For women who are on the fence about whether or not to break up with the guy who is taking you for granted, here’s what you should be hearing from the guy who’s worthy of your time. Maybe not right away, but within, say, 3-6 months.
Otherwise, hit the “next” button — for the sake of both you and all the guys out there who are waiting for you to be single again. Because if he’s not saying certain phrases, he isn’t the man for you.
Here are 15 phrases good, high-value men frequently say to the woman they love.
1. ‘I adore you.’
This isn’t about sex nor is it about desire. A man saying “I adore you” is about how you make him glow whenever you walk into a room, and him being glad that you just exist, whether he’s the guy beside you or just someone admiring you from 20 feet away.
2. ‘You inspire me.’
A guy saying you inspire him means he loves how you’re living your life, what you’re devoting yourself to, how you’re spending your time, what path you’ve chosen, and how you deal with the people around you. It makes him want to be like you in all the best ways.
3. ‘I respect you.’
You’re the first person he thinks of when he wants a serious opinion on something. Whether he’s wondering if he’s being rude, or what television show is better, saying he respects you tells you that he values what you have to say.
4. ‘I just love kissing you.’
Years from now, if by some awful paragliding accident you both end up paralyzed and have no use of your lower extremities, he will still feel pretty good about it as long as he can kiss you as much as he wants. It’s a form of intimacy, after all.
Photo: Luiz Gustavo Miertschink / Pexels
5. ‘I don’t want to change you.’
Yes, there are some things about you that he won’t get or that he doesn’t quite love. But you’re you, and all the other stuff that comes with you, he would never want to lose. When he says he doesn’t want to change you, he doesn’t want to disturb the equation, he just wants to help it grow.
6. ‘I accept your drama.’
You may have some anger issues with your family or job that you’re trying to get out of. He can handle that, even when it’s a bit exhausting. He may even support it. Nobody is 100% drama-free, but he respects that you’re fighting against something.
7. ‘I love that you tell me off sometimes.’
He may not always admit it, but he respects it. Even when he’s full of it sometimes, he enjoys knowing you accep it. If he’s going to have someone by his side, he wants to know that you didn’t just fall for the first guy that came along; he wants you to hold him to higher standards and not be a pushover.
8. ‘You’re on my mind.’
This phrase is straightforward, but it shows that you never leave his thoughts, especially when he’s supposed to be thinking about something else. When he’s at work, giving a presentation, watching a movie with his friends — there you are. And yet, he can’t help but smile.
9. ‘You captivate me.’
You have his full attention. He’s not thinking of anyone else, just you. Not work, not family, not a past fling. Him telling you that he’s captivated just by your presence is a sign he’s a good man.
10. ‘I forgive you.’
When you act a little off sometimes and blame him for something he didn’t do or say, he’s reminding you that you’re human. And, as a human, you’re allowed to make mistakes. Because with all the beauty you bring to his life, he knows he’s still coming out way ahead.
11. ‘I love you.’
While the last guy you dated could never say it, he isn’t afraid to say, “I love you.” He’s letting you know that you’re wonderful, he wants to be more like you, and he wants your futures to be intertwined forever. You’re his idea of a fantastic person, and he wants to help you be as authentic as possible.
Photo: Katerina Holmes / Pexels
12. ‘I can’t stop talking about you.’
You’re not some little secret he keeps or hides from others. When he says this phrase, he means you’re his favorite person on the planet. He told his mom about you before you even had your first date. He told his friends about you immediately. You’re a story he could tell over and over again.
13. ‘I see my future with you.’
He may not say this right away for fear of scaring you off, but when you’re the person he wants to be with, he’s envisioning a future together. Men can be planners, can project, and can get ahead of themselves, but they want to do it all with you.
14. ‘I just need to hold you.’
Intimacy isn’t just kissing or sex; him saying he needs to hold you shows that he wants to be near you, next to you, and is unable to lay away from you on the bed without wrapping himself around you. It’s an urge inside of him that he can’t ignore.
15. ‘Thank you.’
It’s just two words, but they mean so much when he says them. He’s thanking you for existing, for being you, for your smile, for your laugh. He’s thanking you for having a point of view and a strong sense of self, for having standards, for getting mad when something matters.
He’s glad the universe made you. It makes him feel a lot better about the world.
Mark Radcliffe is a musician, writer, and creative director whose bylines have appeared on The Good Men Project, Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Business Insider, McSweeney’s, Medium, and many others.
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.