‘He loves me, he loves me not…’ — pulling flower petals might have been good fun when you were a child, but it’s not exactly a sure-fire way to find out the truth.
Maybe you’ve just started a fling with a new man and want some encouragement to take things to the next level. Or, maybe you’re in a long-term relationship and aren’t confident that the love is still there. So, if you’re wondering ‘how do I tell if he loves me,’ here are some signs you can’t ignore.
Is It Normal to Question Your SO’s Love?
First off, let’s get something straight. Having doubts about your partner’s love is absolutely normal. Despite what movies and romance novels say, real-life relationships aren’t all roses and big romantic gestures.
Even if you and your partner have been together for years, you may feel that he is no longer as in love with you as he once was. This could be for a variety of reasons, like:
• The honeymoon phase has passed. — While the beginning of a relationship may be filled with passion and excitement, this period doesn’t last. And a lot of people feel like once the honeymoon is over, the relationship is dead.
However, just because things aren’t over-the-top displays of affection 24/7, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you anymore. The novelty of a relationship wears off, but true, mature, and long-lasting love doesn’t.
• He doesn’t do as many grand romantic gestures. — Sometimes, movies do more harm than good. A lot of people expect their entire relationship to be filled with crazy romantic escapades.
However, a good, loving relationship is strong enough to stand on its own without any unnecessary fluff. The fact your partner can enjoy the quiet moments with you is sometimes a greater sign of love than any expensive dinner date could be.
• He doesn’t pay as much attention to you anymore. — This one is tricky. While a lack of attention is often a sign that his interest in you is waning, it doesn’t always have to be the case. Sometimes, he is just too stressed at work or is experiencing personal issues that prevent him from being as attentive.
That is why communication is key. If he truly loves you, then he will have no issue confiding in you and working on improving things.
As you can see, relationships are complicated, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about having doubts. Every relationship has its rocky moments. Plus, unless you’re a mind reader, you can’t always know what’s in your partner’s head 100% of the time. That is especially true if he isn’t big on verbalizing his emotions.
However, words aren’t necessarily always proof that he loves you.
12 Signs He Loves You
Saying ‘I love you’ is a big part of any relationship. It’s a sign that things are getting serious. Even more than that, it’s a sign that you and your partner are committed to each other. But, there is something even more powerful than words — actions.
Him saying that he loves you is great, but if he doesn’t back up those words with actions, they’re going to ring hollow. Therefore, a more reliable way to see if he truly loves you is to keep track of what he DOES.
This is especially true when you’ve just started a new relationship and haven’t yet heard those magic words yet. Since there’s a lot of weight attached to them, some people may take more time to verbalize their feelings. While waiting may suck, you definitely shouldn’t rush such things.
On the other hand, if the love isn’t really there, you shouldn’t just wait around forever hoping to hear them either. In light of this, if you’re wondering ‘how do I tell if he loves me,’ here are twelve major signs of his devotion.
1. He’s Putting In Effort
If you love something, you put effort into it. The same goes for relationships.
Effort can mean anything, such as memorizing small details about you — favorite flower, type of food, or color. It can also extend to small gestures. For example, he bought your favorite album on vinyl or maybe cleaned up your house without you asking. It’s the little things that count. So, if he’s willing to go the extra mile for you, then you can bet that he cares for you deeply.
But, while the little things are nice, it’s the big displays that are the most memorable. What’s more, it’s the big things that end up being the most important, since they can usually tell you whether or not he loves you.
So for example, if he’s actively planning romantic dates or asking your advice before making important decisions, then that’s a good sign that he is invested. If he also happens to show interest in working on potential relationship issues, then rest assured, you’ve practically sealed the deal.
Last but certainly not least is putting in effort in the bedroom. A man who truly loves you will do his best to make you feel comfortable in the bedroom. He will also respect your boundaries and make you feel good in every sense of the word.
2. He’s Willing to Resolve Conflicts
Problems are an inevitable part of life. The same goes for relationships. No matter how well you get on with your partner, you will butt heads about something eventually.
Maybe you will fight about trivial matters like doing the dishes. Or maybe your argument will be a bit more serious. However, the important thing is how you and your partner handle the conflict. Most notably, you should pay attention to how your partner responds to conflict.
Is he someone who constantly avoids the issue and puts off dealing with it? Or is he someone who outright refuses to acknowledge when something is wrong? Maybe he has a tendency to blame you for everything and refuses to take some of the responsibility for the problem?
All of these behaviors can be indicative of two things. One, your partner is very emotionally immature. In that case, making things work will be difficult, since you will inevitably end up carrying the brunt of the burden. Even worse, you may end up playing not just his partner, but also his mother. That is definitely not something you need out of what is supposed to be a partnership of equals.
The second possibility is that he isn’t as invested in the relationship to actually work on conflict resolution. As discussed, if he genuinely loves you, he will put effort into making every aspect of your relationship work. That includes changing certain things about himself and improving his behavior to fix the issues you’re currently experiencing.
In short, if your partner is willing to put in some elbow grease to clear out whatever problems you may be having, then you can be sure he loves you.
3. He Shows You Genuine Respect
You can’t have love without respect. While respect on its own may not be a sign that someone is in love with you, it is a necessary component of a loving relationship.
So if you’re wondering ‘how do I tell if he loves me,’ ask yourself if he respects you. Does he respect your choices, opinions, beliefs, thoughts? If your partner is capable of showing you genuine respect, even if he may not agree with some of your beliefs, then you know you have a keeper.
Next, think about this. Does he respect you as a woman? Does he honor your bodily autonomy, your rights, and independence? A good relationship is between two equals, and this can’t happen if your partner continually undermines you as a woman.
Lastly, think about whether he makes an effort to listen to you. When someone we respect is speaking, we will do whatever we can to pay attention to them. Therefore, if your partner takes the time to genuinely listen and consider what you’re saying, then you’ll know he respects you for sure.
What’s more, that’s a good sign he’s completely devoted to you.
4. He Devotes Time To You
The modern world can be hectic. Everyone is working long, grueling hours and coming home bone tired. In this high-stress environment, finding time for yourself and those you care about is difficult. However, if your man truly loves you, you can bet he will move heaven and earth to make time for you.
That can mean planning a nice relaxing date after a long day at work, giving you a call in the evening, or going out of his way to see you, even if it’s just for a second. A lot of research shows that just being in the presence of someone we love can do wonders in easing stress and anxiety.
So, when your partner pops in for a brief dinner date and a movie, he may be doing that because you’re his medicine.
5. He Makes You a Priority
If your man loves you, then he won’t just make time for you. He will put you and your needs first, all day, every day. In fact, how he approaches your needs may be the biggest sign of whether or not he really loves you.
Putting someone else’s desires and wants above our own can be difficult. What’s more, you wouldn’t do it for anyone. You have to truly value and care for someone to prioritize their own wishes and happiness above your own. That can include anything from putting his life on hold to caring for you when you’re sick.
It can also include something smaller, like stepping out of his comfort zone to stand by you or even confronting his own insecurities if it means you will feel better. Whatever that may be, if your SO makes an effort to put your needs first, then you can bet love is in the air.
6. He Keeps His Promises
You know the saying — a man is only as good as his word. So if you want a loving, successful relationship, do yourself a favor and look for a man who stands by his word. Even if the promise is something small, the man who loves you will do his best to honor it.
For example, if he tells you he will take you out on Saturday, he will do it. If he promises that he will do the dishes after dinner, you should expect him to be elbows deep in the sink. While these small promises may seem inconsequential, they can definitely help you gauge whether or not your partner will keep larger promises in the future.
Just think about it. If he can’t honor his promise to be on time for a date, how is he going to keep his word when it comes to big things, like always being there for you?
In conclusion, if you’re wondering ‘how do I tell if he loves me,’ keep track of whether or not he keeps his promises to you.
7. He Is Discussing Future Plans With You
Alright, this one is a very heavy subject. Since there is so much emphasis on fast-paced, commitment-free relationships, thinking about a future can be scary. This is especially true for young guys in their 20s, who are still in their playboy phase.
So if your SO starts talking about future plans that have you in the picture, then you can bet his feelings are genuine. Let’s be clear, this doesn’t have to mean marriage and kids. If you’ve been together only a couple of months, that kind of commitment so soon may actually be a red flag.
But smaller, future plans count too. They can be subtle things like vacations he would like to take you on. Maybe he’s planning to go see his favorite band live and is hinting that he wants you to come with him. It can even be something simple like having you accompany him on his weekly game nights or maybe a Sunday pool sesh at the bar.
The point is, if he mentions you in sentences that contain the future tense, he plans to have you around. On the other hand, if your SO can’t even nail down tomorrow night’s dinner date, then he’s probably not particularly interested in building a future with you.
8. He Supports You in Your Goals
Having goals in life is always important. However, what’s equally crucial is having someone who will help you realize those goals. That doesn’t mean your partner has to hunt that dream job with you or finish your first novel for you. Simply supporting you in your endeavors is sign enough that he genuinely cares.
A man in love will urge you to keep going, give you advice, and lift your spirits when you’re having doubts. Studies have shown that having strong, social support is a vital part in helping you achieve all your goals. While this usually refers to support from your family and friends, it can absolutely mean support from your partner too.
In fact, having a loving partner who is just as invested in seeing you realize your goals as you are can be one of the most powerful motivators in existence. It’s also like the ultimate proof of love, so win-win!
9. He Isn’t Just Interested in You Sexually
Sex is great — and it’s definitely a key component of most healthy relationships. But if all you have in your relationship is sex, then things may not be going the way you want them to.
If you want to figure out if he loves you, honestly examine if your partner is interested in what you offer apart from sex. A lot of relationships start with plenty of passion, which can sometimes be so intoxicating that you end up mistaking it for genuine love. But passion is definitely not the same thing as true love.
Passion can fade as soon as the novelty of a relationship wears off. But deep, mature love is something that stays — even after you’ve taken off those rose-tinted glasses and saw your partner’s flaws on full display.
Therefore, if your relationship is still new, pay attention to how your partner responds to you. Does he only pay attention when you mention sex? Is he doing things for you because he genuinely wants to or is he just doing them in order to get you into bed?
These are difficult questions to ponder. However, if you want a real, loving relationship that goes beyond a friends-with-benefits arrangement, then you will need to tackle them head-on.
10. He Sticks With You Through Difficult Times
Being with someone is easy when life is all rainbows and sunshine. However, it’s when life gets hard that you’ll know whether your relationship will last.
Maybe you’ve lost your job and are currently experiencing financial difficulties. Or god forbid, you’ve had a death in the family. No matter the situation, having a loving partner by your side is imperative for overcoming difficulties. And if your significant other loves you, he will be there for you, no questions asked.
He will even take things a step further and actively work on helping you overcome your issues. He may try and help you hunt for another job or offer to help you manage your daily affairs if you’re grieving. Being there emotionally and physically in times of hardship is the greatest proof of love any man can give you.
11. He Is Open and Vulnerable With You
It may be a tired stereotype, but there is some truth to it — men do, in fact, have trouble expressing their feelings. This is in large part due to how society teaches men to approach their feelings. More accurately, they’re taught to either brush things off, suppress their emotions, or use aggressive behavior as a way to cope.
But none of those things mean that men don’t feel anything. In fact, they experience the same joys, sorrow, grief, and insecurities that women do, and with the same intensity. But, because of societal expectations for men to be stoic and always in control, men won’t readily show their feelings for fear of being ridiculed.
So, if your partner has the courage to openly discuss his feelings with you, then he must think you’re special. He knows that he can trust that you will accept him when he is at his most vulnerable and not judge him for it. That kind of trust is something you only give to someone you love deeply.
12. He Wants You to Meet Important People in His Life
Memes about side-chicks are social media’s latest obsession. But these jokes aren’t just a bit of entertainment for a Saturday night. They’re actually an important lesson every woman should pay attention to.
If a man is two-timing, then he will do whatever he can to avoid being seen with you in public. However, him refusing to introduce you to his friends and family doesn’t always mean he’s cheating — it can also be a sign that he isn’t interested in a future with you.
A truly loving partner will do whatever he can to integrate you into his life. Since friends and family are a big part of that life, then that means introducing you to them.
Of course, meeting the parents is a big step, so it may not happen right away. However, if you’ve been together for over a year now and he’s still flaky about you meeting all the important people in his life, then you should definitely reconsider your relationship.
What If He Isn’t Showing Any of These Signs?
So you’ve gone down through our checklist and sadly discovered that your partner isn’t displaying all of these signs. However, you shouldn’t immediately jump to the worst conclusion possible. Everyone is different in how they express love, and your partner may not show all these signs at once.
If you’re still unsure of his feelings, the best thing you could do in that scenario is asking him about them. On average, men tend to prefer bluntness, so a more direct approach may be best! Therefore, if you’re looking for confirmation of his love, sometimes the easiest way to get it is to honestly ask him about it.
Approach him in a calm, well-meaning way, and be honest about your feelings and the kind of affection you would want him to show you. Honesty is definitely the best policy in this situation. Plus, every healthy relationship is founded on good conversations, so this could be an important step toward your future together.