We men are not great at expressing our emotions in words. We are more comfortable with deeds and actions than trying to express complex emotional states we are already uncomfortable examining. We are raised to be strong and unshakable bastions of safety that our friends, family and lovers can retreat to when they are in pain or danger. Being vulnerable and open is difficult for us, but not impossible. It is fairly obvious when we have opened the castle gates of our hearts and let someone in.
Here are some signs that you live in that heart castle.
1: HE LOVES AND RESPECTS HER FOR WHO SHE IS
In a culture of superficial beauty and disposable relationships, when a man truly loves a woman, he loves all of her, not just her beauty. He loves her for her who she is. He loves her flaws as well as her virtues. He respects her decisions and her choices in life.
2: HE IS HER BIGGEST CHEERLEADER
When a man loves a woman, it isn’t enough to be successful on your own; you also want her to be successful in whatever she chooses to do. He is her biggest fan and most vocal cheerleader. He believes in her and what she can accomplish. He lets everyone know how awesome she is.
3: HE PROTECTS HER
A man places himself between danger and that which he loves. He shields his woman not just from physical harm, but also emotional traumas. Always vigilant and always on guard, he is ready at a moment’s notice to place himself in harm’s way. He does not raise his hands against those he loves. It would never cross his mind.
4: HE STEPS UP
When times are tough or there is a tough decision to make, a man steps up and takes action. He does not shift the responsibility to others. He steps up and takes responsibility. He steps up and makes the sacrifice when necessary. His personal comforts and safety are secondary considerations. When things go wrong, he takes the blame and the responsibility for making things right again.
5: HE VALUES YOUR OPINION
When a man loves you, your opinions matter to him. He may not give a flying #$&@ at a rolling donut what anyone else on earth thinks, but what you think of him matters greatly. What you think about political, religious or business matters matter to him. What you think you two should paint the bedroom matters to him. Your opinions on all things great and small are important to him.
6: HE LISTENS
When you speak, he stops what he is doing to listen to you. What you have to say is important to him, even if it is trivial day to day stuff. He pays attention to you because you are the most important person in his world.
7: HE REMEMBERS
He remembers things like your favorite color, how you like your coffee or what types of books you are into. He remembers because you are important to him. It may seem trivial to you, but to him, you are the focus of his world. He is your biggest fan and remembering how you like your ice cream is just natural.
9: HE LOVES ENOUGH TO LET GO
When a man is secure in his love for you, then he has no problem with you hanging out with your girlfriends for the evening. He is not clingy and demanding of your time. He understands you are busy and have a life of your own. We all need our time apart with our friends to do the things we are passionate about.
10: HE MISSES YOU
When you have to travel for work or to visit family, he misses you when you are gone. He thinks about you while you are away and will send goofy little notes to let you know you are on his mind. He will be glad and excited to see you when you get back as well.
11: HE FEELS YOUR PAIN
If you are hurting, then he is hurting as well. It is like he can physically feel your pain. We men are meant to protect our mates, and if they are hurting, then we have somehow failed in protecting them. We want to soothe their pain and shield them from harm. We don’t want to see those we love hurt.
12: HE’S GENEROUS WITH FOOD.
If he gives you the last bite of his chocolate mousse cake or offers to switch entrees with you because you like his more, he’s basically doing the foodie version of proposing. Same goes for you. One of the first moments I first realized I was in love with my boyfriend was when I said he could have the gooey bits at the bottom of the gelato pint. I was thrilled when he didn’t take me up on it, but the offer was still genuine.
13: HE USUALLY DOESN’T FREAK OUT, EVEN WHEN YOU THINK HE WILL.
When you ‘fess up to an embarrassing secret from your past or blurt out that your kids would have lovely eyes, he won’t nuclear-level freak out. Even if something does make him do a mental double take, he’ll express it in a kind way because he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings.
14: HE STARES AT YOU. A LOT.
You know that googly-eyed look guys get when they watch you do something simple, like lace up your sneakers for a run or explain why The Walking Dead has the best zombie effects known to man? It’s basically the inspiration for the heart-eyed emoji. Guys definitely get it when you’re all dressed up for a fancy date night, but when he’s seriously in love with you, he’ll be overcome with wonder at you doing smaller things too.
15: HE’LL TELL YOU AS ,MUCH
Any guy who is truly, madly, deeply in love will ideally show and tell you he is. Even the most stoic guys have their emotional moments when they just have to express how much their ladylove means to them. Soak it all up and don’t forget to return the favor.