“I can sleep with her, marry her, take care of her,
but love – that’s something else,” said Tony, a
married man in his late forties. “Guys don’t like to
talk about love. They don’t know what to say. Of
course guys do love. But they express it differently.”
Despite this fact, most women do not feel happy
unless they hear those golden words, I love you. Men
need to hear them as well. And yet, as much as men want
love, many fight it to the last minute. Love can make
men feel vulnerable, childlike, and unable to do what’s
expected of them. Yet, naturally, men do love and
different types of men express their love differently. A
woman needs to be alert to who the man she is with is,
and what love means to him. Here are five different ways
that men express what they are feeling.
The first way is simply by saying “I Love You.”
Actually, saying these words is a huge step for some
men. It means a lot more than simply expressing a
feeling. For some it feels like a life commitment, for
others it is fraught with danger. “When I say I love
you,” said Steve, “I feel like I’m taking my life
in my hands and giving it to her. It’s scary. I’ve
got to really trust her and know she won’t throw my
love away in order to actually say the words to her.”
In this case the fear of rejection comes up strongly.
Rejection is enormously painful for most men, and saying
"I Love You”, can be an invitation to be hurt.
Most men must feel very secure in the relationship and
in the woman’s feelings for him, before he’ll dare
say those words.
For others, saying “I love you,” means, I’m
offering a commitment. I’m going to be here to do
things for you. For many men, love is expressed through
action, so these words are a promise of what is to
follow. Simply by saying these words they feel they are
agreeing to be there to give to her and support her. If
they don’t do it, they’ll feel like a heel.
For others, the words means, I’m not leaving, or I’ll
always be faithful. This can be very scary for some men.
They feel the words themselves are a promise, and if the
promise is broken, they will suffer as well.
However, there is another type of man, who enjoys
falling in love and letting the world know it. These men
will say “I Love You” easily. There are many
different motives behind their words though. Some say it
to get a woman to make love with him, others to enter
into a romantic fantasy, some to feel as though they are
a great lover. By saying these words, some seem to be
offering the woman the world, (that they have no
intention of giving). Others say it just for the sheer
pleasure of seeing how good it makes the woman feel, and
how effective he feels as well.
When a woman hears those precious words, she should
step back a moment and put them in context. What do they
mean to this particular man, and are there other ways
she might also realize that he is expressing his love
for her? Another way men express their love is through
bringing gifts to the woman. There are many different
kinds of gifts a man can give. The obvious ones include
those wrapped in packages, candy, flowers, special
notes. But there are others that a woman may or may not
be aware of. For example, for some men, giving their
time to you, is a gift. When they spend more time with
you, and less with family and friends, this is their way
of saying they love you.
A different way some men express their love is by
standing up for you during a difficult time, attending
important functions with you, going with you to your
family, planning trips, dates or outings, and putting
you first in their thoughts. These behaviors are often
indicators that the man cares a great deal.
Believe it or not, some men express their love
through being jealous, or possessive. They do not want
to share your attention. It is especially upsetting to
these men if you speak of or look at other guys.
Although being controlled is not being loved, to many
men and women, the two overlap. Many women feel cared
for when the man wants is possessive of her. “It’s a
sign that he cares a great deal,” said Renee. “Sure,
it can be annoying that he’s so controlling, but if he
wasn’t, truthfully, I don’t think I’d feel loved
or cared about.” For Renee this kind of behavior
produces a sense of security. It lets her know she’s
on his mind and translates this to mean that he cares.
Although this trait can get out of hand, when it is
just part of the overall equation, it often is the way a
man expresses his involvement and love. He doesn’t
want to lose you. He wants to be the most important
person in your life and to be on your mind all the time.
If he is, he feels loved as well.
Other men say “I love you” by being affectionate
and making love to you. After being intimate they feel
as though they’ve loved you, and often feel loved as
well. The physical contact breaks down barriers and
provides a feeling of closeness that they do not feel
otherwise. Some women require hearing words of love
spoken when they are being intimate. This is a complex
area, because sex can mean so many different things to
different individuals. But for many men love means
meeting her needs and having his needs met as well. They
feel that if the sex is good, everything else will fall
into place. Sex can be a sensitive barometer to what’s
going on in all aspects of the relationship.
Another way of saying “I Love You” is taking you
home to meet the family, (and/or close, meaningful
friends). Not only does it say that he’s proud of you,
but he wants to connect you with the people who mean the
most to him. This is often a sign that you are becoming
a significant part of his life.
Other men compartmentalize relationships, they have
someone for dating, someone for sex, someone else for
the kind of love that leads to marriage. By being aware
of the people in his life that he introduces you to, and
includes you with, you can get a good idea of how he
operates in this area. Does he want you in all parts of
his life, or is this a limited relationship? Love, in
the deepest sense, includes sharing all parts of
ourselves with another. It is helpful to keep a little
journal of your relationship. So many acts and
expressions of love go unnoticed and unfelt, because we
simply get used to them, or are too busy to stop and
take note – or to stop and say thank you. In the
journal of your relationship, take a few minutes to
note, what you received that day, and also what you
gave. Write it down. Be specific. List everything, like
phone calls, kind words, a surprise visit, etc. It will
be amazing to you to realize all the ways your partner
is giving to you, and it will be wonderful to find new
ways to give back to him.