I'm a 25-year-old graduate student, dating a 25-year-old graduate student for about four months now (official for three). Everything is absolutely perfect. I feel like I love him and the feeling is mutual, but he has not said it. I really have to stop myself from telling him I love him, because I would feel so incredibly vulnerable. I'm not sure if he'd say it back, or if he'd only say it because I said it first. I know I'm really caught up in my head. He's somewhat emotionally guarded because his last girlfriend of three years really destroyed him (they've been broken up for a year and a half now).
Yet he's told me I'm the first person he's been really affectionate with, that he trusts me, that I make him happy, that he's never used the word beautiful to describe a girl he's been with before and I'm the first, and that I'm the first time a girl made him feel special and cared about during sex.
Should I just "man up" and tell him I love him? Or wait for him to say it first? I've never felt this way, and I've had three boyfriends before him (2 years, 1 year, 2.5 years respectively).