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Does your boyfriend love you?

Pick a daisy. Pull off the first petal: “He loves me.” And the next: “He loves me not.” Repeat until you get to the last petal to find out whether your boyfriend loves you or not. Sound crazy? No crazier than other stuff women do, like looking for “signs” that he loves you—he looks you in the eye, or tells you he loves you multiple times every day, or says he’s willing to die for you.

Meghan’s trying to figure out if Luke loves her or not. She meets Natalie, her best friend, at Caffè Artigiano to talk about it.
Natalie: Hey, what’s up?
Meghan: Luke. I know, it’s early …but still. It feels like we’re meant to be together.
Natalie: You said that about Michael, and we all know what happened with that relationship. Is Luke meeting your emotional needs?
Meghan: I forget what those are again—remind me.
Natalie: Four of them: familiar, accepted, valued, forgiven. Come on, Meg! Emotional needs are really important.
Meghan: Familiar. . .
Natalie: Does Luke know you? Say I asked him to describe you—what would he say?
Meghan: I dunno. (Laughs) But I know what I’d say… he’s dark-haired and intense and knows how to make me laugh and treats me great and …
Natalie: Great? Is he critical of you? Is he always trying to change the way you do things?
Meghan: No, not at all. So he’s meeting my need to be accepted, right?
Natalie: Right. Now, does he bring stuff up about things you did that you said you were sorry for?
Meghan: No. So he’s meeting my need to be forgiven, right? What about valued?
Natalie: When you ask Luke questions, does he say, “I don’t know” or “I don’t want to talk about it right now”? If he does that a lot, he isn’t valuing you.
Meghan: He does that a lot—he doesn’t like to talk much. But he’s amazing. You don’t know him like I do.
Natalie: Meg, if a guy doesn’t meet all your emotional needs, you have to stop thinking about whether he loves you or not—he doesn’t.
Meghan: But there are four categories of needs, right? Let’s see—emotional, physical, intellectual and lifestyle. What about my intellectual needs? Luke finds me incredibly interesting—I mean, he’s curious about every little thing I do.
Natalie: Yeah, but what about your lifestyle need to feel important? He doesn’t even pick up your calls or text you back when he’s with his friends. What’s up with that?
Meghan: He calls me everyday, Nat. Guys can be a little thoughtless sometimes. Your point?
Natalie: Here’s the thing. Basically those three little words—“I love you”—are pretty useless if you can’t answer yes to “Is he familiar with me, and am I accepted, forgiven, and valued?”
Meghan: Well, it’s still early days with Luke.
Natalie: That’s my point. So stop making choices like you’re going to be together forever.

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