Is Her Love For Real?
Q: For four months, I've been dating a girl in another state who is a little younger than me. She says that she loves me without my having to ask. But how do I tell? Because I really love her and she is all I can think about. So my question is how to tell for sure if she is for real or just stringing me along? -- Roger, 26
Dr. Susan: I don't know how often you get together in person, but the next time, open up a conversation about what love is. For some people it's a feeling you have in the moment. Others don't say "I love you" unless they mean they'd like to have a long-term relationship with the other person. It's a commitment, not merely a passing feeling that comes and goes. It takes time to get to know a person, and the fact that your girlfriend isn't nearby means it's going to take longer than usual for the two of you to know when you can really trust each other. The short answer to your question is that you can't know for sure if she's for real. She probably means what she says, but who knows what she means when she uses the word love? Be patient and assume she's telling the truth while you see where the relationship goes.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.