You need a man who loves you more than anything else in the world. However, even if he claims that he has strong feelings for you, you can't always believe him. He needs to support his claims with his actions. That's why you need to pay close attention to the way that he treats you. After all, he doesn't love you enough if he does these hurtful things to you:
He shouldn't ask you to cover up your body more, or to wear more revealing clothes. Either way, he's being inappropriate. You're in charge of your own body, which means you're the only one who has a say in what you choose to wear. If he makes a nasty comment about the way you dress, how much you weigh, or the color of your hair, you don't need him.
Your man should support you in whatever you decide to do. If you want to become a singer, then he should back you up. He might give you realistic advice about trying to find a side job to make money until your singing pays off. However, he should never encourage you to drop your dreams completely.
Yes, it's a big step to meet someone's parents. Yes, it's scary to know you're making a huge commitment. However, if he really loved you, he'd agree to meet your family after a few months. If he doesn't want anything to do with them, then something is wrong.
If he really loved you, then he'd resist the urge to cheat. Some couples can recover from it, but the majority of them can't. After all, your partner should be so concerned with your happiness that they'd never even dream of cheating. If he actually goes through with it, then you deserve better.
If he embarrasses you on accident, you can forgive him. However, if he purposely puts you on the spot, or tells his friends crazy stories about you, then he doesn't deserve that forgiveness. Your sadness should rub off on him. If he doesn't care about making a fool out of you, then he doesn't love you enough.
Unless you're dating someone from work, and aren't actually allowed to tell anyone you're together, then there's no reason to keep your relationship a secret. He should be proud to date you. He should hold your hand and kiss you without worrying about who sees him. If he wants to keep you a secret, you have to ask yourself why a man who really loved you would do such a thing.
Never remain in a relationship that involves physical violence. If he hits you or shoves you, then it should be your cue to break up with him. Even if you're in a same-sex relationship, you shouldn't tolerate violence. Getting hit by a girl is just as bad as getting hit by a guy. The gender shouldn't make a difference.
So, he doesn't cheat on you but, you've caught him in his fair share of lies? BIG RED FLAG! There is never a good reason to lie. I don't care if it's the teeniest little lie ever. Why can't he just tell the truth? He's probably trying to keep something from you or he might not care enough to tell you the truth.
We all joke around with our loved ones and it can be fun to poke fun at one another. But, there's a fine line between joking around and being a jerk. Is he making comments that feel more like personal attacks than funny jabs? Does he criticize and make you feel bad about yourself? There is no reason for him, or anyone for that matter, to make you feel that way. Constructive criticism is one thing but being a bully is unacceptable.
Both men and women are guilty of not always being totally attentive all the time but a respectful man makes an effort and truly cares about what you have to say. Even if he's busy, he's going to make every effort to listen to how your day went or what your thoughts are on the latest Kardashian-Jenner drama. Ignoring you or making you feel not heard is one of the more subtle but sure signs he doesn't care.
Another way to tell whether he truly loves you is the amount of effort he puts into spending quality time with you. We're all busy and we have friends, family, work, school, hobbies, and tons of other things that keep us occupied but you make time for those you want to be around. Take note if he's always busy, constantly flaking on you, or just wants to see you when it's convenient for him. If a guy is truly in love or even interested for that matter, he'll make every effort to try to see you.
This is similar to wanting to keep your relationship a secret but with a twist. I consider myself a pretty private person and I'm not the type who posts tons of updates and photos. However, I have no problem sharing details about milestones in my relationship, special occasions we shared, etc. If your man forbids you to post photos, tag him, or post about him, don't just brush it off as him wanting some privacy. There's no reason you can't post a cute photo or share some good news with friends and family unless he has something to hide or doesn't want to be associated with you.
As connected as we all are today, there is no reason for someone to not return a call, text, or even a tweet. This is especially true for someone who's always glued to the phone. If your man has no problem keeping track of sports scores, news, celeb gossip, or the stock market yet he somehow always forgets to reply or just can't get around to calling you back, there's a problem.
We all like a man who knows what he wants out of life, right? At the same time, we can appreciate someone who trusts us enough to ask our opinion about things. Whether it's your take on whether he should cut his hair shorter or get a certain gift for his sister, we want to feel like we're part of the decision-making process. If you're often left out of the equation, he just might not value your opinion.
Does it feel like pulling teeth to get your guy to talk about how you're spending upcoming holidays or does he give you hell when you ask about his plans for next weekend? He might be holding back because he doesn't see a future with you or you might be plan B in case something better doesn't come along but he doesn't want to let you know.
Gawking at other women is not only disrespectful to you, it could be a sign that he doesn't really love you. Hey, we can all stop and appreciate a hot girl or guy. But, it's another thing when your guy makes it totally obvious that he's checking out another girl's goods in front of you or talks about her. That's just plain tacky!
We're often told to learn from the past but we also don't want to dwell on it. The same goes for your guy if he can't seem to move on from his ex and stop talking or bitching about her. Even if he was cheated on or she did some other terrible thing to him, that doesn't make you his therapist! If he truly loved you, he'd be focused on making it work out better with you adn be thankful that you're not like her.
Have you heard the proverb comparison is the thief of joy? If you think about it, it really is! It's bad enough when we do it ourselves but when the man we love compares us to others, it can be soul-crushing. He's supposed to love you for who you are and not who he wishes you could be. If he's not crazy about you as you are, you need to move on.
When you're in a relationship, it's natural to want to spend your free time with that person and treat them to something special. Spending money on your significant other is obviously not mandatory and not a sign of whether you love someone. However, if your boyfriend doesn't ever seem to have time for you and the thought of even buying you a card for your birthday is absurd to him, it's time to have a talk.
Another great thing about your significant other is that you can count on him to be there for you through the good and bad times. If your man makes himself unavailable when the going gets tough, you should really think about whether he deserves to be there for the good.
One of the signs of a strong relationship is that the two of you don't have to spend every waking moment together to share a strong bond. But don't get it twisted, that doesn't mean that spending a ton of time apart is a good thing. It's healthy to have your own interests and friends. But, it's a completely different thing when if you two don't spend a lot of time together and he does a disappearing act. He should have enough respect to let you know what's going on his life and not just vanish when he feels like it.
I think we can all agree that it's super annoying when we call or text someone and it takes hours or even days to get a reply. Now when your guy leaves you hanging, it's just rude! If he's one of those people who takes digital detoxes to the next level, he might get a pass. But, if he has no problems texting and calling others promptly, there's a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
You deserve to be treated like the beautiful woman you are. Has a man ever done any of these horrible things to you?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Lisa Washington.
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