By Dave Willis
I’m convinced that one of the most significant questions a woman asks is, “Does he really love me?” This question starts when she is a little girl learning what love is supposed to look like from the way her Dad interacts with her. Whether she has a great dad, a terrible dad or an absent one, there will be defining moments when she asks herself, “Does he really love me?”
As she grows into young adulthood and begins exploring romantic relationships, there will probably be many times when she’s vetting a young man’s intentions, motives and true feelings and she’ll ask herself, “Does he really love me?”
When she is married, even with the presumed commitment of lifelong love, there will undoubtedly be moments in the marriage when she asks herself, “Does he really love me?”
Not knowing the answer to that question can cause uncertainty and anxiety within the heart and mind of anyone. In my book The Seven Laws of Love, I outlined the timeless principles and practices that reveal love’s true presence and the keys to making relationships work for a lifetime. Men and women tend to express their love in unique ways. Many items on this are equally present in how most women display love. These generalizations don’t apply to every man or every relationship, but I’m firmly convinced that if a man truly loves you, he will consistently do the following things (in no particular order)…
1. He will make TIME with you a priority.
Time is the “currency” of relationships, and if he truly loves you, he will invest into his relationship with you by making timing together a priority. This doesn’t mean he won’t passionately pursue success in his career or other endeavors, but it does mean that he won’t prioritize his career or hobbies ahead of you. You will be the most important part of his schedule. He won’t see you as an interruption, because you’ll always be more important than whatever else he’s spending his time on.
2. He will desire to PROTECT you (physically, emotionally, verbally, spiritually and financially).
Men are hard-wired to be protectors. We have an instinctive, God-given desire to protect the ones we love. This protection will manifest itself in much more than just physical protection. If a man truly loves you, he will want to protect your reputation. He’ll want to protect your heart. He’ll be committed to protecting you in every way, because in giving his protection, he’s actually displaying his love.
3. He’ll intentionally work to bring out the BEST in you instead of always pointing out the WORST in you.
If he really loves you, even when he disagrees with you or wants to help you improve in a certain area, he will communicate with respect, thoughtfulness and patience. He’ll strive to be your biggest encourager; not your biggest critic. He’ll want to be the one who wipes away your tears; not the one who causes them. Even in moments of “tough love” where he feels the needs to confront a destructive behavior where you might be harming yourself or others, his words and his actions will be rooted in love putting your needs ahead of his own.
4. He will consistently communicate his COMMITMENT to you.
Love, first and foremost, is a commitment (not just a feeling). He should communicate how he “feels” about you in a positive and adoring way, but even more often than that, he should reaffirm his commitment to you. If he truly loves you, he will want you to know that he’s not going anywhere. He won’t walk out when things get tough. He wants you to know that you don’t need to hide the unappealing parts of yourself, because he has seen the worst in you and he’s still not going anywhere! If a man doesn’t love you, he will always be unclear on his level of commitment. If a man truly loves you, he will want to make sure you ALWAYS have confidence in his commitment to you!
5. He will NOT compare you or “rank” you against others.
If he truly loves you, he will want you to be at your best, but he will never make you feel like you need to be someone else or that he would potentially “trade you in” for someone he finds more appealing or attractive. One of the most common examples of this in marriage or dating relationships is when a man has eyes only for his beloved. If a guy is always checking out other women or looking at porn, it’s going to pull his eyes, his thoughts and eventually his heart away from the relationship.
6. He will consistently prioritize YOUR dreams, desires and preferences ahead of his own.
If he really loves you, then making sure YOU are happy will be the real key to his own happiness. If he is always undermining your dreams or preferences to force his own, then he’s clearly not displaying love. Love is selfless. The famous “Love Chapter” in the Bible (1 Corinthians 13) describes loves as patient, kind and selfless. If he’s not displaying those characteristics for you, then he’s not displaying love.
7. He will SAY IT with his words, DISPLAY IT with his actions, and PROVE IT with his consistency.
It really all comes down to this. If he really love you, he will show it through CONSISTENCY in both his words and his actions. Love is a commitment and commitment is displayed through consistency. If he’s not doing everything on this list, talk about it with him. Lovingly remind him of what love really means and tell him you need to see those things from him if the relationship is going to work. Ask him if there are any areas where he’s feeling unloved by you. If both of you approach the conversation with love and respect, it could lead to a positive breakthrough in your relationship (or a needed breakup in your relationship).
For more tools to help you build healthier relationships, please check out my bestselling book, The Seven Laws of Love (by clicking here).