How To Tell Whether He Loves You Or He Loves The Way You Make Him Feel About Himself

It can be hard to tell whether your guy truly loves you or if he just loves the way you make him feel about himself. If you’re trying to figure it out—and trust me, we’ve all been there—here are some questions to ask yourself to get a better understanding.

  1. Does he ask you about your day, your problems, and/or your friends and family? And, not only that, does he actually listen to your response? It’s not a good sign if he only talks about himself, his problems, and the things going on in his own life. He should be genuinely interested in what’s going on in your life outside of the relationship.
  2. Does he remember things that are important to you? This can include doctor’s appointments, important work meetings, goals you have for yourself, and plans you have with or without him. If he does, that means he pays attention to the things you tell him and genuinely cares about the things that are important to you. Caring is a crucial part of a healthy relationship.
  3. Is he there for you when it’s inconvenient? Of course, sometimes when you’d like him to be there for you, he can’t be (even if he wants to be). However, does he go out of his way to help you and to be there for you, even if that’s inconvenient for him? Relationships are sometimes inconvenient and things happen in life that are stressful and hard to deal with, but when they happen to someone you love, you’re there for them.
  4. Does he have his own life (but include you in it)? In a healthy relationship, both you and your boyfriend should have your own interests and space from each other. Having a healthy balance is a good sign for your relationship. You don’t want him to abandon his friends and hobbies, but you don’t want him to be secretive and overly mysterious either.
  5. Does he often fish for compliments? Not only is it annoying, but if he’s constantly complaining about himself knowing you’ll compliment him or remind him how great he is, it’s a sign that he needs constant validation from other people, and may be relying on you to boost his self-esteem. Don’t entertain this behavior and also beware if it’s constantly happening.
  6. Is he willing to do things you like that he normally wouldn’t be interested in? Basically, is he willing to go out of his comfort zone for you? When you hang out, you shouldn’t be only doing things that he’s interested in together (like watching sports games or meeting up with his friends for a few beers) when he’s not reciprocating your flexibility. Relationships are about compromise and both people should be willing to do it.
  7. Does he generally have an addictive personality and are you his drug of choice? If he’s the kind of guy that’s constantly chasing the next high and gets obsessed with things easily, you might want to beware. He may love the high he gets from you more than he actually loves you.
  8. Does he want you to be a better person? It’s a good sign if he pushes you to be a better person and encourages you to work towards your goals. If he doesn’t seem to care about your self-progression (or worse, is against it), that may be a sign he loves the way you make him feel about himself more than you and is worried that your success might take away from your attention.
  9. Is he respectful of your feelings even if he doesn’t agree with or understand them? If he’s constantly being inconsiderate of your feelings but apologizes for his actions later when he wants to see or talk to you, that’s not what you deserve from someone who loves you.
  10. Can you just hang out and do nothing with him? Or is he always on the go? If he’s down to just relax, watch a TV show and eat some food with you, that’s a good sign. If he’s constantly trying to get you to go out and be impulsive, that may mean he loves the way you make him feel about himself rather than you. A healthy balance of both is ideal in a relationship.
  11. When you’re not with him, does he worry about you? This doesn’t mean overprotective, jealous and controlling. Does he check in with you and ask how you’re doing throughout the day or text you to make sure you got home safe at night? That’s a sign he really does love you.
  12. Is he consistent with you? You shouldn’t have to worry about whether he’s going to text you back or feel like your relationship is hot and cold. He should be consistent and reliable, and if he’s not, that might mean he loves the way you make him feel more than he loves you.
Kerry is a freelance writer from Boston, Massachusetts who now lives in the Sunshine State with the love of her life and her 15 month old daughter. She writes frequently about her personal experiences (find more of her work on She has an Etsy shop with cute items: she's not writing, she loves to spend time outside, at the beach, and with her family.