Love is complicated. Whenever I write about love, I always think of a line from Life is Wonderful by Jason Mraz – “It takes no time to fall it love but it takes years to know what love is.” I really think that just about sums it up. There are always a lot of factors going on in any relationship and it’s impossible to really know for sure if the person you’re in love with really loves you in return. You aren’t able to get inside their head and know what they’re thinking. You don’t really know what they’re feeling. You can trust them. You can enjoy being with them. You can feel close to them but there is no real way to know for sure. There are, however, signs you can look for and questions you can ask that can make answering the “does he love me” question a little bit easier. That’s what I’m here to help with today.
Now let me make this one clear. I’m not telling anyone to approach their boyfriend’s friends and grill them with questions about how their boyfriend feels. It is almost certain your boyfriend will not appreciate that. It’ll make his friends uncomfortable and it’ll probably make your boyfriend angry. That’s not what we want. Instead, I’m telling you to look at the way he treats you around his friends. Does he talk about you in a derogatory way when you’re there? Does he make comments about you that hurt your feelings, embarrass you or make you feel disrespected? Does he ignore you completely when his friends are around? Does he make you feel uncomfortable by talking about personal things? It’s possible he just doesn’t know he’s upsetting you. If you’ve talked to him about it and he continues doing it, he isn’t really all that concerned about your feelings and that’s a problem. It may not mean he doesn’t love you but it certainly means he doesn’t respect you enough to take your feelings into account when his friends are around and that’s a problem and it’s a problem that’s only going to get worse. If he really loves you, he’ll want you to be happy.
There is a whole other ‘friends’ issue that can really help you answer the “does he love me” question. If he seems to want to keep you and his friends away from each other, there might be a problem. Now, we don’t want to jump to conclusions here. He might be keeping you away from his friends because he doesn’t think you’ll like them, he’s embarrassed of them or they’re not the kind of people you normally spend time with. I’ll give you a personal example. When my husband and I first started seeing each other, I met very few of his friends. About three weeks after we started getting serious, I asked him why. He was very honest. His friends were mostly meatheads and he knew how I felt about meatheads. He didn’t want me to feel like I had to tolerate a bunch of childish guys just because I was going out with him. In other words, don’t just assume he’s keeping you from his friends because he’s ashamed of you. It might be them he’s ashamed of.
So how do you know for sure? Ask him. Tell him you want to get to know his friends and suggest something you can all do together. If he seems reluctant, you’ve opened up a way to subtly ask why he doesn’t want you around his friends. Remember the ‘subtle’ part though. Try not to be pushy or demanding. You aren’t demanding an answer, you’re asking a question. There is a difference. Take an understanding, non-aggressive approach to the question. Ask him the way you’d want to be asked. Picture the situation reversed. How would you want him to ask you about the issue? Figure out what you want to say and then figure out the best way to say it. You’ll get a much better reaction and, likely, a more honest response.
If he doesn’t want to talk about the friends issue, try to figure it out for yourself before you ask him again. Do you go on one-on-one dates to the movies or to other public places? Does he told your hand or openly show you affection when you’re out together? If you go to the same school, does he hang out with you between classes or at lunch time? If you can say yes to all, or even some, of these questions, he likely isn’t ashamed of you. He wouldn’t be seen in public with you if he’s embarrassed to be with you. That’s just simple logic. At the same time, don’t mistake a lack of public affection for a lack of love. Some guys just aren’t into PDAs. If you’re at least doing things together in public, even if there’s no hand holding, your guy isn’t trying to hide you from anyone. Instead, he’s probably just nervous about his friends. If he’s especially close with his friends, he might be worried you won’t get along. Be patient. As long as he isn’t only seeing you when no one is around, his concern is likely that you won’t like his friends.
Does he like spending time with you?
This one isn’t nearly as complex as the friends question. Is it next to impossible to get him to spend time with you or does he look for any excuse to see you? The only thing you really need to take into consideration here is the other factors in his life. If he’s a busy guy, it’s not going to be easy to get him to yourself. If he’s involved in sports or has a lot of extra curricular activities, chances are he’s not going to have a lot of free time on his hands. If he’s especially close with his family, he might also be busy much of the time with family commitments. If you’re in a relationship with him, you should have an idea of whether or not he actually has time to spend with you. If he’s a busy guy, make sure you understand that. If he doesn’t have a lot going on and blows you off for no real reason, he’s probably not all that into you. Talk to him about it. There might be something going on you don’t know about or he might not be interested in whatever you’re inviting him to do. Maybe he doesn’t like hanging out and watching television. Maybe he doesn’t like going to movies. Or, maybe he just doesn’t really enjoy your company. That is the problem you need to worry about.
Does he text you for no reason?
Random texts, even if they’re just a wink or a smile let you know your guy is thinking about you. While the text may seem small and insignificant it is actually a sign you’re on his mind. If he doesn’t text you these little ‘hello’ texts, you may have nothing to worry about. Some guys just aren’t into texting. If he’s constantly texting his friends though, he clearly doesn’t have this aversion and you should be concerned. Now, to clarify. When I say “constantly texting his friends” I mean initiating texts, not replying to texts. Responding to texts does not mean your guy actually likes sending texts. It just means he’s polite. If your guy is constantly sending random texts to his friends but doesn’t send random texts to you, you have cause for concern.
Does he pay attention to you?
So he spends time with you a lot both behind closed doors and in public but does he actually pay attention to you while you’re together? We’ve already talked about PDAs and how some guys just aren’t into that but paying attention to someone doesn’t just mean showing affection. When you’re with him, does he talk to you? Does he seem interested in what you’re saying or doing or does he always seem distracted by other things (playing games, playing with his phone etc)? The only real exception on this one is if he’s busy doing something important. This comes back to recognizing whether or not he’s a busy guy. If he has a lot on the go and that requires him to spend a lot of his free time working on this or that then you have to try to be understanding. Otherwise, he should be paying attention to you when you’re together – and not just when you’re making out. A relationship shouldn’t just be about sex. There should be talking and laughing and just enjoying each other’s company. That doesn’t happen if he’s ignoring you when you’re around. A lack of attention does not necessarily mean he doesn’t love you but it does mean he’s not giving you what you need to be happy in the relationship so it’s worth a conversation, at least.