Sometimes people can fool themselves thinking that they’re in love when they’re not. Others fret that their love has run its course when the relationship is merely doing what love relationships do — evolving and changing — yet the glue still very much holds. Are you still in love? The short answer is this: When you’re in love, the only thing better than seeing your partner in the morning is seeing them in the evening and again every day thereafter. As for the long answer, it’s yours for asking these 10 questions.
1. Does your partner make you smile or laugh?
Smiling and laughing, particularly after your first year together, means you’re connecting. When it comes to love, happiness can’t be manufactured; you’re there because it’s something you truly enjoy.
2. Are you growing both as individuals and as a couple?
If only one partner is growing, a gap will soon emerge. Being in love means growing individually and as a couple. Are you both open to positively helping the other grow by, say, extending and receiving loving reminders about individual goals?
3. Do you share interests and together discover new ones?
You needn’t have everything in common, but it’s important to tend to the interests and activities you do share. Beyond that, does your relationship allow room to explore new pursuits? Discovering them together can infuse new life into a union.
4. How free do you feel with the other?
The measure of a good match is someone who allows you to be you and supports and loves and delights in you being your best. Conversely, are you comfortable with your partner telling you when you’ve made a mistake? Those we love are those with whom we feel safe when we’re at less than our shiniest.
5. Are you bringing your best to the relationship?
Love can quickly slide when you and/or your partner stop listening, being patient, supporting, hugging and otherwise actively engaging with the other. Turn things around by rekindling more loving thoughts (and thus, actions) toward your partner.
6. Do you find yourself needing more space vs. wanting to be together?
This isn’t to be confused with needing your space and occasionally doing your own thing: healthy impulses that exist in us all. Rather, a consistent desire to go it alone may signal that it’s time to reflect and review.
7. Do you come together during challenging times?
When you are confronting challenges or tending responsibilities, drawing upon your individual strengths allows you to depend on each other in good ways. Do you slow down to brainstorm together? Or do you isolate and blame?
8. Are your priorities and dreams in sync?
The more you get to know someone, the more you find out whether their hopes and desires align with your own; if you share priorities and values. In a good match, the top five things that matter to you are the same as your partner’s top five. And these can change over time.
9. Do you really, truly, know absolutely everything?
Even if you’re been together awhile and think you know everything about your partner, there’s much of which you’re unaware. Concertedly ask questions to fine tune and learn more about how they think and what they feel. This will help you love them even more.
10. Do you secretly look at your partner and think how lucky you are?
Appreciation, both inner and expressed, goes a long way toward sustaining and strengthening love. If you see, feel and give thanks for your partner’s positives, congratulations; you’re still in love.