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You Asked: Is He Emotionally-Damaged Goods?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I have been dating exclusively for five months. We both used to be morbidly obese and therefore haven't had very many romantic relationships in the past. In fact, my boyfriend only recently lost his virginity three years ago, when he was 28. Our unhealthy appearances made us both easy targets for ridicule during our school years.

I explain all this because recently, I went out on a limb and told him that I loved him. I didn't expect him to respond, I just wanted to let him know how I felt. Later, he brought it up and said that he was happy being with me and that I filled the void he previously felt, but he doesn't know if he loves me yet. When I asked if he thought he ever would, he claimed he wasn't sure. Apparently he felt the same emotional limbo in his previous relationship, but at the time, said "I love you," simply because she had. After saying it so many times without feeling it, it didn't mean anything to him anymore.

I know he doesn't want to hurt me, and that's why he opened up. He is kind, generous, thoughtful, and considerate. We have fun and we both get a kick out of how we are in sync about so many things but I have to know: Could it just be I'm not the right girl? Or is it some deeper emotional issue from his past — he's mentioned that as a possibility? I love him, and I do feel as if he loves me.

— Torn By His Words Taylor

To see DearSugar's answer,


As I've said before, I can completely understand why you're concerned that he can't reciprocate your sentiment, but saying "I love you" is not the end all be all in expressing love. In fact, I think it says more about your relationship that you were able to have such an open and mature discussion on the matter than if you were to simply exchange I love yous. But, I agree with you, there might just be some personal issues preventing him from determining his feelings. If so, that's going to be something that he'll have to work on alone.

I say, enjoy the relationship you have now, and see if as you grow closer and more comfortable, he naturally breaks out of his shell. Remember even if he did say "I love you," it doesn't mean that you're meant to be, so just because he won't say it, doesn't mean you're not. But always protect yourself; in the end, you have to do what feels right for you, not him.


Join The Conversation
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I don't know... five months in and at his age he should know whether or not he'd be able to feel this emotion. You both sound pretty emotionally damaged and that's FINE but maybe you want to consider therapy to help you with this? I'd rather not be with somebody who after five months wasn't sure if he'd ever love me... I think you just KNOW or you don't know and fannying around like this doesn't help anybody.
CYL CYL 8 years
My ex-bf said "I love you" I think about a month or two into our relationship. He also told me he thought I was 'the one' and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me...though it didn't end on bad terms..and we are now friends..he thinks his current gf is "the one" and loves her and etc...moral of the story...I love you doesn't mean the same thing for everyone...and just because he says I love you doesn't mean he does. Wouldn't you rather he say on his own because he feels it?
thewavingcat thewavingcat 8 years
i agree that 5 months is not long to be in a relationship, and that some people want to wait a while to say "i love you". but if he's 31, he should know by now if he could ever love you.
gooniette gooniette 8 years
He sounds like an open, honest guy who genuinely cares about you. If after a year or so he still doesn't know how he feels romantically toward you, it might be time to just be friends. But don't be afraid to love him or hide your emotions. That will only leave you feeling resentful.
LovelyLady8 LovelyLady8 8 years
I'm not too sure what to say. My fiance actually told me that he loved me after only 3 months.. 3 years later and we are just engaged now. I am a firm believer when men meet the one that theres NO stopping them. People on here are downplaying "I Love You". It's serious and it's not that hard to tell if you love someone. I would talk to him and if you feel like the relationship is going to be stuck in neutral then you can nip it. Sounds like he has issues though. When you get a man like this usually it'll drag on and drag on and drag on.. you'll give him an ultimatum and he'll probably leave. Save yourself the heartache.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 8 years
I could've sworn I've read this before. My take will be for the OP to RELAX. It's not wrong to want someone to say 'I love you too' to you, but some guys don't take saying 'I love you' as easily as the next guy, and it may not be for the fact that he was teased due to his past obesity. Don't blow things out of proportion after only 5 or so months of dating. There are MANY guys who will say 'I love you' (add: forever or with all my heart or whatever) so soon and then leave you in the dust when they're bored with the relationship. Or they're taking you for granted and you feel all 'used.' You need to be able to see his behavior and action toward you and the relationship instead of focusing so crazily on the details of those 3 little words. Action is what's more important. That's just my humble opinion.
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 8 years
So wait.. you've been in a relationship for 5 months, rushed into an "I love you" and when he gives you an honest answer as to why he won't rush into saying it back, you accuse him of being emotionally damaged? Darling, you may be the emotionally damaged one here. You're so desperate for someone to fall head over heels in love with you that you get over-anxious and offended when you can't get your boyfriend to rush into a serious relationship. Enjoy what you have and stop worrying so much!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I agree -- OP, I think you're being neurotic. You're over-thinking the relationship. The relationship is only 5-months old. You're reading too much into this. Just relax, and enjoy being together. I think you'll find out everything in due time. Just let everything enfold. Please do not share your thoughts with your boyfriend. Given you've been seeing him for only 5 months, your neurotic thoughts may scare him off.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
it's only been 5 months. maybe it's nothing to do with having a history of being teased or having low self worth, maybe it just takes him longer. after a year you'll have a better feeling of how both of you feel. try to just relax and enjoy being together.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
I completely agree with Dear! Good Luck hun.
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