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July 23, 2013 8:53 pm  #1

Need Advice

Hi guys,
This doesn't have anything to do with crying, but I'd like some impartial opinions. My boyfriend and I are having a bit of a problem. We fell for each other hard and fast, and actually said "I love you" on our second date, even though we both explicitly stated and agreed: "I know it's too early to say this, I feel it anyway, but I probably won't say it again until I'm more sure."

Fast forward about four months, I finally feel ready to say it again. I tell him late one night, "I don't want you to say it back unless you're ready, but I want you to know that I love you." He does not say it back, which is fine. I continue waiting.

Two months later, he tells me that he has come close to saying it on a couple occasions, and that he doesn't want me to think he doesn't care, but he's always a little afraid of being rejected. (I think something happened to him in a previous relationship, I'm not sure exactly what.) I say that's fine, no pressure.

One week ago, he finally whispers "I love you" and I say it back. Awesome. I try to say it to him last night, and get nothing back. He says that he's probably not going to say it back every time, he still has some of that same fear. This time I'm hurt. He tries to kiss me, and tries to make it up to me that way, but I pull away. I try to explain to him that, even though I don't want him to say it unless he feels comfortable, it makes me gun-shy to keep getting rejected a little when I try to tell him that I love him. He's quiet for a while, and he makes some frustrated, pained noises. Then he cuddles up to me and says, "I'm sorry I made you feel bad." I say it's okay, and we move on. But I'm not really sure what to do now. Any ideas how I should deal with this problem? Has anyone had a similar experience?

It is such a secret place, the land of tears.
-- Antoine de Saint Exupery, "The Little Prince"

July 23, 2013 9:27 pm  #2

Re: Need Advice

Very difficult to give any advice - especially from someone who has been married 10+ years and well past the new relationship stage!

My immediate thought was its not the words you say in a relationship but your actions.

If you are comfortable with each other, sponteneously hug or kiss each other - enjoy each others company, have a laugh, smile a lot you are probably well on your way to being in love with each other whether you say it out loud or not. I also find trust is a big part of a relationship, again if you trust each other completely with feelings, thoughts, plans, emotions etc your probably in love by most definitions of the word.

But that's just it - define love? it probably means different things to different people.

Quite often its the moment that makes you say the words "I love you" - and sometimes you are both not in that moment together - which is fine. Even if someone does not say the words you probably know if they love you or not.

So, i guess I would try not to stress about it and allow each of you to say the word as and when you feel like it - don't make it an issue in your relationship if that makes sense. Also, if you have both said it too each other once well that's it, you love each other - don't worry that a week later he might not - he probably still does.

As I say very difficult to give advice but I'd just say don't force it - say it if you feel like it and don't pin loads of pressure and meaning too the word - concentrating on being with each other and build the love that obviously exists between you.

Not wanting to pile more meaning onto these words but just wait until he say "I love you" and tears fall from his eyes! Very special moment, there will be no doudt then I can assure you.

Hope this made some sense and helped.


July 23, 2013 9:49 pm  #3

Re: Need Advice

Sometimes changing the way you say it can help.  If you can be somewhat off-hand about it, that may make him feel less concerned about having to say it back to you.  Example:  one evening not long ago husband said "You do know I love you, right?"  He said it in a particular tone he uses when he's being a bit flippant, so I responded with "How could you not?"

Namely, have a sense of humor about it and don't push it.  I agree with tearhunter - the words are nice but the actions are what you should judge by.

"We have our stalking memories, and they will demand their rightful tears."

July 23, 2013 9:57 pm  #4

Re: Need Advice

Thanks for the quick replies! I was actually hoping to hear from you married folks who have some perspective about what actually matters and what doesn't. I was worried that this was some indicator that it would never work between us, but you're both right-- if I look at his actions I know we're in good shape.
It's just that it's difficult sometimes, with him, because I'm very verbal. I like to talk about everything and make everything explicit, but he places more weight on the nonverbal. So I'm still learning to read him based on what he does, not what he says.
Thanks again for the wonderful advice. I feel tons better.

It is such a secret place, the land of tears.
-- Antoine de Saint Exupery, "The Little Prince"
     Thread Starter

July 23, 2013 10:18 pm  #5

Re: Need Advice

How old are you guys? If you don't mind me asking.

And very personal question, so ignore if too personal - are you err, past first base!?!
I only ask ask as personally during very intimate moments you know if someone is in love with you!


July 23, 2013 10:31 pm  #6

Re: Need Advice

I'm 22, he's 23. And yes haha, we're intimate. He's a very reserved guy, usually, but sometimes in private moments everything becomes clear. One of my favorite things is when we sort of half-wake up in the middle of the night and cuddle for a while before falling back asleep. I moved out on my own for the first time in the last couple months, and he was so helpful. He offered to look over my lease before I signed it, and he helped me move and stayed with me the first couple nights in the new apartment. He's apartment hunting too, and he hinted that he's looking for one that I would like to live in someday. So looking at those things, I realize that there's really no question of whether he loves me or not, and I should worry less about the words.

It is such a secret place, the land of tears.
-- Antoine de Saint Exupery, "The Little Prince"
     Thread Starter

July 24, 2013 6:57 pm  #7

Re: Need Advice

Your younger than I thought you were going to say - You've got loads of time enjoy each others company before anything particularly serious which I'm sure you know. Enjoy the "I love you's" as and when they come up


August 21, 2013 9:00 pm  #8

Re: Need Advice

Hey meantangerine, I am not sure if you are still reading this thread.
I am married since 10 years and my husband and I never ever told each other "I love you", not before and not after the marriage.
We had a discussion about the subject and we both agreed that it is just a buzzword (hope leo dict told me the right word :-)). Like tearhunter told there are lots of other things which show you if it is for real or not.
About the talking part: a lot of men are like this, just wait for a good moment, don't force your boyfriend into a talk he is not into, you won't get the answers you like to hear and get hurt. For my husband and me the good time for talking is during the night, you don't have to look in each others eyes, you can hug and maybe you had a glas of wine, which helps too.
Enjoy the moment and don't expect too much. Being together with someone is always a compromise.


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