The basics: So I have a partner, lets call them Alex. We have been together for 2 years. I said "I love you" for the first time over a year ago.
Also, I wish to keep this gender neutral on both sides, so I'm going to use "they" instead of "he/she". If this is a problem (i.e. too confusing) then let me know and I'll correct it.
The problem is, Alex has never said more than "I like you" although acts as though they care about me. Alex has explicitly stated in the past that they don't wish to talk in terms of the future (once, awhile ago) although I first met Alex's parents over a year ago. Alex has also been stressed a lot lately, so I assumed that the stressors were a more immediate concern, and that once that quietened down Alex might come around to using the "L word".
Alex has never been very affectionate vocally, although is affectionate otherwise (physically, as well as doing things like going out of their way to help me). Although concern has been shown in the past, recently Alex has decided that it's probably better that my parents are not so open to meeting my partner.
It may also be important to mention that the last ex of Alex's was a nasty piece of work, and I think that might be why Alex is not very vocally affectionate now. Although I'm not sure Alex is consciously aware of it, if it is the case.
In general, there is little to complain about in my relationship. I'm not asking for any huge commitment at this stage - I'm just starting to get concerned that there will always been another worry in our/Alex's life and that Alex may never get to the stage when they can say "I love you" back. I would like to know if a future together is even a possibility or if this will always be one of those "just having fun for now" things.
Am I over reacting? Should I just give it more time? If I do bring the conversation up, what would be the best time?