It’s one of the biggest relationship milestones when your partner tells you he loves you. If you’re a bit impatient about when it’s going to go down, here are 11 signs that the words are on the tip of his tongue.

He’s being more romantic. Saying “I love you” is a huge romantic moment in your relationship, so he wants to get it right. That means he might be leading up to it. You can tell from his behavior that this is the case if he’s been getting a little more romantic of late. He never used to give you his jacket, open the car door, or tell you how gorgeous you look, but now he’s doing that and more? Those are signs!

He’s said the word “love” about you in other ways. He might say that he loves your unique and creative approach to fashion or he loves spending time with you. By testing out the four-letter word, he’s probably getting ready to say it in a more meaningful way.

He’s opening up about his feelings. Those three little words are very emotional and you need the foundation of an emotional connection in your relationship before you exchange them. If he’s feeling emotional about you, as in he’s got a major case of the feels, then he’s probably going to be getting emotional in other ways. For example, he might be more willing to open up about his deepest thoughts and feelings.

He teases you. Sometimes guys test the water before saying “I love you” because they’re a bit scared to just jump in. What if you don’t say it back? To deal with this stress, your boyfriend might tease you about your feelings for him to gauge your reaction. For example, he might say, “You totally love me!” during a fake argument just to see how you respond.

He acts like he loves you. If he’s behaving in a way that tells you he loves you, such as by how he’s always willing to support and help you or he loves doing nothing but cuddle you when you’re chilling together, the guy is gearing up to say those big words. Hey, you might not even need to hear them because you can see he loves you from his actions.

He gets quiet at the end of calls. When he calls to chat, he suddenly becomes quiet or weird just before saying goodbye. Since it’s routine for some couples to say “I love you” before ending a phone call, he might be getting ready to slot those words into that awkward silence at the end of your conversation.

He opens about his love views. He might want to know how important it is for you to hear your partner say he loves you, or he might ask you what your thoughts are about LTRs and love. This is a clever way to get ready for that big moment in your relationship while also sussing out what you want when it comes to love. Again, this helps him test the waters before taking that giant step.

He’s not always about sex. He can lie in bed with you and chat until the sun comes up without trying to make every bedroom scene about sex. It’s this intimacy he’s after, which points to him getting real feelings for you.

He’s waxing lyrical about you. He might say he really, really likes you, but he could give you other hints that he’s getting ready to drop the “L” bomb, such as by complimenting you. If he’s always telling you how amazing you are or telling you how grateful he is to have you in his life, whether on social media or in RL, the guy’s totally smitten. It’s just a matter of time before he tells you he’s in love with you.

He does little things to make you feel special. Surprising you with a hot air balloon ride over the mountains or filling your apartment with roses might be amazing, but you don’t need such grand romantic gestures from the guy in order to know that he’s in love with you. Don’t overlook those little things he does on a regular basis that make you feel like a queen, like when he cooks you dinner after a tough day or brings you a hot cup of tea when you’re working hard. If he’s doing more of those things, he’s showing you how he feels. Soon, he’ll actually tell you.

He glows around you. When you’re at a candlelit dinner with him and you’re talking about your day, you stop and notice that he looks dazed or he’s staring at you. It’s such a warm feeling when that happens, but don’t think he’s being weird. The guy’s getting all dreamy-faced about you. While you’re talking, he’s probably thinking about how much he’s into you and when the right moment is for him to say that he loves you.

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