Ask A Guy: Why Won’t He Say I Love You?

does he love me

Why are these 3 little words so hard to say? | Source: ShutterStock

Hi Ethan,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 9 months in July. He is handsome, smart, he has a plan for his life, and he treats me like a queen. But I have a hang up and it’s kind of a big one. He doesn’t love me. I dropped the bomb a few months ago and he wasn’t there yet, and he still isn’t there. He says he just needs time, but I’m beginning to think it isn’t going to happen. He put everything on the line for his last girl and she never said she loved him back. So now he’s hesitant. I’ve made it clear that this is a new relationship and that I am not his last girl, but I can’t help but think his baggage is weighing him down.

I love him and he’s such a great guy, but how long should a girl wait around before it’s not worth it anymore? :(

Ouch. Nothing hurts more than an unrequited L-Bomb. When I first told my girlfriend I loved her, it took her so long to respond that I began convincing myself I never said it in the first place.

Everyone moves at a different pace, so it might take a guy a little longer to reach the same emotional level as you because of his previous romantic experiences (or a lack of experience altogether). Try to allow emotional checkpoints to unfold naturally and give your guy some time to catch up. If you’re on different pages, the last thing you want to do is force the issue.

But seeing as you’ve already gone a few months with nothing but “I love… these pancakes!”, it’s time to take the relationship’s temperature. Calmly broach the issue with a mature, open discussion. Stay positive, avoid accusations or pressuring, and find out how he’s feeling about what you’ve already laid out.

Once you’ve discussed the topic with him, if it doesn’t seem like he’s at least headed towards Lovetown, you’ll have to pull the plug. Nine months is enough time for anyone to know which direction a relationship is moving, and you don’t deserve to feel unmatched for any longer.

However, there are no absolutes in dating, so there is no objective amount of time you should or shouldn’t wait around for a guy to fall in love. Those ladies confident of an eventual come around won’t let a one-way declaration stress them out, while others won’t stand for anything but immediate reciprocation. Ultimately, you need to wait for this guy for as long as it still feels good – and you need to walk when it just doesn’t anymore.

Good luck!

Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of For more on Ethan, visit…or call his mom, Robin.

Are you confused about a guy? Do you find yourself wondering, “What is he thinking?” Tell us everything in the comments! And if you have a question for Ethan, email him at!


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Posted in: Ask A Guy, Love Advice
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  1. avatarchristina says:

    I’ve been seeing a guy for almost 11 months. We have a great time together. We spend quality time together and the sex is amazing. When we first started seeing each other he said we were just friends with benefits. The problem is his actions are telling me different. The way he acts out in public with me makes me think that there is something more. I have feelings for him and I’m afraid to tell him. He says that he likes our arrangement and doesnt want me to get emotionally involved because he can’t do it right now. Hes been raising 2 daughters and one is in college and the other one will be graduating this year. My question is: should I give him time because I know his children come first or ask him exactly what he wants?

  2. avatarKimbr Stevens says:

    I met this guy in May. We dated casually for a couple of weeks but the chemistry, in my mind was really great. I decided I couldn’t just be one of many and decided to back off, but his reaction was to stop dating other women and just see me exclusively. I fell in love within a month and I was more happy than I’ve ever been in my life. A couple of months later he revealed we weren’t “right” for each other and he broke it off. I have always felt he treated me better than any man ever had, and that I couldn’t see why he didn’t want to be with me if he treated me like I was the only girl in the world. He was attentive, never late, always affectionate, and even as friends after the break up, he still texts me first thing in the morning, last thing at night and gives me every positive affirmation that a girl needs. Why would he do this if he isn’t in love?

  3. avatarTracey says:

    I met this guy in August of last year and we dated till the beginning of July 2013. We were on and off from April 2013 till when I broke up with him in July because he wasnt putting any effort in the relationship, still on dating sites (including the one we met on) talking to and texting other women, and seeming very distant. I love him and he’s aware of how I feel about him but I’m always wondering where I stand with him. Because one minute he acts like he cares about me and wants me around then the next his mind is off somewhere else and acts like I’m not even there. The other night I asked him how he truly felt about me and that I deserved an honest answer because we had been going back and forth for a year and frankly I was tired of it. He said “I obviously like you or I wouldn’t be here” ….????? REALLY? After a year he just LIKES me? So as a joke, I sent him a text later saying “goodnight..I LIKE you”) and he replied goodnight ..I like you too ;) …….is that his way of telling me he loves me? I mean isn’t a year long enough for someone to know if they love someone?? HELP!

  4. avatarLynne says:

    Hi. I’ve been seeing this guy for about 3months now. We both agreed that we were not ready for a relationship. But we started hooking up and there were no strings attached. Later he realized he was getting attached and so was I. I told him I loved him. But he only used to tell me when we started to make love. I thought it wasn’t right so we had a talk about it. Then he started to tell me every now and then. He said he really loved me and that I shouldn’t doubt his love for a second. But he still hasn’t asked me out. I’ve met his mum and his family.. And they all think we dating. But it still isn’t official. I want to walk away and look elsewhere cuz I’m scared to get hurt. Should I stay and assume we are dating or I should walk away. Plus I used to date one of his friends. And he only recently got to know. I don’t know what that implies or if it’s a factor at all.
    I need advice cuz I’m loosing it and hv been avoiding him while I try to figure stuff out

  5. avatarAshley E. says:

    Hey Ethan,
    I’ve known this boy i like for about 2 years now. I really started liking him when a very close family member of mine died and he was there for me. Recently i’ve started to fall for him. We’ve talked about getting into a relationship and he says the choice is mines, but when i told him to choose he said he rather wait until i come back from basic training which in 9 months from now. I believe i’ve waited long enough for a relationship. What is taking him so long? The confusing part is when i said im leaving to find a relationship and told him to enjoy his life he says he wont because im not in it. What should i do? He is very nice and willing to spend money on me. He says he loves and cares for me so what’s the problem? Is he scared of getting in a relationship because of a past relationship gone wrong or is he leading me on? How should i take this?

  6. avatarchelsea patalinghug says:

    she never should’ve expected anything…. i hate guys like that >_<

  7. avatarAdama says:

    At least when he finally does say it, you’ll know he really means it!

  8. avatarjenn says:

    sometimes its better for guys not to say i love u so fast i think

  9. avatarSammi says:

    Only Sith deal in absolutes.

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