When we were younger, it was so easy to pull petals off a flower or ask the magic eight ball if we wanted to know how a guy felt. Ah, if love were really that simple. But maybe it is. We just make it difficult.

Movies, books, even music, has romanticized what love is supposed to look like. If a man isn’t making this grand gesture that’s worthy of the big screen, we doubt his intentions.

Or maybe we’ve become so jaded from failed relationships that we’re blind to the real thing when it’s right in front of us. We’ve all experienced the turmoil from men who say “I love you” without meaning it, just as we’ve encountered men who refuse to say it, even if they feel it.

Love is terrifying. Walt Disney didn’t prepare us for that. He never warned us about the pain of heartbreak or how often we might run away from love because we’re not sure if it’s real.

One bad relationship can scar you for life. You’ll hurt so bad you think you’ll never survive. But you do. Just not unscathed. From now on, you’ll hold back. You’ll analyze every move of every guy, watching for red flags so you can run. The problem is that you can miss out on some great guys. And maybe true love. If he’s Mr. Right, you’ll see these 11 signs.

1. It’s written on his face

A man in love has this specific expression every time he looks at you. And he will look at you a lot. Almost like he’s seeing a mythical creature he never believed existed. Or his dream car. Yeah, that dopey look.

I thought it was a myth that you could see love written on someone’s face, but with my boyfriend, I knew he loved me before he ever said it. I would constantly find him glancing at me with this look of astonishment.

Some time later, I still get these looks, no matter where we’re at. His eyes twinkle and a smile plays around his mouth and he just looks happy. Like I’m his dream come true. That, ladies, is when you know he’s in love.

2. He’s always giving to you

True love is selfless. We give our all, without expecting anything in return. Although, if it’s real, your efforts will be matched equally.

When you’re in love, you want to be the best version of yourself. You want to be deserving. So, you do things that make your companion happy. If he does small things you like, appreciate the gesture. Because actions speak louder than words. Don’t just let a man say “I love you.” Make sure he’s showing it.

3. You’re his biggest priority

Adulting is busy work. A lot of times, we have to carve out time for important things, including relationships. If a man loves you, you won’t have to fight for a spot in his schedule. You’re his main focus. If he does get busy, he’ll tell you and make up for it next time.

4. He wants your lives combined

If your boyfriend has met all of your family and friends and he doesn’t dodge spending time with them, it’s a good sign that he’s thinking long term. The same goes if he shows an interest in your hobbies and tries to relate.

If he’s brought you home, he’s definitely planning for the future. You don’t bring just any girl to meet your momma. His friends are important to him; therefore, he’ll want you to be important to them too. You’re a package deal now.

5. He sees the real you

We’ve all got a side that we keep private. If he’s serious, he’ll know every version of you. He’ll learn how you act around other people. He’ll be able to comprehend how your complex mind works and how you handle your emotions. He reads you like a book and loves every side of you.

If he’s the real deal, he’ll call you out on your bullshit. If he’s comfortable pointing out that you’re messing up, it means he’s invested and in it for the long term.

6. Making you happy makes him happy

When you love someone, your emotions become entwined with theirs. When they’re sad, you might be too. When they’re nervous, you’re nervous. You’ll care about making them happy, because it makes you happy.

If you have to tell your boyfriend something more than a few times, it’s often a sign that he’s not that serious about you. Because you know your partner so well when you’re in love, you make sure to do things they do like and avoid things they don’t.

7. When you’re not together, he misses you

It’s easy for a man to love you when you’re together, but how does he act when you’re not? If it’s normal for him to disappear for a few days, he’s not serious about you. When you love someone, you can’t help but think about them. You want to interact with them.

Maybe you share something that made you think about them. Or something that happened. The point is, when a man loves you, he’ll find a reason to be around, even if it’s just electronically.

8. You always know what’s going on

One neon sign that he’s not in love with you is if he gets defensive about what he’s doing when you’re not together. A man who’s serious will want you to know what’s going on in his life. If he takes a while to respond, he’ll explain why without you having to ask.

If he texts you in the middle of the day to let you know he’ll be super busy so you won’t hear much from him, it means he cares about your feelings. He wants to make sure you know he’s not just ignoring you. This is a sign of a man in love.

9. He’s there even when he doesn’t want to be

In relationships, you should be able to depend on your companion. If he’s not there when you need support, he’s not emotionally invested. When you truly love someone, you want to be there for them when they need you, even if it’s a situation you don’t want to be in.

10. He gives his all

If he’s serious about you, he’ll be fully committed. He won’t run at the first sign of trouble. Relationships take work. If you have a guy who’s willing to face the problem and figure out how to fix it, it’s true love. When you’re really in love, you won’t walk away until you’ve given it your all and you have no other choice.

11. You won’t have to wonder how he feels – you’ll know

If you never feel anxious or worried about your relationship, then it’s a good sign that you know your man really loves you. You’ve never had a reason to doubt his intentions. He announces them loud and clear, for everyone to know. Your relationship will be effortless and feel right, even when it’s going rough. That’s how you know he’s the one.