Men are not very good at expressing their feelings, even to their closest friends. But that doesn't mean that they don't experience all the same emotions - hope, fear, excitement, regret - that everyone else does. It just means that it's harder to know what he's thinking. Which can make women second-guess their relationships, even if things seem like they're going well. So what do you do? Luckily, there's plenty of signs that you can look out for. If he's doing this, it means that he loves you...
1. Making Plans
Even men at their most committed are fiercely independent people. They love their time to themselves and with the boys, and always have an idea of where their lives are heading. So if he's making plans with you, that include you, it's a huge step. It means that he wants you there for his life journey, and that he loves you so much he can't imagine it without you.
2. He Respects You
The raging debate that is the new wave of feminism has brought up one very important point: that men should respect women as their equals, and not just child-bearers and household slaves. For too long, the world has taught them differently, and it's a habit that's very difficult to break. So if he's treating you like his equal, intellectually, in the home, and work-wise, it means that he's really making an effort to be right for you.
3. Keeps Watch
Not like a creepy, Batman-on-the-end-of-the-bed-while-you're-sleeping kind of way, but in a way where he's genuinely making sure you're okay at all times. Your feelings and emotions are incredibly important to him because he loves you and he wants you to be happy. As long as it doesn't turn clingy, this is a good sign.
4. Doesn't Brag
Of course, he should be bragging about you all the time. But does he brag about himself, and all the things he does for you? If he does, that means he expects rewards and isn't really doing it for you in the long run. But if he keeps quiet about all the wonderful ways he treats you, then it's literally all for you. Love is selflessness.
Above almost everything else, honesty has got to be the most valued human trait of all. Everybody likes an honest person, because it means that they value your time and respect your intelligence. Find a guy who's always honest with you, and you've found a guy who really loves you. They're not interested in mind games - just being in a happy and healthy relationship.
We said it before, and we'll say it again: love is selflessness. It's all the little acts where you're thinking about the other partner and how you can maximise their pleasure, and not yours. In this mixed-up egocentric and narcissistic world, this is no easy thing to do. But if he thinks about you before he thinks about himself, it means he really cares.
7. Fighting Clean
There is literally not a single relationship in the world which hasn't involved at least one fight. Or at least a heated argument. You can't avoid it, because no two people are exactly the same. But there's fighting with name-calling and vase-throwing, and then there's fighting rationally, seeing the other person's point of view, and generally not being a dick about it. Guess which one means love?
8. Interested In You
You'd hope that any person that you're dating would take an interest in you, but sadly some men really don't care about anything more than the sex. We're not saying that he has to deeply care about your Warhammer 40k collection. But if he really loves you, then he'll want to know everything about your life, and - shock - even what you did today.
Since the caveman days, men have been the designated protectors of women. Now, though, you tend to get the two extremes: either a man who punches anyone who even looks your way, or the man who honestly couldn't give a flying donkey fart whether you run across a busy highway. Your ideal man should be in the middle - not restricting you from enjoying life, but always having your back.
10. Focused On You
We're talking all the other luscious ladies that come his way. If you're the light of his life, then he's barely going to give them a second glance. He's blinded by love. That's not to say you both can't agree that Scarlett Johansson is the greatest and most gorgeous woman in the world. But if she knocked on his door, he'd better turn her down.
11. He Agrees...But Not Too Much
This is one of those tricky ones, but you'll have a sense for when things are right. Of course you want to agree on things. Opposites do attract, but shared ideas and interests attract way more. On the other hand, if he's just saying yes to everything then he's probably not being totally truthful. It's a balance, but you'll know it when you see it.
Public displays of affection can be a divisive issue. Some people love it, and some people hate it. Most people who hate PDAs, though, are just embarrassed - for themselves or the people around them. Why else would you dislike showing the world how much you love someone? If your man's confident enough to love holding hands with you everywhere, then rejoice - he's a keeper.
13. Considers Your Plans
This goes hand-in-hand with selflessness, really. It doesn't matter how important some plan is to him, or how much he really, really wants to go to that party - if he loves you, then he's going to make sure you're okay with it first. And if you've got something else on that requires him, then a man in love will ditch anything to do that.
14. He Gets (A Little Bit) Jealous
Nobody likes a jealous person, someone who flies into a rage (or stews for days) at the tiniest bit of eye contact with someone else. But nobody who adores someone else can help but get a little bit jealous sometimes. Your man will try his darndest to hide his jealousy, since he doesn't want to be that guy. But at the same time, he is certainly keeping an eye on it.
15. He Invests In You
If you listen to all the advertising hype these days, nobody has time for anything. We're too busy with work, with the gym, with scouring Twitter for something even remotely witty. If you ask him to do something with you, does he say yes, or say he's too busy? The mark of true love is when he sets down his phone and picks up your hand.
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