When you’re in a complicated relationship, all you want is clarity.
You know you love him. Does he love you?
If the answer is yes, then you’ll put up with a lot to make this relationship work. But how do you know for sure that he loves you?
Maybe he’s said he loves you, but his actions indicate otherwise. Maybe you used to be so close, but now it feels like he’s shutting you out. Maybe you thought you were together, but he’s stopped spending time with you.
You believe he cares about you.
How could he not, after all the beautiful experiences you’ve had together? You have so much in common. He’s revealed so much of himself to you. Surely he wouldn’t do that if he saw you as “just another girl”?
So how do you know if this is real or if he’s already halfway gone?
The Story of Two Relationships
The first thing you need to know is that you are not in the same relationship he is.
Even though you may have agreed to be in a relationship, you probably didn’t have a long discussion about what that meant.
How you see your relationship—how you feel about it, what you want for it, what you expect in it—is unique to you.
How he sees the relationship may be completely different.
For example, to you, it may go without saying that being in a relationship means lots of care and affection. It means you’re both thinking long-term.
He may not see it that way.
For him, being in a relationship may be about the convenience. What you have together is fun, pleasurable, and doesn’t place too many demands on him. If any of that changes, he reserves the right to walk away.
Yet neither of you have talked about it.
You think you’re in the same relationship. You think you’ve agreed to the same thing.
But you haven’t.
No wonder there’s so much confusion and conflict!
So let’s find out how the two of you might be seeing your relationship differently.
Here are three of the most common differences that go unspoken in relationships…
And could be driving you further apart.
You Think You’re an ‘Us’ – He Thinks It’s ‘Me & You’
Do you use the words “we” and “us” more than he does?
That may be a sign that he doesn’t see you as a fully-fledged couple yet.
Every couple, when they first get together, is composed of a “you” and an “I.”
You are two separate people. You’ve led completely different lives. You have your own goals and dreams.
It will take time to create a couple identity, a sense of what you stand for together.
You know you’re an “us” when:
- You’re not in it for you. You’re in it for us.
- You find yourself liking what he likes and disliking what he dislikes (and vice versa).
- Your couple goals are as important as your own goals.
But sometimes you feel like an “us” while he doesn’t.
He may want to keep “you” and “me” separate. He may not want to become more like you. He may not want to take on your goals.
For him, merging into a “we” is a loss of identity. A loss of who he is.
Whereas you see “us” as being at the center of everything you do, he sees you as someone who adds value to his life.
That doesn’t bode well for the future.
To You Love Means Care – To Him Love Means a Good Feeling
When a man says he loves you, you may think he means the same thing as you.
After all, doesn’t “I love you” mean the same thing to everyone?
Isn’t it a promise to look after each other, cherish each other, and be together forever?
Just as your relationship may not be the same as his relationship, so your love may not be the same as his love.
For him, love may simply be the good feelings he gets when he’s with you.
If those good feelings start to fade away, he may conclude that the love is gone.
If he believes that love is a feeling and you believe love is a promise, you may end up at odds.
You think he’s promised you something with his words. To him, all he’s done is expressed how he felt at that moment.
You’re Sure Things Will Get Better – He Thinks They’ll Get Worse
Couples who stay married don’t necessarily fight any less than couples who end up divorcing.
But divorced couples have one trait in common:
They think things are only going to get worse.
Successful couples go through hard times, too, but they choose to believe that they’ll come out of it. They have faith that happier times lie ahead.
If you have faith that you’ll get through this…
While he thinks that things are going from bad to worse…
Then he may already be halfway out of the relationship.
But if your partner regularly talks about “we” and “us…”
If he does the work of supporting you (even when he doesn’t feel like it)…
And he’s positive about the future, then he’s all in.
Relationships will always be complicated. If in doubt, the best strategy is always to talk about it.