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Boyfriend Doesn't Say "I Love You" on His Own

Group Therapy: Boyfriend Doesn't Say "I Love You" on His Own

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

So, this isn't really a huge deal . . . more of an annoyance than anything. But my boyfriend never says I love you without having prompting from me first (as in, I say it and then he says it back).

We've been dating for four years now so I don't expect him to run around declaring his love for me all the time or anything, but it would be nice to hear him tell me he loves me on his own once in a while. I am mostly bothered because when he says it in response to me it feels like he might not really mean it — like he is just used to saying it back, etc. Is this something to be rightfully annoyed about? Or am I just being weird?

I have mentioned this to him before and he said that since he already told me he loves me, he doesn't feel the need to say it all the time, which is kind of lame in my opinion. I say I love you to him because sometimes I just randomly realize that he is awesome and it pops out. I feel like he must not feel the same way about me.

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MissSushi MissSushi 5 years
I think jazzy's advice is really good. My father from an observers view might seem really emotionally distant, i've never heard him say I love you to my mother, but if you observe his actions and how much he does for my mother and us kids, its clear as day how much he cares. My husband on the other hand is very verbal, and we say it every day and at the end of every phone call. Everyone expresses things different. Make a point to understand him, and talk to him about things, before you figure out exactly how he feels and how things are giong.
shreerose shreerose 5 years
In my opinion, I think that's pretty unacceptable on his part.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 5 years
I understand your hurt, that would make me feel a bit iffy as well. But is it just the fact that he doesn't verbalize it that has you questioning his feelings for you? Or does he often actually act disinterested? Sometimes actions speak louder than words and he may just not be that into saying it. Does he otherwise seem very in love? Does he do nice things for you, care for you, etc? If there are other things in the relationship that are making you feel like he might not be in love with you, you may have a bigger issue on your hands. But it may be a simple issue of him just being an actions guy verus a words guy. I agree with Jazzytummy about checking out the book The Five Love Languages. Here's a website that you can check out in the meantime: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 5 years
I understand your hurt, that would make me feel a bit iffy as well. But is it just the fact that he doesn't verbalize it that has you questioning his feelings for you? Or does he often actually <i>act</i> disinterested? Sometimes actions speak louder than words and he may just not be that into saying it. Does he otherwise seem very in love? Does he do nice things for you, care for you, etc? If there are other things in the relationship that are making you feel like he might not be in love with you, you may have a bigger issue on your hands. But it may be a simple issue of him just being an actions guy verus a words guy.I agree with Jazzytummy about checking out the book <i>The Five Love Languages</i>. Here's a website that you can check out in the meantime: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
atraditionalist atraditionalist 5 years
is this the only reason why you think he may not love you anymore? or are there some other ones? because if there are other ones i would listen to my gut. guys who love you dont leave you questioning whether they love you. but if this is really the only thing then don't get too upset. however, i wouldn't write myself off as crazy if i were you. i did that once - an ex boyfriend would never tell me he loved me and i was convinced it was because he didnt love me but then i told myself i was crazy and being paranoid - of course he loved me - he was dating me afterall!. turns out he didn't love me - he came right out and told me. it was pretty harsh. anyways, dont discount your intuition. ive heard of the 5 languages of love as well. but i still think you're supposed to feel loved. if you don't feel loved there might be some truth to how your feeling
atraditionalist atraditionalist 5 years
is this the only reason why you think he may not love you anymore? or are there some other ones? because if there are other ones i would listen to my gut. guys who love you dont leave you questioning whether they love you. but if this is really the only thing then don't get too upset. however, i wouldn't write myself off as crazy if i were you. i did that once - an ex boyfriend would never tell me he loved me and i was convinced it was because he didnt love me but then i told myself i was crazy and being paranoid - of course he loved me - he was dating me afterall!. turns out he didn't love me - he came right out and told me. it was pretty harsh. anyways, dont discount your intuition. ive heard of the 5 languages of love as well. but i still think you're supposed to feel loved. if you don't feel loved there might be some truth to how your feeling
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 5 years
Great book, Jazzytummy! Totally agree. The Relationship Cure by John Gottman is excellent as well.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 5 years
There is actually a book about this, don't remember the exact title, something like The Five Love Languages, or something like that. It describes how people's love languages are different,and you have to understand your partner's. I think the languages are verbal, physical, gifts, service, and I think there is one more. Basically, for many men, they don't express love with compliments and I love yous, but they may go out of their way to change the oil in your car, or buy you flowers, etc. Asia may be right, he may not love you, we can't tell that obviously. You may want to check out that book, though. A few of my married friends read it, and it helped them understand each other better.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 5 years
There is actually a book about this, don't remember the exact title, something like The Five Love Languages, or something like that. It describes how people's love languages are different,and you have to understand your partner's. I think the languages are verbal, physical, gifts, service, and I think there is one more. Basically, for many men, they don't express love with compliments and I love yous, but they may go out of their way to change the oil in your car, or buy you flowers, etc. Asia may be right, he may not love you, we can't tell that obviously. You may want to check out that book, though. A few of my married friends read it, and it helped them understand each other better.
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 5 years
It might be true that he doesn't love you anymore. It also might be true that he means exactly what he says. He has said he loves you and he remains committed to you, so you are supposed to take that as meaning he loves you indefinitely--until you hear otherwise. His being there is supposed to be all the proof you need. (There is a percentage of the male population to whom this makes perfect sense. Honest to God.) Of course it makes zero sense to most females. We are socialized from very young to respond to others and provide reassurance on an ongoing basis. That makes us better moms and caretakers. But not all guys get that training growing up. So they don't understand how normal and important reassurance and expressions of affection are for us. His not saying he loves you is not the same as your not saying it. He isn't withholding anything. Whereas you'd have to be pretty mad or shut down to stop telling him you love him. If he shows you he loves you in other ways, rest assured that you are loved. Then it's just a matter of getting some male/female Mars/Venusy type relationship books to help you explain to him why this whole thing is such a big deal to you.
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 5 years
It might be true that he doesn't love you anymore. It also might be true that he means exactly what he says. He has said he loves you and he remains committed to you, so you are supposed to take that as meaning he loves you indefinitely--until you hear otherwise. His being there is supposed to be all the proof you need. (There is a percentage of the male population to whom this makes perfect sense. Honest to God.)Of course it makes zero sense to most females. We are socialized from very young to respond to others and provide reassurance on an ongoing basis. That makes us better moms and caretakers. But not all guys get that training growing up. So they don't understand how normal and important reassurance and expressions of affection are for us.His not saying he loves you is not the same as your not saying it. He isn't withholding anything. Whereas you'd have to be pretty mad or shut down to stop telling him you love him.If he shows you he loves you in other ways, rest assured that you are loved. Then it's just a matter of getting some male/female Mars/Venusy type relationship books to help you explain to him why this whole thing is such a big deal to you.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 5 years
I totally get what you mean. My boyfriend and I have been together for ages, and we don't say it a lot. My boyfriend doesn't say it without my prompting, and we talked about it one time. He told me that when he realizes how awesome I am, he gives me hugs & kisses - and that explains the sudden, unexpected hugs which kind of used to confuse me. He expresses love physically with hugs and kisses and hand squeezing. I express it verbally. There's nothing wrong with having different ways of showing love, as long as you can talk about them and understand and appreciate them.
pureperfection pureperfection 5 years
hey girl, i totally get what you mean and how you feel... i guess he isn't the expressive type of guy? and i totally agree with juicebox07 that you should be frank with him and tell him how you feel, honestly is most important. ;) all the best.
juicebox07 juicebox07 5 years
If my boyfriend didn't say "I love you" on his own & would only say it after I did, I would feel hurt. It would make me question his feelings for me. I don't blame you for being upset. I think you should talk to him about it, and if nothing changes, you should decide whether the relationship is worth it.
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