Finally. After all the weird dates and awkward Bumble meet-and-greets, you’ve met a guy who falls into the “CW” category:
Maybe you’ve been dating for a few weeks now, and you have a good feeling about him.
Or maybe you’ve been dating a few months and you’re starting to think about whose family you’ll visit over the holidays, or even fantasizing about a proposal.
Okay, it’s too soon for that second thing, but a girl can still dream, right?
Whatever the scenario, you like him.
Maybe you’ve even fallen in love with him — or you’re standing right on that precipice — ready to take the plunge, and your biggest thought is:
If you take that plunge, will he be waiting and ready to catch you? Or will you crash to the rocks while he’s nowhere to be found?
It’s that time.
Time to make sure you aren’t investing in the wrong dude. Time to make sure this guy loves you or is at least heading toward Love Town, even if he’s not quite there yet.
A lot of people will tell you that it’s obvious when a man loves you.
Sometimes it is, but not always. You want to be sure and, well, sometimes you just aren’t.
Movies, your upbringing, and lofty Pinterest memes teach us that love looks a certain way and when your guy isn’t behaving that way it can be confusing.
But here’s the thing: Men don’t always express love like we do, or in ways we expect. Every man is different and has a different way of showing his love.
Some are classic romantics who offer up roses and nice dinners. Others are closet romantics who’ve never purchased flowers in their lives but then spring a pretty piece of jewelry on you when you least expect it.
And some don’t show their love in traditional ways or even express much affection at all, instead opting to show you through their own unique means.
What’s more is that unlike women, men have been trained pretty much from birth to be very careful about showing vulnerability or “softer” feelings, and nothing brings out vulnerability like falling in love.
So how do you know if your man loves you? And just as importantly, how do you know if your man isn’t feeling the love?
Signs A Man Loves You Or Is Falling In Love With You
Sign #1: He Actually Communicates
A man who loves you will want to stay in touch.
How he does that varies from man to man, but regardless of what’s going on in his life, he’ll find a way to call or text you.
He won’t want to lose track of you because he knows instinctively that doing so could result in anything from pissing you off to creating an opportunity for another guy to invade his territory.
A guy who loves you will stay in communication with you often.
Even the briefest connection can make a big difference, and he knows that. Sure, busy times might mean missing a day or two here and there, especially if he’s out of town, but a guy who loves you will find a way to stay in touch.
Likewise, if something comes up and he can’t get together or he misses a call, he’ll let you know and acknowledge the change or oversight instead of leaving you hanging and wondering.
On the other hand, if a guy repeatedly goes too long without communicating, forgets to call when he said he would, or gets too “busy” to stay in touch, that’s not a good sign. Yeah, life gets busy. But we all have priorities, and when a man really cares he’ll find a way to connect.
I once met a woman whose boyfriend traveled frequently for work. He would leave for several days or even a week at a time, and he never called her while out of town. This guy liked her enough to keep seeing her, but he didn’t love her and had no intention of taking their relationship to the next level.
Finally, watch out for a guy who calls or texts multiple times a day to check on you. That can be a sign he’s controlling or possessive.
Sign #2: He Invites You Into His World
When a man loves you, he’ll share his world with you.
Every man does this at a different pace, but he will do it because he knows his world is better with you in it.
One way he does this is by introducing you to his people. You might meet his friends during the more casual dating stages, but he’s more likely to reserve his closest peeps for women he’s serious about.
A good sign is when he introduces you to family, particularly his parents. He won’t bring a woman he’s unsure about home because he knows they’ll be evaluating her and wondering if she’s The One.
Yeah, guys get family pressure to marry and have kids, too.
Another good sign is if he introduces you to his kids.
Many parents are careful about whom they allow into their children’s lives, and a man doesn’t want to expose his children to a parade of women. Which means that if you’re meeting his kids, he might very well love you, or at least feel like he could someday soon.
Remember Dwight and Angela from The Office?
The strange, unromantic beet farmer had no idea what to get judgmental, difficult Angela for Valentine’s Day.
In the end, he gave her something utterly mundane: a key. But not just any key — the key to his home. It was the ultimate sign he was serious about her, and that key said everything Dwight couldn’t.
What does it mean when he doesn’t invite you to his inner circle?
Some men prefer to move slowly, especially if they’ve been burned. But after a few months, if you haven’t met his people and he’s made it clear he’s not ready for that, you’re on the periphery of his life, and that isn’t love.
On the other hand, watch out for a guy who hands you to keys to his world right off the bat, before you’ve “earned it.” Love can’t be rushed and that can be a sign of neediness or desperation.
Sign #3: He Commits
A man who loves you will commit…to you and to your future.
However, commitment doesn’t refer only to marriage.
Some couples aren’t ready to talk about marriage yet, and others don’t care about it. However, a man who loves you will commit in other important ways.
The most obvious way?
He’ll stop seeing other people and will want you to do the same.
When you’re in love, you want that person to yourself. In fact, one study showed that paying little to no attention to other possible partners is a strong sign of commitment to a relationship.
Another sign of commitment is talking about the future.
This can include discussions about moving in together or marriage, or in earlier stages, can be as simple as inviting you to a concert that’s two months away or planning the holidays in advance.
When a guy’s in love, he imagines the future with you in it.
On the other hand, a guy who isn’t in love won’t mention the future because he hasn’t thought about it or doesn’t want to get your hopes up.
He might put on the brakes, saying he’s not ready to plan that weekend getaway because “work is crazy,” or just brush off those topics because he’s “got too much going on.”
If you’ve been together a while and he’s hemming and hawing about moving in or getting married, in many cases he does love you, but he either doubts you’re the right girl for him or he’s not ready for that next step.
Tyler, an old friend of mine, fit into that second category.
Throughout his twenties and half of his thirties, he had relationships with women he really cared about. But, he wouldn’t take the next step with them — something they wanted — because he wasn’t ready. When he was ready, he married and had a couple of kids.
However, like love, commitment shouldn’t be rushed. A guy who talks future on the first date or wants exclusivity right out of the gate is waving a big red flag of needy.
Much like a man inviting you into his world, it’s a good sign when he lets you see his private side.
We talk about our relationships, our problems, the shit that annoys us. We talk about it with our friends, our families, with those we trust. And we’ll share the things that pain us the most because we know talking about it helps.
Men don’t always do this.
Again, men are trained to avoid showing vulnerability, so they might gripe about a client or a running injury with a buddy, but they don’t often share the things that upset them the most because they don’t want to risk looking “weak” or getting crap from their friends.
When a guy opens up about his abusive father or talks about the devastation he felt when his ex cheated on him, especially if he hasn’t shared that with anyone else, it’s a sign he trusts you and even loves you.
But you have to be careful with this one.
If he’s sharing too much too soon or dumps his problems on you, he isn’t showing love…he’s being needy. The sharing should happen at an appropriate time and should feel intimate, not like you’re his shrink.
Sign #5: He Keeps His Word
When a guy loves you, he follows through and stays true to his word.
This means he calls when he says he will — apologizes those rare times something comes up — and does what he says he’ll do.
When you love someone you don’t want to disappoint or hurt them or do anything to jeopardize the relationship. You don’t flake or disappear.
I interviewed women and asked them what makes them feel most loved by their partners, and several mentioned the importance of a man keeping his word.
As one woman put it: “I know I can trust his word and that makes me feel very loved and very supported, respected, and safe.”
That about says it all, doesn’t it?
As a side note, keeping his word isn’t just a good sign he loves you, it’s a sign he’s a quality man.
Beware a guy who flakes or cancels a lot, who’s so busy he can’t make time for you, or who says one thing and then does another. A guy like that loves his friends, his job, or himself more than he loves you.
Sign #6: He Does Things For You
A man in love will be generous with his time and effort. How that looks depends on the man and the relationship, but it will be there in some form.
However, it won’t always look like you expect.
Raise your hand if you’ve partaken in your share of romantic movies and books.
I know you’re out there (I’m slowly raising my hand now). No need to be ashamed, either. Who doesn’t love watching Noah from The Notebook toil for years on that beautiful southern mansion in the hope that Allie will eventually live in it?
But love rarely looks like that in the real world.
Instead of sweeping grand gestures, love is often portrayed in simple, small acts that may seem mundane on the surface, but are deeply meaningful when you stop to appreciate them.
In fact, sometimes the small things say the most when it comes to love, especially when a couple has been together a while.
For example, as nice as it feels to receive a compliment, a piece of jewelry, or flowers, a man who replaces your brake pads or installs your curtain rods is giving you something that will last for years.
And a man who takes time out of his busy schedule to meet your crazy friend or listen to your dad tell that fishing story for the millionth time is a keeper.
When I interviewed women about what makes them feel the most loved, here’s a sampling of the answers I got:
- “He makes coffee and brings me a cup every single morning. Without fail. These little gestures mean so much to me.”
- “He opens the car door for me, even if I did the driving.”
- “He helps me and cheers me on during my long bike races.”
- “He fills my gas tank.”
- “He always texts back.”
- “He shares what’s happening at work with me.”
- “When we share a soda, he always gets Dr. Pepper because he knows it’s the only one I like.”
- One woman, whose partner can be aloof and isn’t big on romance or affection, said, “He allows me to be myself, and he trusts and respects me. There are no guilt trips or power plays in our relationship.”
Of all the women I talked to, only one mentioned conventional romantic gestures like gifts or flowers. In the end, actions speak louder than words and sometimes small acts say “I love you” the loudest.
In The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, Gary Chapman explains that there are five ways to express love: words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time, and physical touch.
If you’re an affirmations girl hoping for compliments or loving words, you might feel annoyed when your man skips that and offers up a newly tuned-up car instead. He might very well love you, but he speaks a different love language.
Ladies: know your love languages, and learn his. Seriously. Over 13,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.8 average star rating don’t lie.
Discovering each other’s love languages is doable.
What’s not doable is accepting when a man doesn’t make the effort to do nice things for you, when he’s half-assing it or using the “my life is complicated” excuse.
Maybe it is, but if he isn’t ready for the love you want, it’s probably time to send him packing.
Knowing when a man loves you can be tricky sometimes.
Every man shows his love in a different way, and his methods may not include the overt romantic gestures we’ve been taught to expect.
When it comes to love, actions speak louder than words and small gestures can mean a ton.
One trap I see some women fall into is the “If he loved me, he would (insert expectation here).” That expectation can range from “buy me flowers” to “understand what I need” to “call me every night.”
Don’t put yourself through this.
Sometimes you have to change your expectations about what love looks like. Other times, you know what love should look like and he’s not cutting it.
Whatever the case, if you have a man who loves you, fill his cup as much as he fills yours. And if not, find one who does.
He’s out there, I promise.
Have you ever questioned whether a man really loves you or not? Are you struggling with this dilemma right now? Maybe some of the signs point to yes, but others just aren’t clear?
Does he love you or does he not? How did, or do you know?
Tell us about your experience by clicking on the “Discuss” link/button that appears at the end of this article.