My boyfriend and I have been dating exclusively for 15 months. He hasn’t said “I love you,” but shows it through his actions. He is a gentleman; caring and affectionate, and I love everything about him. He is genuine, wraps his arms around me and kisses me in public. Everything is going very well. I have met his parents on five occasions and his entire extended family twice. I don’t want him to feel pressured to say I love you. I absolutely want him to be 100 percent comfortable and ready. But I wonder when he’ll say it. This might sound petty, but I would be a little upset if after 15 months, he still hasn’t said it. At what point should I expect that he’ll just never say it? And how do I know if he loves me?
The fact that he constantly shows you how much he cares for you is more important than anything else on many levels. Whether you want to take the “talk is cheap” or “actions speak louder than words” route, I know countless women who WISH their partners would show them affection instead of hiding behind the old “but I tell you I love you ALL the time” excuse. But I understand how confusing it can be to have the exact opposite problem.
The root of his lack of saying he loves you could come from the way he was raised. In many cultures, that phrase is extremely meaningful to the point of almost being taboo. In many cases, it is only uttered between married or engaged couples, and is not to be taken lightly. So much of society uses “I love you” in a nonchalant manner to the point that it loses some of its meaning, and if it has deeper roots for him, it makes sense that he’s waiting to say it until things get ring-official.
On a simpler level, he may just come from a family that doesn’t say it often, and it may not occur to him in a strange way. This isn’t a great reason, but it’s possible. Some families are just, you know, different.
Outside of that, maybe he’s just waiting for you to say it first. I’m not saying it’s a 100 percent sure thing, but he may feel like he shows you in so many ways, and he wants to hear you say it before he does. There’s no protocol on who has to say that first in a relationship, and if you feel it, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t say it.
In the end, he seems to be showing you how much he cares for you in countless ways, so the lack of that single phrase should be taken in stride. I have no doubt he’ll say it in due time, and when he does, it will have all that much more meaning.
Best of luck!
Joel Freimark has done a lot in life and seen even more. From last minute international travel to bizarre places to writing award winning books, he’s here to bring his wisdom to all your problems. He hosts a weekly advice series on Youtube and a music series also on YouTube.. No question is too outrageous or personal, so go ahead and fire away! Follow him on Twitter.