Oftentimes we make the mistake of measuring how much someone loves us simply by how they make us feel, or how overt they are about the behaviors that we think represent their feelings toward us. The truth is that it's really impossible to feel or know exactly how someone else experiences their relationship with us emotionally, and while that's an interesting dynamic in and of itself, what we do need to be mindful of is that so often in our most intimate relationships, we overlook, disregard, and take for granted what are otherwise gestures and symbols of real, honest, deep, genuine love.
More often in romantic relationships, we overestimate how much people love us. We do this as a sort of self-preservation tactic. We assume that we can push their buttons just a little farther (they'll stay!) or we delude ourselves into believing someone is far more invested than they are simply because the alternative is too heartbreaking to bear. While all of this ultimately leads to dysfunction and heartbreak, there's another side of the coin: what happens when we underestimate someone's love, just because we don't "speak" their love language.
There's not one "right" or exact formula to be able to understand just how much someone loves you, there are definitely some habits and signals that they genuinely care about you, perhaps more than you give them credit for. Be on the lookout for these, and consider that maybe, there's more love in your life than you realize.
THEY AREN'T INCONVENIENCED BY YOUR FEELINGS
You know you've been extra complain-y lately, and maybe in a bad mood for a few days in a row at least. Yet, your significant other doesn't really see it that way, nor are they holding it against you. Sure, you had a bad night or two, but they aren't inconvenienced by your normal, natural range of emotions and experiences.
YOU TRUST THEM
You feel comfortable enough to share every part of your life â€” no matter how messy or human it is. You don't feel like you have to hide the fact that hair does in fact grow in places where you like to pretend it doesn't or that you're sometimes out of money or that you don't always like how you look. That's what it means to trust someone.
THEY'RE LOYAL TO YOU
It's not that they say they'll be loyal to you, but that they actually are. You could never dream of them being unfaithful or speaking ill of you behind your back â€” yet you don't realize what a rarity and privilege it is.
THEY WANT TO CHANGE FOR YOU
While you can't change anybody (nor can you expect them to change because you want them to), when someone really loves you, they usually want to change themselves. They want to be better for you, to be the best version of themselves possible.
THEY WANT TO COMMIT, AND COMMIT FOR GOOD
Even if prior to knowing you they were all up on the "I want to live my life sans a relationship" train, they have since gotten off at the next stop, and are firmly planting their feet in their relationship with you. They realize that they don't have to give up their personal freedom or happiness or autonomy for a relationship â€” but even if they did, you're worth it.
THEY GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO DO SMALL THINGS FOR YOU EACH DAY
They pick up your coffee or straighten up your apartment after you've fallen asleep. They grab the bill for your pizza slice or rub your neck when it hurts. They prove that love is, indeed, in the little things.
IT'S NOT THAT THEY DON'T HOLD ANYTHING AGAINST YOU â€” BUT THAT THEY DON'T EVEN JUDGE YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE
They're not out for blood. They don't roll their eyes at your fourth burrito run of the week or your funny taste in music or not washing your hair for two days too long. (I need to break the fourth wall here to say I am speaking about myself specifically.)
THEY'RE JUST HAPPY WHEN THEY'RE AROUND YOU â€” AND IT SHOWS
You make them smile and think and just feel happy to be alive and with you. You may not realize it, but all the cheesy, typical things are true: their face lights up with they're around you, they want to spend all of their time with you, and they love you, really no matter what.