When your boyfriend tells you that he loves you for the first time, it’s hard to think of a more magical moment. Maybe it was love at first sight for you and you waited patiently for him to finally say it, or maybe you figured out how you felt about him just days before he said those three words. No matter what your story, it’s safe to say that this was a super romantic moment for both of you, and one that neither of you will ever forget.

Everyone wants a love story that makes everyone else jealous. That’s just being honest. You might have been shocked when your BF told you how he felt about you, whether that was because he said it after only a month or so of dating or because he’s a bit on the shy and quiet side. But chances are, there were some signs that he was about to spill the beans about his feelings. If you’re in a new relationship and waiting for your guy to say these words, or if you’re still single and dating, it’s not too late to know the signs. Read on to find out 16 subtle tells he’s giving away when he’s about to say I love you.

16He Keeps Saying “I Really, Really Like You”

When you’re in a new relationship, you and your boyfriend have all kinds of mushy, lovey-dovey conversations that might be super embarrassing if other people heard you. You know, you’re lying in bed in the morning and talking about how you feel about each other, or just saying really cute things to each other.

One subtle tell that he’s getting ready to say that he loves you? If he keeps saying “I really, really like you.” This means that he’s getting super close since that’s one step away from love. Of course, if this is the case and you want to be bold and say it first, you can totally go ahead. But if you want to wait, know that it won’t be long before he tells you how he feels.

15He Gets Quiet Around You

When guys are in love but afraid to say it, or not sure if it’s the right time to say it (aka they think that it might be too early), they’re going to get quieter than usual.

If your boyfriend is getting quiet around you, then you can be sure that he’s preparing himself to say that he loves you. He’s probably spending a lot of the time that the two of you are spending together wondering how to approach the subject. When you catch yourself wondering what he’s thinking about, there’s a good chance that this is it. And isn’t that totally adorable?! This is exactly the scenario that you want because he wants to make sure that he does a good job and makes it a super special moment.

14He Stares At You A Lot

This might sound creepy, but it’s really not. Because when a guy is getting ready to say that he loves you, he spends a lot of time looking into your eyes and thinking about how totally beautiful you are.

He’s also wondering if he should be brave and just say that he loves you… or if it’s not quite the right moment yet. He’ll think about this a lot and definitely stare at you a lot. When he does finally say how he feels, you’ll be able to look back on those moments. You’ll realize that all the times that he stared lovingly into your eyes on a date night or you caught him glancing at you when he thought you weren’t looking, he was thinking about how much he loves you.

13He Cuddles More

Guys love to cuddle as much as girls do, even if society doesn’t think so, and even if you never thought that was true until you met a guy who enjoyed it.

Your guy is absolutely going to cuddle more if he wants to say that he loves you. He just wants to be close to you all the time and he wants to know that you feel the same way. He’s definitely spending a lot of time wondering about how to let the L-word slip and he’s going to watch your behavior and what you say in order to figure out when the best time is. In the meantime, he’ll settle for cuddles and lots of them. Of course, it’s not like you’re going to complain since cuddling is a pretty special thing.

12He Tells You How Great You Are

It’s always nice to hear the person that you’re dating tell you what they think about you. Whether they’re sharing their favorite things about you or just generally saying that you’re awesome, you’re never going to hate hearing that.

The guy who is totally in love and about to say it will definitely tell you how great you are. In fact, he’ll most likely say this so often that you’ll wonder why he’s being so adorable and sweet. If you ask him that, he’ll probably blush and say something along the lines of, “Can’t I compliment my girlfriend?!” And you’ll say yeah, of course, while waiting for him to say that he loves you (which is very likely to happen soon if this is the way that he’s acting).

11He Says He’s Happy

Guys who are happy really, really want you to know that. You’re the cause of their happiness and constant good mood and so why wouldn’t they want you to know that? Exactly. They definitely want you to be aware.

Your boyfriend will tell you that you make him super happy, maybe even happier than he’s ever been in his life, when he knows that he loves you and he’s just trying to find the perfect time to say it. If you want to say it, of course you should because the heart wants what it wants and knows when it loves someone. But you can also sit tight (if you can…). You won’t be waiting long to hear what you want to hear, that’s for sure.

10He Makes You Dinner

Guys who are in love want to do nice things for the girl that they love. If your boyfriend cooks for you all the time, you might not notice a difference or think that it’s a big deal when he does it yet again. But when he’s in love with you, he might cook for you more often, or start making fancier, more special means.

Some guys say it with flowers or chocolate, and others say it with a nice meal. Your boyfriend just might be that kind of guy and this is how he wants to show you how much you mean to him and how much he cares about you. It’s super cute and sweet and it’s not like you’re going to complain since you get a delicious dinner out of the whole deal.

9He Runs Errands For You

When your BF starts picking up groceries that you need when he gets some eggs and milk after work or buying the beauty products that you just ran out of, you can be sure that he feels some pretty strong love for you.

Sure, it’s normal to run errands for each other and to do nice things for each other. When you notice him doing this a lot, though, or maybe it’s the first time that he’s doing this kind of stuff for you, that’s when you know that he loves you and that he’s going to tell you very soon. And you know that it’ll be great… just as soon as he gets around to it. It’s not easy to be patient but you have to be if you want him to say it first.

8He Texts You More Often

It’s another lie or myth that guys don’t enjoy texting and that they don’t enjoy texting their crush or girlfriend. Texting is fun, plain and simple, and texting the person that you’re dating is a real joy.

You can tell that a guy is almost ready to say that he loves you when he texts you more often. He might text something cute in the morning when you’re each heading to work, or go emoji crazy, or all of the above. You’ll love this since you always want to hear from him when you can’t hang out with him, but besides that, you’ll be happy to know that he’s getting close to saying the L-word. He just can’t stop thinking about you and always wants to talk to you.

7He’s All Smiles Around You

When a guy is getting ready to say that he loves you, he won’t be able to contain his happiness and excitement. If you start paying attention, you’ll probably see that he can’t stop smiling when he’s around you. He won’t believe his good luck that he found you and he gets to be with you, and he’ll keep thinking that he loves you so much that he never wants to let you go.

Of course, this is how he should be all the time if he’s your boyfriend, and you should be the same. It’ll just be especially obvious in the weeks or days leading up to when he says those three little words. And it’ll be the cutest, sweetest thing ever because he’ll seem like a little kid.

6He Wants To Spend More Time With You

A guy in love wants to be with the girl that he loves all the time. Period.

You know how you have couple friends who just don’t seem that into each other, or you swear that your best friend actually hates her boyfriend? That’s because you can totally tell when a couple is in love. They just have this positive energy and really enjoy being around each other, and they also spend a ton of time together. When your boyfriend starts suggesting more things that you can do as a couple and when he wants to see you every day, you can be sure that the words “I love you” won’t be far behind. Hey, he can’t help it if you’re so great that he can’t stop himself from always wanting to be near you.

5He Talks About You To His Friends, Family, And Co-Workers

Does your boyfriend ever tell you that he just chatted about you with his friend when they were texting? Or that he told his mom about your new job or promotion, or that he mentioned you during a conversation about TV at work today?

If your boyfriend is regularly talking about you with the people in his life, that’s a really good sign that he’s in this for the long run and that his feelings about you are super strong. He’s getting ready to say that he loves you and it won’t be long before he sits you down and says it… which is good since if you feel the same way, it’s super tough to wait… and wait… and wait. It definitely feels like the worst thing ever, but it’ll be the best thing ever once he shares his feelings.

4He Holds Your Hand More

You can be sure that a guy really and truly cares about you when he holds your hand all of the time. When he’s thinking about saying that he loves you, your boyfriend is going to hold your hand a lot more often than he did before.

There are a few different reasons for this. He’ll want to do this so he can get as close to you as possible, especially when you’re going for a walk or running errands or at a party, and he’ll just generally be in a romantic mood. He’ll never stop thinking about how much he loves you and how he just needs to find the right time to say it so you can say it back and the two of you can be super lovey-dovey.

3He Kisses You Longer

Since your BF will be in such a romantic mood all the time, he’ll definitely kiss you longer. You’ll notice how much more magical your kisses are and you’ll basically melt every time, which is exactly what you want to happen. Think movie-style kissing, the kind that every girl dreams of but not every girl gets. Yup, you’re super lucky.

Maybe he’s prolonging your kisses so he can work up the nerve and courage to say that he loves you. Or maybe he just loves kissing you (which you would hope…) and wants to be near you so that’s why. Either way, it’s super sweet and should definitely make you wonder when he’s going to tell you that he loves you already so you can stop waiting.

2He Doesn’t Want To Take Things Slow

Taking things slow can be a good idea when you’ve been hurt or cheated on or when you want to make sure that this is the real deal. When your boyfriend is letting you know in a subtle way that he wants to say that he loves you, he’s not going to want to take things slow.

You might notice that he’s speeding up some relationship milestones, like making things official or introducing you to his friends and family or even suggesting that you move in together or spend more time at his apartment. He wants to make sure that you’re both on the same page and headed in a serious, committed direction, which is smart and something that you can definitely appreciate and understand.

1He Opens Up To You

The final subtle tell that he’s going to say that he loves you? When you can tell that he’s opening up to you, either more than he did before or for the first time.

It’s totally a myth that guys don’t want to talk to their girlfriends about anything serious or important. That’s just not the way that things are in a real, true, honest relationship. If you’re in a mature, grown-up relationship, you and your boyfriend are going to talk about issues that come up, and you’re going to share your feelings and thoughts. Once you notice him opening up to you, you can know for sure that soon you’ll be having the L-word conversation. And it’s going to be just amazing (but you already knew that)

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