I'm a Midwesterner with a background in writing and media. My articles are mainly about relationships, dating, and heartbreak.
So you've been dating for a pretty minute, but neither of you have said those three magic words. You've probably been wondering which of you will say them first.
In the age of instant messaging, you can tell a significant amount about a relationship by how you two text. You can find little clues about whether someone likes you (or loves you!) right there in your phone, though when someone loves you, it'll come out one way or another.
In this article, you will find the following sections:
- How to Interpret His Texts and Emojis
- The Art of Navigating Your Relationship's First "I Love You"
- Frequently asked questions about love, texting, and relationships (e.g. what to do if your boyfriend says he loves you for the first time in a text)
Continue scrolling for more details!
16 Ways to Tell He Is in Love With You Through Text Messages
While texts aren't exactly the window to the soul, they can say a lot about what's going on in your significant other's head (or heart). Here are 16 ways to tell if your boyfriend is falling in love with you . . . or already has.
1. You find yourself talking to them constantly about anything and everything.
It doesn't matter the topic. They check in with you like it's a commitment. You get a mixture of long texts, short texts, sweet texts, random texts, haphazard texts, and romantic texts. You should be getting a lot of communication frequently and consistently. They'll want to keep talking to you because they like—I mean love—you.
2. He sends good morning and goodnight texts.
He wants to be your first thought when you wake up in the morning and the last thought you have when you go to bed. You're on his mind all day long, and he wants to be on your mind too.
3. When you're sad, sick, or a mess, he tries to cheer you up.
Even if they don't know how to make you feel better, they'll go the extra mile to try to comfort you. I'm not talking about a blank or apathetic response to your "I'm sick." They care about you, and they'll try to show it through their actions. He'll ask if there's anything he can do for you, or he'll find a way to let you know that he is empathetic toward your situation.
4. He texts you about your favorite things.
These could be things that have come up during dates, things he knows you like (such as ice cream or your favorite movies), inside jokes, etc. Bringing these things up is his way of showing that he really listens to and cares about you.
5. He'll confide in you and tell you secrets that he doesn't share with anyone else.
Sharing secrets is a big part of relationships. This could be how you feel about them romantically, what makes you sad, or the little bit of gossip you only spare for their ears. Essentially, this person is the one you deem as your confidante—a role that is hard to come by!
6. You don't have to question who will initiate conversations.
Sometimes, early on in a relationship, one person may feel like the dominant communicator. This could still continue with someone who is more reserved, but usually, it should get to a point that both of you communicate without much nudging from the other person.
7. You text a lot when you're apart for a while.
When you two can't see each other for a week, the texts make it clear (without question) that you miss each other. When you finally get to see one another, it's noticeable that some amount of emotion has developed.
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If he does not miss you when you're apart, this could be suspicious. Perhaps you guys are at a point where you're used to having long breaks, so it doesn't bother you as much as it did in the beginning. But if he doesn't ever seem to miss you, that could be cause for concern.
8. He lets you be as weird as you want to be.
You could make up rhymes or communicate solely in emojis for an entire conversation, and it wouldn't matter. He likes your weirdness and probably sees it as part of your charm. You know you've found someone who's right for you when they enjoy your absurd narratives that others probably couldn't care less about hearing.
You're also comfortable annoying each other and getting under one another's skin—in a good way, of course. Reaching this point shows growth in your relationship and is a good indicator that he likes you (a lot).
9. He respects the hours you are sleeping.
Sometimes guys will text you at odd hours of the night, and it may seem cute or even harmless. But a guy who knows when you're sleeping and that you can't communicate to him at that time—that guy is smart. Someone who just texts you and wakes you up because he is up is being a little immature. Facebook messages don't count.
10. He doesn't leave you hanging or confused.
He is straight with you in his texts. Being able to communicate honestly and clearly—whether via text or face-to-face conversation—is an essential component for a healthy relationship. There will be a mutual understanding that just because you don't hear back from each other right away doesn't mean anything out of the norm is going on. This will result in a natural, comfortable flow to your text conversations.
You shouldn't feel left in the dark unless he is not really a phone person in general. Some people just don't like texting that much. Consider other ways they are communicating with you before writing the guy off. He may really like you, but just not like his phone buzzing every 10 minutes.
11. He brings up the future and asks the big questions.
If your guy is really into you, he'll be trying to piece together how the two of you will fit in the long term. Naturally, this involves thinking over his own career goals, ambitions, and so on in order to see how they mesh with your relationship. But if he's trying to figure out how to make both of your lives align harmoniously, he'll also be very curious about your goals and dreams.
The difference between asking about your future and your favorite flavor of ice cream is pretty clear—so if your man starts asking about your five-year plan, it's an indicator that he's seriously into you. He's in it for the long haul.
12. He mentions his family and friends and invites you to meet them.
He wants to show you off as more than a casual friend. It's no secret that meeting the parents is a pretty big step, as it indicates a huge trust in you. If he invites you to meet his family, you obviously mean a lot to him, and he wants both you and his loved ones to know that. The same thing goes for when a guy invites you to hang out with his best friends. He wouldn't bother introducing you if he didn't care.
Similarly, a guy who is super into you will take interest in your family and friends. He will express interest in meeting them or, if they've already met, tell you how much he enjoys spending time with them. BUT, your man will also encourage you to spend time with them when he's not around. He doesn't want you to lose your friends or the people that matter to you.
13. He'll tell you he enjoys your company, thank you for spending time with him, and invite you into his world.
Just got home from a date and already have a text from your guy saying how much he enjoyed the night? This is his way of letting you know you’re truly special to him. It’s also a way of making sure you feel comfortable with him because he wants to do things right.
14. He may mention in texts that he thinks you guys can work through things, you make a great team, and he enjoys the relationship.
This guy has a good attitude, and he is showing that he’s willing to put in the effort to make the relationship work. While the idea of a relationship that’s all fun all the time is nice, the reality is that they take work.
15. He'll continue to compliment you, but more meaningfully than before.
He'll compliment you whenever he can to let you know he likes you and more. You'll also notice that as his feelings deepen, his compliments will become more personal and meaningful. Whereas before, he might have focused on superficial compliments, he'll start complimenting you on things that no one else even notices about you, on things that really mean a lot to you.
16. He sends you pictures.
He will send you pictures to cheer you up because it is his goal to please you and make you happy. He will send pictures of his pets because he wants you to love them as he does. He will send you pictures of himself because he wants you to think of him.
Note: Don't be discouraged if your guy doesn't send you pictures. Love happens regardless of pictures, and in the end, it doesn't matter whether they send you pictures of their day and its adventures or if they send no pictures at all.
What Do His Emojis Really Mean?
Is Texting a Healthy Way to Communicate?
While texting is a convenient way to communicate, it's no replacement for face-to-face communication with your partner, and real-life clues about whether or not your S.O. is in love with you will likely be more accurate than those you might get via text.
A Venngage study about whether you can fall in love with someone via text indicated that while intimate conversations felt easier over text, they were also far less rewarding. So what's the takeaway? Discussing personal topics can feel less scary when you know you can phrase your responses carefully and avoid seeing the other person's reaction (as well as showing your own)—BUT, if you only have intimate conversations with your partner via text, it could be a red flag for your overall relationship.
TL;DR While texts can convey signs that your guy loves you, they shouldn't be the only ones, and those three little words should really be said face-to-face.
Saying "I Love You" Can Be Complicated
When a man is in love with you, he will do the best that he can to make it clear. It may be difficult to get the words out, but if you are helping him to feel comfortable, saying "I love you" will come out eventually. A lot of times people's actions will say how they really feel before they actually speak it.
Now when someone actually says they are in love with you, that is a big milestone. Sometimes that changes the pacing and color of the relationship. Sometimes when it is said it can bring sudden momentum to the relationship. Hopefully, you've already been communicating about your goals and your perception of the relationship. That way it won't come as a surprise and you won't be ill-prepared for it.
Here are some things to keep in mind when wondering about those three little words.
Don't Force It.
While some say there are ways to make someone to fall for you, one thing is for sure—you shouldn't pressure anyone to say "I love you" before they are ready to say it. Successfully pressuring someone into saying that doesn't mean they actually feel that way. These things take time, so let it happen naturally.
Your boyfriend might be hesitating to say the "L" word because:
- He's never said it before.
- He's been hurt in the past.
- He's scared to commit.
- He's afraid of rejection.
- He's not there yet, emotionally.
- The timing just doesn't feel right.
Just as you shouldn't pressure your partner to say they love you, your partner shouldn't pressure you to say you love them before you're ready. Do not let yourself be pressured into saying something you don't truly mean just because you think it will hurt the other person's feelings if you don't say "I love you" back. Think carefully about what matters to you; no one else can dictate that for you.
It Doesn't Have to Happen Right Away.
Don't stress out about it. Every relationship has its own pacing and dynamic, and you can't have the same expectations for every single person you come across. Just allow things to go their natural course, and make sure you keep communicating.
A healthy couple can go a long time before saying they are in love. Don't feel that your relationship is doomed just because you've been dating for a few months and there haven't been any "I love yous" yet.
Your S.O. Might Process Things More Slowly Than You Do.
Again, don't put more pressure on someone than necessary. Sometimes people have a lot to process from their past or where they want to go in the future, so don't rush things. Instead, let them know you are there, and you can wait for them. Your S.O. will appreciate your patience and loyalty, and it's better than just cutting the relationship short because you feel like you're not on the same page fast enough.
Some people take longer to get through the course of a relationship than others, just like some people eat their dinner slower than others. Just because someone doesn't quite feel the same as you (yet), doesn't mean that your feelings are any less significant. Keep loving regardless of whether the person is in love with you or in "like" with you. Don't give up on them until you actually break up. Hopefully, you just need to wait it out.
Don't Delude Yourself Into Staying in a Relationship That's Going Nowhere.
Naturally, if you are unhappy in a budding relationship, you need to talk about your concerns. But the same thing applies if you've been in a relationship for a while and you feel totally disinterested and love isn't even a blip on the horizon. If this is the case, you probably need to break up. Don't lead someone on and waste their time. Also, be honest when you break up so that they're not still waiting for you in the dark. Make sure that you are sufficient when it comes to closure.
You Don't Need to Wait for Him to Say It First.
No. You do not have to wait for the guy to say that he is in love with you. I do recommend waiting a couple of months or so into dating before making that proclamation, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait on him to say it.
If you feel ready to say it and believe his ears are ready to hear it, go ahead and get it off your chest.
There are no bonus points for holding off on saying it or for saying it first. Also, as long as you don't think they'll feel pressured to reciprocate, it's okay to say you're in love with someone even if they're not quite ready to say it back.
What does it mean if he calls me "love" in a text?
If your guy is British or Australian, calling you "love" isn't any indicator that he's actually in love with you (sorry!). In those parts of the world, people often use "love" or "darling" as common terms of endearment.
If he isn't from a culture where calling people "love" is totally normal, however, it could mean something else. If he's never said he loves you but he starts calling you "love," that might be his way of easing into things and moving in the direction of tacking on that "I" and "you."
How do I get my boyfriend to say he loves me?
Again, this isn't something you should be trying to force. Saying you love someone shouldn't be taken lightly, and it isn't fair to try to make it happen before it's time. That being said, there are things you can do to create a safe space for those words to be said.
If you think your partner might be ready to say they love you but feels nervous or doesn't know how, the best thing you can do is make him feel safe and loved. While you could try something silly like hypnotizing him in his sleep or playing a sneaky game of Pictionary to get him to say it, tricking someone into saying they love you is a bad idea, plain and simple. Besides, where's the magic if he says those words but he isn't sincere? Trust me, a heartfelt "I love you" beats a forced one every time.
What if my boyfriend never says he loves me?
If you've been in this relationship for a long time and it feels as though your boyfriend just isn't ever going to say he loves you, it's time to get real with yourself. Is he not saying it because he just doesn't feel that way? Or is he just too shy or nervous to say it first? It can be hard to figure out how to cope when your boyfriend can't (or won't) say he loves you.
Unless you have a tendency to only see what you want to see in relationships (hey, it happens to everyone), you should be able to tell if your guy is never going to say it or if he just hasn't said it yet. If he treats you with love and respect—even if he hasn't said the "L" word yet—those feelings are probably just taking their time to brew and come to the surface. If, however, he treats you like nothing more than a fun, convenient distraction, he's probably never going to say those words (and hello—you shouldn't want him to, anyway, because he's a player). Trust your gut, my friends!
What do I do if my boyfriend said he loves me for the first time in a text?
Yikes. Something as serious as saying "I love you" for the first time should happen face-to-face. If your boyfriend is too nervous to say those words in person, it's a sign that you two probably don't have a very healthy relationship. While it's easier to have intimate discussions over text, saying "I love you" isn't something that's necessarily supposed to be easy. It's a big commitment, and if you two can't communicate openly and without fear, that's a big red flag.
What do I do if my boyfriend says he loves me but I don't feel the same way?
Navigating unrequited love is no fun for either party, but it's important not to fake the way you feel. Even though it might seem easier just to say you love him back and hope that someday it might be true, it's important to be honest.
Open up a discussion about how you both feel and just get it all out there. If you think you might love him someday, but you just aren't there yet, say so. If he truly loves you, he'll understand and give you the time you need. And if you don't think you'll ever feel that way, own up to it. While it will sting, it's better than leading someone on and giving them false hope.
Do I have to wait for him to say "I love you" first?
Heck no! If you feel ready to say you love your boyfriend, and you think he might be ready to say it back (or at least it won't send him running for the hills), go for it!
While some people might argue that you lose all your "power" when you say it first, if you're having to think about who has the upper hand in your relationship, that's a bad sign. If you feel like you have to play games and consider every "power move" carefully just to keep him interested, you should take a step back and reconsider the entire relationship.
If you're in a healthy relationship, there's absolutely no reason that you can't say it first (as long as you don't necessarily expect him to say it back right away).
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Andrea Lawrence