My boyfriend and I have been dating for a few months. A while ago, he told me loved me and I said I loved him too because I didn’t what else to say and I thought maybe I did feel that way. But… I don’t think I really do love him. I want to, but I just don’t. Saying it feels weird now and I feel horrible that I’ve been lying. Should I tell him the truth? Help!!
Oof. This is where saying “I love you” gets tricky. While you’re certainly not the first person to say those three little words without meaning it, that doesn’t mean you should keep doing it if you don’t feel it. Don’t beat yourself up for this, though. Sometimes our feelings change during a relationship and there’s nothing we can do about that.
However, you do need to do something here. Ask yourself a few questions: do you think you could love him in the future? Do you still even want to date him or are you mainly dating him out of habit or because you feel bad? Do you want to take things a little more slow? Before you do anything or say anything to your boyfriend, you need to seriously consider what you want out of this relationship. Whatever you decide is okay – you just need to make sure it will make you happy.
No matter what you decide, you can’t keep telling your boyfriend you love him if you don’t feel that way. Imagine if you found out a dude was doing that to you for months? You would probably feel pretty stupid in the end. You owe it to your BF to be honest. If you feel like you may start to love him in the future and that you want to give the relationship a chance and take things a little slower, you need to communicate that to him. If you feel like it would be best if you two broke up, then you need to end things.
Just a warning: telling your boyfriend you don’t love him and you never did is never going to be easy. It takes a lot of guts, but I think if you do it, you’ll stop feeling so guilty. If you decide you want to keep dating him but want to be honest, tell him you need to have a serious talk. Explain that while you care about him and like him a lot, you don’t love him. Tell him the truth – you’ve been saying it because you want it to be true, but you really feel like you need more time. If he can deal with that, say you want to take things slower. Don’t make any promises, like “I’ll love you in six months!” If he decides he wants to break up, you need to respect that.
If you decide you want to end things, then do that. Maybe you’re just not ready for this serious relationship right now or maybe this guy just isn’t right for you. Don’t make yourself feel bad about it – breakups happen. It’s better to be happy than to force yourself to feel something you just don’t feel. However, don’t throw this in his face during the breakup. You can explain that your feelings aren’t as strong as his and that the relationship isn’t working for you because of that, but you don’t need to scream “I’ve never loved you” or anything dramatic like that.
Just remember: don’t force yourself to feel like you love this guy just because you feel guilty or just because he makes you feel safe. When you really love someone, you’ll know! You deserve that and he deserves someone who really loves him, too.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org