Whatever the underlying explanation, when someone says “I love you” too much, that person is putting his or her feelings above yours and is likely to do that throughout the relationship.
3. Too physical.
The sad fact is, our bodies change as we get older, while the person we are inside may grow intellectually and emotionally but remains essentially the same.
If your partner only says I love you when giving or receiving physical affection (or as a precursor to sex) or only attaches love statements to your physical features, you could be in for trouble down the road.
Your partner may love to be with you, and specifically to sleep with you, in your current physical form, but that “love” may wane as age and time take their toll.
Simply asking the question, “Will you love me when I’m 60 or when I’m old and gray,” won’t help much, because you’ll simply hear, “Of course.”
Try counting the number of times you hear “I love you” after you’ve said something intelligent, done something your partner feels proud of, or—and this is tough test for anyone to pass—when you’ve just stood up for yourself.
4. Too compatible.
It’s amazing. Your partner loves everything you love.
The same foods, the same books, the same movies, the same interior design. You never—not just rarely but never—disagree on any choices.
The words, “No thanks, I’d rather,” are not part of your vocabulary.
Some, even a lot, of shared interests and tastes is natural; it’s one of the things that attracts you to each other. But unless you’re dating a clone of yourself, each partner should have distinct interests and tastes of his or her own.
When everything matches to a tee, it’s called mirroring, and you may be doing it as well as your partner. Psychopaths mirror to draw victims into relationships by making them think they’ve found the perfect mate.
You may not be dealing with a psychopath, but you may also be unaware of your partner’s real likes and dislikes, because he or she is not sharing them for fear of rocking the boat or because it would puncture the illusion of perfection.
Suppressing disagreement also leads to resentment. The places you need to be compatible are your values, your goals, and your parenting philosophy if you’re planning to have kids. Other than that, vive la différence!
5. Too tight.
I’m not talking about something not fitting properly here. I’m talking about a partner being so consumed with the idea of an “us” that he or she forgets there is a you.
If you find your partner frequently singing your virtues as a couple or always talking about how great you are together, he or she may be indulging the fantasy of being in a relationship without experiencing either the actual relationship or you as a person.
An us comprises two independent people who choose to be together, to bring their individual selves into concert with one another.
If your partner surrenders his or her individuality without a fight or even a whimper, you may be with someone whose psychological integrity is compromised and who will ultimately define his or her identity around the relationship.
This makes it harder for you to leave if you choose to, because severing the bond destroys the identity your partner has built around it.
The “us” that you become with a partner develops out of the ways the two of you connect and find common ground. Celebrating the “us” before you’re really a couple is a sign of insecurity and desperation.
Now that you know what to look for, you can enjoy a sincerely spoken “I love you,” or the words lit on fire by the side of the road, even more.