7 signs you love your partner a lot, but you’re not truly in love

Isabella Chase by Isabella Chase | April 4, 2024, 1:35 pm

Love, oh love, it’s like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. It’s this intricate web of emotions that can leave you feeling like you’re riding the highest high one moment and questioning everything the next.

You’re knee-deep in affection, cherishing every quirk and oddity your partner brings to the table. But hold up a sec: that little voice in the back of your mind? It’s asking the big question—are you truly head over heels, or is this just a heavy dose of admiration?

So, how do you decipher the code of love? How do you know if you’re really in it for the long haul?

Well, after diving deep into my own thoughts and bouncing ideas off friends who’ve been there, done that, I’ve come up with seven signs that might just shine a light on what’s really going on in that heart of yours.

And if any of these signs hit home? Well, it might be time to hit the pause button and take a closer look at what’s brewing in your relationship.

1) You prioritize their needs over yours, always

It’s completely normal to want the best for your partner, to wish for their happiness and to place their needs above your own at times. However, it’s also important to remember that a relationship is a two-way street.

Sure, you’re all about putting their needs on a pedestal, but if it’s coming at the expense of your own well-being, hold up a sec. What you’re feeling might not be pure love; it could be a case of codependency or a serious need to keep the peace.

Make no mistake: real love is a dance of equals, a give-and-take where both parties shine. It’s about being there, but not at the cost of losing yourself in the process. 

When you find yourself constantly playing the martyr without any love coming back your way, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate what’s really going on.  

2) You can’t envision a future without them, but not necessarily with them

Picture this: you’re with your partner, and thoughts of the future swirl around you like a warm embrace. You talk dreams, goals, the whole shebang. But here’s the twist: while you can’t fathom a future without them, you struggle to see them as the lead role in your life’s screenplay.

Sounds contradictory, right?

Yet, it’s more common than you think. You adore your partner so fiercely that the mere thought of life without them feels like a gut punch. But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty—moving in together, tying the knot, raising a family—there’s a disconnect.

This could be your heart telling you something important: you hold a deep affection for your partner, but maybe the big L-word hasn’t quite made its grand entrance. Love isn’t just about the warm fuzzies; it’s about building a future together, hand in hand.  

3) You’re more in love with the idea of them than the actual person

Sometimes, we fall in love with the image we’ve created of our partner rather than who they truly are. This is particularly common in new relationships or ones that have yet to weather significant challenges.

You might adore the idea of your partner – their potential, their projected image, or what they represent – while ignoring their flaws or dismissing aspects of their personality that don’t align with this idealized image.

Here’s the thing: being truly in love means accepting your partner for who they really are, flaws included. If you find yourself clinging to an idealized version of your partner, it might suggest that you deeply love the idea of them, but aren’t necessarily in love with the real person.  

4) You feel anxious about your relationship’s stability

Love, ah, it’s a rollercoaster, isn’t it? One moment, you’re on top of the world, feeling like you could conquer anything. Then, bam! You’re hit with a wave of vulnerability that knocks you off your feet.  

Check this out: when anxiety comes knocking, our bodies start pumping out stress hormones. Cortisol? Adrenaline? They’re like the tag team of tension, leaving us jittery and hyper-aware of any potential threats, especially when it comes to the security of our relationship. 

Now, real love should feel like your cozy blanket on a cold night. It wraps you up in a warm embrace, offering security and comfort.

Sure, a little doubt now and then is par for the course, but if you’re stuck in a constant loop of fretting over losing your partner or your relationship hitting the skids, it’s time for a reality check.

5) You’re holding onto past pain

We’re talking old wounds, scars from the past, the stuff we’ve been carrying around like a sack of rocks. You know the drill: maybe it’s a messy breakup, a childhood trauma, or just some unresolved hurt that’s been lurking in the shadows.

But if you’re using your love for your current partner as a band-aid for those old wounds, it might be time to pump the brakes. Sure, it feels soothing, like finally finding that missing puzzle piece. But using someone else to patch up your pain is definitely not love—it’s just papering over the cracks.

Listen up: real love is about two whole, complete individuals coming together, bringing their best selves to the table. It’s not about filling voids or healing old wounds; it’s about growth, connection, and mutual support.

6) You feel complete only when you’re with them

It’s a common belief that our partners should ‘complete’ us, that they should fill any emptiness we feel within ourselves. However, this concept, although romanticized in popular culture, can sometimes signal a lack of true love.

If you find yourself feeling incomplete or less than whole without your partner by your side, it might indicate that you’re using the relationship as a means to escape personal insecurities or fears.

True love should enhance your life, not be the sole source of your happiness or self-worth.

Feeling complete should come from within yourself first. If your sense of completeness is entirely reliant on another person, it might be time to reassess your feelings and work towards finding contentment within yourself.

7) You don’t communicate openly

Communication is the glue that holds everything together. It’s the magic ingredient that takes a relationship from meh to marvelous.

Here’s the scoop: if you’re holding back, keeping those real talk conversations tucked away in the back of your mind, it could be a neon sign flashing “not in love” in bright lights.

Love? It’s all about laying it bare, baring your soul, letting your fears, desires, and dreams spill out like confetti. It’s about feeling safe, knowing that your partner’s got your back, no matter what.

But if you’re hesitating to bare it all, if you feel like you’re walking on eggshells instead of letting your true self shine, well, that’s a whole different ball game. Maybe you care deeply for your partner, but love? That’s a different story.

Embracing the journey of self-love

In wrapping up, if you find yourself questioning whether you’re truly in love or just love your partner a lot, remember that it’s okay to take some time for self-reflection. Allow yourself the space to explore these feelings without judgment or fear.

Take this as an opportunity to embark on a journey of self-love and self-discovery.

Understand your needs, your desires, your fears, and your dreams. This journey might lead you to realize that you’re truly in love with your partner or it might lead you towards a different path – one where you discover what true love means to you.

Remember, there’s no rush in figuring out how you feel. Love is not a race, it’s a journey – a journey worth taking at your own pace.