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Have you ever wondered what it's like for a man falling in love? How they decide if someone is girlfriend material? What red flags they pay attention to, and how they confront them? When a guy is falling, are there undeniable signs, body language, little things to notice?
Love – be it the falling or maintaining of – is subjective; experienced differently by different people. I have only ever fallen in love in the context of a cis-woman. The lessons and messages I received about love and relationships are specific to the people and environments I grew up in. How our parents interacted, and what they modeled to us can have a huge impact on how we perceive, approach, and maintain love, regardless of sex or gender.
The criteria that might make you happy could be entirely unfulfilling to someone else. In saying that, I do believe in overlaps – commonalities – in the early stages of a relationship.
What does a man experience when he falls in love with a woman?
Be it the head over heels experience or slowly falling, I have compiled a list of signs to look for if you believe you may be a man falling in love, or have a man falling for you. Some of these signs will be easier to notice than others, as love doesn't necessarily materialize in obvious ways.
How do I know about falling in love, signs for a man?
Because I was not born, conditioned, or socialized as a male, I don't want to speak on their behalf. So, I approached the subject in an honest way, by asking the one guy I know best: my husband, James.
Please note that this article is from the perspective of a heterosexual man.
A Hubby's History
When I told James I'd be asking him a series of questions to determine what falling in love looked like for him, he gave me a sideways glance.
Before us, he had exactly one serious relationship and it lasted two years. Prior to that, he spent his young adult life travelling and having sex. Falling in love, I quote, “did not come easy” to him. It wasn't that there was a shortage of wonderful women, it's more that the women he met fell into one of three categories:
These are the women he bonded with, but remained emotionally and physically unattached, as there was zero attraction between them.
These are the women he bonded with, remained emotionally unattached, although connected on a physical level. In other words, he couldn't fall in love with them because he didn't feel any emotional spark from the beginning; however, they aligned on a sexual level.
Feu de Paille
These are the women he was initially attracted to on a physical and emotional level, but the attraction quickly fizzled out due to incompatibilities or lessening of attraction overtime.
Reading the Future
Because James experienced good sex, he refused to settle for someone incompatible in that area.
Additionally, James wanted to make future plans with a woman who shared the same values and desired a similar lifestyle (i.e., travelling the world). What made falling in love so difficult for James was staying realistic about the future he wanted to share.
Being in love with a woman meant finding someone as passionate and adventurous as him; someone he could laugh and speak deeply with; a woman who cared for others as much as he did, and could make him feel like long-term wasn't long enough.
James wanted to have fun, not take life for granted and knew he'd only be fulfilled with a like-minded partner. On top of that, there's that feeling which accompanies and supports love. It's an energy current between people, inexplicably fusing them together.
On his thirtieth birthday, James was starting to believe he would never find love; that life didn't have a long-term relationship in the cards for him. Fortunately, he stayed true to himself…
Falling In Love
During the time James was falling for me, we were emotionally and sexually exclusive. I had recently separated from a six-year relationship and wasn't prepared to meet someone so quickly. We were from two different cultures, but there were undeniable signs that a relationship between us would bloom and flourish. Turns out, falling in love with James was the easiest thing I've ever done, and lucky for me, he felt the same.
Why his perspective is so important to this topic?
James values love and therefore never took it lightly. He is the most reliable and rational human I know; he is solution-oriented and distances himself from drama. James is self-accepting and present, and does not project his insecurities onto me (or anyone). He is expansive and offers space for my individual growth. We are deeply in love and consider each other best friends. Our relationship is our priority and we protect it.
When James proposed to me, his friends and family were awestruck. They never saw him as a man with the desire to fall in love, and yet, here I am.
To set the record straight, I am not an exceptional woman. I did not win him. I am no more important or interesting than any of the women James connected with in his past. The difference is I was the right woman for him.
Including him in the discussion of “signs that he's falling” was so critical to me because he was never under any illusion about love or relationships. He recognized signs, red flags, how interested he felt and honored his reactions, his needs, and his feelings. Only once did he spend more time in a relationship than he should have. But when that lesson presented itself, he respected and never repeated it.
I know we can't all be this romantically efficient, but for this reason, I trust his experience of falling in love. It happened once, so the signs were blatant; the intimate details, memorable. He knew it was happening because it was different than every experience prior.
Many of us experience love a number of times throughout our life. At this point, James has experienced it exactly once and remembers it like it was yesterday. For all these reasons, I believe his voice is a credible source for signs that a man is falling in love.
When Men Fall in Love
After a long and wonderful conversation with James, I compiled a list of signs that he's falling. If you are a man in love, perhaps one or more of these will resonate with you.
If you are a woman who believes a man is falling for her, you may recognize some of the more obvious behaviors presented below.
Guys, for some of you these signs may not be as obvious for reasons related to trauma or emotional blocks. Everyone deserves love, and if you struggle with this concept, research professional services in your area for assistance.
If you are experiencing any of the following, you may be blocking yourself from falling in love or finding a relationship:
💘 If you believe you are unlovable, experience negative self-talk and low self-esteem.
💘 If you are afraid of getting hurt or have the “leaving them first” mindset.
💘 If you don't believe real love exists.
💘 If you have unrealistic requirements, standards, or expectations for future girlfriends.
💘 If you think you need someone to feel fulfilled or happy in life.
💘 If you feel desperate or intense neediness towards people.
💘 If you have a tendency of choosing unavailable people.
💘 If you aren't putting yourself out there, and don't know how.
💘 If you feel familial or societal pressure to find a relationship.
💘 If you have trust issues, especially as a result of past relationships.
💘 If you have unaddressed or unsupported trauma.
💘 If you have unaddressed prejudices towards women.
💘 If you are possessive, jealous, abusive, or give off other negative or violent signals.
Unexhausted List of Professional Services:
🖤 Love Addicts Anonymous
🖤 Relationship Coach
🖤 Sex Coach
🖤 Relationship Counselling
🖤 Online Courses about Love and Relationships
Signs a Man is Falling
Here it is, the moment we've all been waiting for.
To find out if you are in love with a woman, pay attention and notice if you're experiencing any of these signs or feelings. Best of luck to ya…
When you are grateful for the time they spend with you!
Early on in our relationship, James remembers a rush of gratitude every time I wanted to be around him. When you fall in love, you may experience a heightened sense of appreciation for your partner, and life in general.
When they make you feel proud to be by their side!
Having the right person on your arm gives you a sense of pride and confidence. You will enjoy being seen with them. This can include being in public together or posting pictures on social media.
One of James' favorite past times is walking into bars together, or introducing me to his friends. He “wanted the world to see that we were together.” This pride isn't just about superficialities, even if it might be related. For James, it was about the “whole package.”
“If you are ashamed of your partner, or don't want people to see the person you're with, there's a problem.”
When you can't wait to introduce her to important people, like friends and family!
When your man wants you to meet his family and friends, he should feel eager and excited.
“When you know you're with the one – or might be with the one – the people you love and trust most will reinforce this feeling.”
When you would choose being with them versus not being with them any day of the week!
Regardless of the occasion, their presence makes the moment better for you. Spending time together is a highlight.
“When I had nights out with friends, and Mo wasn't there, I felt her absence. I knew the night would be that much better if she was a part of it… It doesn't mean your partner should be there all the time, but if they're available, and the situation allows it, having them there is a positive.”
When you wake up and she is the first thing on your mind!
It's a great sign when your person takes up happy space in your brain.
“You can't control it, but when you wake up and wonder what she's up to – if she's thinking about you – you know she's special.”
When you stop looking at other people as potential and want to put all your focus on that woman!
Specifically for people wanting monogamous relationships, if your partner has you hooked on them and them only, it's a good sign.
“For me, this is the biggest sign. If you're missing something, you'll always wonder, what if? If you're missing something, there is no wall between you and the rest of the world. If a man is in love, his feelings for that person will be enough.“
When you (voluntarily) stop certain behaviors because you know it might hurt them or damage the relationship!
If he notices what bothers you and wants to protect the relationship, this man could be falling.
“If you have something in your life that takes more time than what you're putting into the relationship, making voluntary adjustments is a sign you're falling. Respecting each other's boundaries and being in tune to each other's needs is a major sign of respect and care for the relationship.”
When you terminate the B in your FWB relationships!
Again, for my monogamous people out there, if he wants to spend time getting to know you and you only, the relationship is headed in a positive direction.
“This is a sign of trust, and sexual compatibility. If I have the best sex of my life, why would I go somewhere else? This is also where communication comes in. Both partners need to be open and honest about what they want, like, and what works between them. Eliminating other ‘options' is a sign that I'd rather fill that time with you.”
When you (voluntarily) give up something you love to spend time with that person!
At the beginning of our relationship, James missed an important football match to go on a date with me. When you are more interested in getting to know your person than doing something else you love, you might be falling.
“When you meet the right person, you don't want to miss out on spending time with them. Especially at the beginning. It doesn't feel like you're giving something up; in fact, you're giving up a good for a good. If you're doing this for her and not on your own terms, then you may be lying to yourself. But if you feel compelled to be around her, you may be falling.“
When she naturally comes up in conversation (because you love to talk about her)!
If you're fighting back boasting about your person, it's a good sign your feelings are strong.
“A lot of people like to complain about their relationship and partner, so if you find you're going the opposite way in your mind, you may be falling in love!”
When the initial attraction (physically and emotionally) strengthens over time, rather than weakens!
If you are consistently blown away by her appearance, presence, and personality, you may be in love with a woman.
“Don't lie to yourself. Too many people hang on to the initial excitement or attraction, and when it fades, they expect it to miraculously come back. The way you feel about someone should start high, crescendo, and stay high. I'm not talking about the honeymoon phase or le feu de paille. I'm talking about the fire you feel that never goes away – it may contract and expand over time, but it's always cozy and familiar and warm. The problem is when the fire goes out, and you wait around freezing your ass off, thinking it'll reignite. It's important to know the difference.”
When you actually listen and want to know more about them (bonus if you remember the little things)!
If you find yourself making eye contact, actively listening, and wanting to know more, you may be falling in love.
“I was curious about Mo's life – the good and the bad. I wanted to go deep into the conversation; talking beyond the superficial stuff. I wanted to understand her for who she was, give her my full attention. If you want to find love or be open to it, you need this curiosity. You can't love someone you don't know. You can't fall for someone you don't want to know.”
When you feel energetic around that person!
A woman who brings out the best in you, and makes you feel rejuvenated after time together, could have a place in your future.
“This is something you can't explain. You could have the worst day, but the second you're around the person, you forget it all. You absorb energy just from being in the same room. It's mystical!”
When you want to make them happy just because!
If you go out of your way to make her smile or take away her pain, you may be love-bound.
“Falling in love does this funny thing – you actually feel more joy when your partner is happy. Even more when you're the source of that happiness. Being the giver is more rewarding than being the receiver when you're a man falling in love.”
When you are motivated to confront the red flag before calling it quits!
When James and I first met, I was recovering from an eating disorder and dealing with a lot of emotional baggage. I experienced episodes of rage and would shut down entirely. Because James cared for me, he communicated his concerns about this and watched how I responded. Because I took action to get better for both myself and my relationship, he understood that the red flag was temporary. He gave me the benefit of the doubt and supported me. Those are signs a man is falling in love!
“If a man is falling in love, he will try to get a deeper understanding about the things that scare him before breaking it off with a woman. With Mo, the positives were stronger and greater than the few red flags that were showing up. If she was the person I thought she was, I knew that addressing the red flags would move our relationship forward, not backward. A sign that a man is falling is when he wants to spend time working through conflict rather than jumping ship.”
When you find yourself making future plans!
After two months together, James had invited me back to France with him. If you find yourself making big plans with someone, it may be a good sign.
“I wanted to make plans with Mo. I also knew that it was the next logical step; that it would solidify my feelings for her. If you are falling in love with a woman, you aren't nervous to trust your instincts and take a leap. After a couple months together, I decided to bring her to France with me. We travelled my country for ninety days. If that sounds scary to you, you may not be falling in love .”
When people in his life notice a positive shift in him!
When his friends and family start praising you for being ‘good for him,' it's a sign that he's falling for you. If his friends and family notice you having a positive impact on your guy, that's a great sign.
“If a man is falling, he might seem less stressed, experience higher more obvious feelings of happiness. Love is known to release feel-good hormones. So, if he's with the right woman, the people closest to him will pick up on this.”
When you want to be a better version of yourself for her!
The world is a big place and she has a lot of options.
When a man starts stepping up his game to ensure he is fulfilling his woman on all the levels, you know that man is falling in love!
Guys, if you would never accept losing your woman to a better suitor, kiss singledom goodbye, because you're in it for the long-haul.
“I wanted to be the best for Mo. When you care to be the best for a person, it means they've had an impact on your life and your heart.”
When you go out of your comfort zone for her!
Signs a man is in love include feeling less afraid and more willing to push comfort zones. Whether it's to bring her joy, spend more time with her, or see her in her element, going beyond your comfort zone for a person is an expansive experience and a sign that the relationship is fun and thriving.
“When Quean Mo and I first got together, I was more experimental and open to new things because I was excited to make memories with her and grow together – in the same direction. Experiencing new things is important to confirm how you feel.”
When you just know!
Falling in love looks different for everyone. Sometimes a person comes into your life and you just know they're special and want to get to know them.
“Leaving our first date, which was ten hours, I knew it was just the beginning. I felt I should have – could have – stayed longer. It felt like something special had happened, and for the first time in my life I wondered if it was love.”
Don't Trick Yourself
To get to this level of love, you may have to dodge a few bullets. James shared a few tips on how he kept himself from settling for unfulfilling relationships. Here are a few warning signs that a person may not be the one for you…
When you have a second voice in your head that's doubting or questioning her or your feelings.
We oftentimes let our thoughts overpower other instincts. Our subconscious has the ability to receive signals our conscious mind may overlook or not register. This shows up as a ‘gut' feeling, which may be subtle or glaring. Either way, learning to listen and trust this intuition takes practice, and may save you a lot of time with incompatible matches.
If you can see the person is beautiful and great, but there is no sexual chemistry (no desire or arousal on your side), move on.
James will be the first to admit he's made this mistake. He found himself with an attractive woman, felt no chemistry, yet pursued it anyway. A potential friendship was ruined by bad sex.
There is one thing about the person that agitates or negatively effects you – don't ignore it!
When a man is falling in love, there is a primal element to it, which includes the way the body receives information about the woman.
The way someone moves, eats, speaks, smells, the amount of eye contact, etc., are all critical determinants of long-term compatibility.
Body language and micro-expressions make up a large portion of communication, and your reactions to them can reveal a lot about connection and attractiveness. Don't ignore these instinctual triggers.
You are only interested in them because they are interested in you.
Reciprocal liking is a good sign you have low self-esteem.
If you have healthy self-esteem, you will be able to determine whether a person is a good match for you without the influence of that person's feelings for you.
In other words, if the extent of your criteria is that a person wants to be with you, this is not love. It is simply a symptom of your lack of self-love.
They show signs that they could be physically or emotionally abusive.
It isn't always easy to spot an abuser. In fact, in the beginning, they may be on their best behavior. Here are behaviors to pay attention to:
- They use degrading or abusive language when speaking about exes or other people who have “done them wrong”
- They feel they have a right to things, or deserve things more than others
- They show lack of trust in you (or anyone) – exercised through interrogation about specific things or relationships, jealousy, or possessiveness
- They are cruel towards others, especially when they can take advantage of their position in the situation (i.e., when dealing with service people, such as waiters)
- They ignore boundaries or invade privacy
- They lie or have sudden mood changes
- They execute control, even subtly, and disrespect your feelings
- They try to coerce, gaslight, or manipulate you
- They typically have a confrontational attitude
- They deny their behavior, blame others, and victimize themselves
- They use sarcasm as an excuse to insult you
- They try to isolate you from important people in your life
- They execute physical force, make threats, or use abusive language towards you or others
If the woman falls in love with you over text or after limited exposure.
Men, be weary of women who get emotionally attached or want quick involvement without knowing you.
There are different reasons why someone would respond this way. It could be fundamentally linked to low self-esteem or sometimes related to something more sinister (hence, catfishing).
I believe human beings are generally hopeful, and wanting love is not a bad thing; however, romanticization of a potential partner without knowing them is a very real phenomenon. The primary issue with this is the romanticizer is falling for an idea, not a person.
As James put it, “you can't love someone you don't know.”
No Rush in Love
Men fall in love every day, all over the world, and signs a man is falling can vary.
Men aren't always as forthcoming with their feelings as women are. Talking about feelings can be difficult since men and women are socialized differently. Depending on the environment and culture you were raised in, falling in love may require a level of consciousness that feels uncomfortable. That's okay. Love can't be rushed, and remaining patient with yourself and the process of falling in love is crucial for eliminating emotional blocks and not creating new ones.
Fortunately, if you have someone in your life, the more you spend time together, the easier it will be to notice how love shows up for you.
Keep this list in your back pocket, and know that Rebel Love is rooting for you!
Until next time,
Fuck well, friends!
Quean Mo xx
❤️ Men, share how you knew you were in love on social media and tag @rebellovearmy and @cotqofficial!