“Lust is temporary, romance can be nice, but love is the most important thing of all. Because without love, lust and romance will always be short-lived” – Danielle Steel
As Judith Viorst right points out, “Lust is what keeps you wanting to do it even when you have no desire to be with each other. Love is what makes you want to be with each other even when you have no desire to do it.” Trying to figure out your partner’s intentions can oftentimes be difficult.
There will always be people who want you for what you can do for them, whether this be unreciprocated emotional labor, or just sex. Men and women both struggle with running into people who only want to use them for their bodies. It can be pretty disappointing, and getting back out there after that can feel incredibly daunting.
However, not everyone operates in relationships this way. There are ways to tell when your partner is genuine in their affections, and wants to be with you out of love.
HERE ARE 11 SIGNS YOUR PARTNER WANTS YOU FOR LOVE, NOT LUST
1. THEY SHOW INTEREST IN YOUR LIFE AND WELL-BEING
You’ll be able to tell that your partner cares about you as a whole person and not just for sex when they show genuine interest in your life, your opinions, thoughts and ideas. If there’s something you’re extremely passionate about, your partner should take an interest in it, even if all they do is listen to you ramble on. On the other hand, “If it’s just lust, he will not invest much time in conversations. And usually he will just blatantly ask for sex,” says licensed marriage and family therapist Lianne Avila.
2. THEY TAKE CARE OF YOU WHEN YOU’RE SICK
Someone who is just out for sex has no interest in taking care of us when we’re not feeling well. On the other hand, a partner who is willing to see you at your snot-nosed worst is in it for the long haul. They’ll love you even when you’re not looking your best, and only care about nursing you back to health. As relationship expert Margaret Paul rightly mentions, “Rather than feeling put upon when your partner needs something from you, you receive joy in being able to give to and support your partner in many ways.”
3. THEY WANT TO TALK TO YOU AND SHOW THEY’RE INTERESTED
Initiating conversations is one way that human beings show that they’re interested in what one another has to say. If your partner doesn’t seem interested in initiating conversations with you, and you find that you’re always reaching out to them, they may not be interested in the things you have to say. However, when you find that you and your partner are reaching out to each other in equal amounts, it’s most likely love.
4. THEY’RE ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT YOU
Whether or not this is true, it can seem like it when your partner is really in love. You may find that your partner brings you gifts or sends you flowers, or does something as simple as cooking your favorite meal. Someone who is only interested in sex is probably not invested in making you feel loved and appreciated like this.
5. THEY WANT YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO LIKE THEM
And they make an effort at it, too! People who are only interested in the physical aspects of a relationship don’t much care to meet the parents. However, when true love is blooming, your partner will definitely want your friends and family to think highly of them, and they’ll put in the effort that it takes to make that happen.
6. THEY BRAG ABOUT YOU TO THEIR FRIENDS
In fact, they probably can’t seem to talk about anything else. Someone who is only interested in sex might do this too, but the difference is that they’ll probably only brag about how many times you’ve slept together. When your partner is in love, they’re going to want their friends to know just how much – and all the time.
7. THEY DO THINGS THEY NORMALLY WOULDN’T DO
Maybe your partner really isn’t into sports, or exercise, but they do those activities with you because you like them. They really put in the effort to stay connected with you and to make you feel like your hobbies are worthwhile. So, even if they’re not big on sports, they’ll still be the second loudest person cheering with you in the stands.
8. THEY NEVER PUT YOU IN AN UNCOMFORTABLE POSITION
Your partner will make extra sure never to pressure you into anything that you don’t want to do. They understand and respect your boundaries, and make an effort to communicate with you to make sure that they know where those boundaries lie. Someone who is with you out of love would never pressure you into doing something that you’re not comfortable with, whether or not it happens to be sexual.
9. THEY’RE COMMITTED TO YOU
Someone who is only interested in sex probably shies away from any talk of commitment. However, you know that your partner is the real deal when commitment doesn’t scare them, not even a little. They’re ready to be committed to you and are proud to do so. They’re not pining after other people or ex-partners. You’re enough for them.
10. THEY’RE ALWAYS TRUTHFUL AND AREN’T AFRAID TO SHARE EVERYTHING
This is a sign of both trust and respect. If your partner isn’t afraid to tell you the truth about everything, then it’s a sign that they’re really with you out of love. They most likely won’t lie to you about big things or little things, and they won’t try to placate you. Someone who is only with you for sex may often use lies to manipulate you – but you’ll never feel manipulated when your partner is all in.
11. THEY ALWAYS MAKE TIME TO BE WITH YOU
Even if they have a busy day at work or a lot of projects coming up, your partner will always make the time to see you, because you’re just as important as all the other things going on in their life. They’re serious about you when they arranged their schedule to make sure the two of you have time to connect.
These tell-tale signs can help separate the people who are genuine about their love for you and the people who only want to use you for your body. Whether you’re a man or a woman, your partner should always make you feel safe and loved. You always deserve to have someone in your corner who wants to be with you for you.