In some conversations that I have with women regarding a man they are just starting to date, or even one they have been with for awhile, I often hear how he is not as verbal as they would like when it comes to showing their affection. Many things I suggest in my article suggest open and free communication between men and women in terms of showing how they value each other, but the truth is, it takes a certain kind of man to frequently put his feelings into words for you.
It is not better or worse, it does not mean more or mean less, it just shows that men all express their affection in their own ways (as do women, of course).
So, even if your guy isn’t telling you how he feels, here are some ways he might show you.
1. He brings you around his friends.
Or family. Or whoever is closest to him. When a man starts to make you part of the important things in his life, it is a good sign that he is serious about you. He wants others to experience the happiness that you bring to his life (and maybe show you off a little bit — in a good way because he is proud to be with you).
2. He stays close to you physically.
It could be keeping his arm around you, hugging you randomly, or cuddling up on the couch — a man who truly cares and enjoys your company will always want to be in close proximity to you. Physical contact, even when ‘innocent,’ sends non-verbal messages that are worth paying attention to.
3. He really listens to you.
One of the major things that men often get accused of is being terrible listeners. Whether we don’t remember that it was your friend’s birthday this weekend, or which scented candle was your favorite one at the store — the small details matter most. A man who really cares for you will listen intently and do his best to absorb all of the details that he can. It is his way of showing you that he values you and what you have to say.
4. He is all smiles after you kiss.
You know, that feeling…
5. He stays in touch with you just because.
Two people who genuinely enjoy each other’s company don’t need a reason to talk to each other. If he texts or calls you just to say hello, to see how your day is going, or to say good morning and goodnight, it is a clear sign that he thinks about you often and wants you to know it.
6. He doesn’t care what you do, as long as you’re together.
Oh, you have to go grocery shopping today or go out and get things for your party this weekend? Count him in. For the man who wants to spend as much time with you as he can, it’s not just going to be on date night or when you are intimate together. A meaningful relationship is just as much about sharing in everyday things together, as it is about the exciting things.
7. He mirrors your behavior and body language.
While some of us recognize this as an effective form of communication as well as a method to make someone more comfortable around us, many people will just become so in-tune with the person they are with that they subconsciously start duplicating gestures, positions, or postures. If you find him touching your arm after you touch his, uncrossing his legs after you uncross yours, or leaning in to you during conversation after you lean in to him — it shows he is paying close attention to you, whether he realizes it or not.
8. He puts thought into the gifts he gives you.
While, obviously, special occasions are not the only time that a man (or woman) should do something special for you, they are more traditional in the sense that it is an opportunity to slow our lives down and show somebody how much we appreciate them. Whether it is a gift you have wanted or an experience you have desired to partake in — a man who really cares about you will not just pick up a stuffed animal and some flowers at the store. He will do something special that is clearly specifically for you.
9. He compromises.
No great relationship was ever built on the foundation of “what’s in it for me?” A man who is just playing the field will have no reason to sacrifice his own self-interest for somebody… unless he feels something deeper for them. When we begin to develop love for someone, we want to see them happy, even if that means putting our own self-interests aside for the sake of theirs. Her happiness becomes our happiness.
This is not to say he will become a doormat — there is a big difference between compromise and sacrifice. It goes both ways.
10. He will go pick up your dry-cleaning.
Or whatever it is that you don’t have time to do yourself. He will put in the effort to help you out in order to make your life easier, just because. A man who is not serious about you will not be around often enough, nor willing enough, to do these things.
11. He asks for your advice.
If a man asks you for your advice on a decision he is trying to make or a situation that he is in, it means he values your opinion enough to take you seriously and actually use it as a guiding light in his own life. If a man values your thoughts, it means he values you.
12. He will always make you feel safe.
Men are naturally protective. Millions of years of biological evolution has brought us to the point where we naturally want to protect those we love, whether they need it or not. It could mean protecting you from getting hurt emotionally or physically, but protecting nonetheless.
A man who loves and cares for you will make you feel safe. He will never make you question whether or not he will be there for you in a time of need. He will stand by your side when he must, in front of you when he must, and behind you when he must. He will be your teammate through life.
A man who loves you will make you feel it in his own ways. When he really cares, you will know it — if he doesn’t, you will be wondering all the time if he does.
James Michael Sama is an award winning Boston based blogger on the topics of dating and relationships, having amassed over 30 million readers in just a year and a half. He writes and speaks on the topics of chivalry, romance, and happiness throughout the country and has been featured repeatedly in news segments, talk shows, and mainstream radio. Follow him on Twitter at @JamesMSamaThis article originally appeared on JamesMSama.com.