Whether you’re with your high school sweetheart or just locked eyes with a stranger across the bar, falling in love can feel like something out of a movie. Most of us like to romanticize love at first sight, imagining a glance that turns into a double-take and time freezing.
Real love, though, takes time—and how a man falls in love can be different than how a woman falls in love.
Katie Ziskind, a licensed marriage and family therapist, explains that it can take anywhere between two weeks to four months to fall in love with someone. A 2013 survey conducted by YouGov and eHarmony suggests that men fall in love in a little over two months, and women experience those same feelings a little over the four-month mark.
Falling Head Over Heels
Love stories we hear from friends or even grandparents often revolve around a chase with one person who just knew and worked hard until they won the other one over. That said, falling in love can look different for each couple.
Remember that falling in love happens at different rates and for different reasons. Ross and Rachel from Friends famously struggled with falling in love with each other at the wrong times. Fortunately, not everyone goes through the push-and-pull that Ross and Rachel experienced. While there are questions you can ask to make a guy fall in love with you and it’s easy to get caught up in how to dress or act, it really comes down to time spent together and compatibility.
How to Know He’s in Love
Maybe you just started talking, or maybe you’ve been dating for months. It could be hard to read him, and you might be nervous about putting yourself out there first. Fortunately, there are ways to know if he is already interested beyond measuring the amount of time you spend together. If you see these signs from him around the two-month mark, you may have yourself some husband material:
He’s Open About His Intentions
No guy has ever truly loved a woman who is begging to know where he sees things going. You don’t have to know his five-year plan or the names of your future kids by your fourth date. The latter actually leans more into serious red-flag territory! However, around the two-month mark, you should know if he sees himself being exclusive with you.
Most men will know what they want when they see it. The most successful relationships I’ve seen were when the man knew he wanted exclusivity with a woman before the one-month mark. That does not mean he necessarily had that conversation at that time, but if you still don’t know where you stand after three months, you might want to rethink putting all of your eggs in his basket.
He Makes You the Priority
If you’re chilly, he offers to ask the hostess to move your table inside or gives you his jacket. If you’re both busy all week but you have an hour free on a Tuesday night, he’s at your door with flowers. I know a man who spent more than $30 on DoorDash to deliver water to a woman because her tap water made her nauseous. If he is willing to move mountains for you, or even just suggests happy hour at your favorite spot after a long day, you know he’s thinking about you–constantly.
When a man loves a woman, he feels pulled to her. Just know that if he loves you and sees the potential for a long-term relationship, he will make you a priority in his life.
There is no definitive timeframe for a man or a woman to fall in love. If you are spending quality, in-person time with someone on a regular basis, those feelings will typically develop for men in about two months. For women, falling in love usually takes about four months. If you start seeing these signs within these timeframes, it might be a perfect opportunity to check how you feel for one another. Conversely, if your man isn’t doing any of these things, it may be an opportunity to communicate in a different way or explore other options.