1. He’s not always trying to impress you.
If you’ve seen him in the moments he’s not trying to be cool, or collected, or sexy, when he’s wearing his oldest pair of underwear, or when he has to light a match in the bathroom because he ate far too many fried brussel sprouts at dinner, he’s not afraid to let you see the side of him that isn’t the least bit attractive or enticing. He’s not afraid to show you the side of him that most accurately portrays the way he is when you’re not always around.
2. He talks about the things that really matter to him.
When he talks about that far-fetched dream of his that he only considers far-fetched because that’s what everyone tells him, he’s opening up to you. He’s not scared to share with you a dream that other people think he’ll never make reality. He’s being his true-self when your conversations are anything but small, he’s being himself when he doesn’t care about small-talk because he wants to converse about much bigger things.
3. He talks about the things that he’s afraid of.
He tells you his biggest fears because they’re a large part of who he is, and he can only hide them for so long. When he talks about the things he’s most afraid of, he’s letting you know that he’s not indestructible or fearless, he’s showing you that he can be fragile and scared, and that’s hard for someone to do.
4. He opens up about his problems.
Everyone has them, but sometimes people are hesitant to share, especially when these problems are emotional. He’s being his true-self when he admits the things in his life that bother him. Whether it’s his heated hate for one of his co-workers, or his struggle with a vice that he can’t seem to overcome, whether his problems are ‘deep’ or not, he’s showing you who he really is by admitting they exist, and he trusts you won’t leave him when you find out they do.
5. He’s open about his past.
There’s more to his past than failed relationships with exes. His life has been full of choices, full of opportunities that he may or may not have taken, and he’s open about everything that has already happened, everything he can’t change, but has accepted either way. Who he is has been a process, and it’s continuously changing, and he’s being his true-self when he tells you about the things that have happened in his past that have shaped him into the person he is today.
6. He let’s you see that he’s vulnerable.
He’s not always going to be strong or happy or affectionate. There are moments when he can’t contain what’s bothering him, moments when his worries and emotions get the best of him, and he can only bottle that up for so long. When he lets them out, when he tells you about what’s making him sad or anxious or overwhelmed, he’s showing you a side of him that maybe you’ve never seen, but that is real.
7. He’s able to laugh at himself when you’re around.
When he has moments in front of you that he really wishes didn’t happen, he’s showing you who he really is. The part of him that’s unplanned, unintentional, and at times mortifyingly hilarious. That’s the part of him that you discover spontaneously, the part of him that’s able to laugh at himself right along with you.
8. He includes you when he spends time with family and friends.
If there’s anyone that he’s his true-self with, it’s his friends and family. When he brings you to his nephew’s birthday party and plays trampoline tag with him while he’s there, that’s who he is. When he hugs his friend he hasn’t seen in years for longer than 10 seconds, that’s him. He’s himself around the people he loves, and he’s letting you see that because he trusts you’ll love him for who he really is.