“When a man loves a woman…” Percy Sledge originally sang in his hit 1966 song.
According to the lyrics, a man who’s truly in love will do almost anything for the one he adores.
He sees the best side of everything his partner does and can’t get her off his mind or forget about her.
This has been my experience, and that of my friends: love is an intense and all-consuming emotion and it changes how we behave and orient our priorities.
When a man’s in a relationship where his feelings aren’t that strong, he may waver and behave erratically…
But when he’s genuinely in love, his comportment is quite different indeed.
Let’s take a look at the behavior of a man in love.
1) They stay in touch
The first key of a man who’s in love is that he makes the effort to stay in touch.
Whenever possible he responds to messages and calls from the one he loves.
He communicates to the fullest of his ability about anything and everything he’s able to.
He stays in touch with his partner and is interested in his or her experiences, ideas and daily ups and downs.
The key: The man who’s not that into his partner will be erratic in keeping in touch. The man who’s really in love will always do his best to stay in touch and communicate.
2) They go the extra mile
Men who are really in love aren’t afraid to go the extra mile:
In fact, they relish the opportunity.
They not only want to demonstrate the depth of their feelings, they also truly want to help the one they love.
That’s the thing about real love: it’s not about appearance, it’s about a true desire to be there for somebody else and be a benefit and an anchor in their life.
The key: The man who’s really in love will go the extra mile and do whatever he can when a problem arises. The man who’s only half in will be nowhere to be found when real effort is required.
3) They are generous with their time and energy
Some people like Dr. Jordan Peterson say that love is a choice and it’s up to you to decide how much you care.
In fact, I think that real romantic love is a transcendent and extremely powerful emotional state that inherently leads to commitment.
As such, men who are in love are generous with their time and energy.
They want to do everything they can to be there for their partner and give whatever they can whenever possible.
The key: The man who’s in love is generous with his time and energy, sparing no expense. The man who’s not really in love parcels out his time and energy and fades out when he feels he’s giving too much.
4) They talk about the future
When a man is really in love, the idea of a future together doesn’t scare him:
In fact, it excites him deeply.
If anything, the danger here is that he may talk too much about the future with somebody he’s in love with.
This can create pressure and even come across as needy, but let’s not forget that this desire to talk over the future comes from real love and desire to be with somebody.
The key: The man who’s genuinely fallen for someone will talk about the future. The man who’s still on the fence will get uncomfortable or vague when the future comes up.
5) They talk about core values
Men who are in love talk about their core values.
They want to see if their partner or potential partner aligns with them.
They may take a bit longer to open up or do so speedily:
But either way, that willingness to wear their heart on their sleeve is about hoping that the one they love shares their vision.
This can cause anxiety and some men will hold back a bit on revealing themselves fully. However, ultimately the hope that this love could be a kind of destiny-defining match will usually get them to open their heart about who they are and what they stand for deep down.
The key: Men who are really into somebody will talk about their core values and who they are at the deepest level. Men who aren’t truly in love will avoid the subject or just say whatever seems most mainstream or popular.
6) They get to know their partner’s family
Men who are in love want to know their partner’s family:
Not only are these the folks who formed the foundation of their loved one’s beginnings, they’re also potential future family-in-law.
Being with somebody or marrying them is about getting to know their family, too.
The man who’s in love will do his level best to meet his partner’s family and hope he likes them or at least can get along.
The key: The man who is in love will make a real effort to get to know his partner’s family. The man who’s only “in like” won’t much care either way and will generally prefer not to establish deep social ties.
7) They get to know their partner’s friends
The same goes for friends:
The man who’s in love will want to get to know his partner’s friends.
Even if they don’t become his bosom buddies, he wants to do his best to make an effort and hope he gets along.
His partner’s friends are his potential friends, and at least folks who he can be civil around and get to know somewhat.
The key: Even if he doesn’t hit it off, a man in love will want to meet his partner’s friends. A man who’s not in love won’t be that curious or care about meeting friends.
8) They are understanding of their partner’s flaws
Men who are in love are understanding of their partner’s shortcomings.
If they have high confidence they will be direct and up front about areas where their partner can improve.
But that doesn’t mean they will leave their partner over some flaws they have or over something that annoys them.
Love goes the distance and it’s much.
The key: The man in love does his best to understand and work with his partner’s flaws. The man who’s not truly in love holds grudges, doesn’t try to work through problems and holds flaws against his partner.
9) They adapt to challenges and new problems
If and when problems come up, the man in love does his best to adapt.
This won’t always be possible, of course.
But if problems and tragedies ever do get in the way of the love he feels, it won’t be on his account!
Whereas the pressures of life and changes often break up relationships based on strong attraction or like, a relationship where the man is completely in love will be something he pours everything in.
He will try his best to save any love he can, even if times get extremely stressful and fraught.
The key: The man in love adapts to new challenges and problems enthusiastically. He tries his best to work out relationship issues, too. The man who’s not really in love uses relationship and other problems as an excuse to breakup or become absent.
Real love, defined
A man who’s genuinely in love doesn’t count the cost.
He’s in for real, and for the long haul.
The upside of this is that real commitment and partnership is possible in this case.
The downside is that a man may be taken advantage of or manipulated due to the strength of his feelings.
But real love isn’t built on rationality:
The language of the heart doesn’t speak in vowels or consonants, but in looks and memories.
Let’s go back to Sledge’s 1966 hit, which went on to be covered by such singers as Michael Bolton and Harry Connick Jr.
“When a man loves a woman
Can’t keep his mind on nothin’ else
He’d trade the world
For the good thing he’s found
If she is bad, he can’t see it
She can do no wrong
And turn his back on his best friend
If he puts her down.”