“She Broke Up With Me Because I Said ‘I Love You’ Too Soon”

I am 57 and was dating a 54-year-old lady. On our ninth date we went wine tasting and dancing, and we had a fantastic day. After I took her home, we kissed for about fifteen minutes, and as I was about to leave, still holding her, the “L-word” slipped out. We went on a date the next night, dancing for hours, I walked her to her car, and I gave her a meal I had prepared for her. We kissed, and, as she got into her car, I asked her to think about our having a relationship.

The next morning there was an email waiting for me telling me she was uncomfortable with the “L word” so soon since she had just gotten out of a previous relationship. She went on to say she thinks it best for us not to see each other anymore. I called her and apologized for my outburst of feelings so soon. She told me that she felt no chemistry with me.

I emailed her the next morning to let her know I would still like being friends with her and that there would be nothing romantic to it. She responded fifteen minutes later with an email that I did not expect from someone who said there was no chemistry with us. She said that she would think about it because she enjoyed my company. So what should I do at this point? — Feeling Chemistry

Accept that she is not interested in a romantic relationship with you, despite enjoying your company. She truly feels no physical chemistry with you, was likely turned off by your proclamation of love after what sounds like a few weeks, and didn’t want to lead you on further, knowing that your feelings for her were much stronger than what she was feeling for you.

You suggested friendship with no romantic strings attached, and she told you she would think about it. I suspect that for you there WILL be strings attached — at least in terms of hoping she’ll come around. I urge you to be honest with yourself about that and to move on if you don’t 100% believe you can have a totally platonic friendship with her and nothing else.

I have been with my boyfriend for a little over a year. He broke up with me for about a month, then it took him another month to convince me that he really wanted me back, and then we started dating again for a month. My issues is that he has not said, “I love you.” He says he doesn’t feel it yet, and he feels that he is going in the right direction and climbing the mountain but that he won’t say it unless he feels it.

I respect his honesty, but I wonder why he would be with me if he doesn’t love me after knowing me for about a year and a half. I told him I don’t think I can wait much longer. I’m 30 and he is 26, and I think we are at different stages of our lives. I love him with all my heart and wish he could love me back. Do you think it’s time for me to move on? Or do I keep waiting? — Still Waiting

What will hearing the “L-word” give you that you don’t have now? Security in the relationship? A feeling that you two ARE on the same page and at the same stage in your lives? A sense that you’re moving in the same direction? Your boyfriend has told you he doesn’t feel love yet. It’s been over a year that you’ve been together. It’s reasonable that you would feel some concern about whether you’re on the same page. I would focus on that, rather than the actual word/expression of love itself.

You mention your ages: Where do you see yourself in five years? Are you thinking about marriage? Parenthood? Is he? Discussing these issues may give you the clarity you’re after — much more than waiting indefinitely to hear the “L-word.” After all, someone can say “I love you” and it doesn’t change much. I suspect you’re craving a change – a move forward. Decide what that looks like for you in a practical, tangible sense, and discuss with your boyfriend whether he’s feeling the same way.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.


  1. GertietheDino says:

    LW3: Dude is totally in a relationship/married and you’re a convenient side-piece. Sorry, block his number and email. Ignore him at work. MOA.

    Really, everyone, MOA.

    1. my thoughts too. that dude is definitely unavailable.

  2. Northern Star says:

    LW 2: If, at his age, and knowing you for a year+, your boyfriend actually says he doesn’t love you—I kinda doubt he ever will. If you’re ready for that kind of commitment from a partner (and thinking ahead to marriage, children, etc.) and he isn’t, it’s time to move on.

    He sounds like the kind of guy who stays with someone who’s “good enough” until he finds the woman he actually wants to marry.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. So often it seems that someone is expecting someone to love them after a period of time when the other person may not have any long term interest in them whatsoever. They are just using them for companionship, sex, whatever, until the right person comes along. Sad, but true. Unfortunately this is common. Just because someone keeps showing up doesn’t mean they love you.

  3. LW 3-are you 100% sure this guy isn’t married? In a relationship? I mean i guess it doesn’t really matter why he’s treating you like this, just that he is, but that is so weird

    1. I think everyone knows this guy is married/in a relationship…everyone except her.

  4. sounds like the last LW’s man is maybe married?

  5. wobster109 says:

    LW1 – You sound like a sweet person. I know it’s not going to feel like much, but the good news is you and she are both being fully honest with each other. She didn’t ghost you or lead you on. Sometimes two people can do everything “right” and still feel disappointed and sad. I know it feels sucky now, but she’s giving you the gift of moving on freely without wondering or wasting a bunch of time and energy chasing a dead end. Best of luck finding someone who loves you too!

    LW2 – Sorry to say, feelings, or even love, aren’t enough to overcome logistics, such as you wanting children (right?) and him not being at that point in his life. Ask him whether he’s ready to marry and have children with you. If he isn’t, then it’s time to move on, not as an ultimatum, but because your goals don’t line up.

  6. Wobster: Huh? Why would she ask him if he’s ready to marry her and have children with her? He has already said he doesn’t love her at this point. If his position is: nope, I don’t love you, but I’m cool about marriage and having children, then it would be time to RUN. But seriously, why ask a question and get shot down, when you already know the answer. Who marries someone they don’t think they love? Not anyone you should want to marry.

    1. wobster109 says:

      Well, she says “I think we are at different stages of our lives”, so I say to use your words and ask, and then you’ll know for sure.

    2. dinoceros says:

      Yeah, asking “Do you envision us getting married at some point?” would make more sense. But if he doesn’t currently love her, then he shouldn’t be ready for marriage. Though I can’t see someone who can’t even be sure they will love someone saying they see themselves getting married too.

  7. dinoceros says:

    LW1: There’s not really anything to do. The ball is in her court. I don’t think being friends is a good idea if you still like someone, though, so let’s hope she let’s it fade out too. The fact that you went into such detail about saying ILY too soon makes me think that you are wondering if there’s anything you can do to fix things, and she’s already said she’s not interested in you romantically, so time to move on. It’s not like she was in love with you, but you saying it messed things up. It just helped her realize that you two were going in different directions.

    LW3: You two aren’t dating. You’re essentially providing him a phone sex service for free. The fact that he treats you so poorly and you just let him is really sad to me.

  8. Guy # 1 I think this woman must have known there was a lack of chemistry after a date or two. I am guessing she kept going out because she liked you okay and enjoyed the “free ” dinners and other activities. This happened to me,met a great guy, but knew soon that I had no romantic feelings and put a stop to things so as to not lead him on unfairly. IMO,she should have declined to quit dating way before you dropped the love bomb. Also,if you stay friends-you will either wish for more or be missing out on a woman who you could have a relationship with. MOA
    lw #2 He broke up-you CONVINCED him to try again. If you have to CONVINCE someone to date/love you,well….not good a sign. MOA
    lw# You are being used and foolish as heck-forget this guy and find somebody to actually date and treat you right- this is sad.

    1. dinoceros says:

      Yeah, I think some people are bad at cutting people loose early. A friend of mine will keep going out with guys that you can tell she’s not into because they are good on paper and she has fun with them. I think a part of her thinks she might start liking them more as time goes on. It’s often the point where the guy indicates he wants something more that it dawns on her that she’s never going to be into him.

    2. London,

      I think you’ve misread what LW2 said about their break-up – She didn’t spend a month convincing him to take her back, he spent a month convincing her. So I would say that he did show more than a bit of interest, and it is not a case of the LW simply chasing someone who is detached or uncommitted.

  9. ele4phant says:

    LW1 – Do you even know someone after nine dates? Let’s say you went out with her once a week. So, it’s been barely more than two months.

    You don’t love her, you don’t even really know her. You love the idea of her. You love the idea of being in love.

    If someone told me they loved me after two months, I would freak out and nope out of there. And if I didn’t feel a physical connection to them, then definitely. Thanks but no thanks.

  10. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

    From LW2:

    “You are very correct, and what I would like is a change in the moving forward, eg. Talking about the future together, a trip together- which we don’t really do. I’d like to be married and starting a family in 5 years, he agreed he would like the same thing. He does feel like we are going in the right direction, but he agrees we are at different places/stages. I am going to have more of a conversation with him about things tonight, and I will not focus on the unsaid L-word but instead about as you said: what I would like in a practical, tangible sense, of moving forward in the relationship. “

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