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Ask Angela: My boyfriend won't tell me he loves me
I told him I am in love with him, but he refuses to say it back. Now I feel awkward. - photo by Angela Trusty
Dear Angela,

My boyfriend hasnt told me that he loves me. Weve known each other for a year, weve been exclusively dating for the past few months, he talks about our future together (marriage, kids, buying a house one day, etc.). But, still he maintains that he doesnt know if he loves me.

I told him I love him, and I think I mean it. Even if what Im feeling isnt love, Im definitely emotionally committed to him enough to tell him that special phrase. But now I feel kind of out on a scary limb as the only person who has said it and that makes me uncomfortable. How do I get him to tell me that he loves me? To make sure were on the same page?


Dear Committed,

I love you is a wonderful thing to hear, and even say for some people. However, its not the only (or even best) measure of someones emotional commitment to another person. Think about what youve said in your question: Even if what Im feeling isnt love, Im definitely emotionally committed

So, youre not even sure if the word love is the best way to articulate your feelings. What if your BF is in the same boat?

He may be thinking, I dont know if this is love, but Im definitely thinking about the future, so Im going to talk about that.

Or, I dont know if this is love, but I definitely only want to be dating her, so lets be exclusive.

The main point Im trying to make is that just because he hasnt said those words doesnt mean that you two arent feeling the same things. Youve decided to call what youre feeling love hes still deciding what its called. Does he treat you well? Do you treat him well? Do you trust him? Can he trust you? Do you try to take care of him? Does he try to take care of you? These are better indicators of emotional commitment than the phrase, I love you.

Align yourselves based on those conversations, enjoy the feeling of becoming emotionally committed, and give the relationship time to mature. Love is a powerful emotion and a few months of dating isn't that long.

Hope this helps.



Readers: What advice would you give our friend? What are your experiences with the phrase, "I love you"?

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