10 Times He'll Say 'I Love You' (And What It Really Means)

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what it means when he says i love you

He may say "I love you," but he may really mean, "I'm sorry I screwed up."

Some of us say "I love you" more easily than others but when he says "I love you," sometimes it means a little more than just those three words. It depends on the context where the words are uttered and, of course, the unique relationship between the two people.

Those three words mean so much, but sometimes, they simply do more justice than spelling it all out for you. Here's what it means when he says I love you, and how each utterance means something different.

1. When you lose a loved one

He can't make it better for you, so when he says he loves you, he's really saying, "I wish I could make the hurt go away." He wants to eliminate your pain but instead can only offer his love and himself.

RELATED: 15 Love Quotes For When Saying 'I Love You' Just Doesn't CUT IT

2. When you two are fighting

If he tells you he loves you as you two are fighting, there are a few things he may be trying to say:

  • Please stop thinking about why you're mad and let me charm you.
  • I want the fighting to stop.
  • It's okay if we don't see eye-to-eye; I still love you anyway.

3. When you support him

When you're there to cheer him on or support a change in his life, his "I love you" really means, "Your confidence in me helps make me a better person. Thank you."

4. When you're having sex

Usually, this is pure hormones and sexual excitement doing the talking for him, but it's also him just having a romantic moment with you.

5. When you're hanging up the phone

This is the daily chitter chatter that rolls off our tongues, but we almost say it out of habit rather than intense meaning. It's the same for him: Habitual declarations. They do count, but the meaningful times he says it matter more.

RELATED: 6 Ways To Show Unconditional Love WITHOUT Being A Total Doormat

6. When you're dressed up

He's just in awe of your beauty. He can't help but radiate pride that you're his and that you are so very lovely. What it means when he says I love you in this instance is his pride and joy.

7. When you're sick or stressed

When you're sick and bed-ridden, dealing with intense illness or disease, stressed and dealing with life battles, his "I love you" is so many things:

  • It's a feeling of hopeless that he can't make it better.
  • It's a little fear that he can't stop the stressor or illness or that it won't stop.
  • It's a tender expression, and one of paternal and romantic feelings mixed.

8. When you accomplish something big

This I love you is directed towards your big achievement. It's is a statement of pride. His "I love you" is a statement of "Wow girl, you did good!" He claims you as his and also lifts you up.

9. When he messes up

When he messes up big time, his "I love you" is a plea. It's the motherload of apologies. It's the "Please, don't leave me." It's the "I'm less of a man without you." And believe me, he is!

10. When you act crazy

That time you flipped your lid, that time you got a little too drunk at karaoke, the time you lost your cool? Well, his "I love you" means he accepts you for all your flaws and "color." He accepts you and forgives you, even if you embarrassed him.

His "I love you" also says, "You may be crazy at times, but you're my kind of crazy." Endearing and loving, this is an "I love you" of acceptance.

Watch the video below to find out how people say "I love you" all over the world:


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Laura Lifshitz will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for YourTangoNew York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, and more. Her own website is frommtvtomommy.com.