He can't say "I Love You"....

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
He can't say "I Love You"....
Mon, 04-14-2014 - 10:36am

I've  been with this guy for 7 months and immediately we fell for each other.  Although we live in separate states, I'm a flight attendant and fly to his home and stay there for days at a time.  The first few months we were together he'd hug/kiss me and say " I love you" . On NYE at midnight he said, "I love you and I mean that". Valentines Day came and went without him doing anything for me.(he says its just a Hallmark holiday)  And now he says, I will never tell another woman I love her, since every woman I've told that to has broken my heart.  So now all he says is "I really like you", or "I like you a lot".  Really?!?!?! I think he's being stupid and it hurts my feelings. He says that he conveys his feelings to me in other ways, and saying those three words shouldn't matter. I know he loves me.  But I'm hung up on this ILY thing.  When I hear those words, it sends good feelings throughout my body.  I love this man and can see us spending the rest of our lives together. I'm wondering if it's time to just move on.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Mon, 04-14-2014 - 10:56am

It's not the words, it's the thoughts behind them.........and HIS thoughts are that he doesn't trust any woman, including you.  HE has a problem, and you need to move on.  He's insecure.......and he will never trust you or any other woman.  In the beginning, it was all sunshine and roses.  Now he's had time to think about it, and he's SURE you're going to be like everyone else......dump him, lie to him, cheat on him, or whatever.  He TOLD you that every woman he's ever loved or thought he loved has hurt him, and I'll bet the first one was his mother.  You can't fix him, you will never prove that you love him and won't hurt him, and his insecurities will drive you crazy.  Especially with your job.......he is already envisioning you with a good looking pilot, or a wealthy passenger. 

I was married to an insecure man, and there is nothing you can say or do to prove your love.  He is SURE you will lie to him, cheat on him, and hurt him.  Six or seven months is when the TRUE person comes out, no more on "best behavior" and you're seeing what you have to look forward to.  Now, it's "every woman"..........eventually it will be "you".  YOU looked at another man......YOU were gone too long, who did you talk to?........YOU didn't answer the phone, who were you with?.  Move on........don't waste anymore time on this guy. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Mon, 04-14-2014 - 7:54pm

Things seem to be going backwards in this relationship. There are some people who have a fear of saying those words and take a very long time to say them but they show you their love in so many other ways that you have no doubt of it. This man didn't have that problem so what brought it on suddenly? Have you asked him WHY he was able to say ILY for the first few months and why he now says he will never tell a woman those words? And how did you go from being the love of his life to just "a woman"?

Because ILY is important for you to hear, if he does love you then he should be willing to say it sometimes just to make you happy.

I'd guess that his feelings have cooled off to the point that he's not so sure that it is love anymore. All the stuff about "every woman I've said that to has broken my heart" is dramatic but doesn't address the real questions: does he really still feel the same about you and does this relationship have a future? Or is he trying to back out now by lessening his emotional involvement until one day you realize that he's no longer there?

Your last comment about wondering if its time to move on makes me wonder if you're getting a gut feeling that he's not that into it anymore and the broken heart statements are a way to deflect the real issues?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Tue, 04-15-2014 - 11:07am

His emotional baggage is his problem and basically you're being tried for a crime you didn't commit. If he bars himself from loving you, then why would you waste a second on a broken person? Don't you deserve someone who will fully give you his heart? Two of the women my husband had past relationships with before meeting me, cheated on him. When he met me, he let himself fall totally in love with me, and has never been suspicious or worried that I would cheat on him. If I went out to dinner with a girlfriend, he told me to have a good time.

There are emotionally mature men out there who have their x$@@  together. It takes a lot of sifting through sand to find the treasure, but worth the effort. My friend had a man much like your own. While women all around her got fowers and candy for Valentines day, she was left high and dry and given the same reason your man gave you. Sure, that can be his thoughts on the holiday, but in that case, I think a woman's feelings should be considered first. He also never told her he loved her after 3 years together, and she found out he was communicating with exes and they broke up. She's now married to a man who dotes on her and tells her he loves her all the time. Don't settle!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2010
Thu, 04-17-2014 - 1:03am

Well, does he show you his feeilngs for you in other ways? Some people just don't like the "mushy" stuff, saying "I love you," Valentine's Day gifts, etc. To get at his true feelings for you, I'd always look at what he does over what he says. The "every woman I've said 'I love you to' left me" thing, can be along the same lines, maybe a bit overdramatic but, in itself, not necessarily any big red flag there either.

I recommend the book The Seven Languages of Love. We all have ways that we like to show and receive love and if we're not given love in that way or given love in another way, and don't recognize the different styles, it can lead to big misunderstandings. For example, there are verbal affirmations (like "I love you"), gifts, services, touch, sex... The book includes a quiz for finding and comparing your styles. Also, once he understands how - and why- you feel as you do, maybe he'll get it and be more accommodating.

Of course, this all assumes that the problem is just different styles of showing love. That's how I read your post but I could be wrong... Keep us posted and good luck.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Sun, 04-20-2014 - 5:48pm

Thank you all for your opinions, they are all very informative and thought-provoking. Fruitbat's comments went to the right spot, however.  I do believe that people show love in many different ways and I'm going to have to be more open to this. I do have the book "Seven Love Languages", but I have never read it.  I think it's time. My boyfriend and I are practically living together. He asked me to please start keeping clothes/belongings at his house after only a few months of dating, which I have done. He has told me I am perfect for him in every way. Our relationship is solid, except for this one thing. I think eventually those three words will come out of his mouth, and when they do, I think it will be at a major crossroads in our lives.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2012
Sat, 04-26-2014 - 5:44pm

There are two problems here IMHO. One, your bf is incredibly insecure.  Two, you are in love with him.  I am sure, from what you have shared, that he has been hurt in love affairs. But I doubt his problem started there.  It sounds like he never had a foundation for ever becoming a well adjusted adult.  When one is insecure it doesn't take a lot to magnify the feelings of inadequacy.  And, it appears, that has happened to him.  Now he sees you as another person who is going to see him worthless--that's how sees himsefl--in a process called "projection".  His is PROJECTING his feelings about himself on you.  It is a losing situation for you unless he seeks psychological counseling or you seek counseling together.  (This is your call but, were I you, I would proceed into therapy with him cautiously).  The reason he won't tell you that he loves you is because it makes him feel more vulnerable should--in his mind "when"--you reject him.  That's just my guess.  Now watch the next 4 points:   (1)He asked me to please start keeping clothes/belongings at his house after only a few months of dating, which I have done. "(2)He has told me I am perfect for him in every way. (3)Our relationship is solid, except for this one thing. (4)I think eventually those three words will come out of his mouth, and when they do, I think it will be at a major crossroads in our lives." (1)His clothing in your home is a not so subtle way of keeping an attachment to you.  I think you will be able to see this better in a few sentences. (2)Well, yeah. He wants you to stay around and not dump him.  (3) No, your relationship is not solid in every other way.  It is very fragile. (4) Unless bf makes some significant changes, which will take help, those three words will never come from his mouth comfortably, if at all. I think you state what you believe but don't want to face when you wrote, "I'm wondering if it's time to just move on."  The very best of luck to you.  You will need a lot of more keen introspection and a bit of courage too.