I remember playing that game when I was younger… How sad that so many of us are still plucking flower petals trying to figure out if the object of our desires shares the sentiment…
Thankful for a spirit of discernment, the common sense to learn lessons after the experience and the ability to love myself enough not to love until it hurts; I have a few ways to help you figure out if he/she loves you (or not):
- Love is a choice. Yeah, I know that for most of us we have been conditioned to believe that love is an emotion and it is but when trying to determine whether someone loves you or not. Look at the choices they make when it comes to you. You may have heard this story before but… I dated a guy and he told me, pretty bluntly, that he didn’t want to have to consider me when making decisions about his future. At first, I was broken-hearted but I actually liberated me from my flower plucking. Why stay with someone who wants to make decisions independent of you? There will always be someone better in bed, prettier, richer, etc and if you’re with someone (or if you are) holding out for something better… That can’t be love, not a love you want to build a future around.
- Love does not hurt. If you find yourself in a constant state of pain over lies, betrayal, mistrust or any other issues; its not love. Its probably a codependency or manifestation of some type of fear – such as being alone, not having the person in your life, etc. Love isn’t supposed to hurt – all the time. Every relationship has its ebbs and flows but if you’re always in the valley picking flowers and hoping for a sign, gather your strength and climb the mountain of self love.
- Love is not a secret. I used to love “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr! Let me tell you, that was my jam. However, as I have gotten older and actually listened to the words and reflected on all my secret ‘loves’… Let’s just say, if it has to be a secret, its not love because the first question is “Who are you hiding from?” then “What are we afraid of?” As a young one, I loved the song because I had a secret lover who was much older than me and of course we had to hide because in hindsight, he probably would have been in jail if we weren’t a secret. Those types of situations, no matter how exciting they may seem at the time, rarely ending up being love, more likely a physical lust. Even as adults, most of those secret loves are a result of one or both people being in another relationship. How can you trust or be trusted if you start off with a foundation of lies?
- Love doesn’t lie. In a world where almost everyone wears a mask, this is tough because most of us have been so hurt, so many times until its hard to reveal our true, vulnerable selves. But if you can’t be your fun, sad, silly, hurt, happy, confused, loving-life self; you can’t be in love. If you are constantly trying to be, trying to impress, trying to convince; then you’re not showing your true self. So… even if they ‘love’ you, they don’t love YOU, they love the representative. Eventually, you will get tired of pretending then the fear of being yourself will come over you, the wonder if they will love the real you. Guess what? I’m advocate of someone leaving you if they don’t like the real you after falling in love with the representative. If they can’t love you at your worst, they don’t deserve you at your best.
- Love is constant. You may not like the person everyday but if you really love someone, it doesn’t waver day-to-day nor is it dependent on something they do. They may get on your last nerve, the one that has you looking at them like “don’t say a word” but you would rather them be there with a closed mouth than anywhere else.
Of course, I don’t have all of the answers but it pains me to see so many people searching for love, trying to make someone love them, looking for love in all the wrong places (I could preach a sermon about that) but at the end of the day… You have to learn to love yourself. Know who you are and believe that that person is valuable and worthy of unconditional love. Don’t be so quick to settle for the first person who pays you a little attention. Invest (yes, invest because a good investment yields a return) in getting to know the person – DATE! Don’t get upset if they don’t fall in love with you after the first date because 6. Love takes time.