It can be hard to feel like you’re on the same page in a relationship, and that’s never more true than with guys who don’t express themselves the same way you do. But just because we can’t see those hints of affection doesn’t mean that they’re not there. Here are the surefire signs that he cares about you more than you think.
- He always texts to say good morning or goodnight. While regularly sending these messages may be a chore to anyone else (namely, your ex), this is something that comes naturally to a person who’s head over heels for you. Trust me.
- He gives you little gifts “just because.” I’m not talking about coming back from a long trip and getting you an IHEARTJAPAN mug at the airport. No, I’m talking picking up cashew butter from the fancy vegan store on the way back from work because you mentioned it last week. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that the most inexpensive gifts are the ones that hit closest to home. They’re just so meaningful!
- They share their weird food habits with you. Firstly, pretty much everyone on the planet has to negotiate some sort of questionable relationship with food. It’s so central to my way of practicing self-care and carving out time for myself that introducing another person to this is BIG. If your partner is comfortable enough with you to not hide their needs and impulses, their secret midnight snacks, and their last minute “nothing in the fridge” dinners, that’s the gold standard. It’s when you both go for your second helping of the cheesy pesto pasta and fight it out for the last dough ball when you’ve won… even if you lose the dough ball.
- Random things remind him of you. Be still my beating heart. This can be anything from a funny meme he saw at work to a picture of a dog dancing on its hind legs on the beach. It’s on the same flight path as just because gifts but without the monetary pressure. This is a daily ritual, and it shows that you are a part of his life and his thoughts. You’re the first person he comes to when something exciting happens and that’s so special.
- He makes things for you with his own two hands. This is different from the big ticket items or a flashy holiday that he saved up for. He’s giving up his time and being vulnerable with you as well as creative. Be it freshly-baked muffins or painting a ceramic coaster to protect your new coffee table, these gifts will be treasured for years. They’re filled with love and show how much he pays attention and knows you. He’s learning all the things your future husband will need to know.
- He doesn’t shy away from talking about your future. This doesn’t have to be the big scary ‘what are we’ talk, but it’s just as important. While it may not sound like a huge declaration of love, him casually asking whether to go to his or your parents’ house for Christmas next year is big. So is when he talks about your future vacations or pets, your kids’ names, or where you’ll live in the future. These are just promises to commit to you. His image of the future is you. Let that sink in. Bonus points if the vacations he’s planning involve sun loungers…
- He talks about you to his parents. This one almost goes without saying. It means you’re comfortable with each other and he’s secure enough in his masculinity to be vulnerable and express his affection for you with close friends and family. He’s serious and he truly cares.
- You pass the fart stage. Okay, stay with me here. Forget moving in, forget the shiny gold ring. This is the true marker of intimacy. It means you’re comfortable, you feel light around each other, and – crucially – you also have a strong sense of your own self-worth. Sometimes in the early stages of a relationship, we get anxious and start feeling sweaty or unattractive. As if, if you’re suddenly caught unawares, or seen from a new angle, that his attraction for you might disappear. Farting around him and not feeling totally mortified is a big one. It hints at a more permanent, healthy relationship with your partner and yourself. You know that one fart will not end it all, no matter how catastrophic it may be…