1. When you give him that little smile from across the room at a party.
It's a smile that can mean a lot of different things: "I love how well you're getting along with my friends." "I love how you look right now." "I can't wait to go home with you." He knows you're thinking about him, and that's what counts.
2. When he had a bad day, and you know the only thing that will cheer him up is his favorite pizza.
It's not just being able to sense he had a bad day, it's knowing what to do about it. For some people, that's taking them out to a movie; for others, it's literally doing nothing and letting them have time to themselves. But being sensitive to his needs and emotions lets him know you love him, even if loving him in that moment means putting pepperoni on half the pizza, even though you think it "makes the rest of the pizza taste like pepperoni."
3. When you give him hugs or kisses "just because."
When you sneak up behind him and give him a big hug, don't lie and say that was "just because." It was because you love him. He knows it and you know it.
4. When you send him a ton of emojis.
No, he doesn't know what they mean. No one is going to sit there and decipher your millennial hieroglyphics. But he knows that you put in the effort to hand-pick 50 emojis so that means... something nice. Unless they're all sobbing-face emojis.
You've both likely had at least one toxic relationship where trust was an issue. But trusting that he is where he says he is or knowing he's not snooping through your phone is huge.
6. Picking out amazing, thoughtful gifts.
Some people just aren't good at gift-giving. That's fine. It's a real skill. But if you can put a lot of thought behind a gift—whether it's something homemade that's full of inside jokes and memories, or even just something you saw him eyeing in a store and then snuck back to get it—it shows you care, that you pay attention, and that you make an effort.
7. Standing your ground on an argument because you know it's what's right for the relationship.
All right, so in the moment, he might think it means something way different than "I love you" when you try to explain why he can't buy a Jet-ski, but getting into heated arguments or talking him down from quitting his job on the spot... those things are done out of love.
8. Sending him little messages to show you're "thinking about him."
The words "thinking about you" are basically in the dictionary next to "love."
9. Letting him keep that shirt you both know is awful.
Yes, he should have thrown away his PE t-shirt from high school, but damn it, he loves it, and you looking past the holes in the collar means the world to him.
10. Apologizing when it's clear you fucked up.
There will be times in your relationship when he is in the wrong. There will be times when you're in the wrong. But being able to swallow your pride and tell someone you're sorry for what you said or did shows love in a way those three little words don't.
11. Getting excited about something because he's into it.
You might be one of those lucky couples that loves all the same things. But if he had to drag you to see Star Wars, he knows you did it out of love. He also knows you didn't ask "who's that?" every five seconds out of love, too.
12. You put up with the fact that he basically sheds all over the bathroom after every shower.
He can't help it. Thanks for not screaming at him every time it happens.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.