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9 months, no I love you

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Old 12th April 2011, 9:25 PM   #1
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9 months, no I love you

My boyfriend and I have been together for 9 months. I'm 29 and he is 33. We have not said I love you yet. I have thought it and almost said it, but I can't bring myself to say it because I really don't know if he'd say it back. And I'll be honest, that would devastate me.

His family has invited me to vacation with them in September. I told him I didn't feel comfortable committing to something so far away and I wasn't sure if we were in a place emotionally where we should be doing something like that. His response was that he thinks we are in that place. We dropped it and then he brought it back up asking why I would say we're not in that place and at this point and at our ages we should be talking about living together and marraige and kids. Then he says "can't we just skip all of that other stuff and get right to marraige and kids?" I laughed at the time, but then when I really thought about it after the fact I'm thinking does he mean skip the part where we tell each other I love you? After saying that he said "I really really like you" to which I responded that I really liked him too. That was three days ago and there has been no talk since.

This is the longest I've ever been with someone where those words haven't been said. Part of me feels like if he hasn't said it yet and he's not feeling it yet, then I don't think those feelings are ever going to be there. And this isn't a casual relationship either. We see other every weekend, during the week, spend mulitiple nights a week together, spend time with each others families, talk every day on the phone. Is it possible he's just nervous? Is 9 months too soon to expect this? Or am I right in thinking this guy isn't saying I love you because he just doesn't love me?
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Old 12th April 2011, 9:37 PM   #2
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I suspect it's because he's not in love with you. I'm sorry.
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Old 12th April 2011, 9:43 PM   #3
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My experience is that when a guy is really in love, he will just blurt it out spontaneously. He may like you, he may think you're "right" for him, but I agree with the above poster that he is probably not in love yet. I also happen to agree with you though that... if those feelings are not present after 9 months, they might never be. It doesn't mean you can't have a satisfactory relationship regardless though. If you are happy, I see no harm in waiting and seeing where it leads.
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Old 12th April 2011, 9:58 PM   #4
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Does he say it with his actions? I'm a guy who has a lot of trouble vocalizing that kind of affection and he might be one too. It seems weird that he'd float the idea of getting married without having some kind of love for you.
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Old 12th April 2011, 10:19 PM   #5
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His actions tell me that I think he cares alot about me. He's very attentive, affectionate and sweet to me. But does that mean he loves me but just can't say it? I don't know.
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Old 12th April 2011, 10:25 PM   #6
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Sadly, I can relate to this pretty well.

At 33, chances are the guy has had his heart broken *badly* at least once.

It's possible he's thinking "Screw love, I'm going to make a sensible choice about the woman I marry".

I'm guilty of that kind of reasoning myself. It's common when you've been badly hurt in the past to throw away the "emotional" side of the process and just choose *someone* to marry and settle down with.

Which brings me to the pointy end.

He may never reach a point where he feels "in love" with you. He may like you. Might treat you well. Rationally, might feel you are a "good match" for him. But he'll never feel that "She's my whole world, I love her to death" feeling.

So this falls back to you. It's obvious to me that you need to hear those words and you need him to mean them. After 9 months, he must have a pretty good idea how he feels about you.

The best thing to do is just lay it out. Tell him how you feel. Tell him if he can't look you in the eye and tell you he loves you, then you're sorry, but it's not going to work out.

Then walk. It sucks, but there's no point spending more and more time with a guy who "likes you well enough", when you're really chasing someone who loves you.
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Old 12th April 2011, 10:30 PM   #7
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neowulf - He was actually in a 7 year relationship that ended pretty badly about 2.5 years ago. He told me early on he wanted to take things slow because of this. But the thing is it hasn't really been moving all that slow.

Honestly I don't want to give him an ultimatum like that. Because then if he says it, I'll feel like I forced it out of him. I want it to be something he just says because he feels it and wants to.

The thing that gives me hope is one of my best friends was in the same situation with her boyfriend. They were together a year, living together and sleeping together before he said it on their one year anniversary. They're now going on 3 years and my bet is they're going to marry. Maybe that's just false hope for myself haha.
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Old 12th April 2011, 10:53 PM   #8
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wow this is my fear right now. I've been with a guy for over 3 months now. He just got out of an 8 year relationship (engaged for 4 years) about 6 months ago, so we met 3 months after his breakup. Things got fast and then he started to become distant, even tried to break up with me saying he was in pain. Then, after awhile, he said he realized I truly cared for him and since then it's been awesome. I'm sure he still thinks about his ex, but they don't keep in touch thank god haha Anyway, he's never said he loves me but then again we've only been together for 3 months, and most of my other long-term relationships have told me 1 month in, so this is new for me. I'm willing to wait, not rushing anything, but its my fear that even at 6 months or even 9 months like you mentioned, if he hasn't told me, I'd be worried too. He's been VERY hurt bad in the past, his ex cheated on him and moved in with a new girlfriend (she's bisexual). I still think about it everyday, hoping he'd tell me but I'm hoping within time he will, I definitely won't be the first to say it. I wish I could help you, but I'm wanting to see what other people have to say. I saw that quote by that one poster something like he's not thinking "she's my world" because I want him to think that about me how he was in love with his ex, I wish he'd open his heart to me.
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Old 12th April 2011, 11:05 PM   #9
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I know some guys can't say it. My brother has been with his girlfriend for a year and half and still hasn't said it. He thinks his actions should be enough. I've tried to explain to him how important the words are.

I've been dating someone for over 4 months and it's already bothering me that he hasn't said it. It's a LDR so time spent together is limited even though we email every day. Still, I'm planning on pushing the issue at the 6 month mark. If he doesn't know by then, I'm walking. It's going to be a real struggle to make it that long. Not sure if I can do it.
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Old 13th April 2011, 12:10 AM   #10
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How come women need to hear those three words so much?

If he's being sweet and attentive to you....what's the issue? His actions show he cares for you a lot.
Screw the 1st half of the saying, a lock that gets opened by many keys is still a s****y lock...
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Old 13th April 2011, 4:57 AM   #11
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Perhaps this is a stupid question, but here it goes

So he hasn't said ily to you and you haven't said ily to him, doesn't that make the situation symmetrical, ie if him not saying means he's emotionally distant and hurt doesn't that make you automatically the same for not saying it either?
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Old 13th April 2011, 5:45 AM   #12
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I don't understand why the OP is stressing out about this if she hasn't told her boyfriend that she loves him. Actions speak louder than words anyway and if that guy has brought up marriage and having children, he probably does love her even if he hasn't said those words.
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Old 13th April 2011, 6:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jazzari View Post
I've been dating someone for over 4 months and it's already bothering me that he hasn't said it. It's a LDR so time spent together is limited even though we email every day. Still, I'm planning on pushing the issue at the 6 month mark. If he doesn't know by then, I'm walking.
I did the same thing in a previous relationship. At the three month mark I broached the subject of love, and he said he'd feel scared if I loved him. He talked about having been in love before, and some of those relationships had only lasted six months. By the six month mark I was beginning to feel annoyed, because he had clearly been in love with other women by that point, so why wasn't he in love with me? I started to feel like I was just wasting my time, and setting myself up for a fall by growing increasingly attached to a man who didn't love me. So I dumped him after six months and moved on to a better relationship with someone who told me he loved me after 2-3 months.

In my opinion, different people have different needs in a relationship. Some people want to be in love pretty quickly and others take their time. Some want to be exclusive from the start and others want to multi-date until they're sure they like the person. Some want sex right away and others want to wait until the relationship is more serious. None of these approaches are wrong, but you need to find someone whose needs are compatible with yours.

OP, your bf sounds like he may have different needs in a relationship; love might not be as important to him, or he might be more cautious about it. My advice is to broach the subject with him; ask how he feels about you, whether he sees your relationship going anywhere, and whether he has any loving feelings towards you. If he doesn't love you it's probably better not to waste any more time on him.
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Old 13th April 2011, 9:11 AM   #14
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OP, if you're concerned about it and you love him, I suggest you say it and see how he responds. At least that's what I'd do. I wouldn't spend more than a few months in a serious relationship (a few months past commitment) without expressing feelings of love. That's something I've learned from past relationships----I find if love is not expressed (mine, at least), it begins to wither and die. But I'd always be willing to walk away if I loved a guy and he didn't love me back (if he just needed a bit of time to say it, that'd be one thing, but not a long stretch).
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Old 13th April 2011, 9:34 AM   #15
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He's had his heart broken before, so of course he has his guard up quite a bit still. He remembers how bad it hurt after seven years with someone, and he doesn't want to let his guard down completely for anyone again, until he knows for sure that they're the right person to let in.

My ex told me he loved me a couple times, and I never said it back, and hoped my actions would speak what I wanted to say. I believe that until your actions are screaming "I love you" then you have no business saying that you love someone. He may feel the same way, or he may just not love you, it's hard to tell, but the fact that he's thinking of y'all still being together months or years down the road are pretty telling of how he feels towards you.

If you want, you could do certain things to promote his saying it without saying it yourself (though I do think that's more of beating around the bush more than anything). Cuddle up and watch a romantic movie together, talk about it afterward. Go someplace and say something along the lines of "I absolutely love this..." and look at him and see what or if he says anything. Sing little "I love you songs" around him, and look at him if it flat out says "I love you" (my ex did this, it was actually pretty cute). Or do the best thing, and just say "I love you" if you feel it.
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