Guys aren’t always the best at saying “I love you.” There’s just so much baggage tied up with those three little words, and sometimes men think that, once they say them, they might as well be giving you their balls to carry around in your purse. Don’t be too hard on them. You know, society and all that. But even if he has a hard time telling you, he still wants you to know how he feels. And actions often speak louder than words. So why don’t we take a look at some of these actions, although it bears mentioning that this list really should only apply to the early stages of a relationship. If you’ve been with a guy for a year and he still can’t manage to tell you he loves you on the regular, you might want to suggest a good therapist, because dude’s got issues.
1. He pays attention to you.
Really listening to what you say and not just waiting for his turn to talk is a really good indicator that he’s got strong feelings for you.
2. He remembers details.
Your brother’s name, your first car, that bitch at work you hate, about half of the dates that you consider important. Guys don’t bother committing things to their long-term memory unless they feel it’s important. Which means you’re important.
3. You’ve met his family.
If he made arrangements to have you meet his family, then he believes this is going somewhere good. And if he leaps to your defense when his mother is needling you to find out if you’re good enough for her little boy, he’s really crazy about you.
4. He shows you off.
When guys feel strongly about a woman, they become really proud of her, and want people to know you’ve chosen to be with him. Yeah, some guys will do this with arm candy too, but you should know if that’s what you are (hint: he’s twice your age and rich).
5. He’s uses terms of endearment.
Please don’t read too much into it every time he calls you “babe.” To assume he’s trying to subtly infantilize you is probably giving him way too much credit. Lighten up. Take it for what it is — that you’re someone he has genuine affection for.
6. He initiates physical contact.
And not just when he’s trying to get laid. An arm around you at the movies, holding hands when you’re walking together. These are little things, and he’s probably not doing them for your benefit — he likes the closeness.
7. It’s in his kiss.
That’s where it is. Or so “The Shoop Shoop Song” tells us. Ask your parents. They probably remember the Cher version.
8. He cares about getting you off.
Not the guy who asks “Did you come?” That guy’s an idiot. He wasn’t paying attention, and you should probably dump him. No, this is the guy who does his best to make sure you’re taken care of before he shoots his load. Sure, he’s not always successful, but at least he tries.
9. He doesn’t let himself go.
A good sign that you’re someone special and not just a reliable source for sex is that he still works out, eats right, clips his toenails, etc. In other words, he’s not taking you for granted — he wants to make sure you stay attracted to him.
10. He checks in.
A text or two per day, maybe a phone call at night. He wants to maintain contact and probably genuinely misses you when you’re not around. As long as he’s not going overboard, this is a good thing.
11. He gets jealous.
Yep. If you don’t date jealous guys, that means you date guys who are just better at hiding it than most. A little jealousy isn’t a bad thing, unless one of you attributes it to possessiveness.
12. He gives you thoughtful gifts.
Not necessarily expensive gifts, although those are fine, too. Don’t evaluate how he feels about you by the price tag, judge him by the sentiment behind the gift.
13. He’s chivalrous.
Even if you think it’s antiquated that he holds doors open for you or pulls out your chair, don’t get down on him for it. He’s trying to show you that he’s there for you and always considerate of you. It doesn’t mean he thinks you’re a lesser life form; it means he thinks you’re special.
14. He’s not afraid as coming off as “whipped.”
You probably already know that guys express affection to other guys by ragging on them every chance they get. In most cases, guys are happy for their friends when they’re in a good relationship, so there’s no need to hide it.
15. He does the boring shit.
Going to your work brunch is probably not how he wanted to spend his Sunday, but if he does it anyway, and doesn’t complain too much, it’s because it’s important to you, and he cares about that.
16. He takes an interest in what’s important to you.
Did he read an entire Jane Austen book because you said it was your favorite? Is he learning a little Spanish to communicate better with your mom? This guy is crazy in love with you.
17. He knows when to shut the fuck up.
Sometimes you don’t want to talk about whatever the fuck you don’t want to talk about, and he leaves you alone. It’s probably killing him, too, because guys like to fix things when they’re not running at full capacity. He probably doesn’t understand, but he’s respecting your feelings, and that means he loves you.