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why won't he say "I love you".

Published on June 6, 2009 by noizy

We've been together a long time. His actions clearly show his love for me, but to never hear him say it breaks my heart. He says he wants to be sure before he says it because he has never been in love.


I can relate to an extent. Those 3 words have a lot of meaning! If you ask me, it's one of THE most tossed around phrases! While it is such an important element, a person should be sure they not only feel that way, but have the actions to back it up! Define "a long time"? Someone can't be rushed into feeling something they don't, or say something they don't mean. After all, don't you want him to do both those things?! Have YOU been able to say it yourself?! Do YOUR actions provide him the confidence to be able to reciprocate to you?! I say enjoy his actions, he should be able to work up to that some time if you both allow things to grow! If not don't waste time harvesting something that is not there.

I dated a man for a year. He never said I love you, even when I said it to him. I wasn't bothered by this initially, because it was early, and I know men can be weird about these three little words. I certainly felt loved! His actions were very very loving! But when I showed signs that I was committed to him, that I was in this for a very long haul, he freaked. My birthday gift was not nearly as romantic as my Christmas gift had been, certain things he said and brought up were different and even though I ignored little things like this, I knew things were coming to a close. He met with me to tell me he didn't have "deep enough feelings" for me. I was so confused for so long, because he showed me that he loved me. It tooks months of counselling and thinking about this that I finally he realized: he had lied. It was not intentional. He is incapable of having deep feelings for anyone, not just me, as he is approaching 50 and has never been married. My counsellor and I have determined it had to do with the physical abuse he witnessed his father give his mother, when he was at a very young age. He shuts out deep feelings to prevent getting hurt. And he doesn't even know that he does this. He will likely be a bachelor forever. This was my experience, and may not be like yours at all, but it's worth thinking about, if he can't get emotionally close to you, it may have nothing to do with you at all. It could be him.

Noizy, If this is important to you, you need to tell him. His desire for time is OK but if it is a question of losing you or keeping you, he should tell you how he feels. It is strange for a guy to hold back so I think there is something more to this. Talk to him about your feelings and try to understand what more there is to this.

There's always the chance that he doesn't really love you and respects you enough not to lie. It could be the fear that once he says the words, you will have power over him. I can relate. We both know it, but neither of us says it because we're happy as we are and aren't ready to become half of a couple; we enjoy having our own lives without having to check-in with the other person.

Many reasons why a man won't say I love you. All of them need your patience and understanding. Personality - the be-strong stiff-upper-lip type who needs much patience and gentle reassurance that he is worthy of love and is able to give it. Experience - believe it or not, some men never felt themselves to be loved by their mothers and so do not really understand what it is to receive or to give love: this manever change and you have to decide if you can liove with it. It doesn't mena they don't feel love, just that they have no way of knowing how to deal with it. Self-protection - he doesn't want to hurt, be that the domestic violence scene described by Tangosmoosh (and I was that beaten mother too) or be it bad past realtionships or whatever. Unsureness - he really is not sure in his head if he loves you and respects you enough and respects the concept of love enough not to want to say it unless it is an absolute truth. Actions speak louder than words and, as the advertising creatives say, show me don't tell me. Have you thought of asking him to explore his own feeling on the matter. Make it a factual conversation, not a neeedy one. If he thinks you require him to say the words, it won't work. Just explain that you would like to know if he feels love for you and that his answer will be accepted and you want him to be honest. If he says he doesn't know and he can't think about it, accept that as okay and ask why he thinks that might be. But don't push beyond that point. Keep reminding yourself of his loving actions. I would suggest that at some much later point (a few months) and as a separate conversation, you might ask him whether he has thiought about where he would like the raltionship to be going. again, make it a factual information-gathering exercise, not a needy-looking demand for a change in status. Make yourself sound just interested, as a friend might be. Keep the pressure off, off, off. This is critical. Remember it may that he does not love you in a committed way, and if this is so so will have to accpet it. If he does love you but for some reason can't recognise or accept that, it may help him access his feelings if you asked him how he would feel if you two were not together. Again, don't imply any threat of leaving and make it clear you are not thinking that way but are simply trying to establish information and gain a better understanding of him becasuse you care about him enough to ask. There is enormous social pressure to do the love thing in our culture and this in itself makes some peole reluctant to over-express. not knowing your man, I can only look at thp ossibilities here, and it is likely to be complex. Whatever the scenario, the important thing for you is to be gentle in yoiur questioning, be factual, and keep the pressure off him. if you need to feel loved, go away by yourself and tel yourself he loves you but he just can't say it yet -if this is what you feel is the truth. Just one more thing - it is better it be this way than the other way round. I had a husband who constantly told me he loved me and he battered me until he almost killed me. Proof of the pudding is in the eating. Keep strong. You obviously love him enough to care enough to have asked the question. Don't know if you are strong enough together for you to tell him you asked the question and discuss the answers with him? Best of luck.