Your partner may not be perfect. But despite the arguments and romantic hiccups, there’s something to be said for a partner who really cares.
Is this something that can be said of your current relationship?
If you aren’t sure, welcome to my caring checklist. Featuring ten signs that your partner cares deeply it is almost impossible to fake in the long-term.
So, if a few of these signs ring a bell, you can be sure your partner values the relationship.
1. They Bring You Small Gifts For No Reason
One way to know that your partner thinks of you constantly is receiving an unprompted gift.
It doesn’t have to be something impressive or costly. In fact, anything will do because its real purpose is demonstrating that despite being apart, you were nevertheless present in their thoughts.
If your partner cares deeply about you, out of sight will never mean out of mind and the occasional token forget-me-not is the manifestation of this care.
2. They Perceive You Rather Than Judge You
This means that if your partner fundamentally disagrees with you, rather than just shutting you out, they will attempt to see your side of the story.
This doesn’t mean they submit or cave-in on their needs and wants to make you happy (which isn’t a healthy attitude to have in any case), but it does mean they realize that your needs might differ from theirs and that’s okay.
Typically, a relationship in a downward spiral will see this “perceptive” way of approaching argumentation turn into a “judgmental” one because there is no longer the will or energy to negotiate a solution.
If your partner cares, they will try and view the world through your eyes to find something that works for you both.
3. They Need To Tie Up Loose Ends After An Argument
A partner who cares deeply will use an argument to overcome relationship obstacles and not as a way to project their resentment. Because of this, if the argument ends abruptly without a resolution you can expect this to haunt the partner in question.
In short, they won’t let go until some kind of resolution has been achieved. And if that means waking you up at 4 am to finish the dratted argument, then so be it.
This doesn’t mean that a partner who prefers to de-escalate and let it go doesn’t care. Far from it. Nor am I implying that a do-or-die attitude is a right way to approach things. What am I saying is that if your partner (or you) just needs to tie up those loose ends after a showdown, you can be sure they care.
4. They Care About Your Individuality
To the caring partner, you are more than just a side-kick, you are an individual with your own needs and ambitions.
While I always prattle on about the value of boundaries, confrontation, and negotiation, sometimes recognizing that our partner needs something we don’t and burying our disapproval is the way to go.
Sometimes it isn’t what we actively do for the relationship that shows we care, but what we don’t. And giving space when needed to promote our partner’s well-being outside of the relationship is one of those things.
5. They Don’t Shy Away From Responsibility
Responsibility in relationships is more than just a routine of shared chores. It is an attitude. A willingness to sacrifice for the greater good that you can’t fake in the long-term because it has an ongoing cost that is difficult to shoulder.
If your partner takes an active role in guiding the relationship through its emerging problems they are demonstrating care because they are choosing to weather insecurity now in the belief of a better tomorrow. As is often the case, should this belief in “you” as a couple deteriorate, so will the willingness to sacrifice.
Investing in the future in this way is what I mean when I talk about responsibility. Because of the associated cost of sacrificing their well being in the present, it’s also a crystal-clear sign that they continue to care.
6. They Remember The Details
Admittedly, some people are just more forgetful or imperceptive than others and this shouldn’t be taken as a sign they don’t care. However, a partner who cares will take an interest with regards to knowing the details about who really are and what makes you tick. Right down to the minutia you weren’t aware you had.
Maybe it’s in the tone of your voice and not in the words that you say. Perhaps it’s in the way you’ve suddenly become silent. The point is, these changes are something a caring partner will likely pick up on when others won’t, simply because they are paying more attention.
7. They Subconsciously Imitate You
Imitation is a tool that we subconsciously wield to build rapport. This is particularly evident during the dating process where the desire to bridge divides is strong but is also common during the course of the relationship as a bonding tool.
If you find that you and your partner often “mirror” each other, this is not happening by chance. There is a subconscious dance taking place whose goal is to bring you and keep you together.
8. They Open Their World To You
A partner who cares will seek to involve you in more than just a one-to-one relationship, they will open the doors of their private universe to you.
This means, unless there are good reasons not to, you will get to meet the sights, people, and fixtures that define who your partner is.
Why is this important? Well, personally, I can think of no greater display of trust than opening the doors to their extended world to you due to the damage that could theoretically be done. It is another firm demonstration of trust that cannot be faked.
9. They Seek Your Advice (Even On Trivial Matters)
In part, seeking advice from you is because they value your opinion, but it is also a way of bringing you closer together by involving you in a decision. This is especially true when the issue at hand seems trivial.
By now I expect it’s becoming clear that most of these points show that I feel that caring is often demonstrated by your partner’s efforts to bring you both together. There are many ways we do this, and even something as mundane as asking for advice is a sign of caring deeply.
10 They Make A Fuss Over You
“Making a fuss” over a partner is something we’d typically expect from a young, inexperienced couple. But just as partners mature, so to do certain behaviors.
The mature fuss, like its younger cousin, is characterized by making a big deal out of something trivial. This is because when we care no detail is too small and no aspect of our partner’s routine is too insignificant.
If your partner cares expect them to see the potential for improvement in just about anything, not as a critique, but as a way of demonstrating complicity. Consider also that this “perfectionism” is based on their vision of who you are, which is often more flattering than your vision of yourself.
Talk about a compliment!
A Warning About Manipulation
It goes without saying that to some degree, a manipulative person can fake some of these signs in the short-term. But because of the cost involved (effort and action), a manipulative person will only ever weaponize caring signals in the short term and until they get what they are after.
If your partner demonstrates these signs over time, then it shows that it is not simply a result of needing something specific from you, but that being there for you is part of their long-term routine.
Always measure these signals over time, not in isolation. If you ask me, consistency is the greatest sign of caring of all.