I've been dating my boyfriend for almost a year now. I know that I love him, but I'm worried about saying those three little words out loud. I've always thought I would hear it from him first. Maybe it's just the traditionalist in me, but I'd love to hear it from him unprovoked. Second, I'm afraid of what he'll say — or not say — back to me. I grew up in a family where we expressed a lot of affection, but he had a quite different experience, and he's never had a serious girlfriend before. Third, he expresses his love for me everyday by going out of his way to do things for me, by listening to me and just generally supporting me through thick and thin. I don't need to know whether he cares for me (I know he does) but I am now all wrapped up on these three words. We had the same issue defining our relationship, because we were exclusive from the beginning, but he avoided calling me his girlfriend for the first couple months. Now we're both pretty comfortable with our "definition" as boyfriend and girlfriend. Should I take the risk and lay it all out there? Or be secure with knowing that he cares deeply and probably loves me, but just doesn't want to say it?