He Said ‘I Love You’ But Does He Really Mean It? How To Tell

Wouldn’t be wonderful if guys actually meant the things they said? It’s not a perfect world and as you already know, the L-word isn’t sacred and it’s often just used as the key to your vagina. Because of this, you have to wonder: does he mean it when he says “I love you”? You don’t want to fall victim to your emotions only to find out he’s lying. I’m not saying every guy does this, but learning how to tell when he’s being sincere helps you pick out the good guys from the bad.

How to know he meant it when he said “I love you”

1. He’s genuinely interested in what you say.

A man who actually loves you listens to what you say. He’ll ask questions. He’ll remember to ask about that big presentation at work or how your friend’s doing with her breakup. Sure, he’ll miss some things, but communication is important to him.

2. You’ve already slept together.

Often, guys resort to the love lie to convince you to get into bed with them. If you’ve already slept together and you’re not withholding it, he probably actually means it when he says it. This just means he wants you for more than that since he’s already had that. Where would his ulterior motive be?

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4. He’s not pressuring you to sleep with him.

If he says the words and is constantly hinting or asking for intimacy, it’s a good bet that he’s lying. It’s just one more way to try and get you to put out. Don’t fall for it.

5. He says it just to say it.

You haven’t pressured him, you didn’t say it first and he’s not trying to get anything out of you. He honestly just said it to say it. I know it’s surprising but just go with it. Wait a little while to make sure there isn’t a hidden reason, but if he said “I love you” randomly, it just might be sincere.

6. He says it voluntarily.

Saying “I love you” to him first might make him feel pressured to say it back. It’s not that he doesn’t care about you, but he doesn’t want to hurt you either. Of course, trying to pressure him into it is likely going to get you a lie too. Let him say it voluntarily if you really want to know how he feels.

7. He says it first.

If he said “I love you” when you’ve yet to utter the words, consider this a good sign. Guys hate speaking up first, Yet, but when their feelings are legit, they’ll take a chance and tell you how they feel. When he says it first without asking for anything in return, he probably means it. If intimacy or something else he wants isn’t involved, he means it.

8. He’s always working to woo you.

Yes, I said “woo.” If he’s always trying to make you happy and impress you, he really does care. He genuinely wants to make you smile and show you how he feels. At some point, he just has to tell you.

9. He’s introduced you to family and friends.

If all he wants is a roll in the hay, he’s not going to bother introducing you to everyone. When he starts introducing you, it means he wants those he cares about most to like you and vice versa. It’s a good sign he really did meant it when he said “I love you.”

10. He enjoys going out with your friends.

A man who really loves you doesn’t mind going out with your friends sometimes. He loves seeing you have fun and getting to know those closest to you. I’m not saying he’ll be your best friend’s bestie too, but he’ll happily tag along on double dates and even some mostly girl nights.

11. He loves to just hold you.

When it’s not just about sleeping together anymore, he definitely means it. Having him hold you close while watching TV and whispering “I love you” in your ear will melt your heart. When he does it and continues to hold you without trying to grope you, it’s sincere.

12. He’s already mentioned the future. 

Is he already talking about a future together? Does he say “we” more than “I”? The more he talks about the future, the more likely it is that the means “I love you.”

13. He’s actually supportive and encouraging.

Guys who are lying about how they feel aren’t concerned about being supportive. They couldn’t care less whether you get in to get your master’s degree or how training is going for your first marathon. Supportive men tend to mean the L-word.

14. His eyes say it even louder.

Watch his eyes. He’ll look you in the eyes, say the words, and you’ll know. If he’s saying it first, he’ll likely even seem shy and insecure because he’s afraid you won’t say it back. Think back to the last time (or first time!) he said “I love you” and the look in his eyes as those words came out of his mouth. That should tell you all you need to know.

15. He can’t help but smile around you.

If he said “I love you” and meant it, then his smile will only cement how true his feelings are for you. You know that smile you get on your face when you think about the man you love? He’ll do the same thing if he means what he says. When you walk into a room, his face lights up. It’s a really good sign he’s being sincere.

16. He puts you first and doesn’t ignore you.

If he’s lying, he’ll probably put his friends, hobbies, and everything else first. When you come first and he treats you like a priority, he means what he says. He’s proving he loves you even before he says it.

Can’t tell if he loves you? He doesn’t if these things are true

If you relate to all of the above signs, congratulations – the guy you’re dating likely means the words coming out of his mouth and you’re on the track to a healthy, happy long-term relationship. However, if the below situations seem a little closer to your experience with him, you’re right to second guess what he says. It’s 2022, ladies. If he said “I love you” and clearly didn’t mean it, it’s time to kick him to the curb.

1. He doesn’t look you in the eye when he says it.

If he mumbled the words when he said “I love you,” the chances that he does mean it are pretty slim. This is especially true if he never meets your gaze as he says it. If he’d rather look anywhere but at you, chances are he’s keeping his eyes off yours because he thinks you’d be able to tell he was lying if you did look at each other.

2. He says it right before asking for something.

If it happens once, it’s coincidental. However, if it seems like every time he says “I love you,” it’s followed by a request for you to do something for him, it’s obvious that he’s using those words as a tool of manipulation. There shouldn’t be any conditions tied to his expression of affection. If there are, you need to walk away.

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4. His body language is totally off.

Maybe he’s able to look you in the eye and clearly utter those three little words, but his body language is all off. His arms are crossed, or he’s leaning his body away from yours or giving some other indication that he’s uncomfortable or simply full of crap. His body should be open and relaxed when he’s making his declaration. Otherwise, you have to wonder what he’s hiding. No one wants to look back to when a guy said “I love you” for the first time and feel like something just wasn’t right.

5. He’s only ever said it over text.

If he really does care that deeply for you, he should want to shout it from the rooftops at every available opportunity. That’s why it’s so shady when he can only type the words out via text rather than saying them to your face when you’re together. It’s as if he just can’t bring himself to spit it out, and that doesn’t bode well.

6. He still won’t talk about the future.

When you love someone, you can clearly and easily see a future with them and you’re excited to plan it. Whether it’s a trip you’ll take this summer, where you’ll spend the holidays, or what you’ll name your future kids, these discussions should be ones you’re excited to have. If he won’t (and worse, if he actively avoids them), it’s likely that he’s lying about the depth of his feelings for you. If he said “I love you,” he should be thinking about a future with you. Otherwise, what’s the point?

7. He still flirts with other women.

It goes without saying that if he can still eye up other women and flirt with them as if he’s completely unattached, there’s no way in hell that he truly cares about you. Why on earth is he trying to convince you otherwise? It’s hard to say what his aim is, but one thing is clear: you need to get away from this toxic guy ASAP.

8. He’s not very affectionate.

Some people just aren’t touchy-feely and aren’t big on PDA, which is fine. However, when you first declare your undying love for someone, it’s only natural that you’d want to demonstrate those feelings with touch. He should want to hold your hands, be close to you, and just generally show how much he cares. If that’s not happening, he doesn’t love you.

9. You know deep down that he’s lying.

Sometimes you just have to trust your gut. If everything inside you is screaming that this just isn’t right and that he’s full of it, trust yourself. Even if you’re wrong, the fact that you’re overwhelmed with feelings of second-guessing him means you can never have a happy relationship anyway. You’re better off cutting the cord now.

In conclusion

If you want to know where your partner stands, you only need to listen to your gut. You know yourself well enough to figure it out. He doesn’t even need to say the words because you feel them in everything he does. He shows you he loves you every day, so hearing it vocalized is a bonus. If you feel like you’re still questioning him, there’s probably a reason. Trust yourself to know the truth.

Crystal Crowder is a freelance writer and blogger. She's a tech geek at heart, but loves telling it like it is when it comes to love, beauty and style. She's enjoys writing music, poetry and fiction and curling up with a great book. You can find her on Twitter @ccrowderwrites or check out her other writing on Medium.