The old stereotype says that it’s impossible to tell that a man is in love, but that’s an outdated idea. Emotions aren’t scary. Feelings aren’t anything to fear. Enlightened men know that. Informed women know that men are more than capable of feeling and showing their love—you just have to know where to look. Although every man is different, there are universal signs that a guy is in love, head over heels, and all up in his feelings for someone. They’re rarely obvious, but they’re not so subtle that you won’t notice them. Just don’t let any of the old tropes cloud your vision.
1. He Tags You Just to Make You Smile
It’s 2017. Tagging someone in a meme is a sign of love. Any boy who thinks of you after watching a lady assault a drive-thru employee with McNuggets is more than just serious about you. That kid is in L-O-V-E. Seriously, a guy who tries to make you smile throughout the day isn’t only in it to smash. It seems silly, even innocuous, but he’s trying his best to bring you joy. Honestly, how many other people take time out of their day to share something they think you’d enjoy?
He’s All about the Meaningful Gestures
“Meaningful” doesn’t always translate to “extravagant” or “expensive.” Maybe he sends flowers to your office every week, or perhaps he brings home your favorite candy right before your period. The point is that a guy who goes out of his way to do something kind and thoughtful is telling you something: you matter. He wants you to know he’s thinking of you—and not because he wants anything in return, either. He honestly just wants you to know you’re on his mind.
2. He Doesn’t Pay Attention to His Phone around You
There’s nothing wrong with peeking at your phone on occasion, but it’s bad form during a date. It suggests that the other person isn’t into your company and indicates that he’d rather be doing something else. When a man’s in love, he actually wants to spend time with you—and that means looking at you, talking to you, engaging with you, not his phone screen. Of course, the same should go for you. Basically, it’s rude to spend all your time on your phone while you’re out with someone who matters to you.
3. He Tells You Things No One Else Knows
No one reveals their secrets to just anyone. Discussing emotions and confessing details about past experiences are even more sacred for a lot of men. They don’t do it unless they trust someone implicitly. It matters that he tells you the things he’s afraid of and what he wants out of life. Don’t discount the revelation of any story. Understand that you make him feel safe enough to be vulnerable and expose himself.
4. He Tries to Understand Your Quirks
Instead of getting angry or irate at your habitual lateness, he tries to work with you and plan things around your lousy time management skills. Rather than arguing with you when a bad mood has you lashing out, he attempts to understand what’s really wrong and how he can help. He doesn’t make fun of you for refusing to let your food touch; he buys you a tray with separate compartments. A man in love accepts the things that make you odd or picky or even insufferable. He doesn’t hold them against you or make you feel bad.
5. He Steps Up to Help at a Moment’s Notice
You’re having a panic attack in the middle of a busy mall? He’s there. You need a ride to your parents’ house because your childhood dog is sick? He’s got the car warmed up and ready to go. The moment you need his help for anything, he’s ready. It doesn’t matter if you need emotional support, financial help, or a favor. He’s got you. You can’t take advantage of his generosity, though. Love is all about reciprocity, so don’t hesitate to step up for him, too.
6. He Wants to Know You on an Emotional Level
In general, a man won’t have any interest in discovering the finer points of your emotions unless he’s legit. It takes time, effort, and emotional labor to get to know someone else on an emotional level. Any guy who does that for you isn’t effing around with your feelings. He’s all tangled up—that’s why he’s investing himself in you on such a deep level.
It can be difficult to tell that a man’s in love, although that depends solely on how he expresses himself as an individual. Some guys are more open and demonstrative than others; some are unfailingly honest and upfront about how they feel. How can you tell that a guy is in love with you? Is there a single, unmistakable sign you always notice?