His display of public affection may demonstrate that you're his.

How to Know if a Man Loves You Enough for Marriage

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Many loving relationships do not lead to marriage, so you might wonder about the signs indicating that your boyfriend loves you enough to make a commitment. Your boyfriend might reveal his intentions through language and actions. If words and actions differ, however, believe actions over words, suggests psychiatrist Frederic Neuman in “How Far Should I Trust ‘I Love You?’”

1. Words Demonstrate Focus

One way to know if he's ready for the next step is if your boyfriend tells you that he loves you in various ways, from saying “I love you” to talking in terms of “we” and “us” than “I” and “me,” notes eHarmony staff in “Biggest Signs That He Is in Love with You.” He tells you that you are special and the only one for him. He tells his friends and family that you’re his partner, fiancee or lover. He knows that you and your child are a package deal, so he may refer to your child as his child or our child.

2. Blended Lives

When a man loves you enough to marry you, the blending process begins, reports psychiatrist Paul Dobransky in “10 Signs He Wants to Marry You.” You look for a house or car to buy together or move in together. You discuss opening a joint bank account for expenses, or he adds you to the lease or credit card. He includes you in his favorite activities and attends yours, even if he doesn’t care for the activity, agrees psychologist John Gray in “5 Signs that a Man Is Ready to Commit.” He might talk about having more kids or how much his parents like you.

3. You're Important to Him

He shows concern for you, such as calling to check on you when out of town, making sure you get home safe or just texting to say he's thinking about you. He tries to meet your needs and accommodate your obligations, writes Gray. That’s evidence that you have an emotional connection as well as a physical one, suggests anthropologist Helen Fisher in “13 Scientifically Proven Signs You're in Love” for LiveScience. He empathizes with you and wants to make you happy.

4. Disagreements Are OK

When your man is ready for marriage, he isn’t willing to let arguments go or avoid conflict just to keep the peace, reports eHarmony staff. He knows that some things have to be worked out for you to make it as a couple. He’s willing to work as a team with you to find workable solutions. He fights fair and treats you respectfully during a disagreement.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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