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You Asked: Does He Actually Love Me?

Dear Sugar,

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.


Join The Conversation
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Calm down. It's only been five months. Do you really want him to say it and not mean it?
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 9 years
Don't try to force a commitment. Imagine being on the opposite side of it all and you were the one who wasn't ready. Just let it go. It's a tough thing to deal with because you can never predict people. My rule has always been "Even if you feel it, never be the first one to say it."
CrazySexyCool CrazySexyCool 9 years
I have a few Rose bushes that I take a lot of pride in. In the spring when the rose buds come out its easy to get excited. I want them to turn to flowers so that I can enjoy them all summer. But experience has taught me that if I try to pry that bud open, I will destroy the flower inside. Love and relationships are much like this. His love for you is still budding. Don't destroy what may later turn into something beautiful by prying. Let nature take its course and just enjoy what you have now.
ajennilynrushhh ajennilynrushhh 9 years
He's probably not ready to say it or he's going to base it on his past relationship and not say it until 1 year so you need to find that out.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
Did he at least say "thank you"? ;) Everyone already covered this, but it bears repeating: On the bright side, it's good that he's not the kind of person who throws those words around like sweet nothings.
Ster Ster 9 years
I couldn't say it back when my boyfriend said it for the first time ... (I actually remember replying with "I don't believe you"). He said it pretty early on in our relationship and I hadn't reached that stage yet ... and I didn't want to say it without being absolutely serious. He never made an issue out of it, since it was pretty obvious I cared (and care) deeply about him. And when I did say it, he knew it came straight from the heart ...
greenmint greenmint 9 years
i had a same reaction with an ex-boyfriend of mine. But inverse. I was the one who could say thos e three words, not because i wasn't in love,but because i prefer actions to words. My nature is not to say things like love you etc , i prefer to give a hug, a present, a kiss, all that kind of things. Everybody has their ways of expressions. Ones are words, others are actions. Don't pressure him, he will give you the surprise when you least expected it.
LovebirdsFlying LovebirdsFlying 9 years
I think he gave an honest answer and should not be pressed to say it until he is comfortable. This is better than having a man who does say it, but doesn't act it.
Berlin Berlin 9 years
you sound very young...once you grow up more you won't be so insecure over not hearing the words and will realize someone showing it will mean so much more. you shouldn't let the lack of him saying those words affect your security. and if you have to have him say it to think he won't leave, for one...he still can EASILY leave you even if he says it, and two, it's a little sad that you put so much on those words. soon it will be that he isn't "in love with you" that you'll be complaining about!
sourcherry sourcherry 9 years
He could say it all the time and you still wouldn't be sure. So many guys say it without meaning it. Actions are what matter, if he shows you that he loves you, then he does.
Blackwood Blackwood 9 years
... I'm speechless. And words mean nothing... let his actions speak.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
What's the point of saying you feel it if you don't actually say it?
lemuse20 lemuse20 9 years
I say you should be happy that he "is" so very careful with those words, some guys just say it even when they don't mean it.
nals33 nals33 9 years
I think dearsugar's and jessie's advice are right on the money. It's not that he doesn't care about you a's more that he's not ready to say the three little words just yet. Enjoy your time with him..and eventually when he's ready, he'll tell you. [Knowing that he didn't say the three little words with his previous gf until after a year should let you know that he's not the type of person to spit the words out without regard for their true meaning..which is definitely a good thing.] Actions really do speak louder than, feel special that he shows how much he cares about you through his actions.
jessie jessie 9 years
let it be. enjoy the time you are having together right now. don't get hung up on the words. they will come in time if they are meant to be. i can remember my husband telling me he loved me after so long together and me uttering in his face..i can't say that yet...and i didn't for a long time. i did in time when i felt it was right and it was comfortable for me. just because he doesn't say he loves you, doesn't mean he doens't care deeply about you.
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