I get that he has had some major relationship traumas like being cheated on and having the last long-term girlfriend dump him over text on his birthday after a year together. Even there he said he had feelings (not love, but feeings) and never told her. How long do I wait and what happens if it’s years from now and he hasn’t said it? He “doesn’t do emotions well,” so I’m not sure what to do. I just know that his actions make me feel loved and it’s not a lust thing because we only have sex every few months, so he’s with me for me, obviously. — Feeling Loved But Not Feeling Loved
Ok, I haven’t done a “he hasn’t said ‘I love you'” post in a while and my in-box has been pretty empty for the past few weeks, so I guess I’ll answer this one, but for the record, if you did even a minimal search on my site, you’d find literally three pages of columns addressing this one issue. Honestly, I’m not sure what I can say to you that hasn’t already been said ad nauseam on this site alone, but I’ll try. I’m also deeply intrigued over why you only have sex every few months! What is that about? Obviously, you aren’t a virgin and you aren’t waiting for anything. You’ve already had sex together; you just don’t do it regularly, I guess? I think that’s worth some investigating, especially as it might relate to your boyfriend “not doing emotions well.”
Another thing worth exploring is WHY it’s so important to you to hear your boyfriend say “I love you.” If you’re already inseparable and you already feel loved, what’s missing that you think those three little words will give you that you don’t already have? If there’s something missing, and you worry that your boyfriend has an emotional block that keeps him from feeling actual love, let alone verbally expressing love, why are you are committed to him? When it took five months of dating before he could actually call what you had a relationship – you don’t have to explicitly tell me he was the one holding that up – it’s obvious! – why have you practically moved in together just a few months later? Even with the most emotionally available people, it seems a little fast to go from calling your relationship a relationship to spending every single night together and paying each other’s bills and making plans to build a house together just a few months later.
I think you must know on some level that you’ve been moving quickly and you are seeking the “l-word” as validation for the speed, or confirmation that the feelings you each have match the actions you’re taking. And you’re not getting that confirmation. And since you cannot control your boyfriend’s feelings or the way he expresses them, focus on what you CAN control. You can slow the pace of your relationship – essentially, the actions you’re taking to propel things forward – to better match the feelings that have been expressed. Your boyfriend has literally told you he is not emotionally at “love” yet despite really liking you and caring for you. Maybe you shouldn’t be helping someone with his bills who doesn’t love you. Maybe you shouldn’t be spending every single day together. Maybe you should hit the pause button on planning your dream house together, because those are actions that create expectations that are not being met, which makes the disappointment so much more acute.
So, in short: Pump the brakes a bit, and maybe consider having sex more than every few months.
I then found out that Henry is still in contact with his ex, chatting with her on the phone regularly. He says it’s nothing and I left it at that, but I still get this uneasy feeling that there is something more. I have spoken to him numerous times about how I am uncomfortable with it, and he told me to get over it and said nothing will happen between them.
Recently, I saw messages between the two of them about his going over to “drop something off.” She responded, telling him to let her know if he was still coming up and that she was in the bath at the moment, etc. When I tried speaking to him about it again, he brushed it off and said nothing is happening and he wants to be with me. It’s been months since they broke up and he has moved out, but he still hasn’t made things official with me. His excuse is he can’t be in a relationship with someone he doesn’t know well, but I can’t help but think that the reason he hasn’t made things official with me is because he still has feelings for her. — Ready to Progress
It doesn’t matter what the reason is that Henry isn’t making your relationship official, does it? You want things to progress with Henry and he doesn’t, and that’s really all that’s important here. That you are uncomfortable with the post-breakup relationship he shares with the fianceé he broke up with just a few months ago and was still living with when you two started dating is only further evidence that he is not a match for you at this time. He was not physically available to you in any serious way when you started dating, and he is still not emotionally available to you and there’s no sign that he will be any time soon. You need to move on before you torture yourself trying to figure out what his feelings are. His feelings are very clear: He doesn’t want what you want. MOA.