He may just not be feeling it, girl.
The feeling of being in love is like nothing else. Exciting, intoxicating, uplifting and heartwarming — the next best thing to experiencing love is declaring your love to the man you love, right? Well ... not exactly.
If you share that sentiment sooner than he’s willing to say it, his silence can feel insufferable. In a flash, the ease of your relationship runs out the door while vulnerability, discomfort and anxiety come rushing in. Even worse, his lack of verbal reciprocation can cause you to reconsider the value of your relationship altogether.
In truth, your man is clearly showing commitment when he dates you exclusively, shares himself intimately and even consults you while planning his schedule. Yet, there’s a tendency to judge the validity of a relationship, as well as a man’s intention by his willingness to say those three words.
The problem is that doing so can unnecessarily sabotage a promising romance, which is why it’s valuable to understand some of the reasons why he might refrain from saying "I love you."
1. He associates saying "I love you" with new expectations he isn't ready to fulfill.
Expectations are one of the most deadly threats to relationships because they replace open communication with unspoken presumptions. Many men associate saying I love you with new expectations they aren't ready to fulfill. Others are simply afraid of what those expectations might be, thus they choose to keep everything moving along pressure-free.
Does that mean your man isn’t willing to give you everything you want right now? No. In fact, he may already be giving you more than you imagined. The key is to clarify where he’s at and what his intentions are. Just as some men side-step a boyfriend label while simultaneously being the best boyfriend you’ve ever had, the fear of expectation can inspire a man to express love through action rather than words.
2. He doesn't feel like he can live up to his definition of what saying "I love you" means.
Everyone associates different things with being in love. Your man may associate saying I love you with actions he’s not ready to take, or other conditions he’s not yet experiencing. The more honorable your man is, the more important it will be for him to feel like he can live up to his definition of what saying I love you means.
Thus, instead of prematurely pulling out of the emotional investment necessary to yield those three words, find out what professing love means to him specifically.
3. He's genuinely not in love with you.
Just as you can love someone without being in love, fabulous times, passionate kisses and intimate lovemaking don't necessarily equal love or being in love. It’s easy to assume that the man who bears his soul to you on a regular basis without wanting anyone else must be in love with you.
But as crazy as it sounds, it’s possible for a man to share virtually every aspect of his life with you without being in love with you. As much as he cares about you, he's just not in love with you. While the truth may hurt, it’s important to discern whether he’s closed off to loving you or simply a late bloomer in the falling in love department.
So what should you do if your man won't say I love you?
First, remember that men and women experience and define love in all different ways, so it’s critical for you to refrain from making assumptions when he refrains from saying I love you.
Second, make it a point to learn what your man associates with saying I love you, along with what he believes will be expected of him. Then you’ll have a better understanding of what saying those words mean to him.
Third, check in with yourself and be sure that you aren’t placing greater emphasis on words than what you’re actually experiencing in your relationship. While it’s easy to harp on why he won’t say I love you, it’s equally important to understand why you’re placing so much value on him doing so.
This article was originally published at Charly Sense. Reprinted with permission from the author.