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The L Word

Dear Sugar
I have been with my boyfriend for about a year and a half. About six months ago, I told him that I love him. He didn't respond, which I thought was OK, but since then I have said it multiples times and I am still not getting anything in response.

During a heated discussion about it, he confessed to me that he "can't tell me he loves right now," and that it takes him longer to feel true love than it does me. Do I wait around for him in hopes that he will eventually love me or do I find someone who isn't afraid of the word? Crushed Cassie

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Crushed Cassie
A year and a half is a long time to be with someone to have him not know if he loves you. I agree that sometimes, people's love progresses at different stages, but if you feel in your heart of hearts you are on a different page in this relationship you have to make a tough decision if you want to be with someone who is openly not ready for the L word.

When you discuss your future, does your boyfriend reassure you there is a place in his heart for you? Something tells me he has a fear of intimacy; does he come from a broken home or is he still feeling the effects of a bad relationship? When you ask him about his love for you, does he go into depth about what makes him not ready to take that next step?

Like you, I can't predict the future or read your boyfriend's mind, so you are going to have to trust your gut instinct on this one. Typically, after a year and a half, I would think he would be pretty clear if you are the right person for him, but everyone is different.

Try to have a heart to heart with him and if you get the reassurance you need to make you feel secure in this relationship, I would give it a little more time. If you feel he is skating around the issue, you might want to reconsider staying together. Good luck.

Join The Conversation
lizajane lizajane 10 years
I completely sympathize with your situation! I had recently been dating a really wonderful guy for about 2.5 years.. (living together for about a year and half).. Throughout the course of our relationship he was never able to tell me that he loved me even though he did show it in many other ways.. Gradually, I began to lose my faith in our relationship and we ended up breaking up in May. A few months afterward, my ex called and we had a really great, long conversation and he revealed many things to me, including that he loves me and always has. He has some intimacy and depression issues that we think were at the root of him being unable to verbalize it. Unfortunately, by this point I had begun to move on and was unwilling to take him back. I sometimes wish that I had been more patient and had waited longer for him to come around, but at the same time, I think the jolt of our breakup is what ultimately caused him to realize and awknowledge his feelings.. I guess ultimately, my advice would be to take a good look at the way he treats you.. Does he show you through his actions that he loves you? Can you tell in the way looks at you? In the things that he does for you? I absolutely know that hearing those three little words are so important, but I'd say that if you can tell through his actions that he does have those feelings, but is just struggling to verbalize them, that you give him the benefit of the doubt and continue as you are. He will come around eventually.. Good luck!
My-Opinion My-Opinion 10 years
Didn't you ask this same question just the other day!
carbizkate carbizkate 10 years
Oooh, this is a tough situation to be in, and I feel bad for you because I have been there before. All I can tell you is to have a serious discussion with him and see what is going on. Then if things are going to remain the same, you need to decide if that is okay with you. I would guess that it wouldn't be, which is completely understandable. In my situation, he ended up using it to manipulate me. This went on for about four years where we were together and then not. Finally I told him he needed to get help or something to figure his issues out and that I did not want to see him ever again (ha ha, sounds pretty bitter huh?). I am much happier now and I am engaged to an awesome guy who isn't afraid to tell me how much he loves me, and it feels great! Good luck to you and I hope everything works out for the best!
Jinx Jinx 10 years
You're right Naddie. It is harder for some people to say I love you. And the term is definately over used. I also agree that 18 months is a long time to wait. But I have a friend that believes she doesn't even know a guy until dating at least a year. I'd rather hear I love you once in a while, and know the guy means it, then hear it all the time, like every time we have a conversation. You have to decide for yourself, obviously, if its that important to you. Actions can speak louder than words. ------------------------------------------------------ Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. — Albert Einstein
Marci Marci 10 years
18 months is a long time to be with someone. And if he can't tell you by now that he loves you, he'll never be able to. So it's really up to you whether what you have is enough or not, without hearing those three little words from him.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
and "some people" will accept less than what they want. i guess we all know what we deserve.
Nadie Nadie 10 years
I've been with my boyfriend for almost a year. And I felt a bit awkward that my friends' boyfriends are constantly telling them they love them (even one who's only been with her guy for a month or so). Whereas my boyfriend has never said it to me. I managed to slyly bring it up in a conversation, and it turned out that he doesn't believe in saying "I love you" because so many people say it and don't mean it. Call me stupid, but even though it's important to me to hear it, I believe that some people are just like that...I don't know if this helps at all, but I hope so.
angelbaby2 angelbaby2 10 years
kiss him goodbye and off
Midnightkiss4u09 Midnightkiss4u09 10 years
Strange. He should have told you he loved you by now. I agree with honey31, move on.
getstinko getstinko 10 years
that's pathetic, don't waste your time. perhaps he'll figure out he loves you when you find someone else
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
How much longer does it take for him to figure out how he feels about you. Only you can decide if its worth it to stay in this relationship. One thing I would tell you is maybe give him some space. Start spending some time with your friends or be too busy sometimes. Maybe he's used to always having you there and doesn't appreciate you. If he felt you were pulling a way a little bit maybe he'll realize that he doesn't want to lose you and that he does love you.
honey31 honey31 10 years
Move on my dear you 2 have been together for a year and he has not told you he loves you! Gee red flag!
Jinx Jinx 10 years
"I think I'm in love, but it makes me kinda nervous to say so" - Beck ------------------------------------------------------ Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. — Albert Einstein
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
I agree with Dear, there has to be a deeper issue as to why he can't spit the word out after a year and a half together. What if he can never say it? What if you have a child with him and he can't tell the kid he loves it? Somewhere along the way in his life he was damaged and no matter how much you love and care for him, you might not be able to fix that. I think you need to be honest with him about how hurt you are and explain to him exactly what you need from the relationship. If he can't give you what you need then it's time to say goodbye and find someone new, you've put enough time into this already.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
what could possibly happen now (to cause him to change his feelings for you) that hasn't happened in the last 18 months? he doesn't experience the relationship the way you need him too, and that's all that really matters. either you settle for what you have or you go and look for what you want.
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