10 Silent Ways Your Partner Says "I Love You "

Nonverbal communication comprises much of our everyday interactions, so it's no wonder that lots of questions about meaning arise when it comes to our partners. One in particular comes to mind: Do they love me? Figuring out how to tell if someone loves you can be tricky. If they haven't said as much yet, you might be feeling rather itchy with anticipation. If they have said so, some people don't trust just the words, and loop back to their partner's actions to decide for themselves it's really love or not. Either way, you're probably analyzing their every move in search of proof of love.

This is a terrible idea. Don't do that. Instead, focus on your time with your partner and be present and in the moment. We show each other love in so many small acts, and if you're looking too hard for three words in particular, you might blow right by the very sentiment you find so desperately interesting. How does your partner look at you? How do you feel when you're with them? Do they smile a lot? Do you feel bubbly and effusive? Does the phrase "You make me endlessly happy" dance through your head whenever your partner is near? If the answers to these questions are "With adoration," "Amazing," "Yes," "Yes," and "Yes," you're probably in love, and the feeling is likely mutual. If you need more cues, here are a few nonverbal declarations of love that your partner might be displaying.

1. The way they look at you

A lot can be said in the eyes. When your partner looks at you, do their eyes look calm and kind and sweet? Maybe a little sparkly? Do you ever catch them looking at you when you're doing something else? These are all quiet ways of communicating love.

2. The kinds of things they plan to do

There's nothing wrong with curling up for some movie-watching action, but it's also worth paying some mind to what kinds of activities your partner plans for the two of you. If they pick special events that you would particularly enjoy, that means they're listening — and they want to make you happy. Which brings me to ...

3. They want to make you happy

If your partner sometimes puts aside their preferences to yield to what you want or need, this is important. Not every time. Not always. We all need to do this kind of thing for each other. But if your partner says, "I want to do whatever you want," and means it, they are performing a small act of kindness — and love. It's hard sometimes to put one's desires aside and do what your partner wants. But it's so worth it.

4. They pamper you

We're all tired at the end of the night. If your partner cozies up and rubs your feet or your back, they are displaying a little act of love. Same goes for if they run you a bath, or read to you, or make you a midnight snack or cup of tea.

5. They want to take care of you

If your roommate is mean to you or you get into a spat with a family member, does your partner sweep in and tell you everything will be OK? Do they ask questions? Do they listen to the answers? These are all ways of telling someone "I love you" without shouting it from a rooftop.

6. They show emotion

It's hard to cry in front of someone else. But if they feel comfortable in doing so in front of you, you may be well on your way to love town.

7. They trust you

And you trust them. Trust is vital. For any real, lasting partnership to be forged, trust has to be utmost in the equation. If you travel and don't worry about what they're up to in your absence, and the same is true for them, this is a good sign.

8. They are understanding

Compassion goes a long way. If your partner is gentle with you, that's so valuable. If you have to cancel a date because your friend needs you, or if you just want to spend your Saturday morning sleeping after an exhausting week, and that's met with understanding or even enthusiasm, you're with the right person.

9. They make you breakfast in bed

...because you mentioned how much you love that. Or they buy you tickets to your favorite band, even though they don't really like that band at all. They do things just for the sake of putting a smile on your face.

10. They care about you

A combination of actions and words express the way someone feels about us, and it's worth noticing when a person is particularly warm or compassionate or lovely. If your partner has told you they love you, enjoy. If not, don't get too hung up on those words. If your partner exhibits many or most of these characteristics, they care deeply for you. And it's very possible that they love you. Let it unfold.

Check out the 5 best dating tips from bartenders (and subscribe to Bustle's YouTube channel for more hilarious videos):

Images: Joe D/Flickr; Giphy