Most theories of relationships focus on how intimate partners feel about each other, but according to John Gottman’s behavioral approach, you need to focus on outward signs to test the health of yours. This approach follows from the assumption that observable actions provide, in many cases, harder evidence about what’s going on inside a person than the inferences we make from what he or she says.
I’ve taken the liberty of translating Gottman’s theory, along with information from other supporting psychological research, into 11 clues you can use in your own daily life to gauge the depth of your lover's feelings:
There's no set number of these 11 that would indicate whether a specific partner hits above or below the threshold for truly loving you. However, with these signs as a guide, you can gain insight into your relationship's strengths and weaknesses and from there, address the areas of weakness. At the same time, if you want your partner to feel truly loved, ask yourself honestly how you would rate on these 11 indicators. Perhaps it's time for you not only to count the ways that you're loved, but the ways that you show your love.
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Copyright Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. 2014
Frost, D. M. (2013). Stigma and intimacy in same-sex relationships: A narrative approach. Qualitative Psychology, 1(S), 49-61. doi:10.1037/2326-3598.1.S.49