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Saying the L-word

DragonCatDragonCat Registered User regular
edited June 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
OK, H/A peoples, I need some help and/or advice~

I figure since the vast majority of the posters here are male this would be my best resource.
Here's a little background:

I have been dating a guy for about 7-8 months. We were friends for about a year before we started actually dating, we met through a mutual friend. Up until about a month and a half ago it was mostly long distance dating. We'd make trips to see each other and hang out as often as possible, but it still wasn't a lot.
Anyways, he's now moved closer to where we see each other regularly (every day if possible) and (for me) things have gotten more serious.

I've been in serious relationships before. He has not.

I'm head over heels for him. Despite his attention and affections, I am still nervous about "jumping the gun" and assuming how he feels about me, or rather how strongly he feels for me. Part of that is my own insecurity due to past relationships.

I feel like I am honestly in love with him. Neither of us has said "I love you." to the other, other than in a joking manner, like "Oh, you know you love me when I'm being a nerd" or something similar.

I want to actually say that dreaded and coveted "L-word" to him, but I'm scared of getting the "Deer in the headlights" response, or worse, the "Cool" or "OK" response.

I know that ultimately it's probably best to just talk to him about it or just get some cajones and say it, but I'm earnestly terrified of a bad reaction.


TL;DR I like a guy, want to say "I love you" am freaked about saying it and the reaction I'll get if I do.

DragonCat on

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    LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Don't sweat it. If and when you say it, it will escape you by accident (I expect). If and when that happens, then you will have to see his reaction and work through it.

    Don't force it, but don't hold back either. See how it goes.

    Lewisham on
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    Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I know you asked for a male perspective, but I was in a similar situation with my boyfriend. Our relationship was long distance at first, and we spent hours every day for weeks stuck in that awkward "are we serious about this?" phrase. Never actually coming out and saying how we felt, just constant affection, "I missed you," "You know I <3 you," et cetera.

    It was pretty much agony for both of us, just not knowing. We'd stay up until 3am sharing our most private thoughts and worries and beliefs, by the end of the night we'd be just gratuitously affectionate towards each other... then the next morning we'd both pull back, and start the whole thing over.

    I finally took the initiative, and the conversation went something like this.

    Me: I've come to realize that I have feelings for you, and you don't seem to reciprocate them, and it's getting awkward, so I think I should just go.
    Him: I've been falling for you for months.
    Me: I... what? That makes no sense. Every time we started getting close, the next morning you'd be distant.
    Him: I didn't want to make things any more awkward than they already were.
    Me: So, if I hadn't said anything, you would have just let me hang my heart out on my sleeve indefinitely?
    Him: Pretty much, yes.
    Me: ...
    Him: Look... I'm not going to say this often, it's not something that comes easily for me, but... I love you, Kate.

    Within three days of that, he was saying it ten times a day, and we agreed that yeah, it was stupid and impractical, but we were going to try a long-distance relationship. Our one-year anniversary is in a week.

    The moral? He's probably as terrified of the word as you are. And as terrified of rejection if he says it. But you've been together for months, you can tell how you feel about each other. If you've survived months of a long-distance relationship, it's obvious that you're both deeply interested in making things work - you don't do that with someone you just kind of like.

    Go ahead and say it. It takes a lot of courage to be the first one, but *somebody* has to.

    Kate of Lokys on
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    AlpineAlpine Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    It seems like at this point in the relationship, he probably has really strong feelings for you too, and as long as you don't just drop the L-Word without any sort of warning, he'll be happy to hear it.

    I was in a relationship with this girl at the beginning of the year, and after I apparently said it the first time we were drunk at a party together, we had a big talk about how we shouldn't be using such strong words so early in the relationship. Needless to say, when she said it to me a month later out of the blue, I was kinda freaked out. I had been questioning the relationship for a few days, and finding out that she wanted it to start progressing rather than staying where we were at for a while longer, I couldn't keep in it.

    Alpine on
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    DragonCatDragonCat Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I think he does, or at least might, have strong feelings for me.

    Things I want to avoid if I can:
    The drunken "I love you"
    The post (or mid) coitus "I love you"
    for the pure and simple reason that I think (and again from past experience) the sincerity and integrity of saying it is severely diminished by either scenario.

    You're right, though. It will probably just slip out on it's own. I've been trying to hold it back when I feel the urge to say it. I guess when it comes out, it comes out. Is there anything I can do to make it less weird or to make it easier for him to hear.
    Again, since he's never been in a serious relationship I'm afraid the "Love" thing will scare him off and send him running for the hills.

    DragonCat on
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    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Chances are he wants to hear it...and seriously, these conversations are meant to be awkward. Don't sweat it, tell him you want to take things a bit more seriously.

    If he's been hanging out with you so much he probably doesn't have any serious mental disorders that make him run away from the first woman who wants a relationship with him.

    Aldo on
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    Cosmic SombreroCosmic Sombrero Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Speaking as a dude, I never understood the fear associated with "love." I think I said that on the third date with my current girlfriend. I'm sure he'll respond in kind, I wouldn't stress over when to say it.

    Cosmic Sombrero on
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    CooterTKECooterTKE Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    just say it as he is leaving or dropping you off. That is what my wife did and with out thinking about it i said it back to her. Sneaky women and their ways.

    CooterTKE on
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    truck-a-saurastruck-a-sauras Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Speaking as a dude, I never understood the fear associated with "love." I think I said that on the third date with my current girlfriend. I'm sure he'll respond in kind, I wouldn't stress over when to say it.

    there is a difference between just saying it and actually meaning it, as in I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you.

    and for the OP just go with your heart and don't hold back any longer. After that many months together it wouldn't be worth spending any more time if the other person doesn't share your feelings.

    truck-a-sauras on
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    Grid SystemGrid System Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    and for the OP just go with your heart and don't hold back any longer. After that many months together it wouldn't be worth spending any more time if the other person doesn't share your feelings.
    Seriously.

    And it's not like dudes in first relationships have a pathological fear of being really loved either. If anything, he probably wants to hear it but won't initiate because hell if he knows what to do, it's his first relationship.

    Grid System on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I told my now-wife that I loved her only a month after we first started going out. She seemed a little shocked and I said "there's a lot of meanings for love, you know. I like my friends, but I don't snuggle with them. So I love you."

    Love doesn't mean "I wish to marry you, have 2 kids, buy a house and live together until we die." Of course, it means different things to different people, but for me the threshold for love is simply "I would be emotionally hurt if I couldn't see you anymore." Of course it gets stronger over time, but I never had a problem with it because that's how I saw it.

    EggyToast on
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    DragonCatDragonCat Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Thank you, everyone. I admit, I am afraid he'll see the "love" as equaling "I want to be with you forever and spend every second with you until one of us finally gives in and croaks".
    I want to be able to say it and not have to explain or justify myself for saying it or feeling it.

    I appreciate all the input. :)

    DragonCat on
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    Nitsuj82Nitsuj82 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    After being together for 7-8 months, if he doesn't feel that he loves you, there are bigger problems. Seriously, guys aren't the big commitment-phobes that we are so often prortrayed to be.

    Nitsuj82 on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    DragonCat wrote: »
    Thank you, everyone. I admit, I am afraid he'll see the "love" as equaling "I want to be with you forever and spend every second with you until one of us finally gives in and croaks".
    I want to be able to say it and not have to explain or justify myself for saying it or feeling it.

    I appreciate all the input. :)

    Just don't go into it expecting him to say it back. That's where those expectant stares and awkward pauses come from. The whole "I love you" and then just glaring at them.

    If you want to get it out there without it being a big deal, say it when you're leaving or hanging up the phone or whatever. "i love you, bye" is a nice sneaky way to get it in without you expecting a response and if it starts to gnaw at him, he'll give you a call back and be like "so you said that you loved me, so uh, what's up with that." Or next time, he'll just say it back to you when you're getting off the phone.

    Seriously, it's the kind of thing that the bigger of a deal that you make it, the bigger of a deal it will be. The relationship is only the 2 of you, so if you're hyping something up, it's only that way because you're doing it. It sounds like you're afraid of saying it and then having to explain yourself, so instead you're not saying it and when you DO say it, you'll have to explain yourself. It's a catch-22. If you say it with purpose, you will have to explain yourself. And since this guy's never been in a relationship before, you'll have to explain yourself anyway.

    So you might as well come up with a simple explanation, and just say it. It can be as basic as "You know, we've been together for quite some time, and I've been very happy being with you, and I wanted you to know that I love you." Then smile and give him a kiss. Or whatever.

    EggyToast on
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    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I've been in love with the Muse since the first time I saw her. I can read people like a second sight, and I just knew she was the one for me. It's a pretty ridiculous concept in this day and age, and so I always slid around actually saying it; just described how I felt about her, and what I thought about her, how amazing she was to be with, etc, for well over a month. It wasn't long before she started to describe the same types of feelings towards me, and so to say 'I love you' was just icing on mutual feelings and expressions that had been felt and said many times before. Comfortable. Easy.

    Sarcastro on
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    LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2008
    I was thinking of posting this as well since I'm in the same boat as the OP. I've been with my girlfriend for8 months and hadn't dropped the L-Word on her and nor has she. In the past I've been quick to do that and jump into a relationship. This time I'm holding out as I think it should really really be meant to be said and not casually. Plus I think it keeps the relationship from fully cementing as we're not living with each other though we're together 5 days a week, we never had a real fight, and the sex is great too.

    To each person its different but IMHO I think the guy should say it first otherwise thats a mighty big meatball you got hanging there.

    LondonBridge on
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    DragonCatDragonCat Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I guess maybe I am hyping this up or making it a big deal. To me, it is a big deal. It's been a few years since my last serious long term relationship, and I'm doing my best to screw up as little as possible.

    You can date and never say it, and then you're just dating and it's easier when things break off because there's no "real" attachment.

    You can live together and never say it, and even if things don't work out, you were roommates that just bumped uglies now and then.

    Once you hit that point of admitting you "love" each other, it's a big milestone and (again, to me) it's a big deal, it's a big declaration.
    To me, telling someone that you're romantically involved with that you love them means you're telling them "I'm only yours, you're only mine, I want to be with you, comfort you, protect you". So it's not a phrase I like to throw around lightly.

    I would be ecstatic if he said it first, but only if he meant it, not because he thought it was what I wanted to hear.

    DragonCat on
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    SlagmireSlagmire Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    DragonCat wrote: »
    I guess maybe I am hyping this up or making it a big deal. To me, it is a big deal. It's been a few years since my last serious long term relationship, and I'm doing my best to screw up as little as possible.

    You can date and never say it, and then you're just dating and it's easier when things break off because there's no "real" attachment.

    You can live together and never say it, and even if things don't work out, you were roommates that just bumped uglies now and then.

    Once you hit that point of admitting you "love" each other, it's a big milestone and (again, to me) it's a big deal, it's a big declaration.
    To me, telling someone that you're romantically involved with that you love them means you're telling them "I'm only yours, you're only mine, I want to be with you, comfort you, protect you". So it's not a phrase I like to throw around lightly.

    I would be ecstatic if he said it first, but only if he meant it, not because he thought it was what I wanted to hear.

    Sorry to put a damper on your sentiment, but isn't that what you feel for him now - and hopefully he for you? There isn't some great, unspoken timeframe where it's safe to say it. If it's how you feel, and you feel confident about it, then out it with, chicky-poo. The worst thing that could happen is that he doesn't love you, and wouldn't you want to know that as early as possible? You don't have to make some grandiose scene about it - just sometime when it's quiet, and just you two (doesn't mean in bed either).

    I agree with Kate's sentiment - if you feel it and know it in your heart, then it's better for you both, regardless of the outcome, to be honest and speak your feelings.

    Slagmire on
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    KivutarKivutar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    He's probably as terrified of the word as you are. And as terrified of rejection if he says it. Go ahead and say it. It takes a lot of courage to be the first one, but *somebody* has to.

    Kivutar on
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    k1DBLITZk1DBLITZ Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Just remember this...

    If you do decide to tell him you love him, just because he doesn't say, "I love you" back doesn't mean that he doesn't love you.

    He may love you, but just has trouble saying it....

    k1DBLITZ on
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    BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Kivutar wrote: »
    He's probably as terrified of the word as you are. And as terrified of rejection if he says it. Go ahead and say it. It takes a lot of courage to be the first one, but *somebody* has to.
    That'd be my guess. If this is his first serious relationship, then he's probably terrified of being the first one to say it, for fear of getting the "that's really sweet, but don't you think you're going kind of fast?" speech.

    Blackjack on
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    AlyceInWonderlandAlyceInWonderland Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    k1DBLITZ wrote: »
    Just remember this...

    If you do decide to tell him you love him, just because he doesn't say, "I love you" back doesn't mean that he doesn't love you.

    He may love you, but just has trouble saying it....

    I couldn't agree with this more. I've been dating my boyfriend for a while now and I was the first one to say it. And after I said it, he didn't say it back, he just gave me a huge hug. He later confessed that he knew that he loved me way before I said it to him. He was nervous to say it to me, and wanted to wait until my birthday to tell me.

    Also, he doesn't say it much at all to me. He still has trouble saying it, even though we both feel the same way about eachother. I'm just more relaxed about saying it, I guess. He shows it in his own way. For example, when my boyfriend came back from an Army trip, I picked him up at the airport. We then went to a mall near by just to chill out, and while in one of the stores, we saw a sign that said " Be with those you love". He pointed to it, and then hugged and kissed me, with out uttering the L-word, and it was just as good.


    If he doesn't say it back, it doesn't mean he *doesn't* feel the same way, he just might be timid, or not the kind of person to say it much.

    AlyceInWonderland on
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    DragonCatDragonCat Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    k1DBLITZ wrote: »
    Just remember this...

    If you do decide to tell him you love him, just because he doesn't say, "I love you" back doesn't mean that he doesn't love you.

    True enough. I just hope when I say it he says something rather than just staring at me like :shock: lol

    DragonCat on
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    panksea06panksea06 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I didn't read the rest of the reply posts but think I will jump in.

    I was the guy in this situation. If it is the first relationship you had had where you get to that point, this is huge.

    I thought it for a long time before I said it, but was a little scared, but also wanted it to count. I always looked at throwing out that word during sex as less meaningful, so I waited for it and for a good time.

    If he is the kind of type to be a romantic, if he is the type that worries alot, honestly he is probably just scared but feels the same.

    You can make it easy for him and say you love him, or you can wait for him too, waiting is fine as long as you let him know you care, and that you wont drop him.

    So try not to worry, and have fun, and be in love, but wait for this for a while, dont worry about it. Or if you cant wait, tell him you love him, and I would be almost sure he feels the same if he is a good guy for you.

    panksea06 on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    k1DBLITZ wrote: »
    Just remember this...

    If you do decide to tell him you love him, just because he doesn't say, "I love you" back doesn't mean that he doesn't love you.

    He may love you, but just has trouble saying it....

    It's not a bad thing if he doesn't say it.

    I had a girlfriend who told me that in a month, it took me another two before I told her.

    I had a friend who heard his girlfriend tell him after three months, he didn't tell her for another 9 months.

    Some people just don't do it as easily as others. It's ok, it's just how it us.

    Blake T on
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    DragonCatDragonCat Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    So, I finally said it. I told him that I loved him. He didn't say it back.

    I'm not going to lie, I'm completely crushed that he doesn't feel the same for me as I do for him.

    He said he does care about me a lot and likes me a lot. I guess he's just not to that point. I keep trying to remind myself of everything that was said here. I'm trying so hard to keep everything "normal" between us and not withdraw or feel like I did something wrong to make him not love me back. I'm trying to make my actions and words towards him the same as they've always been and not let things get weird or awkward. I'm doing all I can to keep showing him that I care for him and he's the one for me and be supportive and a "good girlfriend".

    But at the same time it's hard for me to even look him in the eye right now without having the overwhelming urge to breakdown crying.

    It's hard to not rack my brain trying to figure out what's wrong with me that he wouldn't love me.
    All irrational feelings, I know.
    It was such a huge step to tell him how I feel and to not have it returned...I don't know. I feel like I was punched in the gut. Sure, it's apparently common for guys not to say it, but it's a terrible feeling nonetheless.

    To his credit, he's trying to be super sweet to me. Spending a lot of time with me, doing nice little things for me, etc. and I really do appreciate it. I guess I just feel ridiculous and stupid for saying how I feel.

    DragonCat on
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    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Its been... 9 some-odd months now?

    That's rough, DC, I feel for you.

    People can be notoriously retarded when it comes to this sort of thing, maybe there's a reason. All I can say, is pay attention to how he acts. If he treats you well, and his actions tell you he has given you a place in his heart above himself, then he loves you- no matter what issues he has actually saying it.

    All the best on that DC, I really hope it ends up working out well for you.

    Sarcastro on
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    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Sarcastro's got it right... we feel for you. =( Just give it time, pay attention to the signals he gives in the future... and hopefully he'll pull his head out of his butt.

    VThornheart on
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    DragonCatDragonCat Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Thanks guys, I appreciate your comments.
    I really am trying to hold on to the "actions speak louder than words" adage.
    Maybe I just need to bake him some cookies? They say the way to a man's heart is through the stomach lol

    DragonCat on
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    Bwah?Bwah? Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I have not read any of the prior posts (and I am sorry for that) but I do know that- after being in and out of many long relationships...I can honestly say that, holding out is the best thing you can do. When you are both ready for it and in the same spot/page in a relationship then that is the time. I don't know what type of person you are dealing with but..I've been in relationships where I have opened up and said it first - and was totally taken advantage of. So be careful and understand that although it may just be a word- it means a lot more.

    Bwah? on
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    Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    You know, the fact that you said that he has never had a serious relationship.. maybe he just doesn't know how to sort out his feelings?

    Maybe he does love you, but this is just something he has never dealt with before and is kinda freaked out by the whole "love" deal?

    I didn't read most of the thread (my apologies for laziness) but don't take this as if its the end of the world right now. Give him a chance to react.

    Al_wat on
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    DragonCatDragonCat Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Things have gone from what was "normal" to him withdrawing and not doing the everyday sort of actions that gave me at least some sort of comfort.

    I don't want to withdraw and end up pushing him away or give him the idea that it's OK to stop trying, but it's getting hard to do the stuff I used to do to show him that I care, like cooking dinner, or giving him back rubs when he's stressed, or bringing him his favorite beer on movie night. Stuff like that. I'm not getting anything in return anymore.
    I guess I scared him away?
    :(

    DragonCat on
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    MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Based on the fact that I just posted a new "Girl Trouble" thread on this forum, I probably have no room to give advice, but maybe, at this point, it'd be best just to talk about it. Get everything out in the open, and you can each make it clear where you stand. Honestly, I never got why people tread so lightly where the "L-Word" is involved, but I know it's common. Ask him what he wants. Tell him what you want. See where that leads you. If you just keep it bottled up and try to pretend everything is okay, nothing will be.

    MayGodHaveMercy on
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    oncelingonceling Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I just think talking to this guy will be like this:

    DragonCat: You've stopped doing some of the little things I liked so much about our relationship, why is that?
    B/F: I dunno
    DragonCat: Well do you think its just that we've been dating so long it seems pointless, or maybe you are uncomfortable with our closeness?
    B/F: *shrug* I dunno

    You should probably try anyway I guess. Be sure not to bring up the 'event' you think caused all this unless he specifically mentions it. Try to just target the symptoms and ask him to specify the cause. Don't give him a list of causes to choose from.

    onceling on
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    cmsamocmsamo Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    My girlfriend recently told me "she thought she was falling in love with me", because she wanted to convey a more serious feeling in the relationship. I can honestly say that freaked me out less than if she had said "I love you".

    (Our relationship is mostly long distance - we have been dating 9 months, but have not spent that much time in each other's company)

    cmsamo on
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    korrianderkorriander Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    The first time I said the L word to Shade, more than two and a half years ago now, I'd been thinking it for a while. Saying it in my head when we parted for work and so on. It actually came out when I was half asleep and forgot to just say "I love you" in my head. It's still working out well.

    Edit: That being said, it was... two months? three months? before he said it back. It hurt at first, but I had to be patient. He needed to climatize to the idea.

    korriander on
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2008
    k1DBLITZ wrote: »
    Just remember this...

    If you do decide to tell him you love him, just because he doesn't say, "I love you" back doesn't mean that he doesn't love you.

    He may love you, but just has trouble saying it....

    I couldn't agree with this more. I've been dating my boyfriend for a while now and I was the first one to say it. And after I said it, he didn't say it back, he just gave me a huge hug. He later confessed that he knew that he loved me way before I said it to him. He was nervous to say it to me, and wanted to wait until my birthday to tell me.

    Also, he doesn't say it much at all to me. He still has trouble saying it, even though we both feel the same way about eachother. I'm just more relaxed about saying it, I guess. He shows it in his own way. For example, when my boyfriend came back from an Army trip, I picked him up at the airport. We then went to a mall near by just to chill out, and while in one of the stores, we saw a sign that said " Be with those you love". He pointed to it, and then hugged and kissed me, with out uttering the L-word, and it was just as good.


    If he doesn't say it back, it doesn't mean he *doesn't* feel the same way, he just might be timid, or not the kind of person to say it much.
    Why do you think he (or other guys, or people in general) have trouble with saying it?

    I've exchanged it a few times with my boyfriend but I am almost 100% positive he doesn't like saying it and doesn't really want to hear it a lot either. However I am 100% positive that he loves me. It's kinda confusing to me.

    EDIT: Sorry I didn't read the second page and didn't see where the thread had gone, so just ignore this I suppose

    Medopine on
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    AlyceInWonderlandAlyceInWonderland Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Medopine wrote: »
    k1DBLITZ wrote: »
    Just remember this...

    If you do decide to tell him you love him, just because he doesn't say, "I love you" back doesn't mean that he doesn't love you.

    He may love you, but just has trouble saying it....

    I couldn't agree with this more. I've been dating my boyfriend for a while now and I was the first one to say it. And after I said it, he didn't say it back, he just gave me a huge hug. He later confessed that he knew that he loved me way before I said it to him. He was nervous to say it to me, and wanted to wait until my birthday to tell me.

    Also, he doesn't say it much at all to me. He still has trouble saying it, even though we both feel the same way about eachother. I'm just more relaxed about saying it, I guess. He shows it in his own way. For example, when my boyfriend came back from an Army trip, I picked him up at the airport. We then went to a mall near by just to chill out, and while in one of the stores, we saw a sign that said " Be with those you love". He pointed to it, and then hugged and kissed me, with out uttering the L-word, and it was just as good.


    If he doesn't say it back, it doesn't mean he *doesn't* feel the same way, he just might be timid, or not the kind of person to say it much.
    Why do you think he (or other guys, or people in general) have trouble with saying it?

    I've exchanged it a few times with my boyfriend but I am almost 100% positive he doesn't like saying it and doesn't really want to hear it a lot either. However I am 100% positive that he loves me. It's kinda confusing to me.

    EDIT: Sorry I didn't read the second page and didn't see where the thread had gone, so just ignore this I suppose

    You know, I just recently confronted my boyfriend about this, not because it was bothering me per se, but because I was genuinely curious why he was nervous to say it to me after I said it to him, and why he never said it to ME.
    He told me that he was just plain not used to hearing it or saying it at all. His parents never *ever* said it to him (which really is awful. They're just generally terrible parents), neither has anybody else, so it was a brand new thing to him.
    I out right told him that he doesn't have to say it to me often if he feels uncomfortable, but he's going to have to get used to it, because my family (who is incredibly friendly and loving) are going to show affection, and I especially am going to tell him I love him.
    Before that talk, he's said it once to me (on the night I first said it to him), but after the talk, he's actually been saying it to me.

    So with that, I think it could be a lot of different factors. His parents never saying it to him/not being used to it. Not wanting to over use the word. Him feeling like things are being rushed...

    AlyceInWonderland on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Yeah, even my dad will say "love you" when he's saying goodbye on the phone. I told my now-wife after we had been dating a month. She kind of freaked out and said "really? I don't know how I feel about that" and I said "it doesn't matter, it's not like I'm asking you to marry me or anything, but I obviously more than like you, so I love you. It's how I feel."

    After a week or two she agreed with me and it became a regular expression of affection. Of course, that also means that when one of us says it, we don't wait with puppy-dog eyes for the other to return the rote response. Telling someone you love them is supposed to be an outpouring of affection, showing the person how YOU feel. It is NOT supposed to be begging a response and confirming the other person's feelings.


    As for DragonCat, the fact that he's actually gotten distant after you told him you loved him, despite the fact that you've been in a long relationship, raises alarms for me. Now, when I've dated people, I usually didn't bother if I didn't at least like the person enough to envision a long-term relationship. What's the point of staying with someone you don't feel strongly about? And the fact that he dates you, does stuff with you, is intimate with you, but doesn't have any strong feelings of affection towards you after almost a year? WTF?

    EggyToast on
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    UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Yeah, even my dad will say "love you" when he's saying goodbye on the phone. I told my now-wife after we had been dating a month. She kind of freaked out and said "really? I don't know how I feel about that" and I said "it doesn't matter, it's not like I'm asking you to marry me or anything, but I obviously more than like you, so I love you. It's how I feel."

    After a week or two she agreed with me and it became a regular expression of affection. Of course, that also means that when one of us says it, we don't wait with puppy-dog eyes for the other to return the rote response. Telling someone you love them is supposed to be an outpouring of affection, showing the person how YOU feel. It is NOT supposed to be begging a response and confirming the other person's feelings.


    As for DragonCat, the fact that he's actually gotten distant after you told him you loved him, despite the fact that you've been in a long relationship, raises alarms for me. Now, when I've dated people, I usually didn't bother if I didn't at least like the person enough to envision a long-term relationship. What's the point of staying with someone you don't feel strongly about? And the fact that he dates you, does stuff with you, is intimate with you, but doesn't have any strong feelings of affection towards you after almost a year? WTF?

    Could it be him not wanting to give up whatever measure of comfort that he's created with dragoncat? If he doesn't love her, he could be staying together just because the relationship is familiar and comfortable. Always someone to do something with on the weekend, have a little sexing when desired, having someone to care about him, etc. Not saying it's a good reason but I'm suggesting something for dragoncat to consider.

    Underdog on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited June 2008
    It seems there are two possibilities here:

    A) He's falling out of love/like/whatever with you.

    B) He's weirded out by you saying you love him.

    If it's A), you're sort of screwed, and you have my condolences.

    If it's B), it could well be a result of him picking up your awkwardness. He might see this big, L-shaped wedge in the middle of your relationship, and he doesn't know how to deal with it. If this is the case, the situation is very salvageable, but it requires some mutual honesty.

    You love the guy, right? Want to be with him, do nice things for him, make him happy? If you really love him, this is the case whether or not he says it back to you. It's the case whether or not he loves you yet, because real love is unselfish that way. Your love for him is about him, not about you. I mean, sure, it'd be great if he explicitly returned the sentiment, but that's not what this is about. It's about you being with a great guy who treats you right. It's not about abstract expectations or awkward 4-letter words. If this is accurate, tell him. Tell him that you love him, and that you don't regret being honest, and that you have no expectations for him. Tell him that for now, you're content with simply being in his life, with being his girlfriend. Tell him that if he decides he loves you, hey, great. But if he doesn't feel that way or isn't sure what he feels, that's cool, too. Let him know that you understand that love is a pretty big emotion, and the last thing you want to do is pressure him into either feeling it or saying it. Tell him that you just really want to enjoy your time with him, and you don't want the L-word to get in the way of that. Don't apologize for being honest about your feelings, but perhaps apologize (even though you really did nothing wrong) about giving the false impression that you're harboring expectations, or that you're bitter or resentful of his own feelings.

    Basically, make your love for him seem matter-of-fact and, if not mundane, not quite the massive and weighty experience that it's become. But definitely talk to him, because something's going on here, and you want to address it sooner rather than later.

    ElJeffe on
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