How To Tell If Someone Loves You, Even If They Haven't Said It Yet
If said sincerely, being told "I love you" can be a very special thing. There's nothing better than hearing those three small words, especially when you feel the same. But what does it mean if you've been dating someone for a while, developed a deep connection with them, and you still haven't said "I love you"? According to experts, there's no need to worry. Some people just aren't the best at expressing themselves verbally. Fortunately, there are certain ways to tell if someone has deeper feelings for you even if they haven't said it yet. All you need to do is pay attention to the signs.
"Expressions of love come in many forms," Dr. Jess O’Reilly, Astroglide’s resident sex and relationship expert tells Bustle. And it's not just limited to the Five Love Languages either. The Five Love Languages are basically ways people like to give and receive love in relationships. For instance, some like to show they care by doing acts of service, while others like to give their partner time and attention.
According to Dr. O'Reilly, some people express love and care through public declarations (social media posts), physical affection (a gentle hand on your back), texts (sending cute emojis), email (forwarding a cat video they know you’d love), attentive listening (allowing you to vent) or thoughtfulness (saving you a bite of something delicious they had at lunch). While she says, so many of us want to hear words of affirmation from our partners, not everyone is comfortable expressing how they feel verbally.
If that describes your partner, you may have to look for other special ways they express their love. It may not be quite as direct as saying "I love you," but it works. So here are some signs someone has deeper feelings for you even if they never say "I love you," according to experts.
1. They Make An Effort To Touch You Throughout The Day
Physical, non-sexual touch is important for maintaining intimacy. If your partner gives you an extra squeeze when they're holding your hand or sneaks up behind you for a hug, Bethany Ricciardi, sex educator and relationship expert with Too Timid “The Romance Company” tells Bustle that it's a pretty good indicator that they have deeper feelings for you. Watch their body language closely. "Are their feet facing you while you talk, are they standing up straight and making eye contact? If so, they're drawn to you," she says. This is even more telling if your partner's love language is physical touch. Even if they're not saying "I love you" with words, they may be showing it through physical affection.
2. You're The First Person They Want To Share News With
Being in a relationship means being part of a team. Your wins are their wins, and their losses are your losses. If your partner makes it a point to share both good and bad news with you before anyone else, they already see you as their teammate even if they're not saying it. As love and relationship coach, Angelisa Almanzar, tells Bustle, "This is someone who sees you as a permanent fixture in their life and has developed a deep bond." People want to share important things with the important people in their life. Also, if your partner is turning to you first when they're going through a tough time, it means they trust you enough to be open and vulnerable with you. In order to have an intimate and deeper connection, vulnerability is key.
3. They'll Try To Maintain Contact As Much As They Can
"Believe it or not, something as simple as a 'good morning' text can show someone has deep feelings for you," Dresean Ryan, relationship expert with KiwiSearches, tells Bustle. When it comes to relationship success, consistency is key. It's hard to form a deep bond with someone who pops in and out of your life whenever they choose. It's also a big sign that someone doesn't respect you as much as they should. But if your partner makes the effort to stay connected with you in some way every day, this shows that you’re always on their mind and they want to be a part of your life. They actually care about getting to know you and what goes on in your life. Someone who isn't that serious about you, won't always bother to make the effort.
4. They Remember The Important Details
These can be dates that mean a lot to you, conversations you've had about your family, the first song that played on the radio when you drove in the car together, or where every scar and freckle is on your body. It's easier for someone to remember the details when they're interested in you. So when someone remembers everything from the little things to the big, it says, "I love you."
According to Ricciardi, it shows that your partner listening and paying close attention to you. They're eager to learn everything they can because you're important to them. "They may not even realize they're doing it," she says. "They just care so much they can't help but remember the little things when it comes to you."
5. They Empathize With You
Empathy is one of the most important traits a partner can have. In fact, a 2012 study from the American Psychological Association found that women who date men tend to be happier in their relationships when their partner shows a lot of empathy. Empathy is about understanding your partner. When someone loves you, they'll know when something is off. "If you spend enough time with someone you'll find yourself caring deeply and your mood can very easily be affected by theirs," Ricciardi says. "Emotions are contagious, especially when you care for the other person."
Just think, have you ever tried to smile when someone you love is heartbroken and crying? Trying to cheer them up is one thing. But actually feeling happy and cheery is another. That's because empathy naturally takes over. "When you love someone, you are happy for their happiness, and sad for their sadness," Ricciardi says. More often than not, you can't even control it.
6. They're Proud To Have You In Their Life
If their friends, family, and even random people on the street know you two are together, your partner is proud to have you in their life. "Even if they haven’t said, 'I love you' yet, wanting to show you off and to get approval from parents (no matter how old a partner is), means that they care for you enough to see a future with you," April Masini, relationship expert and author, tells Bustle. If your partner is bringing you into their world, it's a sure sign they're not only proud to be with you, but they also have deep feelings for you.
If you're not quite there yet, their social media can also say a lot. According to Ricciardi, someone who likes posting photos with you on social media, and likes highlighting how great you are to their friends and family loves being with you. If not, they wouldn't be doing those things. But keep in mind, everyone is different. "Just take note of whether or not they seem proud to have you on their arm or if they're keeping things low-key in public," Ricciardi says. As long as they're not keeping you a secret, you're doing just fine.
7. They Stick Around
Someone who has deep feelings for you will find ways to be around you as much as they can. They'll look for excuses to stay even if they have to go. Most importantly, they'll stick around when things get tough. All relationships go through ups and downs. When you're with someone who has deeper feelings for you, you won't have to worry about them leaving during a fight or breaking up with you after a bad night out together. As Ricciardi says, "You know you can rely on them because you're both in this together." Someone who sticks around to take care of you and the relationship is someone who not only loves you, but respects you.
8. They Don't Get Weird When It Comes To Talking About The Future
Your partner may not say it, but if they can comfortably talk about the future with you without clamming up and getting weird, it's a sign they do love you. They might make jokes about where they'll propose to you one day or you might discuss the names of your future children. They may even bring up doing something in the short-term, like going away for your birthday or doing something over the holidays.
"Someone who cares deeply for you will start talking about future plans with you," Michelle Baxo, international love coach and dating expert, tells Bustle. "You'll know it’s a healthy love when they take careful consideration of your personal dreams and ambitions, too." Someone who tries to avoid talking about the future completely may not be committed enough to stay.
9. They'll Say "I Love You" In Other Ways
If someone loves you but hasn't said the words, dating coach Julie Spira tells Bustle they may beat around the bush and say things that infer it. "Some people are so afraid of saying the 'L' word because they think they’ll have to pony up a ring a week later," Spira says. Instead, they might say “I’ve never felt this way about someone before."
When it comes to relationships it's important to keep in mind that "actions speak louder than words" isn't just a cliche. "Your partner can speak words, in different tones and at different times, but it won't matter as much if their actions don't reciprocate what they're saying," Ricciardi says. So although it's nice to hear someone say, "I love you," it doesn't mean much if they're not doing things to back it up. At the end of the day, lasting relationships are all about finding that balance between loving words and actions.
This post was originally published on August 7, 2018. It was last updated on Sept. 6, 2019.