Someone recently asked me how you know when you love someone. I jokingly told her to go read my blog. Not helpful, especially as it turns out, I haven’t tried to answer this question before. Because this question is different than how do you know if he’s the one. That’s a farther-down-the-road question. You can love someone before knowing if this person is “the one” or not. (Not that I believe there is a “the one”, as I already touched on. Anyway…)
So, sweet one who is dating someone new, you asked how you can know if you love someone. My gut instinct was to tell you “you just know”. But that’s not very, ummm, specific. I haven’t loved that many men in my lifetime but I can only go by what I know. So, here’s how I know I love Tall-Shadow, in no particular order. (And let me be clear that all this could very well be different for every person.)
- I would rather be with him than not be with him. This is especially big for me because I’m a flaming introvert to the nth degree. There are very few people I want to be with for an extended period of time. Not because I’m a snob but simply because I just crave alone time. But not once have I wanted our dates to end. And our dates sometimes last, like, fourteen hours.
- I like who I am more now that he’s in my life. He makes me a better, softer, calmer version of myself. I’m not defensive all the time. I don’t have anything to prove. I’m not emotionally flinching. I am just one hundred percent me, but a little nicer.
- I think he’s just one of the best human beings I know. Seriously. He’s this pretty perfect mix of hard-working and laidback, kind and confident, servant-minded yet he’s not going to be walked on. His faith that “it’s all going to work out” can drive me a bit batty and yet totally inspires me to let the littler things go.
- If I can, I want to make his life better. I don’t have a pressing need to make everyone-in-the-world’s life better. (In fact, I can’t. It’s not my job.) But if I can pick up something for him at the store, or have his favorite snack at my house, or iron his pants on occasion, I want to do these things for him. (I know, I know…I’m a housewife in a 1950s sitcom.)
- Pretty early on, I had this overall sigh of relief wash over me as in, “where have you been all my life?” Literally. It’s like I was waiting for him. And now he’s here. And now we can move forward.
- He loves what I do (i.e. trying to help hurting women through the redemption of my own pain). He gets what I do. He admires what I do. He supports what I do. And he wants to live that kind of life as well.
- He believes in God and loves God. He is grateful for what God has done in his life. He lives open-handedly. He wants to serve God by helping others who are hurting.
- He loves me. For me. Not who I could or should be. Not after he spends a few years trying to change me. He just loves me. Now. As is. My mentor said of him that the gift I have in him will be a lifetime of consistent love. He has steadily, gently, kindly, affirming-ly loved me pretty much since day one.
I could go on. Because he really is just that great. But I think you get my point. Does this person make you and your life better or worse? Does this person understand you and your life and accept it all or make you feel like you need to change? Do you feel calm or anxious around this person? Do you enjoy being with this person? Do you want to make this person’s life better?
Only you, sweet one, can answer if you love this person. But either way, as long as you’re dating, lead with kindness and respect, and one day you may wake up and realize that you do love him, and it’s a gift.
If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here, or “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here.
Thank-you for this. I have a man in my life. Its been about 6 months. We are just very very hood friends and talk alot. He loves God completely. We get along so well. But I have a 16 year old daughter with mild autism and she was the reason my second marriage ended. He really was not ready for my life with her. So needless to say I am cautious with this relationship. It adds so much more to this list. Praying through it all
I love this so much! I love how funny you are and it totally makes sense. Thank you! 🙂
I love #8 and I can completely (and so gratefully) relate to that last sentence. Sigh – it’s such a breath of fresh air.
Love this! And am beyond amazed, blessed, and oh so grateful that God recently brought me my own ‘tall shadow’. As I was not looking (& neither was he), it took several acts of God for me to get knocked over the head that this gift of love was standing right in front of me. The final accepting it first required me forgiving myself for not protecting/changing the course of 1- the teen-bride me, 2- the young 20 something me trapped at home with babies, & 3- the 30 something, home schooling, ministry running, super woman. Once I repented for not rescuing myself sooner from the abusive marriage and forgave myself, then I could trust myself. And once the trust came… BAM! There was my man. My REAL, Godly, Kind, Loving, Wonderful Man. Your list above is exactly accurate. The way I “know”, is that being with him feels like “coming home”. With him, I’m 110% ME… More ME than I am on my own. I’m “HOME”. What a beautiful gift Christ-like romance is! I’m in awe & enjoying this season as immensely as you are. =)