You met a guy. He’s cute, charming, confident, and chivalrous. He is everything you dreamed of and more. And then.. he calls you “love”. Now comes the most puzzling question — What does it mean when a guy calls you love?

Every woman loves it when her crush calls her such sweet names. However, there is a possibility that he is using that term casually like, “What’s up, love?” On the other hand, he may use it in a more serious sense to portray his real feelings for you.

He could be using the word love with his other female friends, colleagues, or his niece for all you know. You have to bust a gut and find out what this means, especially if you want to take things forward. Before you go out on a limb and make the first move, read all the reasons behind him calling you love and other romantic nicknames. 

Why Does A Guy Call A Girl ‘Love’?

First things first, is your man British? Britishers address any lady, older or younger, as love. It’s a common behavior with them. Expecting anything more in such cases will only bring disappointment.

In other cultures, calling someone love may mean something different. So, if he’s not from Britain, here are some reasons why he is using this particular term of endearment to address you:

1. He is attracted to you

Is it a good sign if a guy calls you love? Most of the time, yes. It conveys his fondness, and it shows that he is attracted to you. Perhaps he likes your dressing sense, your physical appearance, your hairstyle, or/and the way you carry yourself.

His attraction is clear when he uses the word “love”. Some other signs of attraction from a guy who calls you such romantic pet names include:

  • Maintaining eye contact 
  • Giving you compliments 
  • Playfully teasing you
  • Interested in having conversations with you 
  • Initiating plans to meet you 

2. He is comfortable in your presence 

Another reason why he is calling you “love” is because he is comfortable with you. He doesn’t mind sharing his problems, vulnerabilities, and insecurities with you. He is his real self and wants you to see him as he is. No masks and no filters. 

Renee, a 26-year-old medical student from New York, says, “He calls me my love but hasn’t said I love you yet. I can see he is comfortable with me but he is hesitant to confess his feelings. I don’t know if I should make the first move.” 

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3. He is expressing his affection 

Partners call love when they are already in a romantic relationship with each other. On the contrary, when a guy calls you love over text when you are not exclusively dating or have had the relationship talk, it’s often a way of expressing affection and endearment. It signifies his connection with you.

Furthermore, it goes beyond casual interaction and conveys a sense of warmth and fondness. His choice of such a romantic nickname suggests a close and caring relationship where he wants to emphasize the emotional bond and the irresistible connection he shares with you. 

4. He wants to make you happy 

Using sweet terms like “love” can contribute to creating a positive, loving, and uplifting atmosphere. He wants to make you happy by promoting a peaceful and happier environment. Also, this adds a touch of sweetness to your interactions with him, making them more pleasant and enjoyable. Some other things such a guy will do to make you happy include:

  • Cooking for you
  • Buying flowers 
  • Surprising you with memorable presents 
  • Playing games with you like truth or date and never have I ever
when a guy calls you love

5. He wants to flirt with you

Is calling someone love flirting? Yes. That could be one of the possible meanings behind it. Imagine you are texting him late in the night. The conversation is full of flirting and then he says something like, “I am thinking of making pizza tomorrow. Want to come over, love?”

It’s clear that he has strong romantic feelings for you. You can confirm it the next day by noticing all the positive body language signs of flirting like:

  • Prolonged eye contact
  • Smiling 
  • Touching your waist 
  • Laughing at your jokes
  • Leaning in during conversations 
  • Appreciating your presence in his life 

6. He is trying to build intimacy 

When your potential partner calls you love, it’s an indication that he is trying to build intimacy of all kinds. From physical to emotional and intellectual. He wants to have a deeper bond with you where you can be free, open, and honest with him.

He doesn’t want any communication gaps between the two of you. That’s the true meaning behind him addressing you as love. 

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7. He wants to be more than friends 

If he starts calling you love all of a sudden, it’s because he wants to break free of the friend zone barrier. He is done being “just a friend” to you. He wants more. Some other signs he wants to upgrade your situationship with him include:

  • Being protective of you
  • Treating you differently than others 
  • Remembering all the tiny details you share with him
  • Making time for you despite his busy schedule 
  • Wanting to make you laugh 

8. Love is not a romantic pet name in his dictionary 

Sadly, he thinks “love” is just another generic term to throw around with all the other women. It’s equivalent to mate, buddy, dear, and honey. All of these words are nothing special in his life. He doesn’t have any romantic feelings for you. 

He uses them in his daily conversations with his family members, his neighbors, and even with the barista. It’s a normal thing for him. So, does he love you if he calls you my love? No. Not in this case. 

9. He wants to see your reaction

He called you love. Are you going to address him with such terms of endearment too? Of course, you’ve been good friends. But he wants to test you and see if you are ready to be in a relationship with you. Furthermore, it’s always a way to see your reaction.

Does your facial expression change when he calls you love? Do you blush or do you get mad and try to give him non-verbal cues that you are not okay with him giving you pet names?

He is noticing all your negative and positive body language signs. So, if you have a romantic inclination toward him, smile whenever he uses affectionate words with you.

Does he love you if he calls you my love?
Image by Freepik

10. He is being disrespectful 

This is an “if” case. Let’s say the two of you are quarreling and all of a sudden he says, “Calm down, love”. That’s being condescending. He is being disrespectful because he can’t stand your opinions and perspectives.

When a man calls you love mid-argument or while you are giving him any suggestion or advice, it’s clear lack of respect. This is a red flag. Some other signs of disrespect include:

  • Disregarding your opinion 
  • Giving you the silent treatment after the fight 
  • Making fun of you
  • Portraying negative body language signs like sighing or rolling his eyes

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11. He just wants to have sleep with you

Men tend to use affectionate terms to see if the woman would fall for their charm. Your romantic interest could also be doing the same. When a guy refers to you as love in such cases, it is not a good sign. It can break your heart if you are expecting a long-term relationship with him.

There is no special meaning behind it. In fact, this is one of the romantic nicknames a man calls when he wants to have a good time without any strings attached. You have to read everyone’s intentions before you let them in your physical space. 

12. He feels a deeper bond with you 

A guy likes you for sure and has strong feelings for you that he hasn’t felt in a long time. This is not common behavior for him. The “just friends” phase has passed and now he sees a future with you. He knows you like him too and is trying to reciprocate your feelings by calling you with different nicknames. 

He will even use more words like sweetheart, baby, or mon cher. You can test the waters by asking him open-ended relationship check-in questions. Stand close to him when he is speaking his heart out. These things will create a deep emotional connection between the two of you. 

13. He wants to be in a relationship with you 

He is ready to say those three magical words. Yes. That’s one of his cues that he is ready to be in a serious committed relationship with you. That’s what most guys do.

They indirectly let their feelings out and expect their romantic partners to take the lead because they are shy or perhaps because of their fear of rejection. 

How he treats you is how he feels about you

How To Respond When A Guy Calls You Love 

How you respond when a guy addresses you as “love” usually depends on the level of comfort you share with this person. Based on that, here are a few potential responses:

1. Reciprocate with the same level of affection 

If you have known each other for a while and are comfortable with him, then reciprocate with any other affectionate term, such as “dear”, “beloved”, or “sweetly” along with the same body language signs he has been exuding. Sit face to face and mimic his actions. 

If he smiles while saying it, smile back. If he is making eye contact, then you make prolonged eye contact as well. Mirror the tone. It’s worth noting that the way you say it should come from within. Your feelings have to be authentic. 

2. Clearly express your feelings

If you can’t beat around the bush or if you are unsure about the term or want to clarify your relationship, you can express your negative and positive feelings openly. Try to know his real intention by addressing the issue.

Ask him what he means by “love”. Is it just a friendly nickname? Does he want to start a new relationship with you or does he just want to sleep with you?

Do you call your female friends the same way? Also, you can use “I” statements to put your point across. For example, you can say, “I appreciate the sentiment, but I am curious about what the word “love” means to you in our context.” This will clarify all your doubts. 

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3. Be playful with your response 

If you are good friends with each other and have a playful dynamic, you might respond with humor or playfulness. For instance, you could say, “Feeling the love today!”

You could hug him when you’re saying that or you can send a heart or kissing emoji if you are texting him. This will prompt him to give a clear indication regarding his feelings. 

4. Set boundaries if you’re uncomfortable 

If the term is used by a person you don’t like or if it is used in a way that makes you uncomfortable, you can choose to ignore it and steer the conversation in a direction that feels more comfortable for you.

If it still bothers you, then it’s okay to communicate healthy boundaries. You can politely express that you prefer a different way of being addressed.

5. Make the first move if you’re confident 

A guy calling you love shouldn’t bother you much if you don’t love him. If you do, then what are you waiting for? It’s time to free the butterflies in your stomach by confessing your warm feelings or going in for that kiss.

The more you drag this, the more difficult it will be for your emotional well-being. The will-he-won’t-he situation will only waste your time. So, go ahead and make the first move.

If he kisses you back, then good for you. If he doesn’t, then that’s not a big deal. He used it as a casual nickname and there’s nothing to sulk about. At least you tried, right? Many of us bottle up our feelings just because we’re scared of rejection. You faced them bravely. 

Key Takeaways 

  • The usage of the word “love” has become quite common nowadays. That’s why it’s important to differentiate between casual and serious phrasing 
  • He could be using it nonchalantly if he just wants to sleep with you or if he uses it with all the other girls 
  • On the contrary, he could have feelings for you and may want to be in a serious relationship 

Love isn’t just a pet name if it comes with romantic intentions. Whether you reciprocate with affection, express your feelings openly, or put an end to it depends on your wish. If you don’t like it, then state it clearly. If you like it, then go with the flow. Every bond is unique. All you have to do is find a response that will align with your needs and something that will foster understanding and mutual respect between the two of you.