11 Ways To Tell Whether He Really Loves You Or He’s Just Saying It

Your guy says he loves you, but you can’t help but wonder if he really means it (even though you really hope he does) of if he’s just saying it. Here are some signs you watch out for that may mean he isn’t being so truthful about those three little words you love hearing so much as well as a few indicators that he’s speaking from the heart.

He only says it when you say it first.

If your guy only says “I love you” as a response to when you say it to him, it may be a red flag. After all, he should initiate saying it some of the time as well. A relationship needs to be equal on both sides, and if he isn’t expressing his feelings spontaneously, you might want to sit down and have a heart to heart with him. Of course, he could just be really nervous to say it too, so take into account your guy’s personality and how long you’ve been together.

He only says it when he wants something.

If he’s only uttering those three little words when he’s asking for something that he wants—a guy’s night out, sex, etc.—that’s a warning sign. If the only time he’s telling you what you want to hear is when he wants something, that’s a sign of manipulation. Pay attention to each time he says it and make sure to watch out for other manipulation tactics. If you feel like your boyfriend is manipulating you, you should get out fast!

He only says it during sex.

Or before it happens. Or after. Basically, if the only time he’s telling you he loves you is when making love is on the cards or has already happened, it’s possible he doesn’t mean it. A lot of people feel strong emotions during and after intimacy that don’t always translate to how they feel the rest of the time. Or, he may be using it to get you into bed with him. Either way, he may not actually mean it.

He only says it in front of other people.

Kind of the opposite of what you would expect, right? If it seems weird that he never says I love you in private, but always says it in front of other people, trust your intuition. This kind of behavior is definitely off. He may be trying to make it seem like he loves you to other people, and there are all kinds of reasons he could be doing that. Maybe it’s to make someone else jealous or to fit in with a group. Regardless, you shouldn’t let him use you.

He says it too much.

If he’s constantly talking about how much he loves you, this might be a warning sign. Either he’s confusing love and obsession or he’s trying to overcompensate. Either one isn’t that great, so it might be time to evaluate your relationship.

He said it really early.

This one is a bit tricky because there are those couples who just know right away. But for the majority of people, if you’ve only been dating a few weeks and he’s suddenly professing his love, you may want to run the other direction because this is rarely a good sign. He may be just saying it because he’s happy not to be alone.

He says it spontaneously. 

On the flip side, if your guy says he loves you without any warning, this can be a good sign. Random “I love you”s can be a sign that he’s thinking about you throughout the day, or wants you to know how much you mean to him. Saying “I love you” shouldn’t feel forced or contrived, so the more spontaneous, the better.

He says it at the most boring time.

If it just bursts out of him when you’re doing something otherwise mundane like laundry, he probably means it. This kind of “I love you” seems the most genuine because he’s saying right as he’s feeling it. Take this as a good sign that he means what he says. Bonus points if he says it when you’re wearing sweats and a messy bun.

He said it first.

I’m not saying that if you said it first, this must mean he doesn’t mean it. But if he did happen to say it first, remember that it takes a lot of courage to be the first one to admit their feelings, so it’s likely that he really does feel that way and he’s comfortable being vulnerable with you (or at least willing to be).

He says it kind of late in the relationship.

This is probably a sign that he’s taken his time in getting to know you and that he wants to make sure he really feels that way before he says it out loud. You can probably trust that his “I love you” is real and he’s not just saying it because he thinks it’s what you want to hear.

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