Hearing the words “I love you” from someone you love is one of the best feelings in the world. But can you always trust those three words? If a person’s actions don’t match them, then probably not. To know if a guy really means what he says, always look at the way he behaves—this is more telling than anything he says. If he does most of the following things, then he probably does mean it when he tells you he loves you.
- He shows interest in your future. It’s only natural for a guy who really loves you to care about your future. He’ll ask what your aspirations are, where you see yourself, and what you’re looking for. If he really loves you, he’ll be imagining himself as part of your future. So of course he’ll want to know what your plans are and if you see him as being there for the long term.
- He makes meeting your needs a priority. When you love someone, you care about their wellbeing. It’s normal to prioritize the needs of your partner when you truly love them. That’s not to say that you have to neglect your own needs, or meet their needs at the expense of yours. Taking care of yourself will always be important. But it’s a clear sign that a guy loves you if he cares about meeting your needs too.
- He feels sad when you’re sad. Empathy can be another sign of true love. Often, loving someone means being so close that you share their experiences, whether they’re positive or negative. When you’re happy, he feels happy. And when you’re sad, he feels it too. It’s definitely not a good sign if he knows you’re sad and doesn’t care.
- He worries about your safety. Generally, when you love someone, you feel protective of them and worry about their safety. They mean a lot to you, so of course you want to make sure that they’re safe and secure. That might include worrying about your physical safety and not wanting any harm to come to you. But it also might be worrying about your mental and emotional wellbeing. If he does whatever he can to protect you and checks in with you to make sure you’re safe, he probably really does love you.
- He lets you be yourself. A guy might tell you that he loves you, but does he let you be yourself? Not that anyone has the power to permit what you can and can’t do, but does he judge you when you simply act like yourself? Do you feel comfortable enough around him to be vulnerable, crazy, weird, and all the things you tend to hide from the world? If he really loves you, then he’ll embrace all of that. He won’t try to force you to be someone you’re not.
- He forgives your mistakes. Being in love isn’t about always being perfect. Even people who really love each other hurt each other sometimes. The important thing is what comes after. If a guy forgives your mistakes, and wants to be with you in spite of your flaws, it’s a sign he loves you. Some mistakes are unforgivable, but if he can move past the ways you’ve hurt him and wants to be with you anyway, his feelings are real.
- He wants you to be happy. More than anything, people just want those they love to be happy. Your happiness should be a priority to him if he loves you. In most cases, this is non-negotiable. Sometimes, that might mean compromising and missing out on something that he wants to do. But most people find that making their loved ones happy makes them happy in return.
- He supports your dreams. When you love someone, you support their dreams and goals. This is part of caring about their happiness. If achieving those ambitions is going to make them happy, then you should be behind them. If he says he loves you and supports your dreams like your biggest cheerleader, then you’ve got a good thing going on.
- He makes room for you in his life. Carving out space for you in his life is a huge sign that a guy actually loves you. He cares about you so much that he wants to be with you, and making room for you in his life reflects that. He’ll do this by introducing you to the people in his life. By making time to see you regularly, even when he’s got a busy schedule. And, eventually, by making things official with you and taking the big steps that incorporate you into his life, like moving in together.