A lot of us have ideas about what love should look like, how it should be, and how it should feel. A lot of the time these ideas are plain wrong (we can thank romantic comedies for that).
Because of that, some of us might not recognize the real thing when it comes our way. Maybe it’s because of these grand visions of love that have been implanted in our minds, but it could also be the result of being burned too many times in the past and having walls up when it comes to either giving love or being able to receive it.
The point is, love is a tricky thing. A guy can say he loves you and not truly mean it, and a guy can love you a lot but not be ready to say it.
When a man is in love with a woman, he respects her. He cares about the details of her life. He treats her well. If your guy values your opinions, compliments your character, celebrates your accomplishments, pays attention to details, and even accommodates your quirky habits — He stocks the fridge with Diet Coke even though he can’t stand the stuff, for example — you’ve got a keeper who’s falling fast and hard for you.
Does he send you funny texts during the day? Do songs, signs and hilarious headlines remind him of you? Does he Google last night’s unresolved debate — “Which is healthier: ice cream or gelato?” — when he’s at work? When you become a very present part of his day even when you’re apart, he’s invested in the relationship.
Love can soften the heart. Being right isn’t as important as doing right by the other person. When your beau starts to meet you in the middle on topics he’s typically stubborn about — Maybe he’s a movie snob suddenly willing to let you pick a flick he’d otherwise never watch — he’s leading with his heart instead of his head. Signs of selflessness are huge indicators that he’s in love.
Most guys have no qualms about touching their girlfriends in private. With public displays of affection, however, they can be a little more hesitant. When your man puts his arm around you in public, he’s both proudly announcing to the world that you’re together and making a protective gesture. Another love gesture: when he starts offering the hugs and cuddles you crave, with no expectation of sex. He wants to serve you with physical touch, not use it just to get what he wants.
Women often roll their eyes at men’s “fix it” instincts; and while he may not be able to fix every bad day, the fact that he tries only points to the fact that he deeply cares about you. He wants to make things better. He wants to provide for you, practically and emotionally. He wants to make you smile. When he puts in the effort to comfort and reassure you, he’s saying “I love you” in both word and deed.
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