It can be fun to look for signs your partner is in love, especially if they aren’t really the type to say it out loud. Not everyone, after all, feels comfortable expressing those three big words — “I love you” — or sharing their feelings. And that’s OK.
These can also come in handy at the very start of a relationship, before you both come out and say how you feel. There might be clues that mean your partner is in love, including the little unconscious things they’re likely do and say throughout the day.
Whether it’s the way they look at you, the questions they ask, or the ways they help you out, it can all point to love. You can still confirm it in other ways, however, if you’re wondering how they truly feel, in order to ensure you’re both on the same page regarding the status of your relationship.
“It’s always fine to ask what your partner is feeling in a relationship, especially if you are reading signs, but receiving very little direct communication,” Jonathan Bennett, relationship and dating expert at Double Trust Dating, tells us. Sometimes, you just need to say it out loud so you both know. But until then, keep an eye out for the unconscious things your partner might do if they’re in love, according to experts.
1. They’re More Affectionate
“A partner who is truly falling in love might unconsciously be more affectionate in very tender ways,” Dr. Carla Marie Manly, PhD, a clinical psychologist, relationship expert, and author of Joy from Fear, tells us. “As defenses are reduced by emotional connection, physical displays of affection often naturally — and unconsciously — increase.”
They might lean in for kisses more often, tenderly brush your hair back from your face, or even wipe food off your lip. And you’ll probably feel compelled to do the same. These gestures show you’re comfortable around each other, and want to make each other feel secure and happy.
2. They Like To Be Close
In a similar vein, you might notice that they look for ways to be closer to you physically, in sweet ways. “This isn’t just during sexual contact, but even casually and subconsciously, like holding your hand while sitting, putting an arm around you when walking, and so on,” Bennett says.
If you two kept some distance before — possibly by walking side by side or feeling nervous about holding hands — you might be more into the idea of closing that gap, simply because you both want to.
3. They Help You Out In Small Ways
You know someone’s in love if they suddenly want to run boring errands with you, just because it means spending time together. But the same can be true if you notice a shift from your partner focusing solely on themselves to focusing more on your needs, too.
“Love can be unconsciously displayed through increased awareness of the other person’s needs — both emotional and physical,” Manly says. “True love for another person unconsciously changes one’s orientation away from the self and toward the other person, and this results in thoughtful actions that are reflective of loving awareness.”
Instead of just making coffee for themselves, for example, they’ll begin to unconsciously pour two cups. Simple moments like these can reveal a lot.
4. They Start Saying “We”
“Love often translates unconsciously into inclusive, couple-type actions that generate more of a sense of ‘we’ rather than ‘I’,” Manly says. So if you notice that your partner starts speaking about you as a unit, take it as a sign.
“Vocabulary may unconsciously shift accordingly to reflect an orientation toward partnership,” Manly says, “such as ‘Maybe we can plan on going camping this fall?’ or ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could find a dog to adopt someday?'”
This shows they’re thinking about you as a duo as well as looking towards the future, which is a path you’ll be way more likely to head down as a couple, if you’re both madly in love.
5. They Make More Eye Contact
Eye contact can be pretty intense between two people who love each other, so if you notice your partner staring deeply into your eyes, there’s a good chance they’re in love.
“This can include making eye contact, but also simply looking at you randomly,” Bennett says. “If your partner can’t stop looking at you and even can’t seem to help staring, it’s a clear sign of intense attraction and love.”
You might catch them gazing at you from across the room, even when you aren’t doing anything particularly interesting. If they have feelings, their eyes will naturally settle on you more often, without them even realizing it.
6. They Prioritize Hanging Out
People want to hang out with those they care about, Bennett says, so if your partner wants to be around you more often — even if it’s just to do nothing — that can be a sign of love. And the same is true if they start choosing to hang out as a couple over other activities.
While it’s always good to have your own lives and hobbies going on outside the relationship, being in love can mean wanting to spend all your time together and prioritizing the relationship, especially in those early days.
7. They Call With Big News
Whether it’s good or bad, it shows you mean a lot to your partner if you’re one of the first people they call with big news, and that’s because it’s a sign “they feel connected and safe to be vulnerable with you,” Christine Scott-Hudson, MA, MFT, ATR, a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in creative healing and art therapy, and owner of Create Your Life Studio, tells us. “If your partner makes you and your relationship a priority and treats it as such, they likely value you and what you have together.”
8. They Ask Lots Of Questions
You might also notice a shift in the conversation leaning more towards what you want and what you think. And that can be yet another sign your partner is focused on you, wants to know more about your inner world, and that they’re making you a priority.
“If your partner wants to know everything from your favorite color to your deepest secrets, it’s pretty clear that they can’t get enough of you,” Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells us.
9. They Light Up When They See You
“Whether or not your partner realizes it, the way they react to seeing you walk into a room says a ton about the way they really feel about being around you,” Trombetti says. “It can be something as big as a hug or as simple as a smile. All that matters is that they show some enthusiasm to see you.”
Without even realizing it, your partner may start to do these things as they fall in love, and as your relationship grows. Holding hands, making more eye contact, and putting you first can all point to how they feel, even if they haven’t said it out loud.
You can, however, always confirm your hunch by asking, as well as talking about where your relationship is going, in order to make sure you both share strong feelings — and want the same things.
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