New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), or submit a question for advice.
In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
After we’d been dating for about five months, I told him that I loved him one night while drunk. It wasn’t ideal, and when we talked about it the next day, I made it clear that I didn’t want to pressure him but that was how I felt and I wanted him to know. I’m glad I’ve told him how I feel, but unsure how to take his lack of reciprocation. We’ve spoken about it a few times. He’s brought it up and I’ve brought it up. At one point he asked me what love means to me and I said, “It means I have a lot of good feelings for you, I care about you, and I want to date you for the foreseeable future,” and he said he was on board with those things. He also said at one point that there’s no reason to think he won’t get there eventually and that we should just wait and “see what happens.”
He says it seems like a great level of commitment to say “I love you,” and the only person he’s said that to was the girlfriend he had when he was 16 (now he’s 27). I completely understand that he feels it to be a big step. Since we’ve talked about it some, and had some emotionally-charged discussions where I didn’t necessarily come across as level-headed, I’ve decided that we shouldn’t talk about it anymore. If it happens, it happens. I’m just wondering, what if it doesn’t happen? How long should I wait before I start considering whether to move on? I really love him and what we have together, but I want what you’ve described as the ‘marrow’ of the relationship. I want to make sure that I don’t delude myself into staying with someone who will never get to the level that I’m on. — Waiting Patiently for the L-Word
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.