How Do You Know if He Loves You? The 3 P’s of Love

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man" by Steve Harvey. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Are you wondering whether your man loves you or not? What are the three main ways a man shows his love?

In his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey explains that a man who does the three P’s truly loves his woman. The three P’s are: profess, provide, and protect.

Keep reading if you’re wondering how you know if he loves you or not.

How to Know if He Loves You

According to Steve Harvey, one of the best things you can do to have a happy relationship with men is learn how men love, which differs from how women love. A woman’s love is sweet, kind, compassionate, passionate, and on display for the world to see. But if men love differently, then how do you know if he loves you? Well, a man’s love can be boiled down to three actions, or the Three P’s of Love: Profess, Provide, and Protect. If you can understand these three aspects, you’ll see more clearly when a man does and doesn’t love you. And if he does love you, you’ll recognize just how much he does in his own way. 

When a Man Professes for All to Hear

Harvey says that you know a man loves you when he gives you a title in public. Whether he introduces you as his girlfriend, lady, baby mama, boo, sweetheart, or woman, this title means you’re important in his heart. He’s also putting everyone on notice that you’re his and not available. Men like to stake claim to things, and if he introduces you to people he cares about with a title, he’s letting them all know you’re his. He’s also saying he’s proud to be with you and sees you as someone who will last. 

If your man tells people you’re his friend or simply gives your name, he doesn’t see you as a long-term partner. He’s not staking claim to you, and he doesn’t love you. It’s that simple. 

When a Man Provides Whatever He Has to Give

Once your man has claimed you, he will do everything in his power to provide for you, Harvey explains. Providing is part of his male DNA. If a man really loves you, he will make sure the bills are paid and there is food in the refrigerator. He will spend his money making sure you and any children have everything you need before he spends a dime on himself. 

A man’s ego takes a massive hit if he can’t provide for the ones he loves. He needs to provide to feel like a man, and the more he is able to give, the more proud and alive he feels. The same is true for dating. A man wants to spend his money on a woman he’s falling for. He wants to treat you to dinner and a movie. He wants to help pay for your car repairs. He needs to provide for you to prove that he loves you and is a man worthy of the distinction. 

This concept may be hard for you to hear. Times have changed, and you’ve been brought up to be independent. You’ve been told to pay your own way and not expect anything from men. But if you want to make your man happy, you need to let him take care of you. It’s part of what drives him, and if he can’t fulfill this innate responsibility, he can’t feel like a man, at least not with you. 

There are, of course, men who say they love you but won’t provide for you. And if you ask for what you need or for support of any kind, you’re labeled a “gold digger.” Here’s a secret: Gold digger is a phrase cooked up by men to make you feel guilty for taking or asking for money. If you’re too scared to make them provide, they get everything they want from you for nothing. 

Recognize this—providing for the people he loves is not a choice but a need for a man. If he’s not doing it, he doesn’t love you the way you think he does, no matter what he says.

Not all men have the financial capabilities to take care of your expenses and treat you to fancy dinners. But these men will still try to provide. If you need your car fixed, they will fix it or find friends to fix it for you. If he can’t buy you dinner, he’ll contribute what he can to make sure you eat something nice. If you’re sick, he’ll make sure you have aspirin and soup. 

This is how a man loves. He may not take long walks with you, spend hours talking about his feelings, or hold your hand when you’re sad, but he will make sure you have tissues and time to be sad. And when he does this, you’ll know he truly loves you. 

When a Man Protects the One He Loves

If a man loves you, you’re his most prized possession, and he’s going to make sure nothing happens to you. This instinct is also ingrained in his DNA. He’s been raised to protect his family at all costs, and if he loves you, you are now part of that family. 

This concept may be easier for you to understand because you’ve also been raised to see men as protectors. You know the men in your life, including your father, brothers, or friends, will defend your honor if the moment arises. And now you know why. 

But protection isn’t just about beating someone up. A man in love will consider all of the ways you need protecting and act accordingly. If you have to walk your dog at night, he’ll join you or do it for you. If you’re walking down a sidewalk and see a strange person approaching, he’ll move you to the far side to serve as a barrier. If you have to go to a bad part of town, there’s no way he’s letting you go alone. You may be thinking, “My man lets me do all those things by myself.” The sad fact is this man probably doesn’t truly love you because protecting the ones he loves is out of his control. It’s a requirement for him to feel like a man. 

You may believe these actions are insulting. You’re independent and don’t need a man’s protection. Whether you need his protection or not is not the issue. If you want your man to be happy in your relationship, you need to let him protect you. And if your man isn’t protecting you but you know he really loves you, demand he do it. Men will get away with whatever they can, and the relationship will go nowhere if you don’t require that he act like a man. He will be happier, and so will you.

How Do You Know if He Loves You? The 3 P’s of Love

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Steve Harvey's "Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man summary :

  • How to navigate the adult dating scene
  • What men need, how they think, and how they behave when it comes to relationships
  • How women can gain an advantage and find the right man to fulfill their desires

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

3 thoughts on “How Do You Know if He Loves You? The 3 P’s of Love

  • July 15, 2022 at 11:31 am

    Women, trying to dictate contrived attributes of what make a man, got it! You aren’t looking to be with an actual person, your looking for someone to fill a job role, a script.

  • December 12, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    Yes, men provide and protect women. On the other hand, gold diggers seek to defraud men of their provisions by feigning love.

  • December 31, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I need help to make decisions in my marriage, although I don’t really think there was one to begin with.


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