Proof of love

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Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

I already asked a question here with this phrase (proof of love), but I am still not sure about it in the new contexts below. My question: Does "proof of love" (my definition: evidence/demonstration of someone's love) sound natural/correct in the examples I made below?

a. [Boyfriend says to his girlfriend]: Jane, we've been together for a while now, but I need proof of your love. I'm still not sure you love me.
b. He stayed with her in spite of her losing all her ability to move after the accident. To me, that's the greatest proof of love you can get.
c. [Girlfriend complaining]: John, I think you don't really love me. You've never given me any proof of your love.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • goldenband

    Senior Member
    English - American
    All of them are grammatically correct and reasonably idiomatic, but only (b) sounds like something I'd expect to hear in real life and would consider acceptable.

    Both (a) and (c) sound very calculating. As a reader, my immediate assumption is that the boyfriend in (a) and the girlfriend in (c) are trying to emotionally manipulate the other person. In (a), it sounds like the boyfriend is pressuring Jane for sex; in (c), it sounds like the girlfriend wants John to give her an expensive present. Both speakers sound like creeps to me.

    In other words, asking another person for "proof of [their] love" can easily sound downright abusive, and I suspect I'm not alone in this reaction. So if you choose to use it, whether in real life or in fictional examples, be very careful.
     

    Xavier da Silva

    Senior Member
    Thank you very much, Goldenband.

    Both (a) and (c) sound very calculating. As a reader, my immediate assumption is that the boyfriend in (a) and the girlfriend in (c) are trying to emotionally manipulate the other person. In (a), it sounds like the boyfriend is pressuring Jane for sex; in (c), it sounds like the girlfriend wants John to give her an expensive present. Both speakers sound like creeps to me.
    You described exactly what I was looking for.

    In other words, asking another person for "proof of [their] love" can easily sound downright abusive, and I suspect I'm not alone in this reaction. So if you choose to use it, whether in real life or in fictional examples, be very careful.
    I understand what you mean. I realize I'll have to make the context perfectly clear even in a fictional environment, or I might sound strange. It happens in Portuguese as well.

    It's clear now.
     
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