I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 months. We spend a lot of time together (we see each other every night, at least) and regularly have deep talks about our lives.
However, he still he hasn’t said that he loves me and I’m starting to wonder. He’s never introduced me to his family (who live out-of-state), but he’s introduced me to all of his close friends as his girlfriend.
He does show affection for me in different ways, but I can’t tell if it’s love or he’s just a nice guy and knows how to treat a lady. How can I tell if a guy loves me? How do men show their love?
It certainly sounds like he loves you, but let’s talk about how men show love and the subject of men & love in general.
To the cynical or jaded in the audience, men feel love. Yes, we do. But we definitely express it differently than women and interpret it differently as well.
In short, guys love through action and not through words.
Most men look at what they say as a sort of promise or commitment, even if it’s an emotionally based discussion. So saying what seems like a simple three words can actually feel like a huge risk, promise or commitment to a guy. It can feel like a risk since guys generally do not deal well with rejection, especially rejection in a moment of vulnerability.
And I can personally admit that love can make me feel vulnerable and can bring up fears and emotions in me that are more than I’m ready to handle at a given moment. As a guy who likes to feel in control of his own life, emotions, and destiny, this can be a problem.
In terms of being a promise or commitment, you’ve probably heard the quote that “a man is only as good as his word.” There’s truth to that.
In this context, when a man expresses his love to a woman verbally, he feels as though he is committing to or promising that he will live up to some set of expectations of what a “man in love” should be.
For me, love feels like a lifelong commitment to the woman. I’m not saying it means I have to marry her, but it means that she has a special place in my heart and I will always do my best to be there for her regardless of how the relationship turns out (within reason). It means I am promising to be there and to be good to her – and if I break that promise, I will suffer as well.
To other guys, love is more casual and can change with the seasons. And to others, it is far more serious than my interpretation of it – it is a single-minded commitment to lifelong partnership. Love can mean different things to men at different points in their life.
My point in all this is that saying “I love you” is a big deal in terms of his commitment to the relationship in the majority of men. But he could feel love and love you for a long time before he actually says it.
QUIZ: Does He Really Love You?
So how can you tell? To put it in terms of your questions: How do men show their love?
There are all sorts of conventional images of men showing love through giving gifts: roses, chocolates, stuffed animals, cards, etc but these are not necessarily signs of love. These could very well just be customs he feels obligated to fulfill because he’s in a relationship. But there is one gift that is an excellent gauge of his love for you: his time.
When a man spends more time with you and less with his family and friends, this is a very clear sign that he loves you. He’s choosing to be with you over all of the other things he could be doing and people he could be spending time with.
There are other “gifts” that a man gives to show his love that may be more subtle. When a man stands up for you during a difficult situation, attends functions that are important to you, considers you first when planning, goes with you to see your family or does little jobs/chores for you, these are all ways that a man says he loves you.
In fact, when a man is doing these things, he figures ... (continued - Click to keep reading Ask a Guy: How Do Men Show Their Love?)