9 signs your partner genuinely values you, according to psychology

We all want to be loved. But just as important as that is feeling that your partner values you.

Not just as a romantic partner, but as a person.

In our personal relationships, we all need to feel valued and respected as well as desired. We want our partners to understand how much we do for them and what we bring to the relationship, and we want to be appreciated for it.

It’s nice to hear that our partners value us. But sometimes, actions speak louder than words.

If your partner truly values you, there are all kinds of ways they will show it, according to psychology. Keep an eye out for these signs that tell you your partner really sees value in your relationship.

1) They listen

It’s basically impossible to have a relationship with someone who won’t listen to you. But while this sounds like a simple thing, it can be trickier than you think.

You see, anyone can act as if they are listening. But are they really hearing what you say?

That’s why psychologists recommend active listening.

“Active listening is a way of listening that involves full attention to what is being said for the primary purpose of understanding the speaker,” writes psychologist Dianne Grande.

She also points out that, “Psychologist Willard Harley identified the 10 most common emotional needs of individuals in partner relationships. Among these top 10 was the need for “intimate conversation.””

Basically, being able to talk to one another is the key to relationship happiness. And many times, talking really means listening.

2) They support you

I’m not talking about financially – although if that’s the arrangement you have, that’s part of it, too.

What’s even more important is emotional support.

After all, there isn’t much point being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t support you. Almost the whole point of romantic relationships is to provide emotional support for one another through good times and bad.

“Emotional support is an intentional verbal and nonverbal way to show care and affection for one another,” writes psychology researcher Zamfira Parincu. “When you directly express affection and concern, when you reassure them that they are loved and important, you may help them cope with upset feelings or challenging situations.”

Emotional support is the bedrock of a healthy relationship. And sooner or later, we all need that support from the people closest to us.

So if your partner makes sure to provide the support you need, it’s a good sign that they value you and the relationship you have.

3.) They respect your boundaries

Boundaries are so important in a relationship. Unfortunately, too many people are willing to sacrifice their boundaries for the people they love. And even more, unfortunately, that almost never leads to anything good.

Because when that happens, as psychologist Shawn M. Burn writes, “we can find ourselves in a one-sided relationship with a “taker.” Our giving can turn into enabling and promote dependency or addiction.”

When someone values a relationship, they will respect their partner’s boundaries.

That means they won’t ask you to do things you’ve made clear you are not willing to do. They won’t try to make you feel guilty or ashamed for having the reasonable boundaries that you do.

Plus, chances are good they will maintain strong boundaries of their own.

4) They communicate openly

As I mentioned earlier, listening is absolutely fundamental to a healthy relationship.

But you can also tell how much partners value each other by how they talk to one another.

Communicating openly means being honest about your desires, fears, and emotions. It doesn’t mean you have to talk about how you feel nonstop, but it does mean you have to be honest with your partner. And they need to be honest with you.

“Most of us didn’t learn healthy ways of communicating and resolving conflict in our families,” writes psychologist Melanie Greenberg. “We bring these styles into our relationships thinking they are normal and then feel sad and angry when they engender a negative response.”

The key, then, to maintaining a healthy relationship is to learn how to communicate with each other effectively.

Greenberg suggests:

  •       Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want;
  •       Explain why you want your partner’s behavior to change;
  •       Be gentle and try to discuss issues when your emotions haven’t got the better of you;
  •       Don’t get angry or defensive;
  •       Pay attention to when your partner needs empathy or advice;
  •       Don’t blame each other.

Follow these rules, and you’ll be well on your way to building a communication style that lets both of you feel heard.

5) They make time for you

pic2016 9 signs your partner genuinely values you, according to psychology

We all get busy from time to time. But if your partner really values you, they will find time to spend with you.

If someone values you, they will want to be around you. Not 24 hours a day, necessarily; that’s not healthy either. But they will want to spend some of their time with you, and won’t avoid spending quality time together.

How you spend the time is up to the two of you. What matters is that a person who values you as a partner will find some time to spend together and enjoy each other’s company.

6) They are kind

Sometimes, the most basic things are easy to overlook.

It sounds obvious that your partner should be kind to you. Then again, you might be surprised by how often that isn’t the case.

“Those whose partners meet their ideals in terms of warmth and loyalty are more satisfied with their relationships. Having a partner who meets one’s ideals in terms of physical attractiveness, excitement, status, and wealth, on the other hand, is much less correlated with overall satisfaction,” writes psychologist Gwendolyn Seidman.

“This research also found that having a partner who fell short on attractiveness, status, and excitement did not affect satisfaction if that partner was also highly warm, kind, and loyal.”

In other words, being kind is more important and more valued in a partner than almost any other character trait.

So if your partner is kind to you, you can be sure that they truly value their relationship with you.

7) They celebrate your achievements

When someone truly cares for you, they will be happy for your success.

That means they will celebrate your achievements, no matter what they are.

“What truly enlivens a relationship is an active constructive response, when the person who hears about our success is sincerely happy for us,” write relationship counselors Linda and Charlie Bloom.

“Celebrating triumphs in life, from small, seemingly trivial ones to those that are more significant, strengthens the bond between two people.”

Life is tough, and we need to enjoy the wins we get. When you have a partner who does that for you, it’s a sure sign that they value you and everything you’re capable of.

8) They’re committed to growing together

One of the problems every long-term committed relationship faces is that none of us stay the same forever.

We all change as time goes by; the best we can hope to do is make sure we change for the better instead of for the worse.

That means if you want your relationship to last, you need a partner who accepts that you will change and encourages your personal growth. And usually, that goes hand-in-hand with them being focused on personal growth for themselves.

“Plenty of research shows that couples can maintain excitement in their relationship by jointly engaging in novel experiences that promote personal growth,” writes psychologist David Ludden.

A partner who encourages your growth as a person is one you should definitely hold onto. Because if they support your personal growth, it’s a sure sign they value you highly.

9) They are trustworthy and reliable

Reliability is by definition unexciting, and so it’s often underrated as a quality in a partner.

But in a long-term relationship, reliability is key.

And if someone makes the effort to be reliable and reward your trust in them, it’s a good sign of the value they see in you.

“At its most basic, trust lets us feel secure because we believe our partner has our back and will be loyal through thick and thin,” write relationship experts Rob Pascale and Lou Primavera. “It also allows us to display our thoughts and feelings openly and honestly, because we regard our partner as supportive and don’t worry that they will judge, ridicule, or reject us.”

In fact, as they point out, it’s impossible to build a committed relationship with someone you don’t trust.

So if your partner always shows up when they say they will, if they always follow through, if they demonstrate they can be trusted, it’s a sure sign they value you.

Valuing your partner

Sometimes, actions can be louder than words. If your partner shows these behaviors, you can feel confident that they value you. And that’s the foundation of a solid relationship.

Picture of Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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