How Do You Know Someone Loves You?

I once had someone ask me, “Even if I were to change my wicked ways, how would you know”?

a man must save himself

Well, that’s a lot to wonder, isn’t it?  I wasn’t sure I would or could know given the circumstances he was referring to…. At the most,  I could only hope that I was with a man who would keep his word.

In any case, at the time, I wasn’t in the best place to ponder the question, let alone answer.  I was rather preoccupied with a serious health crisis and other family issues. It also didn’t help that we were diametrically opposed to things he felt I should find acceptable, but the question did stick in my mind for some time…

By the time my head cleared from all strife, I realized what I really would like to know is -how would I know he loves me?

What strikes at our fears about relationships?  What do we want from relationships?  What kind of relationship do we want? My kind of love – what does that look like?

I know by now that is a highly subjective question even within our basic understandings of what is genuine care for someone else. Yes, it can look like almost anything for anyone – definitely this all falls into the ‘whatever floats your boat’ category.

I know I’m definitely past the shiny trinkets and flower delivery stage.  It’s not that I wouldn’t appreciate any gesture small and sweet or even grand, but … that’s not what I depend on. 

What I depend on are character traits, not gifts. Those sweet gifts are genuinely nice touches, but if I wanted proof I was loved, I’d look in another direction now.

I’m not sure I’d be able to provide a definitive and certain list because we are ever evolving creatures – hopefully.  I’m old enough to be well aware life is not perfect, relationships will always carry disagreements, and sometimes we have to honestly agree to disagree, but at a minimum, I think I would start with these basics:

Loyalty – I expect this from anyone in my love base – family, friends and lovers.

  • He/she has my back, covers me, and for a lover in particular, ‘even when I’m wrong’. Correct me in private, but you better stand by me in the wild west. I heard this statement 3 times from 3 different sources today alone.  I think the angels want me to know something.
  • Would not use our disagreements or me as a foil to make themselves look superior for someone else-ever!
  • Has the capacity to weather rocky storms as well as the play of lighter days. We have enough fair-weather friends in life, wouldn’t appreciate one as a partner. I’d also include facing one’s fears in this.

Cherishes – genuine concern for my well-being. A genuine desire to help me be happy, safe, balanced… which could be sharing housework, or worries, an interest in my day. In general, caring about how my world could be easier or brighter or more fun.

Practises respect & honesty– If what I state I need in a relationship cannot be honestly met, then please be decent enough to stand up to say, sorry no can do.  I would hope they would also stand up for their own needs, even to say they are moving on to find the person that better suits.

And when I’m at my lowest – would not demand that I must meet his/their needs or all the above will disappear, and especially… would not kick me when I am down. Yes, I know this shouldn’t even have to be noted, but man, you’d be surprised. Or, maybe not.

Yes, it goes without saying, this is a two-way street.

Of course, there’s the actual living together side too, the shared experiences and belief systems, humor, politics, desire of service in whatever capacity. shared travel ideals… the list could go on forever, but if we were to apply the basics, we could surely still share a kiss at the end of the day.

Is that too much to ask?

These things I ponder while I meander on the road to recovery from the ‘big ones’.


No Ordinary Love….

22 thoughts on “How Do You Know Someone Loves You?

  1. I like that you use words like ‘Cherish’, ‘Respect’, ‘Honesty’… as well as HELP you be happy. Yes! If someone truly loves me, they will demonstrate even in an argument that they cherish me. That requires respect and honesty as well.

    You probably know that I am a Christian. One of the qualities a Christian couple possesses is the ability to pray together. That requires the ultimate in acceptance of each other and if a couple is honest in front of God, then they will accept each other (and cherish each other) the way that God accepts them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Thanks for getting this post. I have to laugh because I had NOT intended to publish this… at least, not yet! I just managed to hit the publish button by mistake – oh, those angels, eh?

      I understand your point about sharing the Christian concept. I have had people/men actually use my belief system as a way to take advantage of situations within our relationship or even to ridicule me depending on the circumstances, but yes, you must practise what you believe in in honest, open humility. That takes a great deal of confidence and strength that those beliefs will be genuinely accepted and honored. Yeah… it’s not easy being green… 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think you covered everything pretty well there. Any relationship that’s going to work has to be a two way street from the start. There must be no desire to bring your partner round to ‘my way of thinking’ unless your partner chooses to make that change after due deliberation. You marry knowing you love your partner’s ways, it’s wrong to want to change them. If you feel you must then this is probably not the right long term partner for you.
    Love, Honour and Cherish and you should be OK..
    I hope your road to recovery nears it’s end and you’re doing well.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are definitely agreed on all points. I also know from experience that when one says they will change or they want to, or they even actually do for a bit, if their heart is only partially into the desire, those walls will come crashing down hard. How they couldn’t guess heartbreak would be the outcome, I’ll never know. Seems much like pretending you’re a doctor until someone needs surgery.
      Anyway, thank you so much for your well wishes & massive hugs. Hugs back to you too,

      Liked by 1 person

    • No, they aren’t enough, nor are diamond and ruby rings… I’d like to know the basics are truly in place, firmly in place, before we start putting that sort of icing on the cake. Nice to see you, Dan.


  3. A very timely post Robyn – at least for me.
    Even long term relationships go through ebbs and flows. Navigating the changing needs of 2 people can sometimes be really difficult. Sometimes that upheaval can last months. Without some basic shared values – like respect and loyalty – I don’t see how a relationship can survive the rough waters.
    Honesty is something I think should be used with great care. Are there days I really can’t stand the sight of my husband? Oh yes. On those days is it better not to voice what I’m really thinking? Oh yes. Words, once spoken, can never be taken back and sometimes not saying anything is the best honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joanne – yes, those ebbs and flows. And honesty … I do know how that can get twisted into a road not best traveled, but I think when it comes down to having to pretend to feel something or be something, it’s time for a serious look. Nice to see you and thanks for the thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loyal, honest, respectful, cherishing and sympathetic – sounds like great qualities. Perhaps it is possible to have them without true love, but can you have true love without them?

    Did you ever see the movie “As Good as it Gets”? I don’t remember the exact lines, but my favorite part of the movie is when Jack Nicholson’s character tells Hellen Hunt’s character that because of her he has started to take his hated meds – the meds that are needed to give him stability and balance yet rob him of some of his creativity. What he was willing to give up to be acceptable to her tells me a lot about what love means to him – I will change myself to be with you.

    Perhaps to round out your list you should add “need”. Not every type of need – some are unwanted! By “need” I mean an emotional state along the lines of “you complete me” and “I will change myself, if I have to, just to be near you.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooo, you’ve given me something to think about. Yes, I have seen that movie, and the line – “What if this is as good as it gets”? – has haunted me at times ever since.
      I was just saying there is a difference in pretending to be something you’re not to attain the hand of another, which isn’t much different from pretending to be a doctor, until someone needs surgery.

      What you describe though, I think, is a willingness to change something about oneself for the betterment of oneself and the other. I think that is the ultimate gift.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These sounds like perfect criteria to go with what should be in one’s bottom line. A big one for me is being able to trust what someone says and know I can count on that (not that it can’t change, but that would have to be acknowledged).

    LOL- I actually once wrote down a list of what I was no longer willing to tolerate and some of it made me laugh because it seemed like it should have been obvious to me but obviously to me it had not been.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, yes. I think you know already I am in absolute agreement about being able to trust what someone says.
      I mentioned to someone else that our reference points for what is love are pretty screwy as we grow up too. I know I fell into the trap of “Rom-Com” as a guidance source for far too many years! Sigh. I know that’s a light reference, but I think these things do become ingrained much more than we realize.


  6. Sounds like you have a pretty good start on knowing yourself, your needs, your desires and your expectations. As you said, those will constantly evolve, but I wonder if the basics ever do…if the evolution is in the flavour or spice but that the roots of each of those remains relatively constant.

    I wonder if the key in knowing what we want from others isn’t in knowing who we are in ourselves and developing that relationship first and foremost. You alluded to this in your comments about others knowing what they wanted, were capable of, could share.

    It seems your life–as one would hope–has helped you winnow away what you felt the universe needed you to be to leave behind the true core of what you need you to be. A constant work-in-progress for all of us, to be sure.

    Liked by 1 person

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