8 signs a man genuinely loves you, according to psychology

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I’ve been in relationships in the past where I thought we were in love.

It was only with hindsight that I realized it was probably just lust.

During the honeymoon period, the two can feel very similar.

But whilst lust can quickly fade, real love runs deep enough to stand the test of time.

So how can we tell the difference?

Science can help point us in the right direction.

Let’s take a look at the signs a man genuinely loves you, according to psychology.

1) You can be your true self around him (and vice versa)

The early stages of dating can feel a bit like a job interview.

It’s not that we’re faking, it’s more that we’re more conscious of how we come across.

We want to impress, so we’re usually on our best behavior.

Understandably that can mean accentuating our assets and glossing over anything we think of as less desirable.

But the closer you get, these walls start to come down.

We’re less focused on dazzling one another and can be more sincere around each other.

Licensed clinical social worker, Darcy Sterling, PhD, says genuine love happens when two individuals authentically come together and create a deep level of safety for one another.

“Imagine a Venn diagram that shows two people — each allowed to be their own unique person — and the overlap, which represents the relationship space, is also a place of comfort and acceptance.”

So in many ways, you may not know whether a man genuinely loves you until he has met your demons, as we’re about to see.

2) He accepts your flaws

None of us are perfect, and any relationship if it’s going to last has to accept that.

The extent to which a man can cut you some slack around your flaws is often directly proportionate to the strength of his feelings for you.

He knows your weaknesses as well as your strengths.

Being able to accept the bits that get on our nerves about our partners involves putting them in perspective says psychologist Alice Boyes:

“Sometimes people get very annoyed by aspects of their partner that really aren’t that big of a deal. When frustration builds up, it’s easy to lose sight of that. For instance, I get annoyed about my partner’s struggles with technology and with being on time, but in the grand scheme of life, my frustration is out of proportion to how important these really are. In reality, my spouse is emotionally reliable and has many other good qualities that are fundamentally much more important than the ability to manage our smart home gadgets.”

If he can look past the little things and focus on what makes you awesome, it’s a sign of genuine love.

3) He’s open and available with you

He shares parts of himself with you that not everyone sees. That shows he is prepared to be vulnerable.

It’s an essential part of being emotionally available. And that’s often a huge decider in whether you’re dealing with lust or love.

Research has highlighted how important relationship readiness is to whether things work out.

Until a man is prepared to expose himself to genuine love, feelings cannot deepen.

Licensed therapist Ken Page says although attraction is important, so too is availability.

“A mixture of true vulnerability, desire, sexuality, and romance that creates a blend—kind of like the Holy Grail—of safety, excitement, availability, and shared love. That’s really what we’re looking for.”

Signs of this emotional availability include open and honest communication. He is transparent about his feelings and thoughts. Not just the positive ones either.

He is also willing to have difficult conversations with you too. Because as we’re about to see, real love isn’t always plain sailing.

4) He sticks around through the hard times

It’s not that genuine love isn’t filled with lots of fun, laughter, and good times. Of course, it can be sexy, light, exciting and passionate.

But so too can lust.

That’s why many of our signs he genuinely loves you are about his willingness to be around for the less glamorous aspects that come along with a real relationship.

According to research, as many as two-thirds of our relationship problems aren’t solvable.

Studies from the Gottman Institute discovered the number one thing couples fight about is “nothing”.

Aka, couples largely argue about an assortment of stupid things that don’t really matter.

Genuine love doesn’t do a runner during these times.

A guy who loves you knows that issues arise, arguments are inevitable, and he wants to move past them.

5) He sacrifices for you

A guy who is genuinely in love isn’t just concerned with getting his needs and wants met.

That means, he isn’t selfish and is prepared to put you first.

So you’ll notice that he goes out of his way to make you happy. He puts your needs above his own sometimes.

He values quality time spent together, makes plans, and prioritizes your relationship over other things in his life.

Just like the Massive Attack song reminds us:

“Love, love is a verb
Love is a doing word”

Co-author of ‘Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships’, Dr. Lisa Firestone says we should never forget how important it is to make love an action.

“Often, we spend our time worrying about what our partner feels toward us or how the relationship looks from the outside. Even though it feels good to be loved by someone else, each one of us can only really feel our loving feelings for another person and not that person’s feelings for us. In order to connect with and sustain those loving feelings within us, we have to take actions that are loving. Otherwise, we may be living in fantasy.”

Rather than just talk about his feelings, he shows you through consistent behavior.

6) He’s respectful

Respect is fundamental when it comes to all quality relationships, romantic ones included.

So say countless studies which highlight how important it is in cultivating commitment, intimacy, attachment, and satisfaction.

It led one group of researchers to conclude that:

“Respect thus appears to be an important part of the intrinsic meaning of a close, romantic relationship.”

So what does respect in a relationship actually look like?

● He shows appreciation
● He honors your boundaries
● He expresses his love for you through words and actions
● He values your opinions, thoughts, and feelings
● He recognizes your independence and autonomy

7) You feel supported

Being there for one another is how we create strong bonds.

This is backed up by studies that highlight the benefit of mutual support, as explored by psychotherapist Douglas LaBier in Psychology Today:

“New empirical research corroborates what we see clinically: Mutual support, and mutuality around differences and decision-making are necessary for a healthy relationship.”

This may manifest in practical ways, by helping you out and sharing the load. But it can also be in emotional ways:

● By listening to you (Researchers found that “receptive listening” predicts higher relationship satisfaction)
● By providing a shoulder to cry on
● By tackling challenges together

8) He is committed to building a future

As I hinted at in the intro to this article, sometimes the biggest test of whether love is genuine or not demands our patience.

As time passes, we discover how strong the foundations of that love really are.

But one way to try to get a glimpse into his intentions at least is through his commitment to the relationship.

Is he planning for a future together?

This gives a lot of insight into his mindset. If he genuinely loves you he will invest time and effort into the relationship.

This can be seen through long-term planning and discussing future vacations, shared life goals, or family aspirations. It’s also things like integrating you into his life by meeting his friends and family.

One of the more modern ways he may show his commitment these days according to relationship expert, and professional matchmaker, Michelle Fraley is online.

“If your partner is sharing a lot of photos or stories highlighting your relationship, that is a clear sign that they are happy, proud of your relationship, and not leaving their window open for other relationships, which are all things that are important in creating a lasting relationship.”

To conclude

So there you have it. According to psychology, there are several behaviors and actions that can reveal the depth of a man’s love for you.

But we should remember that love is a complex emotion, and it is essential to communicate openly and honestly with your partner to ensure a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

Talking about how you feel will only strengthen your connection.

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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