Ask A Dude: The Big “I Love You”
By The Dude
I’m a junior in college and last year I started dating one of the most amazing guys ever. He and I have been together for over 6 months now. Last month I told him that I loved him, because I do. I am absolutely in love with him. His response? “Thank you. That was very brave of you.”
It’s been a month now, and he still hasn’t told me that he loves me, yet he’ll say it with complete ease to his male housemates, as some sort of parting phrase. How can he say it so easily to them, and not be able to say it to me? Will he ever say it? Or am I just wasting my time on a man who can’t bring himself to
All the best,
Your boyfriend is certainly right about one thing: it is really brave to be the first person to say “I love you” in a relationship. Despite this being a very trusting gesture on your part, not everyone finds this kind of trust and bravery as easily when dating. Although there are a variety of reasons why your boyfriend hasn’t said those three magic words yet (a rocky childhood, a previously broken heart or not enough exposure to chick flicks at a young age), there is one important secret to every good relationship: communication.
Yes, you have successfully communicated your current feelings, but unfortunately, your boyfriend might take a lot more work, patience and time in order to feel more comfortable. Try to step back, assess the kind of person that he is, and if you feel that he’s mature enough to discuss this with you (which is the best case scenario), bring it to his attention. Address the issue gently, don’t push the point, and approach it with the goal of simply figuring out his thoughts on the situation. For example, is it ok with him that you said this? Does it make him uncomfortable if you continue to say it?
But whatever you do, do not go into the conversation with an end desire in mind or final ultimatum in place (because who wants a disingenuous reflex as the first utterance of I.L.Y?).
However, if your boyfriend is unable to talk this over (or if you can’t even approach him on the matter), it might be time to reevaluate if this is really the guy for you. A relationship is built on mutual trust, communication and continued compromise, and no amount of “I love you’s” can make up for that.
Good luck. Be brave. Talk it out.
[Got a question for El Dude? (And, no, that doesn't include asking him out; homeboy is taken!) Ask it: email@example.com. He won't sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or any other weird cliche that means lie to you. He'll be 100% real dude, 100% of the time. So bring it on, ladies.]