Guys can show they care by taking responsibility for an action that others are usually responsible for. Verbal communication is usually not guys' strong suit, but they can learn new habits with time and coaching. More common ways guys show they care range from good-natured joking to wanting to fix problems that may persist in a relationship. Fixing these problems, however, usually means some physical gesture such as a gift, instead of communication. Guys often take on a father figure or protector role when showing they care as well.
Upbringing and personality affect the ways guys show they care. Some guys have a harder time expressing emotions that show their feelings, especially if they were not raised in an environment where this was encouraged. Displays of affection may be almost foreign to these men. Without a consistent example of open displays of affection, many guys are reticent to display signs of caring.
When a guy acts like he cares in ways that range from a compliment to a kiss, the significance is often situational. A guy's depth of caring can often only be tested in real-life situations.
If a guy seems to be overly affectionate, it could be that he was used to that type of attention and affection in his life and has a sustained need for it. On the other hand, if a guy shows he cares, on rare occasions it can mean that he is truly sensitive past the rough exterior, but has never been able to let that guard down or doesn't know how to. Either way, when a guy shows he cares, the effects can range from positive to negative. If a guy sees that his efforts to show he cares are appreciated, he will be more likely to do it again.
Women often mistakenly look for a display of caring from a guy and then when they receive a small one, they put too much stake in that gesture. Every display of caring doesn't mean that a guy is deeply in love with someone, although it may be a sign of it. Even though guys are less likely to freely display signs of caring in the more traditional sense, it doesn't mean they don't do it, and do it often. Just as girls are sometimes more comfortable talking to their female friends when it comes to personal issues, guys are the same way with other guys.