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What Does It Mean When He Calls You Love? (Quick Answer!)

Jamey Muller
Updated: July 6, 2022
6 min read

Getting called “love” by someone you are romantically meeting can be disconcerting. Is he tossing the endearment around heedlessly, or is he ready to be serious with you?

Find out what it means when a guy calls you “love.”

Here’s What It Means When He Calls You Love:

Depending on how serious your relationship is, he may call you “love” as a new term of endearment or prelude to his ultimate declaration of “I love you.” Either way, it could mean that he is getting serious about you and your bond. If you do not want to assume, you should straight out ask him.

“Love” is a common term of endearment in an intimate relationship. If a man calls you “love” and you have been together for a while, it probably means he loves you and wants to be more open about how he feels.

Once he becomes comfortable and sure that he will not be rejected, “I love you” may not be far behind.

It may also be that your guy has already said “I love you,” and “love” is an endearment he chooses to remind you daily of his affection.

If your relationship is relatively new, the person is probably just testing out the pet name and does not mean anything serious. 

Friends can also call one another “love” without any romantic intention. The years of comradeship mean you are at ease showing affection without fear of being misconstrued.

If you are unsure why the guy you are seeing is suddenly calling you “love,” you should ask him outright what he means. This way, there is no room for confusion.

Does He Really Love You If He Calls You Love?

This varies. The earnestness of a man's affections depends on the level of relationship that you have with him.

If you and the guy are just platonic, him calling you “love” is perhaps just a pet name like “buddy” or “mate.” Expecting more from it may only make your relationship awkward.

In Britain, it is common for people to use “love” to replace names. There is no romantic inclination behind it, just a sign of affection.

Other cultures also have this, so you should constantly reassess and not react inappropriately.

Now, if your relationship with the guy is intimate and he calls you “love” out of the blue, it may be because things are getting more serious.

While it may not always be the case, the “love” endearment may be a prelude to the day he will finally say, “I love you.”

Of course, the only way to be sure is to ask him yourself. If his declaration means he now has strong feelings for you, it is time to consider giving him a response.

Calling him “love” back may be the best reply you can give.

When Can You Start Calling Someone Love?

There is no right answer for when you can start calling someone “love.” It depends on the content, really.

For example, calling a guy “love” when you just started dating can be tricky. He may think you are expecting a little too much, too soon.

If you are both British, you can probably get away calling him that so casually as it is a cultural thing.

Like other pet names such as “baby” and “honey,” “love” is a bit too earnest for a budding relationship. It can be a put-down or a turn-off on the guy's part since you still do not know each other well.

Some dating experts recommend using a pet name about three or six months into a relationship, so you have been with each other for a while.

This way, you will not scare him off with your ardency.

If you are wary of taking the big jump, you should consider trying out the endearment when it is just the two of you and closely observe his reaction.

Wincing or downright grimacing after hearing the pet name is an obvious sign of discomfort, but you should not feel bad. You can try to laugh it off instead of getting mortified.

If you feel a little brave, you can ask him how he would like to be referred. Maybe he is the type who cringes on endearment and wants you to stick to calling him by his name.

This may kill the romance for you, but at least you know where you stand.

According to experts, while pet names make a relationship fun, it is not essential to make it last. 

Terms of endearment can build intimacy and closeness in couples, but if you and your guy understand each other well, you can make it work.

How Should You Reply When He Calls You Love?

It depends on several factors. Paying attention to how often a guy calls you “love” when it is just the two of you or with others will help you make a decision.

You can see if he means it and wants to keep calling you that regardless if others can hear it or not.

Then again, if your relationship has not progressed far enough, you may not be ready to respond affirmatively. 

This is entirely normal. If this happens, you should ask your guy what he hopes to happen after calling you “love.” 

When you let him know that terms of endearment are way too soon in your relationship, he will likely apologize and take things slower.

However, if you think it is about time you dish out the pet names, you should consider using “love” or another endearment back. 

If he responds enthusiastically, congratulations are in order. You have just marked an important milestone in your relationship.

If he seems confused about the romantic pet name, you should backtrack and clarify things with him. Ask him what his intentions were when he called you “love.”

There is nothing wrong with a good old conversation with your beau. If you are open and willing to discuss your feelings, this can only strengthen your relationship.

What Does It Mean When He Calls You Love in a Text?

It is honestly difficult to decipher why your guy calls you his “love” in a text message because you cannot see his facial expression while he is saying it.

“Love” in a text message could mean anything. If the man you are dating is sending you the term of endearment via text, it may be because he is not ready to say it in person.

The text is his way to gauge your reaction and see how his pet name will be received.


If your respond with the same term or reply positively to his text, he will likely be daring enough to call you “love” face to face.

If you are not comfortable with it, you should be honest and tell him straight away. Ask for his reasons for the term of endearment and clear up things with him.

It is also possible that the nickname is his attempt to make the texting more personal for both of you. This promotes intimacy even if you are far apart.

You should observe if he will call you the same in his subsequent text messages. If this becomes a habit, he will probably want to address you as “love,” even in person.

Your guy may also be readying himself for the big day when he says, “I love you.” He may be calling you “love” in texts because you are indeed the love of his life.


VeryWellMind: What Are The Five Love Languages?
Scientific American: Terms Of Endearment

Written by
Jamey Muller
I'm the head-writer @ Knowledge Eager (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing the majority of the content here). Addicted to the stock market, football, sushi and tacos.
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Jamey Muller
I'm the head-writer @ Knowledge Eager (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing the majority of the content here). Addicted to the stock market, football, sushi and tacos.