How many times have you heard people base their love strictly on feelings? Lots of relationship theories emphasize the importance of how couples feel about each other, too.
While we’re not dismissing the significance of feelings between two people, it’s important that this felt love is actually lived out. According to American psychological researcher, John Gottman, this is called the behavioral approach.
“This approach follows the assumption that observable actions provide, in many cases, harder evidence about what’s going on inside a person than the inferences we make from what he or she says.” (1)
So, let’s see some of the signs your man should show if he truly loves you, originally outlined by Zee Ramon for Thought Catalog…
Note: It’s important to acknowledge that this was written from a female writer’s perspective. However, much of what she says could also be true about women that men date.
1) Respect is more important than love.
Have you ever witnessed a couple (be it strangers on the street or like me, a friend and her boyfriend) arguing and the man gets angry and starts name calling or using profanities?
If you are dating a man that doesn’t know how to control his anger to the point that he lashes out and verbally abuses you, then their love is questionable. When did love become abusive?
I cannot compromise my respect for your love. You can keep your love, I will keep my respect — Amit Kalantri
In a healthy relationship, respect is more important than love. Because when there is respect, everything will fall in place. It is funny how people think all you need from a relationship is love, but respect is crucial. You can’t love someone you don’t respect.
He not only respects you, he respects what you both have. He knows that this bubble called relationship is extremely fragile and needs to be protected.
Note: When a man truly loves you, other girls are insignificant to him because he is loyal to you. Not only out of respect for you, but for himself and his word.
We can’t help who we fall in love with, but we can decide who we choose to respect. We can’t control love, it’s unconscious, but giving someone respect is in our hands (a conscious decision)
A man loves you when he is respectful in his words, actions, efforts and thoughts.
2) He will say it but it won’t be misused.
Don’t you find it funny how a man can meet you at noon and be in love with you by midnight? How? How can a man misuse such a strong word on a complete stranger? If a man ever tells you he loves you quickly, please be very skeptical. He isn’t in love with you, he probably just wants to have sex and would do and say anything to make it happen.
Note: Don’t confuse their determination for real love, it isn’t.
I remember when I told my boyfriend I loved him; I said it first and he didn’t say it back. He didn’t want to say it back because I said it, he wanted to say it because he meant it. I didn’t rush him because I knew that if he really loves me, I’ll be the first to know. His decision made me respect him even more. And when he finally said it, it was worth the wait.
He also found a way to say “I Love You” without using the actual word; the outcome was “ditto.”
3) He lets his actions speak for him.
If I get a dollar for every time a guy sweet-talked me only to disappoint me with his actions, I’d probably be a millionaire by now.
I have seen various women believe words that come out of a man’s mouth, turning a blind eye on his actions. He says he cares for you but his actions states otherwise. He says you can count on him but when you need him, he isn’t there. He says he gives you his word but breaks it every time.
As women, we need to pay attention to actions and not words.
A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions — Confucius
I would pick a man that lets his actions speak for him than a man that is all talk. If you are dating a man that is all talk, give him away for free.
If a man truly loves you, he’ll not only tell you, he will show you. He will make you his priority and keep his word. If he says he will be at your place at 8 p.m., expect him at 7:59 p.m.
P.S. He would always compromise for you.
4) He claims you.
I beg of you, if a man tells you ‘Let’s see where this is going,’ please run. I can tell you where it is going, nowhere!
Let’s see where this is going = I don’t want to be committed to you, I’m seeing other people.
He’ll tell you how he likes how things are between y’all and hopes to keep it that way, but low-key all this man wants is the perks that come with a relationship, he just doesn’t want any obligations.
Note: No matter how much a man claims to love you, if he makes you perform girlfriend duties without claiming you as his girlfriend, he doesn’t love you.
In fact if a man truly loves you, there won’t be any mixed signals. He won’t put you in a position where you doubt the way he truly feels and where you stand in his life.
5) He always wants to communicate with you (text and calls).
A man that doesn’t want to talk to you everyday isn’t in love with you. How can he truly love you yet go days without communicating with you? That isn’t love boo. Yes, I understand that sometimes we might want our space but that doesn’t mean non-communication.
If a man takes days to communicate with you, be it sending/replying messages or giving you a call back, then that’s a red flag and I suggest you approach with caution.
Note: If he disappears when you both have an argument without being open to communication in order to ameliorate and diffuse the situation in an amicable way, then he isn’t for you.
When a man loves you, he will check in at different hours of the day to make sure you are okay or call to hear your voice because you were on his mind.
If you go 24 hours without any form of communication from a man that claims to love you, drop him. You are now single and free to mingle!
6) He will treat you like a queen.
I wasn’t fortunate enough to date men who were chivalrous towards me or maybe they didn’t love me enough but I had hope that there were warm-hearted, protective, and loyal men in a world that seemed to lack them. This also has nothing to do with me binge-watching Ryan Gosling movies and wanting my own lovely gentleman.
But when I started dating my boyfriend, he showed me how a gentle man is supposed to treat his lady. I was stunned as I couldn’t believe how much I had settled for mediocre love that I didn’t know I deserved to be treated better.
He showed me in subtle ways: like insisting he walks at the curb side of the road to protect me or not eating his food because mine hasn’t arrived yet.
Look out for the little things. If he says he’ll call at 3 p.m., does he keep you waiting? Does he open doors for you? Sit after you sit? Never walk ahead of you? Offer you his jacket when it’s cold? Walk you to your car or even your Uber/taxi? Praise you when you doubt yourself? Always on his iPhone when you are supposed to be bonding instead of dropping it and listening to you?
Note: If he isn’t an uncultured swine, he would also leave the toilet seat down, which I believe is chivalrous.
If he doesn’t do any of this, he isn’t for you.
7) He gives without expectations.
Gone are the days when men would go far and beyond to get the first date from a woman. But now, men either take the lazy way that requires no effort; inviting her over for Netflix and chill so he can later try to take her to bed. Or take her on a $30/200 dinner date with ulterior motives.
If a man loves you, he will take you out on a date (be it $30 or $200) and not expect nothing in return but to have you back home safely.
Note: Pay attention to how he treats strangers. e.g., waiters/waitress, security guards, or people that need a favour from him. Is he a jerk? Is he nice?
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. -Samuel Johnson
A man doesn’t count things he does for you, he does it out of the goodness of his heart.
8) It’s never your problem, it’s our problem.
You really don’t know who is for you until you need help. I’ve heard various horror stories where a man claims to truly love a girl, yet abandon her when she most needs him.
Now I am not suggesting that he pays your student loans or credit card bills, but just how invested is he when you need help. Does he offer encouragement? Is he there for you? Does he hold your hair when you puke after a drunk night out? Drive you to the hospital at 4 a.m. because you are sick, instead of calling you an Uber or taxi?
If a man truly loves you, your problem is his problem. He knows that when his woman is unhappy, it makes him unhappy too. He will work with you like a team member for a class presentation and try to find a solution or a way out. He won’t let you go through fire, he will go with you. In return, he would hope that when he also has a problem, you are there for him as he was for you.
9) He makes you better.
It is really important to be surrounded by people who want the best for you. Looking back to my past relationships, I did most of the nurturing and never got as much back.
As a woman, I am supposed to not only look perfect but live a perfect life. I encouraged and motivated my past partner to be the best he could be. Like always, I found myself giving paraklesis to men who needed healing.
Paraklesis: Encouraging and consoling speech. It is a healing speech for the mind. e.g., when you tell someone, “Screw what everyone thinks, it’s going to be okay.”
But when I met my boyfriend, all of a sudden, it stopped being one-sided. I remember bursting into tears one day because I kept thinking, “This is always how I wanted to be treated, why couldn’t past guys treat me this way?”
Finally someone gave me hope, motivated me and intensified my self-love. Being in a foreign country with no family around, Lord knows I needed that support system. I became brutally ambitious again and stopped failing at College. He fed my mind with facts I never knew. With him in my life, I know I can fly.
You know a man truly loves you when your life is better with him in it.
10) To know it is true love, it will give you peace of mind.
It isn’t love if it doesn’t come with peace. If a man truly loves you, you won’t be in constant state of distress or discomfort of mind and body.
A man truly in love with you won’t disturb your inner peace or leave you with doubts or worry. He will create a relationship where you will trust his word, as well as his silence and absence.
Note: A peace of mind is very important and any man that gets in the way of that must be removed.
This brings us to the end of this article and I hope you learnt some things and maybe a few laughs out of it too.
No more mixed signals, no more hidden agendas.
This article is shared with permission by Thought Catalog, an online magazine created to empower creative people by helping them realize their artistic visions on their own terms. The Hearty Soul has added an additional section to give more value to you, our reader!
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