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If you’re madly in love with your boyfriend but he doesn’t seem to feel the same way, you’re probably feeling very confused and upset right now.
That is totally valid – it’s stressful, especially if you’ve been together for a while, things are generally great between you, and feel like you both should be at that stage.
There are a number of reasons he might not say ‘I love you’ back, or that he’s not said he loves you yet – and they’re not all bad, we promise!
We’ll run through 6 reasons he’s not yet expressed his love for you, and what to do about it…
1. He’s doesn’t know how he feels yet.
This is probably the most common reason that guys take longer to say they love you!
Women tend to be a lot quicker to develop deeper feelings, and we often know quite soon if things are going to work out long-term with someone. We know how we feel, and we want to share it with our boyfriend.
Many guys, on the other hand, find it harder to figure out how they’re really feeling. They can often take longer to work out how they feel about the relationship, or whether or not they see things going somewhere serious.
Some guys feel pressured to settle down, even if they do really like the person they’re with. This can make it confusing when it comes to expressing their feelings, which is why he might not have said he loves you yet.
It’s not that he doesn’t love you, it’s just that he’s not 100% sure he does – and there is a difference!
He won’t want to hurt you by saying something he’s not sure he means, so he’s waiting until he knows for sure.
He’ll know how important it is to you, which is why he wants to check he’s absolutely feeling that way before he says it aloud to you.
2. He’s scared of rejection.
Even if you’ve made it very clear you love your boyfriend, he might be worried he’ll get hurt or rejected by you.
This might be because of relationships he’s had in the past that have ended badly, or because he’s opened up to someone who’s taken advantage of him.
He might not have had very good experiences and will therefore feel very uncomfortable with emotional vulnerability.
This isn’t your fault, but you might want to take some steps to reassure him and prove how committed you are – without putting pressure on him.
Show him support, prove how loyal you are and how much compassion you have for him. Make him feel secure and safe in the relationship, and show him that you trust him by opening up more.
This will help him realize that it’s a two-way street and he’ll start to trust you more in return.
The more confident and comfortable he feels with you, and in the relationship itself, the more likely he is to say he loves you back – all in his own time and on his terms.
3. He’s never said it before.
He might not have had an openly-loving experience growing up. Maybe his family never really said it, or his past partners haven’t said it. It might be that he’s never really reached that stage with anyone before, and he’s reluctant to say he loves you yet because he doesn’t know how to!
Telling someone you love them can feel really daunting – it’s a big deal, after all.
He might be nervous in case you change your mind, or he might have friends telling him he’s silly for saying it. He could be nervous about saying he loves you for the first time for a lot of reasons!
It’s hard to be patient sometimes, we know, especially when you’ve made it really clear how you feel.
He might be waiting for the perfect time to say it, as he’s never said it before and wants to get it ‘right.’
He probably doesn’t want to just announce it when he’s drunk or when you’re in bed together in case you think he’s just saying it because he’s been drinking or because he likes having sex with you!
He might want to say it for the first time (to you, and ever) in a romantic setting, and might be working up the courage to do it as we speak.
4. He needs more time.
The worst thing you can do is rush a guy, take it from experience! The more pressure you put on him, the more he’s going to get frustrated or confused, and the more he’ll want to pull away.
As we’ll detail below, there are often some commitment issues around saying ‘I love you.’ To most people, it feels like a pretty big deal – and rightly so.
If you keep telling him how much you love him and then stare at him expectantly, he’s going to get annoyed.
You can’t force him into anything, but the more you act like you want to, the more he’s going to feel trapped. This will quickly turn into feelings of resentment, which can sadly end with him ending the relationship entirely.
Rather than trying to rush anything or guilt-trip him into say he loves you back, give him some time and space.
It’s okay to let him know how you feel from time to time, but forcing a conversation or trying to manipulate someone into saying something will never end well.
The more freedom and autonomy he has in the relationship, the more he can ‘own’ his thoughts and feelings – and the better he’ll then feel about expressing them when he’s ready.
Forcing someone to say they love you never feels good, because you’ll never know if they do actually feel that way or they just feel like they have to say it. Letting him do it on his terms also means that you’ll know for sure that he means it when he says it!
5. He’s afraid of commitment.
He might be worried that once you’ve both said you love each other, things will drastically change.
To some guys, making things exclusive, putting a label on it, or expressing your feelings for each other is a one-way ticket to marriage and two kids.
It might sound silly, but it’s a fear that a lot of people have. Telling someone you love them is officially committing to them, and that can be very scary.
It’s not that he doesn’t love you; it’s just that he’s worried about how saying that might change things.
He might panic that you’ll then want to speed things up and find a place to move in together, for example. To some guys, ‘I love you’ means the end of independence and alone time.
To their credit, they might have had ex-partners who’ve fulfilled that fear, or they’ve had friends whose girlfriends have said ‘I love you’ and then started talking about babies!
Either way, he might be worried that it means a bigger commitment that it really does, even if he does feel that way too.
6. He’s saying it in other ways.
If you’re getting frustrated or upset that your boyfriend hasn’t said he loves you yet, it’s worth considering other things he says or does.
He might not say those three little words outright, but you can look at how he expresses his feelings in some different ways.
If he texts you good morning or goodnight every day, he definitely cares about you. Maybe he cooks nice meals for you, or kisses you on the forehead and tucks you into bed. Maybe he checks you get home safe or he surprises you with little things that make you smile.
Think about the things he says to you – maybe he lets you know how happy you make him, or how much he enjoys spending time with you.
It might be that he calls you just to see how your day was, or wishes you good luck for a big presentation at work.
Maybe he regularly tells you how grateful he is for things you do for him or how proud he is of the things you’re achieving in life.
We sometimes get so wrapped up in the importance of those three little words that we ignore all the other ways people show us they love us.
While it’s lovely to hear someone say ‘I love you’ back to us, it’s not the most important thing in a relationship.
There are many reasons he might not have said he loves you yet, or hasn’t said it back to you, and you might never truly know what his is.
Instead, pay attention to how he makes you feel and the way he acts and talks to you. Listen to your gut instinct and trust that, if things are right, he’ll say those three words when he’s ready.
Still not sure what to do about your boyfriend and whether or not he loves you? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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