What It Really Means When He No Longer Says 'I Love You'

Does it mean he's lost his feelings?

Last updated on May 31, 2024

Showing he loves you instead of saying it Vlada Karpovich | Canva

It's not rare for a client to confess that their partner no longer says, "I love you." They'll then express the heart-wrenching pain and the fear that maybe their husband is falling out of love with them. They start to question, "Does he love me?" 

Though our instinct is to move away from the pain by numbing (thank you, ice cream!), the best way to begin untangling our shame and pain is to step back and ask ourselves how our partner communicates. Often, it isn't that anyone has fallen "out of love." It's just that as time goes by and we move beyond courtship, people in relationships demonstrate their love with their own preferred love language (or a combination of love languages). 


If your partner no longer says 'I love you', it's the perfect time to figure out how he (and you) really communicate love:

1. Words of affirmation

When a client frets that her husband doesn't send romantic texts or say, "I love you," this clues me in that her love language is affirming words. Hearing or reading words of affection makes her feel supported and cared for. If your spouse's love language is words, remember that insults are usually taken to heart and a great way to build intimacy is to verbally praise your partner and put notes in his lunch box. Wasn't it Elvis who asked for a little less conversation and a lot more action? For some people, actions speak louder than words. Doing tasks like making his lunch and matching up his suits with shirts and ties speaks volumes. 

@qaisarali1742 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲 #life #foryou #fyp #lovelife #emotional #relationship #romentically ♬ Love Me Too - 池约翰C.J & Shelby Natasha

RELATED: 15 Ways Guys Say 'I Love You' Without Ever Saying A Word

2. Acts of service

Does your sweetie bring you thoughtful gifts? Then it's probable that his love language is receiving gifts. This isn't about materialism, it's simply that the receipt of thoughtful gifts expresses the feeling behind the gift. If your partner’s love language is receiving gifts, then forgetting a birthday or anniversary is hurtful. Saying "I love you" during the course of an ordinary week with flowers or a book by a favorite author will speak volumes.

RELATED: Which Of The 5 Love Languages Do You Speak? How To Find Out


3. Quality time

Though we all enjoy quality time with our partner, receiving a partner’s undivided attention is what some crave. For a person whose love language is Quality Time, nothing says "I love you" like a quiet dinner with conversation. Want to make your partner feel truly special? Turn off the TV, put your iPhone down, and listen in! Quality time means sharing not only quality conversation but participating in activities together. 

@mattcama23 How to speak your partners love language when its quality time ⏰ #lovelanguages #lovelanguage #qualitytime ♬ original sound - Matt Cama | Relationship Coach

RELATED: The Sixth, Hidden Love Language — Revealed

4. Physical touch

And then there are those of us for whom having our hand held feels like love. Physical touch isn't just about a rich life; it's about the affirmation of love through stroking or caressing our partner.  Hugs, kisses, and the stroking of your spouse's arm are all ways to show interest. It also fosters feelings of security and belonging. As anticipated, my client realized that her husband regularly makes her lunch, folds the laundry, and always brings her funny gifts when he travels. Though he may not say those three words, he expresses them through actions and gifts.


RELATED: 10 Subtle Ways Your Guy Is Secretly Saying 'I Love You'

Debra Smouse is a life coach and author whose work has been published in TIME, Huffington Post, MSN, Psychology Today, and more.