My boyfriend and I have been going out for almost five months now and a few weeks back I said those three little words . . . and he didn't respond. While I wasn't expecting him to say it back, the actually reality that he didn't hurt me.
We talked about his reaction, or lack thereof, later, and he says that he feels the same way but is not comfortable saying it yet; he needs more time. In fact, he and his ex didn't exchange an "I love you" until about a year into the relationship. He feels like his actions should speak clearly, and in many ways they do, but I still can't help but feel insecure. I am not sure I can be with someone who can't tell me they love me. And I worry that maybe he doesn't really love me, but just doesn't want to lose me. How can I be sure he loves me if he won't say it?
— Looking For Love Linnie
To see DearSugar's answer,
Dear Looking For Love Linnie,
Unfortunately there aren't any guarantees in the game of love, and just as you can't be sure if your boyfriend's truthful when he says he has those feelings for you, there is no way to be positive that his feelings were real if he were to say "I love you;" hence, the saying that actions speak louder than words. And of your own admission, your boyfriend's actions make it clear that he cares about you very deeply. I can understand both your fears and your need to have him return the sentiment, but it might be too soon to assume that he won't be able to ever say this to you.
Just let it be for now. You can bring it up again in a while, but try not to let this become something you obsess about. Enjoy your relationship, and give your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt when he says that he needs more time. Perhaps uttering those three words is a very serious commitment to him that he doesn't take lightly, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.