason—is a sign that your partner loves you. With that being said, it's important to remember that adult relationships come with conditions, and there are certain things that a partner might not feel comfortable doing for their significant other; caring about and prioritizing your happiness does not mean your partner will do everything you ask, and that's perfectly fine.
They Show Gratitude
When a partner goes out of their way to frequently thank you for actions big or small, whether it's for dropping them off at the airport, picking up dinner, or being there for them when they need you, their consistent display of gratitude is a sign of love. When a person is grateful for having you in their life and isn't afraid to show it, this is a reflection of how thankful they are to have you as a partner. It also showcases that they value both your time and effort, as well as you as a person, because their gratitude stems from the realization of how valuable these things are as they're being selflessly expended for their personal needs.
If you're wondering exactly how your partner feels about you, it's important to take a closer look at how they treat you. Are they kind, respectful, and warm, or are they distant, dismissive, and degrading? When you're trying to figure out if your partner's in love with you, words, as well as actions, speak volumes regarding their true feelings about you.
They Open Up to You
If your partner is in love with you, they'll want to fully open up to you about themselves. Take note if your partner tells you deeply intimate information about different aspects of their life and isn't afraid to be totally vulnerable around you. By sharing a lesser-known part of themselves with you, they're showing you just how important you are and that they want to get closer to you. When your significant other lets you in and feels comfortable speaking candidly about their family, past, or other personal stories and anecdotes, your partner's helping to make your relationship even stronger by finding new ways to connect with you. Vulnerability is indicative of trust, whether that be building it or having already cultivated it.
They're Excited About Your Future Together
Have you and your partner made long-term plans? Do they speak openly and candidly about their hopes and dreams for the future of your relationship? When someone's in love with you, they won't be afraid to make long-term plans with you and will even feel comfortable talking about your life together as a couple. Whether you plan to attend a wedding together that's months away or you talk about where you see yourself living in five years, their excitement and passion for the future are really signs of their excitement, passion, and love for you.
They Fully Trust You
Trust is at the core of any loving, happy, and healthy relationship, so if you're wondering if your S.O. is actually in love with you, another unmistakable sign is that they completely trust you. "A partner who doesn’t question where you are if you come home late or doesn’t snoop through your cell phone bills is showing the kind of trust that indicates true caring," Krauss Whitbourne says. When your significant other trusts you wholeheartedly and feels they can rely on you for support, guidance, and encouragement, it can grow into a deep love over time.
They Want to Spend Quality Time With You
When a partner is in love with you, they'll make it a priority to spend time with you. "Although both of you may be tied up with work, family, and other commitments, someone who truly cares about you will use whatever time is left over to have some time together alone," Krauss Whitbourne explains. Making the connection with you, regardless of what medium they choose, is a priority to them, which means you won't come secondary (or worse) in their lives.