It's no secret that guys can take forever to drop 'the L-word'. But just because he hasn't said "I love you" yet doesn't mean he isn't head over heels for you. We got real men to spill on the signs a guy is crazy about you.
You Catch Him Staring at You Men always ogle the objects they desire — it's the reason you're always busting us cleavage-peeping. So consider: With all that eye candy out there, if it's you he's staring at, his affection runs deep. There's the secret stare (you'll have to catch him in the act).
"Watching my girlfriend at a party allows me a private moment when I can pinch myself and wonder how I deserve this amazing person in my life — a perspective I can't get when she's right there in front of me," says Olusegun, 30.
He Gazes in Your Eyes Guys are guarded when it comes to showing emotion. If they lock eyes for a full-tilt, unabashed stare, they're lowering their shield to let you in.
"I'd never hold that sort of eye contact with anyone else, but an intense gaze with my girlfriend reflects how comforted and captivated I am by her," says Idris, 29.
He Buys Food You Like Discovering that his kitchen is loaded with Greek yogurt, lemon-lime seltzer, and other feminine edibles (that would only pass his lips at gunpoint) shows you're lingering on his mind in the most unexpected, unromantic places — like the produce aisle on a solo shopping trip.
"One day I checked out my shopping cart and saw all the bags of baby carrots and bottles of diet soda meant for my girlfriend," says Patrick. "It struck me that it had become second nature for me to consider what would make her happy, and that's when I knew I was in love."
He Keeps Your Stuff Out at His Place If he's gone public with your place in his pad, it's a huge sign. You see, men like to maintain at least the image of being detached for as long as possible. So leaving unmistakable evidence in our home that there's a woman present in our life is a bright red flag that you're The One.
He Talks About the Future Telling you he plans to relocate one day may seem like a warning sign. However, it might also be his wily way of letting you know that he wants you in his future.
"Every time I tell my girlfriend where I see 'me' down the road, I'm really trying to gauge whether she sees herself there with me," says Jon, 26.
How do you know when a guy's just bragging about his game plan and when he's quietly declaring his love? It's all in the way he talks. If he tells you he wants to move to Tahiti, be a beach bum, and ogle the local girls, no dice. If he mentions that he sees himself eventually settling in Abuja, then immediately asks if you could ever envision living there, he's emitting serious long-term relationship rays.
He Wears the Sweater You Gave Him Trusting you behind the wheel of his wardrobe is something no man does readily. Not that guys are really all that picky about their appearance, it's just that we pride ourselves on being, well, ourselves.
"Blame it on the inflated male ego, but to permit any tampering with our identity, even if it's for the better, is considered a sign of weakness," explains Obi, 29. "Consequentially, every time a guy does don some item he obviously didn't pick out for himself, he's showing that he's letting you take control and do a little remodeling. "
He Stands Right Next to You in Public Whether he stands when you're out together says a lot about where you stand in his life. Consider this key truth: Guys check out women and when a man's still uncertain about his feelings, he'll either trail several feet behind you or get out in front and lead the path — two safety positions that keep his wandering eyes hidden. Sidling up shoulder-to-shoulder is his way of showing his commitment by keeping his eyes right where you can see them. Plus, sticking close puts him in range of being touched in public by you, and that limits his ability to go after a sexy chick he may spy.
"Being side-by-side puts my girlfriend within lips' reach, making it easy for her to whisper in my ear or lean in for a surprise quick kiss," says Richard, 27. "It's my way of telling other women that I'm taken."
He's Okay With You Answering His Phone Men never know what potentially image-damaging force might be lurking on their phone — from ex-girlfriends looking for a last hurrah to an overly inquisitive mom. If we let you answer that jingling time bomb, it means there's absolutely nothing about us we want to keep concealed from you.
"Men aren't big on sharing. So when a guy lets you grab the phone — possibly making you privy to personal information you could use to blackmail him for the rest of his life — it means he's planning on staying with you for a very long time," says Godswill, 29.