- February 25, 2020 at 8:16 am #876312Dear WendyKeymaster
From a LW:
“I’m asking for advice because I don’t really have anyone to talk to. Besides my boyfriend or coworkers. I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years now. He hasn’t said I love you yet. We have lived together for a year now. I am wondering if it’s never going to happen. It’s not that I’m even in a rush to hear it, but it’s been 2 years. By far, the longest relationship I’ve ever been in. Time just keeps passing, and I just keep waiting because I am in love with him. It probably doesn’t help that I have anxiety disorder and I over think everything. Me and him both have had pretty much the worst relationships in the world. We’ve both been cheated on a lot. I remember him telling me that it takes him awhile to say I love you because of what he has been through. He said that during the first few months in our relationship. But of course over text. He does not talk about his feelings in person. He is a great boyfriend in general. I just wish he could be open with me. Even though we spend all of our time together, I still end up feeling lonely because no feelings are spoken of. We both go to work, and then come home. We go everywhere together, the store, shopping etc. I guess my question is, should I keep on waiting on him to say it? Or should I tell him that I love him?
-An emotionally drained girlfriend.”February 25, 2020 at 8:24 am #876315FyodorGuest
If you love someone, tell him that you love him. Love is meant to be shared. Maybe he will reciprocate. Maybe he won’t. Your relationship will probably need to improve its communication skills. He may not end up being the guy for you. I don’t know. But if you love him, tell him so. If he were hit by a bus tomorrow, would you want him to die without knowing that you loved him?February 25, 2020 at 8:58 am #876318briseGuest
Three thoughts: if you want someone to open up, open up yourself. So yes, say it. Don’t expect an immediate reciprocity, but do have conversations about feelings. Not necessarily about romantic feelings, but confidential conversations about childhood memories, best/worst memory, best/worst travel experience, and so on.
Second: you are way too dependent on him. Do meet other people and socialise more by yourself. The more independent you are, the more chances you have to hear those words from your partner. The more glued you are to him, the more he will take you for granted.
Last: don’t focus on words. Focus on the relationship and its direction. Do you have common projects? Are you going forward together? That is the real thing.February 25, 2020 at 9:22 am #876322anonymousseParticipant
Do you love him, though? You are lonely. You spend all your time with him, but you’re lacking a deeper connection where you feel comfortable being vulnerable with him. You’re too anxious to open up. I wonder if you truly do love him. Being dependent or reliant on someone isn’t necessarily love.
It’s strange, I think, to be in a relationship where you are completely dependent upon someone else but also very lonely. Maybe this relationship isn’t as fulfilling as you would like to believe. It is possibly holding you back from other relationships and things that could expand your social circle.
A relationship shouldn’t be your only source of social interaction. But I do wonder why if this is such a good relationship, you still feel so lonely. A guy can be “a great boyfriend” in general and not be the right boyfriend for you. To be honest, I think you need to try and put yourself out there and make some new acquaintances and put some real work into making friends. You can do this alone, or as a couple.February 25, 2020 at 8:04 pm #876348mellantheParticipant
Anxiety is a PITA and I’m sorry you’re dealing with it.
It sounds like he, as many people do, struggles to share his feelings. This can be hard, particularly with a complex past or if you’ve grown up in an environment where feelings just aren’t shared. It can be learned, but you may need to accept that he may always be less vocally affectionate than some people whose main love language is verbal. But getting past that is going to require time and work from both of you, maybe even some professional help if he’ll take it. You can’t change him, so you need to think about whether this is something you can grow together with, or whether you just need someone who can give more.
Does he show you he loves you in other ways? Take a look at the love languages and think about the ways in which he may already be affectionate. From your letter it’s hard to say what the rest of your relationship is like – apart from the fact he hasn’t said those three words and you feel lonely and don’t talk about emotions.
You can start by talking to him. Bit by bit. You can work up to it with talking about how important he is to you, etc if it’s hard. But if you feel it, eventually it may be time to say it and see what happens. It doesn’t often happen at the same time for both partners, so he may not be ready yet – but even so, he’ll know how you feel, and it can be used to start a conversation about how you feel together. Most relationships can benefit from better communication, and the more you try, the easier itll get.
If you absolutely need someone to say things like that often, and he can’t bring himself to, you may eventually be better off with a partner who can give you affection in the ways you need. It’s OK, we’re all different. Some people like gifts, others don’t care. Some are very PDA-focused, others aren’t. Some need lots of affirmations, others need less. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be told that you are loved. But plenty of people find that as long as they are shown love, the words arent’ as important. That’ not to say they shouldn’t be for you, though. That said, it sounds like the issues might run deeper. If he said he loves you, would that make you feel less lonely?
As others have said, you need friends, and other sources of affection and support and fun. A partner cannot be your entire world, no matter how great they are. I don’t know if you feel lonely because you have no other friends outside him, or because he hasn’t been affectionate enough for you. Regardless, he also isn’t there to 100% fix your loneliness for you – because you’re not missing a boyfriend, you’re missing friends. And a partner cannot replace that.