Saying: “I Love You.”

The words “I love you” tend to pop into my head uncontrollably when the connection between someone else and me is so deep that it overwhelms me. Then, all thoughts drop and what stays is this immense sensation of love. It happens with my daughter. It happens with my man. And, if I am in the right situation, I might say these words to them.

At times, I say the words “I love you” as a token of security. It’s the quickest way to convey that the relationship between someone else and me is solid and that it will take a lot to shake it. When it comes to my daughter, I say it after we have a conflict and I want to reassure her that my love toward her is not affected by other emotions, especially anger. I might not be feeling that love when I’m angry, but I know that the anger is temporary. The love, on the other hand, is the underlying rock that is the base of our relationship.

As for a long term partner in my life, I say these three words with the same intention to convey the fact that our relationship is solid. But there is a slight distinction. The love of a partner is a choice. And I say “I love you” to reassure both of us that I still choose him. Love in this context is the decision to stick with each other. To provide a foundation from which both of us can evolve— as a couple and as individuals.

The words “I love you” are just words.

They mean nothing if they are not accompanied by the right actions. Ongoing willingness to give yourself to someone else, to learn how to get along together, to choose compromise over winning.

What if your partner never-ever says these words? As long as the actions show you that the love is there, you have nothing to worry about.

I don’t ever remember my mother telling me that she loves me while I was growing up (now she makes up for it and says it all the time! I love you too, mom). But I never questioned her love. It was always there, even through challenging moments, which were plentiful.

My last partner never told me he loved me, but he did not need to. Every action he did in our relationship showed me that love was guiding him.

Stop making a fuss if your partner doesn’t say that they love you. Instead, look out for the real red flags.

You oughta be worried if:

  • Your partner is not acting in a way that reflects their love toward you. If they are mainly disrespectful, not interested in your needs and desires, and don’t follow with agreements you have made as a couple. That’s, in a nutshell, an unloving partner.
  • Your partner acts as if they love you when they actually don’t. This is a trickier scenario to detect. Read the next paragraph to see what I’m talking about.

What to do when a partner acts as if they love you even though they don’t love you?

Generally, there are two types of people that act as if they love you when they don’t:

The genuinely nice ones. Some people are just super nice. They’re intrinsically caring and loving. But they still don’t want to commit. And this is tricky if you are the type that is interested in commitment. It’s not love that is the issue here — they probably truly love you. But if you are after commitment, they won’t be able to give you what you long for. It’s not easy to leave a loving partner just because they can’t give you what you want, but it is probably the best thing you can do, for both of you.

The fakingly nice ones. I’m talking about those with narcissistic characteristics. These are the ones that only pretend to be caring and respectful, where as a matter of fact, they are the exact opposite.Fortunately, the deceivingly nice ones can only maintain their show for so long, and they reveal their true nature after a while. Unfortunately, many times they can sustain their fabricated persona long enough for people to be totally hooked. It’s not easy to leave a partner that you are totally hooked into, even if they do turn out to be abusive, but it is definitely the best thing you can do for yourself. The sooner the better.

In short, don’t make a fuss about the words “I love you”. Love is measured by caring, respectful, thoughtful actions that survive the test of time.

Your partner calls you by the name of their ex.

Did this ever happen to you?

You’re with a new partner. Everything is hunky-dory. There’s still excitement in the air. Suddenly, completely out of the blue, your partner calls you their ex’s name. Or — and perhaps you think this is worse — you are calling your new partner by your ex’s name. What the f^ck? Where did that come from?

I know a few people that get upset when this happens.

Personally, I see this as a compliment. Our romantic partners have a special place in our hearts and also in our brain, even after we are truly done and dusted with them. Next time we interact with someone that has the potential to be a precious someone in our lives, it is only natural that we place them in that same area of our brain that our previous significant other was placed in.

Brains are complicated machines. They work through connections of neurons and synapses that we don’t fully understand. And it only makes sense that you connect a new partner with a previous one as they had a similar role in your life.

You oughta be worried if:

Your partner refuses to speak about their ex. Or their past for that matter.

Not that we need to know everything about our partner’s exes or their lives before us. But if they have a policy of never talking about the past, it means they are either hiding something or that they have a baggage that is too big for them to deal with. Either way, this smells trouble. I would suggest that you encourage them to see a therapist that will help them resolve whatever it is that is an issue for them.

Your partner is attracted to someone else.

Say what?

My partner should only have eyes for me!

Well, you should be so lucky. It’s easy to not have eyes for anyone else when we are totally in the “in love” phase of the relationship. But once this fades, as it often does, both you and/or your partner might find other people attractive. It’s completely normal and there’s not much we can do about it, except than accept it. Unless you are willing to lock yourself in an isolated tower up in the mountains and see no one, that is.

You oughta be worried if:

Your partner doesn’t respect and doesn’t care for your jealousy triggers. See, jealousy does not necessarily follow any rules of logic. Some people are triggered as soon as they see their partner talking to someone else. Others are hardly ever jealous at all. Also, your jealousy meter might move a bit between different scenarios. Especially if you suspect that your partner is attracted to someone else — you might feel jealous as soon as their name gets mentioned.

Letting your partner know that you are jealous is helpful when it is done in a calm and non-demanding way. You could sit together to think of the boundaries that will make you both feel comfortable.

A real red flag is if your partner completely dismisses your jealousy (say, tells you to simply get over it). When they are unwilling to consider changing a behavior that hurts you. And if they refuse to see that some of their actions could potentially fan their attraction into desire.

Don’t make a fuss about stupid things.

Look into the real potential causes for hardship and focus on solving these.

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