A reader emailed in the other day and asked me, “Ryan, how do I tell if he loves me or not? What are some signs that I should be looking for?” Great question!
Love is among the most complicated, the most beautiful, and the most primal emotions humans experience.
In classical mythology, Cupid is characterized as a little chubby child-like creature that sends little arrows into people’s hearts. Once hit by an arrow, humans experience the bittersweetness of that sublime emotion.
The arrows tend to be random, though, and Cupid is rather mischievous! That’s why many women find themselves wondering; “how do I tell if he loves me?”
Fortunately, there are some rational and science-based pointers that can provide some guidance. Here you’ll find fifteen signs that he loves you, plus five that that this might not be the case. Additionally, we’ll explore the real reasons why you’re unsure of his sentiments.
15 Big Signs That He Loves You
—How do I tell if he loves me?
Love is sometimes loud like a thunderstorm, and at other times it’s subtle like a summer breeze. With such variations, how can you tell if a man really loves you?
Here are some reliable indicators to look for.
1. You Are His Special Girl
In a room buzzing with a thousand other people, the man who loves a woman would always seek her out. He would want to be around her, talk to her, and make sure that she’s happy. Hosts do that casually with all their guests, but men in love shower only one lucky girl with their attention.
Powerful emotions like love, fear, happiness, or anger, are hard to hide. Men who experience a strong sentiment would always give their romantic interests the royal treatment.
Thus, if your man is constantly making you feel special, then you should take that as proof positive. It’s not a gift he’d give everyone else. Not even close friends. And it’s not a routine he can turn on and off as needed. It’s more of a compulsion.
There are numerous ways that a man would make you feel special, from grand gestures to symbolic thoughtful actions that make your heart sing. Every couple is unique in the form and magnitude of such exchanges.
Additionally, some men can be prickly, intimidating, or reserved with others, but around you, they’re melted caramel! This is also a major tell that they see you as a special person.
The fundamental point here is that he treats you very differently from everyone else.
2. He Wants to Make You Happy
People wake up sometimes on the wrong side of the bed. They might have a sense of sadness and foreboding that they can’t quite explain. Or, they might’ve encountered an annoying situation that left them seething with anger.
Disappointments aren’t uncommon either, and at work, they’re daily occurrences. Even more, they could have experienced a tragic event that’s twisting their hearts.
If you experience any of these unpleasant events, the sadness probably shows on your face a little. The man who loves you wouldn’t let that nasty feeling overpower you. His instinct to protect you would kick in, and he would go to great lengths just to make you smile again.
An interesting situation happens if he’s the one making you unhappy. Maybe it was a disagreement, a misunderstanding, or a heated argument. Once he calms down a bit, he would create an opportunity to talk to you and make it up. He wouldn’t let you go to sleep with a heavy heart.
A full reversal is when you’re not sad at all, but not too exhilarated either. He would actively seek ways to boost your mood and see the spark of joy in your eyes. This would really make him happy.
3. He Gives You Nice Things
Real men protect and provide. This might sound primal and a bit like a caveman’s credo, but it’s a powerful drive that most men have. Recent studies showed that most people instinctively rush to protect women much more than they would do with other men.
Providing for others is among the noblest things any person can do. Men like it and women appreciate it. Again, that sounds rather archaic, but progressive science seems to support that.
According to the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, men preferred women with a lower socioeconomic status, while women had the opposite inclination.
Men in love like to give their romantic interests valuable gifts. They don’t do this to dazzle the woman, brag, or show off their material wealth. It’s just their way of expressing care and affection.
A word of caution here: women who seem too keen on getting exuberant material gifts, usually turn off men. They send off an unpleasant vibe that they’re after the money, not the man. Few men would take that as a compliment.
Related: How to set healthy boundaries
4. He Discusses His Work With You
Men sometimes talk about their work with women but in vague terms. Usually, it’s because work is a socially approved topic for casual chats. Occasionally, it’s because the guy is a workaholic! However, this changes if they value a certain woman.
When men talk to a special woman about their work, they’re actually introducing their ladies to a sacred part of their existence. That’s because most men identify with their professions and obtain true value from what they excel at. If you want proof, you can watch how retired men act right after leaving their jobs.
If a man discusses his work with you, that’s a beautiful thing, and you should really appreciate the grand gesture. You might want to exercise a bit of caution with this sign, as it might also mean that he values you as a close friend. Some men would do that.
5. He Trusts You—The #1 Way to Tell He Loves You!
For a man, deciding that he loves a woman inherently means that he can trust her unconditionally. He knows that she’s an honest person who acts with integrity at all times. And there’s no doubt in his mind, that she would hold the fort like a queen in his absence.
Odysseus and Penelope shared that sublime kind of love. He went off to the sea and battled with every kind of monster for ten years. Throughout that time, he longed for his wife and his home. Yet, he wasn’t afraid that he would return back to the empty walls.
He knew she would be waiting when he returned. She was resourceful and resilient. And no matter the adversity or the temptation, she was an unshakeable rock in Ithaca. His trust was in the right place.
In more recent popular culture, we saw couples like Booth and Bones, Lois and Clark; and The Happy Place duo, Eleanor and Chidi. Their survival literally depends on trusting each other, but it’s more than that. They know in their heart of hearts that this is a person they can bet their life on.
If a man trusts you implicitly, then he has already chosen you as his partner in life. Signs don’t get any louder than that.
Related: Good morning texts to her
6. He Admires You As a Person
Various studies show that men are more interested in a woman’s looks than her social standing or professional success. This preference changes with age though. Younger men place more value on physical attributes than older men do.
As men become more seasoned, they look for other attributes. They also tend to search for stable long-term commitments as opposed to passing flings.
If a man finds what he was hoping for in you, you’ll see the admiration in his eyes. He might also be vocal about this and tell you that he finds you awesome, kind, unique, elegant, or brilliant. He might even go so far as to say that he’s so proud of you.
Polite compliments sound a lot like admiration but try to differentiate the two declarations. Here’s one way to do that. The former will make you smile, and the latter would warm your heart.
7. He Likes to Spend Lots of Time With You—A Great Way to Tell He Loves You!
Men generally do a ton of activities that don’t always involve women. They go for early runs, train at the gym, watch sports games with their friends, or take their cars to the mechanic for extra tinkering.
The seemingly juvenile or macho stuff that they do is actually quite important. It keeps them balanced, energized, and cheerful. Gatherings and joint activities with friends also satisfy their need for social bonding. Otherwise, they could become testy and temperamental.
If a man decides to change his normal schedule, and instead, spend a sizable chunk of his day with you, then you definitely rank staggeringly high in his priority list.
The most precious commodity that humans have is time. If he chooses to share that with you, then that’s a pretty good sign that he loves you.
8. He Gets Upset if Another Guy Approaches You—Jealousy Can Be Okay!
Jealousy is another primal gesture that cavemen passed along to present-day men. Civil society might pretend that it doesn’t exist anymore, but that’s just watering down the facts. As a matter of fact, women show signs of jealousy as well.
According to the Association of Psychological Science, studies show that men and women are quite territorial when it comes to their partners. It’s worth mentioning here that there is an interesting difference in the manner and reason for jealousy in each case.
Men are more concerned if their women become physically involved with other men. On the other hand, women feel threatened if their men have romantic feelings for other women. The explanation for that discrepancy is quite intuitive.
A woman feels that if she owns her man’s heart, he’ll stay with her forever, regardless of any temptations. The primal side of women views this as a guarantee that he would stay in the nest and take care of her and their children. Forays here and there don’t affect the integrity of the home.
Contrary to that, men are often driven by a need to perpetuate their genetic material. Ultimately, they can act like a Genghis Khan, whose DNA still survives in more than 16 million men. That’s according to a 2003 study that the Smithsonian did.
Thus, if a woman commits physical infidelity, she jeopardizes her partner’s fundamental need to procreate. Romantic involvement still takes its toll on their relationship, but adultery is a deal breaker.
That’s why a man would become sensitive or upset if a perceived rival approaches the woman he loves. Especially, if the intruder expresses ouvert interest in the lady.
You can tell by noticing a clenched jaw, closed fists, a tense vocal tone, a snide remark, or an outright hostile reaction. That’s a subtle – but solid – signal that a man is head-over-heels for you.
9. He Is Always Supportive and Caring—Simple Way to Tell He Loves You!
The ‘protect and provide’ paradigm implies that men in love would always ensure that all your needs are met. A part of that is your success and well-being.
A caring man would go the extra mile to ward off any causes of anxiety or sadness from your way. He would listen to you for hours if you need advice or a compassionate ear. Men in love are especially attentive to all the things that make you happy or scared.
If a man really cares about you, he would respond to your texts immediately, even if you’re asking about a trivial matter. He would listen to your detailed fantasies about your dream job for hours. And maybe share a few insights while you’re at it.
A man in love is the best friend a woman can have. If you miss that, walk away. And if you find it, appreciate that priceless gift!
Related: Compliments for girls
10. You Know You Can Count on Him
Some women treat their boyfriends or partners as kids. They would do their Christmas shopping, get them job referrals, pay their accumulating credit, and drive them to the barber shop.
If you ask these lovely ladies why they do that, their first reply would be; “because I care so much about him.” Then a pause, followed by the shocking truth; “and besides, they can’t do any of these kings. Not in a million years!”
Peter Pan men are an eternal disappointment. They would never change, they would never help you out, and they’ll never appreciate your sacrifices. Moreover, their infantile arrested development keeps them from feeling true love towards anyone.
A real man in love would be dependable and reliable. If he says that he’ll do something, then rest assured that he’ll get it done. You won’t regret asking him to help you move to another house, or to put in a good word for you with a potential client.
There’s a bit of a grey area here, as chivalrous men would readily help out their friends and colleagues. So take this as a sign that he’s a wonderful guy who might be in love with you.
11. He Takes Extra Care of His Appearance Around You—A Subtle Way to Tell He Loves You!
Women going out on a date usually doll up and look their best. They put on their loveliest clothes and go to the most expensive hair salons to impress others. Men approach this matter a bit differently.
They don’t put on clothes that make them look more handsome. Instead, men strive for appearing more affluent. This tendency has historic and evolutionary roots. It’s actually driven by women’s preferences.
Since the dawn of time, women selected the mate that could give them a secure life. This implies having enough resources to keep her and her children under a solid roof, with all the sustenance required for a good prehistoric life.
Times have changed, but this rule hasn’t. Women still want to feel safe and secure, and men are more than willing to oblige.
When a man sets his sights on a woman, he would pay extra attention to his appearance. That is, he would put on all kinds of symbols of status.
From Tom Ford perfumes, and Ralf Lauren shirts, to Dolce & Gabbana suits, and Fred Perry loafers. Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger Watches are an absolute must. Rolexes and Cartiers? Even better!
On top of that, they’d drop in hints that reveal their glamorous professions. Medical doctors, tennis players, music producers, or novel writers, would all include an artifact that gives away their professional advantage.
If a man starts putting in more effort to look like a million dollars, then that’s a huge billboard sign standing right in front of you!
12. He Is Fine-Tuned Into What Matters to You
Here’s something curious about human behavior: if a person is in the middle of a stadium, bustling party, or crowded street, he would still respond if someone calls his name. Our brains become highly activated when we hear our name or that of someone we care about.
The same applies to a man in love when he hears a story about the woman he’s interested in, whether that is from her own lips, or as told by others. He still memorizes all the details, and stores the story right beside his high-priority data sets.
Thus, if you’re out in a cafe, and he remembers the exact way you like your coffee, as well as your favorite dessert, that’s a lovely sign. It means that his brain gets into overdrive where you’re concerned.
13. He Confides in You—A Sure Way to Tell He Loves You!
Men rarely open up to anyone. They can keep real friendships and have strong ties with others, without confiding in these people. There are parts of most men that remain under lock and key.
According to the American Journal of Men’s Health, a 2018 study showed that men connect socially with others in a manner that was significantly different from women. The majority of subjects showed less interest in seeking support through sharing intimate matters with others.
The only people that gain access to the vault are best friends and loved ones. If your man starts confiding in you, then you should appreciate that trust. While it’s not a definitive declaration that he loves you, it’s a powerful vibe in that direction.
“Sharing is caring”. This is more than a cliche, especially, if your guy is generally tight-lipped and reserved. Some men who come across as cold and distant, are the exact opposite of that around the women they love.
14. He Would Not Let Disagreements Drag On
Disagreements happen routinely, even in the best relationships. It’s the way people resolve their differences that define how the dynamic of the relationship goes.
A selfish man would automatically say; “what is mine is mine, and what is yours is negotiable”. A narcissist would probably gaslight you, and swear that you never treat him right. While a constantly disagreeable person would keep the fire of the fight going, with no sign of a peace treaty in sight.
Malicious and contrary people aside, a normal person would probably defend his point of view, even if that makes you unhappy. In sharp contrast, the man who loves you would treat the situation with kid gloves. He would try to convey his side of the story without offending you.
If things get really tense, watch his body language and facial expressions. The man might be seething inside, but he would maintain his composure. He would never lose his temper or hurt you, physically or verbally. Additionally, he would make significant concessions or sacrifices to keep you in his life.
You can easily feel your worth in situations like this, but you don’t need to create such a dilemma to see if he values you or not. That’s not classy. Conflicts are inevitable, so just observe how things unfold.
15. He Maintains Eye Contact Whenever You Talk
Men gaze at women when they like them, love them, or when they lust after them. Psychologists have known for years that people can feel some degree of physical attraction towards another person that is completely devoid of any romantic sentiments.
In a study back in the 60s, 53% of the women and 79% of the men in an experiment admitted that they can feel lust without love. A meaningful differentiator was the kind of ideation that went along with that emotion.
People in lust often fantasize about having a casual affair with their person of interest. While those who knew that they were deeply in love thought about a long-term relationship.
One way to differentiate between physical admiration and romantic involvement is by watching the gaze. According to a neuro-psychological study conducted in 2014, people who focus on the body are more likely to entertain sensual thoughts, as opposed to those who look at the face.
If your man maintains eye contact with you most of the time, there’s a good chance he’s in love with you.
5 Big Signs He Doesn’t Love You
—How do I tell if he loves me?
Love sometimes hides other unsavory sentiments. Insecurity, selfishness, immaturity, pettiness, and self-loathing are all parts of human nature.
So what if the person we love says that we’re good, but the times are bad? We can’t always tell whether we’re experiencing a rough patch or a mismatch.
Here are some points to ponder.
1. He Makes You Feel Bad
This is a red carpet, not a red flag! And the signage around it says RUN!
We live in hard times, and it’s not uncommon to stumble upon malicious people parading as gentlemen. Dark triad personalities are common knowledge nowadays, where we have to deal with a frightful package of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism.
The real problem is that it’s hard to spot these types early on. They’re masters of disguise and seduction, while most people respond to them in good faith.
A sly man can shower you with his affection, dazzling surprises, and good times. Then, at the moment when you least expect it, he would demoralize you. The ‘kiss and slap’ technique is guaranteed to confuse unlucky girls.
The worst part is that it leaves the victims wanting more. They yearn for acceptance and walk on eggshells to avoid rejection.
Men who make their women feel bad about themselves to gain control, or weaken their defenses aren’t worth consideration. Even if a man is just a bit more demanding, slightly rude, or has a ton of baggage, he’s still incapable of true love. Regardless of what he claims.
2. You Are Checking the Horoscopes Too Often
If you’re always reading why the Aquarians are so distant or the Taureans seem too cold, then he’s probably not into you.
If a man loves you, you wouldn’t feel that unsure. Men go after what they want. Unless they feel that it’s not a priority, or if they take it for granted. In either case, you wouldn’t want to be an afterthought.
3. His Responses Are Always Delayed
If you send him a ‘good morning’ text at 7:00 am, but get a ‘Hi’ around midnight, this should answer all your questions.
You might explain away this ‘little delay’ thinking that he might be busy, or that he doesn’t like texting all that much, and that might all be true.
Then again, men in love don’t act the way they normally do. Tight-lipped guys talk non-stop, un-romantic folks become Don Juans, and the toughest of them reveal a warm and fuzzy side.
Remember this: no answer, is an answer.
4. Too Many Ups and Downs
We all have good and bad days, but our temperaments don’t see-saw throughout the day.
Unpredictable and moody people are hard to deal with. They sometimes wrap it up with a glittery cover of having an artistic character. Their days are all about insomnia, coffee, and existential crises. I’m sure you know the type.
Surprisingly, few women can escape the charms of such characters. Being around them is one big adventure filled to the brim with adrenaline and disappointment. Here’s the catch, they don’t know how to love.
5. He Is Too Good to Be True
The perfect man doesn’t exist. Start from there.
People who present themselves as faultless and pristine, often hide a lot of insecurities behind that spotless facade. They’d give you the sun, the moon, and a few stars, but that’s not out of love. They simply need to feel perfect.
Problems appear when he knows that he’s already won your heart. Then the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.
Do You Speak the Same Language Of Love?
—How do I tell if he loves me?
Emotions are rarely an open and shut case. And things get even more complicated if two people don’t speak the same language of love.
In 1992, Gary Chapman wrote a wonderful book which is; The 5 Love Languages. It’s good to know how people express their romantic feelings. This way, we can appreciate and understand them better.
Here are the five main expressions of love:
- Articulating their feelings clearly. Some men just say they love you.
- Giving you quality time and undivided attention. He always turns off his phone when he’s with you.
- The caring touch, the hug, the pat on the back. Physical love is often expressed through many little gestures.
- Being useful. Some people say I love you by taking the garbage on their way out, fixing the shower head, and ordering a pizza for you after a long day at work.
- Giving and receiving gifts. With these people, it’s the thought that counts. Meaningful gifts reveal their attention to your details and their willingness to make you happy. They often require the same from you!
Why Are You Wondering if He Loves You or Not?
—How do I tell if he loves me?
Before analyzing all the signals coming from his side, it’s best to do a little bit of soul-searching. Start with asking yourself why exactly are you wondering how he feels. Where does the confusion come from?
Here are some points you should consider:
- You might like him so much, and so, wish that he has the same feelings toward you.
- You need to make a final decision in your life, like moving to a distant city or being open to another person’s advancements.
- You need to know whether your plans for the future would include him or not.
- He keeps sending you mixed signals, it’s exhausting!
- Something doesn’t feel right. He says that he loves you, but acts like he doesn’t.
- His eyes reveal that he’s attracted to you, but he never takes serious steps.
- Friends are treating you as a couple already!
- You’re not sure if you’re good enough, he seems to have it all.
- You’ve been bitten before, and you know that assumption is the mother of all heartache.
Conclusion: How Do I Tell If He Loves Me?
—How do I tell if he loves me?
In Romeo and Juliet, The Bard writes; “Love is heavy and light, bright and dark, hot and cold, sick and healthy, asleep and awake- its everything except what it is!”
It’s not a big surprise then that we find ourselves filled with questions and doubts about love. Fortunately, there are some signs that we can refer back to. Years of studying human behavior left us with dependable guidelines that describe how men and women act when they’re in love.
—How do I tell if he loves me?
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Gordon, Sherri. “Everything You Need to Know about the Five Love Languages.” Verywell Mind, 27 June 2020, VeryWellMind.
Greitemeyer, Tobias. “What Do Men and Women Want in a Partner? Are Educated Partners Always More Desirable?” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 43, no. 2, Mar. 2007, pp. 180–194, DOI.org. Accessed 23 Mar. 2020.
“How Men Attract Women | Psychology Today.” Www.psychologytoday.com, Psychology Today. Accessed 27 Feb. 2023.
McKenzie, Sarah K., et al. “Masculinity, Social Connectedness, and Mental Health: Men’s Diverse Patterns of Practice.” American Journal of Men’s Health, vol. 12, no. 5, 28 Apr. 2018, pp. 1247–1261, NIH.gov, DOI.org.