Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Q15: How do I know if he loves me?

From "Self Conscious in Relationships" via email:

I need some advice. I have been dating someone for a month, which isn't very long at all, but we spend every minute of our spare time together. He recently told me that he loved me, which is a big deal. He has never been in love before, and i am afraid that he may be confusing love with infatuation. I have been in love before, and I can tell that I am in love now, but is there a way to know if he is? I spend so much time with him, and everyone I know thinks we are sleeping together (which we aren't), but the idea is out there. One month seems very fast to me to take that step, but I don't know. I feel like I should stop seeing him as often as I do if I don't think that sex is a good idea at the moment, mainly because people can make stupid decisions, and I feel like I am 2, but if he doesn't really love me, then it seems like an even bigger deal. I don't know what to do. How do you know when the timing is "right?" Do you ever know?
-Self Conscious in Relationships



Hello, SCiR!
First off… do you trust the guy?

Examine some of the reasons why you’re in the relationship. Why do you love him? How do you know that you’re in love? Have you asked him if he really loves you? How does he know? Do you want it to last? Do you trust and love him more than you care about what other people think? Why does it matter that people think you’re sleeping together? Have you had sex before? Is he pressuring you to have sex? Do you want to have sex with him?

A friend of ours has been in a very similar situation to yours. As far as, “how does the guy know that he loves me?” – well, the guy just said/says, “I know. It’s just how I feel.” They also had sex pretty quickly. They’ve also been dating for over a year now, so we guess it’s worked out well. We asked another friend how she knew that she loved a particular guy. She said, “There are so many reasons… but it’s because I can’t tell you any particular reason that I know I love him.” (All of these are paraphrased, of course.)

If you love him, and if he loves you, then titles like “infatuation” don’t really matter. It might feel like puppy love or infatuation in the beginning, but that doesn’t necessarily have to end; love just evolves. Usually, this evolving involves a growing sense of comfort, of intimacy, of “feeling right.” Sometimes, all we can go on are feelings. Love doesn’t often seem “reasonable,” does it?

If you do decide to have sex, then make sure you get tested first. Also, if you feel that “this relationship is going too fast,” then take a step back. This could result in alienation, or misunderstanding, so make sure you’re clear about your reasons for doing so. Make sure you’ve got reasons for doing so in the first place. Answer the above questions, and go over them with your guy. You both (will) need to communicate, and try to understand each other’s points of view. Also, give the guy a little credit -- he's innocent (er, in love?) until proven guilty (er...not in love?), right? Just go with what you feel. If you feel an overwhelming sense of doubt, then it'll be hard for you to get over that obstacle; psychologically telling yourself that love's not going to happen will make it not happen. However, if you feel that he's right and he feels that you're right, there's no reason to doubt that.

Unfortunately, often one only knows “what is right” in retrospect. Hindsight is 20/20. But think it out, and go with what you feel. If you do trust him, then trust his feelings, too. Trust is the major basis of a relationship. Without trust, you won't have a good relationship. True, by trusting you make yourself vulnerable, and honestly, you might get hurt in the long run – but that’s a risk we all have to take. Timing doesn’t necessarily mean anything. You’ve spent a lot of time with this guy. You probably know him a lot more than you’d generally know a person after a month. On the other hand, if you’re not comfortable with consuming each other’s lives, then take a step back. Don’t feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do, but also don’t analyze every single thing. To quote ee cummings:
(given the scalpel,they dissect a kiss;
or,sold the reason,they undream a dream)


And, quite frankly, I know at least two couples who have told each other "I love you" within a month of dating each other. And they're still together. So time means diddlysquat -- you can't measure something as amorphous as love with something as rigid as time. Talk it over, examine your feelings, and good luck! :)

If you’ve got a couple of reasons or can tell us “how do you know you’re in love?”, please let us know! :)

[Note: If this didn't answer your question, or if there are more details you'd like advice on, feel free to email/IM/post again! :)]

22 Comments:

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, i have been dating this guy for a year or so, i really took advantage of him. HE used to say he loves me, he would die for me and he wanted to marry me. I was always who said back in response when he said he loves me i would say OK, like i took advantage of his and his love for me. So we fought, we argued a lot, and last time he gave me a chance he said and he swore on his family life that we will never be together again if I'll mess this one up. And of course i did. I took all and everythign for granted, like he owes me something. Now i cried, i begged, i had no sleep, i didnt eat. He finally said ok we can be friends. And we were. Now we are more than friends, but not quite together, cause he swore. (he is armenian and its very serious, if he swores). Anyway, to make the long story short, we are sort of together, which Im happy to have him as something in my life. I want to spend my life with him and he says now he is not sure if he wants to marry me, if he sees a little doubt in me, he wont do it. He wants to get married once and thats it. (Though before he did wanted to) Im 25 and he is 23. What do i do? I dont want to waste my time? But at the same time i dont want to loose him. He says he loves me and cares for me, he just doesnt know whats goign to happened. He says i dont want to be with you and then of we end up not marrying one another, i dont want you to hate me. HE is not sure.

 
At 7:41 PM, Blogger Beavers, Inc. said...

The answer to this anonymously posted question can be found here:
http://askthebeaver.blogspot.com/2005/08/q23-i-took-advantage-of-him-but-i-dont.html

 
At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, ive been crazy about this one guy for about 6 months now. i need to know his feelings for me. we have a 5 year age gaps between us. we have shared a kiss, spoke on the phone a few times and we have also arranged to meet up once. we arnt dateing at all but i know he must like me a little. he has a very big reputation from where i come from and i think hes scared that if anyone finds out hes interested in someone 5 years younger than him then his reputation will be ruind. he is 20 and i am 16 this year. i hardly speak to him anymore unless its face to face becuase im scared i might say the wrong thing to him if i just randomly call. when ever i do see him we flirt discreetly so no one sees. please help me !

 
At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont u think 20's abit old?

 
At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

20 is tooooooo old for you. Im 18 and dating a 20 year old i would not haave even thought to date a 20 year old when i was 16. Think about it, he probably has his own car, his own place, a job. Your 16, you may not even have your license yet, you live with your parents and your not even out of highschool. You both are only acting on horomones and hes embarassed at the fact that he is interacting with somebody who hardly isn't even legal yet. He could possibly get in trouble for doing anything physical with you byt the law (depending on where you live)
Honeslty, it's not worth it. Your not even leagal drinking age either, can't you see the conflict here? your to immmature for him, and hes acting imature by leading you on. Hope you take this without any offence i'm just trying to help!

 
At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 17 dating a 21 year old, so I completely understand where your coming from. When we first started dating it was the same thing.

When we finally did tell people, we ended up breaking up because we felt as if he was looking for different things then me, and that people would judge him.( We were together three months before this)

Two weeks later, he missed me so much( and I missed him) , that he called me every day until I agreed to get back together with him.

We've been happily together now for over a year and a half. I love him very much and we worked through it, but you need to talk to your man about it. Make sure you guys are comfortable with it. If he essentially isnt comfortable with it. your relationship wont work.

 
At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have been going out with this guy for about 8 month and i really love him with all my heart i know it hasn't been that long but i have been dieying to live with him but the problem is people... people talk to much and to tell u the truth i'm sick and tired of people talking my business but its ok he wants me to get pregnany for him but i think he is cheating on me with his old girlfriend and he is not telling me the truth i feel like he is lieying to me but i love him no matter what happens

 
At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am in love i think it feels like it.he says he loves and hes love with me. but i dont no if its true. how can i find out?

 
At 12:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey i have been dating this guy for a couple of months but now were not together but when we were dating he would go with his best girl friend n hold her hand n kiss her in front of me..... well that day i broke up with him and i couple of days later he asked me if i wanted to go back with him well i did and he did the same thing and well i broke up with him and for like two weeks we wouldnt talk or anything n wouldnt see each other n like now he talks to me alot n wants me back but i dont know if i should take him back im scared he might hurt me again i really liked him but what should i do help plz

 
At 4:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have one thing to say. First of all, there could be some legal complications with yalls relationship so if you two do end up being together I would keep it quiet, but I don't think you should listen to people who tell you you are too immature for a 21 year old. Only you and those closest to you will know just how mature u are. I'm 18 and I started dating my boyfriend a year ago (hes 36). Don't let ppl intimidate u, if hes right for you, then hes right, no matter the age.

 
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At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I was just kinda sufing the net and this came up, and honestly, I really liked it. I met this guy about a year ago, and we never actually noticed eachother till a few weeks ago. A friend of his played with my emotions and everything, and then there was... Lets call him Jake, alright? Well, Jake was there to pick me up. He knew that I had gotten raped, and was in a few abusive relationships, and everytime I would cry, or something, he was there. It was in him that I confided my secret pleasures, my dreams, and my wishes. He never left me, even though he was just a friend. I feel comfortable, and safe with him, I feel like if the rest of the world doesn't notice me, that he will. He's a witness to my life, and I his. I don't think I would rather be anywhere but his arms.

 
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At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well if it's only been a month then i don't think its really being in love, you may be getting there and have feelings for each other though. has he even had sex before? if he has and isn't asking you or wanting sex with you them he respects you dearly and waiting for the right time for you, so that a sign he's a guy you should trust. sex really isn't a big deal but always make sure you are protected and ready for it, sex to me bring people more closer too. Good luck

 
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