You know your boyfriend is a good guy. He treats you right, and he feels like a perfect match for you. Perhaps your boyfriend has quickly become your best friend because you love spending hours a day talking to him. Maybe you want to explore if you feel that you like like or love him.
Telling someone you love them for the first time can be scary. Love implies commitment. And how do you know if you want to commit to this person? If you're going to say, "I love you," you want to be certain that it's true. There are several ways to know for sure. Continue reading to know if you are in love with your boyfriend, or if it’s just strong emotions.
How Do I Know If I'm Really In Love With My Boyfriend?
There's a difference between love and being in love. We'll discuss those differences below, including ways to tell if you love your boyfriend. Some of the ways include asking yourself:
What are the odds of finding true love? eHarmony researched the odds of finding love in the UK. They worked with a mathematician that calculated factors such as population numbers, physical attraction, age range, and more. They determined that your chance of finding love is somewhere around 1 in 562.
And yet, the wedding industry is thriving. If you're wondering if you love your boyfriend, the chances might be a lot better than eHarmony predicts. Either you have strong feelings and are moving in that direction-or perhaps you're realizing it's not a great fit, which means you can get ready to move on and find the person who is. Either way, asking yourself, "Do I love my boyfriend?" will help you move in the right direction.
In Love versus Love
When people ask if they love their partner, they are often looking for that rush we call being in love. It is that feeling often portrayed by romantic movies and novels. The butterflies in the tummy, the feeling of perfection, and all those feelings associated with a new love. But like all emotions, that high cannot last forever. It has a time limit. The joyous feeling of being in love is not the same as loving someone. When you love someone, you make loving actions to build that stronger bond. That's what love is-building a secure and honest bond with someone. It is making a commitment to be with someone for as long as you can.
That feeling of being in love is wonderful, for sure. It's something most people enjoy. It is very common when it is your first time in a relationship or a new romantic guy friend. But an incredibly important key to a long-lasting relationship is a calmer feeling of knowing someone is always there for you and you for them.
Being in love is often thought of like stars in the eyes and butterflies in the stomach-not the feeling of exhaustion after being up all night listening to a snoring partner with a cold. This is one way of noting the difference between being in love and loving.
Love means doing what you should do to make the relationship work. It is putting that affection you have for your partner to work. Being in love is more like following your normal emotions of attraction for each other. You rarely contribute to it. You just know that you have that strong feeling for that person. We can now see that love is different from being in love.
Can You Have Both?
Can an individual be in love and love at the same time? Yes and no. Most couples will experience the euphoria of being in love for a couple of years at best. The being in love feeling started from the dating period to the engagement time and then the marriage to the honeymoon period. Then the feeling fades, and more realistic love replaces the stars and butterflies. However, even though those original feelings may be diminished, real love is a much stronger bond. The love becomes stronger over time while being in love feeling can still remain.
"Determining whether you love your boyfriend may take time, so it's okay to hold off on saying the L-word. In the meantime, talking to a professional counselor can help you sort out your feelings and determine whether the relationship is healthy."
Why do we need even to have the feelings of being in love? Why can't we just have that deeper real love to start with? Chemicals in our brains are responsible for butterflies' feelings and the endless barrage of thoughts about our partner, the only person we can think of. This is nature's way of ensuring the continuation of our species. If we are bombarded with a high positive feelings, we are more likely going to want to spend time—and ultimately reproduce—with that particular partner.
With that being said, it does not mean we cannot be in love with a partner we love; it just means that the overwhelmingly strong feelings of being in love have ebbed and are more realistic. Feelings of butterflies may always be there when you see your partner; however, they will be from the strong experiences that have tied you together rather than a whirlwind courtship. Love covers all the feelings, including being in love.
Do I Love My Boyfriend?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if you love your boyfriend. Just continue reading to view these questions and know if you truly love him. You will surely be able to tell if you are in love or just in love with your guy friend's idea.
Do You Find Him Physically Attractive?
The way your partner looks is often part of the initial attraction. The truth is that we get to like someone who appeals to our physical senses. Even if looks are not a high priority, most people at least consider basic hygiene and health, or whether the person's overall style is simple, classy, exquisite, fussy, or in line with theirs. You are looking for small things that speak to your lifestyle.
How Do I Know If I'm Really In Love With My Boyfriend?
Psychology Today explains that we really aren't looking for models when it comes to physical attraction. It's more about making sure there is at least some moderate level of attraction. One author shares that he's never had a couple fail to create attraction in his years of counseling if there was something to work with initially.
Physical attraction does play a role in love, but if the only reason you are with this person is because of their appearance, he's probably not the best choice for a long-term love relationship. It's a bitter truth.
Does He Make You Feel Good About Yourself?
If you're with someone simply because you're used to it or because you have low self-esteem, it's not going to be a happy long-term relationship. And you certainly don't need a boyfriend who makes you feel lousy. While you may have feelings of love, there may also be negative feelings growing as well how your partner makes you feel matters a lot. Your partner should be able to bolster you. You should feel heard and supported by your partner. Even if there is a need to criticize something you have done, it should be done with no intention of downgrading your personality.
When you feel good about yourself, it is a good sign that you truly love your boyfriend.
Do You Share Common Values?
You don't need to have everything in common in order to love a person. But if you want to ensure a long-term relationship stays healthy, it's important to have some connection points and believe in some of the same things. Certain core values of life shared by both of you must be congruent. You may disagree about many things, but your belief that everyone is entitled to their own opinion might be enough. If you cannot agree on simple life matters, it really may not be favorable for a long-lasting relationship.
If you find that you frequently disrespect your boyfriend's views, it will be difficult for you to love this person long term.
Is He One of Your Best Friends?
Do you enjoy spending time with him, even if it’s just watching TV? Can you not wait to tell him about the funny thing that happened to you at the store? Can you laugh openly about something that should be embarrassing to you? Do you like his presence around you? Are you comfortable with his decisions? Does his opinion matter to you? Are you willing to try things with him that you wouldn’t normally enjoy, like a sporting event, just because it would make him happy? If these questions and many more have a positive response, you definitely love your boyfriend. Your boyfriend should be one of your best friends that you can share the little things, and your top stories with. Or, he should be in your best memories and stories.
When a relationship develops into love, your boyfriend will move from being someone you date to one of your very best friends, if not your best friend. This doesn't mean you have to push your other friends aside, but it does mean you think of him as more than just a friend and more than just a boyfriend.
Can You Accept Him for Who He Is?
To determine if you actually love your boyfriend, ask yourself if you can accept him for who he is. Do you love his personality, way of life, the good qualities and the bad? If you can see yourself putting in the effort to show love to this person, despite his flaws, then it can be a good indication you love him.
If you feel you want to fix him, he makes you question yourself or are constantly annoyed with him; then, you probably don't love him. If you criticize everything he does or does not like the fact that he seems incorrigible, it is not a good sign. In that case, you should ask yourself why you are with him.
Does He Show You Respect?
Respect is very important in all relationships, but especially in romantic ones. It is a two way street; both men and women want to be respected. All humans deserve respect; how much more two hearts in love. He should be highly respectful of you, your boundaries, decisions, family, and friends. He should make you feel safe, and should never push you to do something you don’t want to. On the same note, he should never treat you like you’re less than him or are undeserving of love. You will see that if he respects you, you are probably in love with him.
What to Do Next
Determining whether you love your boyfriend may take time, so it's okay to hold off on saying the "L" word. In the meantime, talking to a professional counselor can help you sort out your feelings and determine whether the relationship is healthy. It will save you from continuing in a toxic relationship or getting into one. Research shows that online therapy is a powerful tool in strengthening couples.
You may read the full study here: Marriage: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Web-Based OurRelationship Program: Effects on Relationship and Individual Functioning.
BetterHelp has counselors waiting to help you. They can help you understand your priorities, uncover any areas of trouble, and move forward in your relationship — if that's what's best. You can read reviews of some BetterHelp counselors below, from people experiencing similar questions.
"Jeffrey was a great fit for me, because he and I happened to have a lot in common and he could relate to my situations very well, making our sessions much easier than they could have been. He's very nice, polite, and is always interested in getting to what's truly causing the issues at hand. Would definitely recommend him to anyone looking for someone to talk to about relationships."
"Rachel is friendly and a calm individual. Really helped me understand myself and my relationships with others."
Understanding your feelings in a relationship is crucial to both the success of the relationship and your happiness. Take the first step to truly fulfilling relationships today.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Love For My Boyfriend
How do you know if you really love your boyfriend?
Many a time, you may question yourself if you are in love with your boyfriend. You really want to be sure if it is not just your hormones or loneliness or mere lust. If you are wondering if you really love your boyfriend, or you want to know how much you love him, you can consider a few things by paying close attention.
How would you feel if he went away for a long time, whether this be long-distance or on vacation? Also, when you have relationship problems, how do you feel? If you don’t really mind much or feel bad when he goes away or two argue, you may not love him. You may just love the idea of him. Again, when you argue with someone you love, you normally want to do all you can to resolve the argument and let him know you still love him. If you do not feel bad for saying something rude later on, you may not really love him. When he goes away, especially for a long time, you should miss him. If you don’t, this may be a cause for concern.
If you really love your boyfriend, the thoughts of him will always make you happy or smile. Everything around will most likely remind you of him, from your food to snacks or T-shirts or letters or colors to anything that may sound ridiculous. All these things will point your attention to him if you really love him.
You will want to read his messages and chats over and over again. You may also find yourself checking his pictures. When you are with him, you will never feel like you are wasting your time. You always want to have him around or be around him. When you are not with him, you may find yourself always talking about him. Your best friend or friends will let you know how frequently you do this. It is a pretty good sign.
Do I love him or the idea of him?
Maybe people find themselves wondering if they love their partner or just the idea of them. When you think of your boyfriend, does your heart start to flutter with excitement? Do you love his personality? What about his appearance? Or, do you just love the look of having a boyfriend and having a go-to person? Answering these questions should give you a clear indication if you love your boyfriend or just the idea of him.
Should I break up with my boyfriend?
Deciding to end it all with your boyfriend may not be an easy decision. Perhaps you just got into a big argument with your boyfriend. Or, maybe you haven't been feeling fulfilled in the relationship for a while. So, you are considering breaking up with him. Maybe he would be best as a guy friend, or maybe he upset you enough for you to want him out of your life. When you are thinking about breaking up with your boyfriend, consider if you will ever want him back. You can’t break up with someone and ask for them back because you regret it. This just plays with their emotions and can cause emotional damage, so you it’s important to be careful with your man’s heart.
There are some reasons that cannot be explained away when you need to break up. If your life goals don't align, there is really no business planning a future with your boyfriend. You need to break it off. Again, if you argue about a lot of things more than you agree, it might be just the right time for a breakup.
Why do I like my boyfriend?
If you have to ask why you like your boyfriend, you may want to consider if you do like your boyfriend. You should be able to list out several things you like about him, whether it be his personality, sense of humor, his hair, his beautiful eyes, etc. If you can’t think of anything you like about him, he might not be the right person for you.
How do you test a guy to see if he really loves you?
It can be very difficult to tell if a guy truly loves you. Many men have difficulty expressing their emotions to their significant others. So, just because your boyfriend hasn’t told you he loves you, it doesn’t mean he lacks these feelings. Consider how often he asks to see you. If he seems to love being around you and wants to see you frequently, then he may love you. Does he seem to love you no matter your level of fashion, beauty, or emotions? Does he introduce you to his female friends to see if you all get along? If so, he may have very strong feelings for you. You could also test his love for you by carefully observing what he says and discusses with you. Ensure that you engage him in discussions to check if he listens well. If he pays attention to every detail, then he is really into you.
You may want to take your test to a new level at some other time, but you must be careful not to ruin your relationship. Ignoring his calls for a short time is a good test if he shows deep concern and is so worried that he texts or calls at your place, it is a good sign.
How do you tell if he loves you in bed?
Many people have sexual relationships in which their relationship revolves around sex. While this is fine if it is consensual, both parties need to be clear that it is a sexual relationship. But, you can tell if he loves you in bed when he asks if you can come over often. If he didn’t enjoy his time with you, then he wouldn’t ask you to come over anymore. Additionally, someone who loves you will show this in bed and out of it by making regular eye contact, listening to you when you speak, being respectful, and being affectionate.
Do I love him or am I just lonely?
Many people think they are in love, but they really just love the company a person brings. It is completely normal to love someone’s company. You shouldn’t tell someone you love them if you aren’t 100 percent sure. So, consider how you feel about him after you have been in a social situation. When you aren’t lonely, do you still love him? If the answer is no, then you don’t love him. True love is where you love a person no matter the situation or circumstance.
Why don't I love my boyfriend as much as he loves me?
In many relationships, as revealed by scientific study, the man loves more in any given relationship. If it happens that you don't love him as much as he does, it may just be a normal phase. With time, you will get to love him so much. Although, the love may not be equally expressed.
If you are just starting your relationship, you may wonder if your boyfriend loves you just as much as you love him. You may be looking for some validation to know he loves you as well. Perhaps you can just sense he hasn’t fallen for you yet. Remember to take it slow and be respectful of his feelings. He may not fall in love as quickly as you do, which is perfectly normal. Everyone falls in love at different times and rates. If you know he doesn’t love you at all, bring up that this bothers you. Encourage him to be honest about his feelings and that you just want some insight into how he feels.
What is the 3-month rule?
The three-month rule is a rule that states you should wait three months before you start dating again after a breakup. These three months are meant to give you time to get over your ex and work on yourself. Getting into a new relationship fresh out of an old one may not give you enough time to process your emotions and heal. However, not everyone needs three months to heal. Some people may need less time. Or some people may need more time. How fast you heal will depend on the relationship's seriousness and if you saw the breakup coming. The three-month rule is a good plan, but don’t hesitate to wait longer before dating again if needed.
What are three signs of an unhealthy relationship?
Three common signs of an unhealthy relationship are controlling behaviors, disrespect, and disinterest. When one or both partners are controlling or manipulating, they likely have insecurities and are trying to avoid getting hurt. While this is understandable, controlling your partner isn’t right or fair. Your partner is an autonomous person and deserves freedom. When you lash out and obsessively control your partner or vice versa, you are in an unhealthy relationship.
When it comes to being disrespectful, there are many forms. Your partner may degrade you and give you an attitude during a normal conversation. Or, during arguments, they may call you names or bully you. If your partner always ignores your boundaries or refuses to listen to your opinion or intentionally drives you nuts, he disrespects you. These behaviors are not okay and are very unhealthy.
Another is disinterest, where your partner shows no interest in you or what you have to say. Your partner should love being around you, talking to you, and listening to you. He should show that he is passionate about you. He is meant to be deeply interested in you. If he doesn’t, there may be some unhealthy behaviors occurring.
What is a toxic relationship?
A toxic relationship is a relationship where the partners are always doing things that damage them physically. It is one in which the two partners frequently fight, even over the silliest things. It is also where one or both partners try to manipulate each other into doing what they want. Toxic relationships are usually very controlling and unhappy, yet the two people stay together. When people are in a toxic relationship, they may know something isn’t right because they don’t feel like they love their partner, but they stay with them anyway.
It is normal for relationships to have down moments. However, a toxic relationship is persistently annoying, draining, and altogether unpleasant. If these qualities are present in your relationship with your boyfriend, it is time to get some help.
What can I say instead of “I Love You”?
It is important that you are very careful about openly declaring your love. If you do not feel it down deep in your soul, hold back on it. Do not say what you don't mean.
If you are trying to avoid saying, "I love you," but do want your boyfriend to know how you feel, you can tell him what you love about him. Be liberal about your compliments until you are sure or ready to say the best phrase in romance. Saying things like, "I love your sense of humor," or "I love the color of your eyes," or "I appreciate your kind words," or "I love it when you wear that perfume," can be great compliments. Saying these things consistently also give your boyfriend a hint that you have strong feelings for him.
What should I love about my fiancé?
The things you love about your fiancé truly depends on you two. There is no hard and fast rule as to what you should love about him. Your personality will inform what catches your interest. For example, maybe you love that you can give your fiancé a hard time and he can joke around with you. Or, maybe you love that he has stood by your side since high school, and you have amazing memories together. You may get angry with him from time to time and think, "What do I even love about him?” The truth is, this is relatively normal when in the heat of the moment. However, when you’re not angry with him, you should remember why you fell in love with him in the first place. If you can’t think of why you love him, consider if he is the wrong person for you.
What do I love most about him?
What you love most about your significant other depends on your personal choices and your partner's qualities. Why you fell in love with your partner greatly depends on his personality and traits. Perhaps you love how he is your best friend in the world. You may love how spontaneous he is. Or, maybe you love how he brings you flowers and chocolates from time to time, and not just on Valentine's Day or Mother's Day. You could love how he smiles or how he talks to you or how passionate he is about your family. It may be the way he talks about your plans or how he connects with you. It could also be because of the way he kisses you or how he treats you in bed. Knowing the things you love about your partner should be easy– But knowing what you love most about him can be a challenge! The truth is that you may not really know what you love the most.