While it may sound horrible to say out loud, it’s actually pretty common to feel like your partner loves you more than you love them. (Or vice versa.) And it doesn’t necessarily mean something’s wrong with your relationship. “There’s nothing wrong with one person loving the other just a little bit more,” dating coach Julie Spira tells Bustle. “As long as you’re on the same path together as a couple and are exclusive, there will be times in the relationship where this will shift in one direction or the other.” There may also be times when you’re the one who’s head-over-heels, as well as times when you both feel like things have cooled off.
Through it all, the only thing you can do is acknowledge it, and then do whatever you can to prevent your relationship from becoming unbalanced in an unhealthy way. “Take time and see if your love grows, which might take a little work,” relationship expert Megan Hunter, co-founder of the High Conflict Institute, tells Bustle. “Ask questions about their life, join in activities they like to do, ask about their family, and share the same about yourself.” From there, if the relationship is meant to be, you should feel the love growing, and hopefully things will be more balanced as a result. But if not, experts say you may notice some of the signs below — that your significant other loves you way more than you love them.
1-They Apologize All The Time — Even When They Don’t Need To
If your partner apologizes a lot, or when it’s not exactly necessary, it could be their way of showing the love by keeping the peace. Or, it could mean something more. “Extending the olive branch in order to make peace in your relationship shows one person may love the other a bit more,” Vikki Ziegler, renowned divorce attorney and relationship expert, tells Bustle.
And same goes for a partner who stands up for you 100 percent of the time — even when you’re so wrong. “This shows an undying loyalty that one person may be more in love and willing to be a bit dishonest just to protect the other person in the relationship,” she says.
If this describes your partner, it could just be a sweet sign that they love you unendingly, and would do anything for you. But it could also be a slippery slope into codependence. And since that’s not a healthy dynamic, you may want to pump those relationship brakes, and have a chat before things escalate.
2-They Always Check With You Before Making Plans
If your partner always checks in with you before solidifying their weekly plans, there’s a good chance they love you. Like, a lot. “Checking in with you before making plans means that your partner is prioritizing the relationship,” couples therapist Theresa Herring, LMFT tells Bustle. “It also shows respect towards the other person and that their time and opinion is important.”
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But if you can’t return the favor, it may be time to reevaluate your feelings. While it’s always a good idea to schedule in alone time — and to do things separately, away from your partner — you shouldn’t prefer alone time to seeing your partner, or consistently want to put them on the back burner. If that seems to be your MO, it might mean you’re not as invested in this relationship as you should be.
3-They’re The One Who Makes All The Plans
Think about who comes up with date night ideas, and who plans vacations. Is it your partner 100 percent of the time? If so, it’s a clear sign they love you, want to see you, and that they prioritize your relationship. And it may just be your dynamic; that they’re the planner, and you’re the one who goes along.
But it is important to flip the script, and surprise your partner from time to time. “Taking the initiative to respond within a respectful amount of time as well as planning a special day for your partner can help you contribute to the relationship,” April Davis, founder, matchmaker, and dating coach of Luma, tells Bustle. And if you want to be in the relationship, then it’ll be something you’re willing to do.
4-You’ve Met Their Parents, But They Haven’t Met Yours
Another sign your partner might just be a little bit more invested? “You have met your partner’s family and friends but you don’t feel the need to introduce them to yours,” Davis says. “This says your partner thinks it’s important for you to meet the most important people in their life because you are important and they see a future with you. With you not reciprocating you take the chance of hurting your partner’s feelings and them questioning your loyalty.”
So go ahead and ask yourself what might be holding you back. “If you are not close with your family … take the time to explain your reasons for not introducing them,” she says. “When you are ready to introduce friends and family member, start slow — introduce friends first while moving up to introducing your family when you are ready.”
5-They Remember Everything You Say
If your partner is the one who remembers your anniversary and the date of your first kiss, they could just be a hopeless romantic (or someone with an iron clad memory). But it could also be that they’re more invested in this than you are.
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As Herring says, “Committed and invested partners tend to remember the little things and show that they care though gestures.” But remember, just because your partner “wins” in this category, it doesn’t mean all is lost.By possibly going to therapy, and doing a little soul searching, you might be able to drum up the effort you need to stay in this relationship — and make it a healthy one.
6-They Pay Attention To Every Detail
Even though you might both be doing kind things for each other, your partner likely goes above and beyond by really paying attention to the details. “How you spend your time is a good indication of how much you care about someone or something,” certified counselor David Bennett tells Bustle. “If your partner puts effort into the little things related to you (like random cute texts, asking about your day, remembering important dates, etc.), but you can’t ever seem to do those things in return, they are more invested.”
Speaking of texts, long detailed texts are generally a sign someone is head-over-heels. “If your partner sends lengthier messages … I can guess that they are more into you than you are them,” Bennett says. It’s a sign they’re excited to talk to you, you’re the person they’re thinking about, etc.
If you can’t reciprocate, it might mean they love you more than you love them. But it could also be a sign of laziness on your part. If you aren’t much of a texter, or can’t be bothered to put effort into your phone, be sure to show your love in other ways. And, consider chatting with your partner about love languages. If they’re someone who needs words of affirmation in order to feel loved, then you may need to up your texting game.
8-Your Text Ratio As A Couple Is Super Skewed
If your partner sends lengthy texts, that’s fine — as long as you also respond. But you might also want to take a look at the ratio you’ve got goin’ on. “The text ratio will not be 50/50 if your partner loves you more,” relationship expert Jennifer Seiter tells Bustle. “The text ratio will be something like 70/30 meaning that your partner initiates 70 percent of the time while you only initiate 30 percent of the time.”
Again, sometimes one partner might just be a better texter than the other — meaning they want to talk more, or monitor their phone more than you do. But it can also be a sign you need to even the playing field in your relationship. As Seiter says, “You can balance this out by putting in more effort. Think of things that your partner enjoys and text them about it. It will bring you closer as a couple if you can maintain balance in the relationship. ”
Think of all the times your partner has dropped everything in order to help you out. Like that time they woke up at 2 a.m. to pick you up from the airport. Or that time they drove out into the fields with a new tire when you had a flat. If you can’t seem to reciprocate — even in smaller ways — Hunter says it could be a sign you aren’t that into them.
As mentioned above, it’s normal for a relationship to have its ups and downs. And it’s normal for one partner to be just a little bit more in love. But if you can’t seem to muster the strength to put effort in for your partner, it may be better to go your separate ways.
10-They Motivate You Like A Life Coach Would
If your partner is the one dishing out all the love in your relationship, you might also notice they’re always thinking about you. “Maybe they know you’ve had a long day, so dinner is waiting at home, or they pick you up and take you out so that you don’t have to worry about cooking,” author and lifestyle expert Jaya Jaya Myra tells Bustle. “Maybe they text you throughout the day to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything you wanted to get done. Perhaps they do some of your errands to make you forget about having a bad day.”
This is super sweet, if you’re also making an effort. But if you’re not, it may be time to chat with your partner about ways to make your relationship more balanced and fair, so that you can both show the love.
11-They’re Kind of “Attached At The Hip”
If your partner would rather be with you than see a friend pretty much 100 percent of the time, there’s a good chance they love you. But, as mentioned above, that isn’t always the healthiest.
So go ahead and set up some boundaries. “Explain to your partner that you like to be independent and take time to be by yourself and hang out with friends,” Bennett says. It can be beneficial for your partner, and for you.
“Most likely when they give you your space you will miss [them and] move towards a more even desire to spend time together,” he says. “It is important to pay attention to these areas and talk with your partner.” And once the two of you discuss how to enact that balance in your relationship, you can both feel loved and cared for.