Hi Nina, this is a question no one but your boyfriend can answer. Either he does not and may not ever love you, or he thinks he might but is not sure, or he does, but can’t express it.
In general, I think if he has not said it by now,then that is your answer. Many people who fall in love and are serious, get engaged after a year together and you are close to that now.
The only thing, I read in a dating book, was some men want to “lead” and by you going
first with the “love you” , you either pressured him or stole his “thunder”. I am not saying this is right or what happened but it could be related.
You could make a deadline in your mind,say 10 months or a year and if things remain the same, then tell him that you feel you are more invested in the relationship than he is, and break it off. I guess it depends if you really love him and hope for a serious commitment from him specifically or you just want to be married? Examine why you love him.
I think your thoughts are reasonable,but really understand your motives. I also think you have intuition and gut feelings you can rely on..do you feel by all his actions that he does love you, or are you thinking he does not or cannot? If you don’t want to wait, as suggested above, you could just be frank and say that you love him and enjoy the relationship you have,but are afraid you want more from him than he can or will give you. See how he responds and decide what to do from there. He will either ‘step up’ or admit he is not “feeling it” and then you can move on together or apart.