iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2011
Mon, 11-28-2011 - 3:24am
I have been dating my boyfriend for about 15 months now. Neither of is has said 'I love you' to the other.

He's a divorced father of three young boys. He was married for over ten years to the boy's mother. He's a wonderful father and tells them all he loves them, often. I'm as involved as I can be with everyone without marriage. We do not live together and agree and work toward building as strong a Christian based home as possible for the kids in this situation.

The kids come first. I was raised that way, so was he. That was part of the kids mothers reasons for divorce,actually... He spent too much time with the kids.... It's hard, sometimes, and I feel a little lonely sometimes, but it's the right way.

The kids and I have an excellent relationship. Honestly, reading posts by some woman in my place, my case is a rarity... I mean excellent relationship, without status of 'mom' because no matter what I'd do and how awful she is, I'm still not mom...
Though, I wish I were...

My boyfriend is around ten years older than I (just what I needed, actually...hence my screen name.)
I have never been married and have no children of my own, though I'd love to...and my boyfriend wold love more children one day.

My boyfriend and I have talked about marriage, a future, everything.... It all seems agreeable. He's old fashioned and still shocked he went through divorce as he describes it 'not an option after the vows' (she served papers).

I've dated a few people. My longest relationship was around five years on and off. It was abusive, and I finally ended it for good. The few others I had were headed nowhere fast and I was upset when it was over.

I'm a good person. I pride myself on trying to be as good as I can be to everyone. I do make mistakes, but I try,

My boyfriend is the greatest man I know. I'm not in that annoying 'blind-love' stupid stage. He just is, and that's fact... I don't have many complaints about him. I know the bad type, the okay-type, the jerk, the self-centered, the stupid....etc... Met them all.

This man is wonderful... Clueless, sometimes ;) but, man....he's got one heck of a heart... And I've yet to meet a soul who dislikes him...

Yet, I can't say 'I love you'. I know a lot of it for me has to do with being burned so many times...
I'm thinking a lot of it for him has to do with being burned so many times by the same woman. Also, he had three other lives affected by every choice he makes now...

I'm not even sure if 'I love you' means what I thought it did. For awhile, all I knew was that 'puppy dog' love.. But there's so much the love I THINK I may have for my boyfriend: RESPECT. He deserves it.

So... I guess I just want opinions on this... There's so much more to it... Questions are happily accepted and answered..

So who says it first? Man with kids who knows what undying love is? Woman who might actually feel it? Many questions here...
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Mon, 11-28-2011 - 6:08am

Oldsoul, the person who says "I love you" first is the one who wants to say it first.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2006
Mon, 11-28-2011 - 7:23am
It really doesn't matter that the man "looks good on paper" if you aren't in love with him....and from what I just read, it doesnt sound like you are. What I read says that you are in love with the "life" that you want for yourself--a couple of children and a kind, respectable husband who is devoted to his family....and while he offers "almost" all that, the one thing that is missing is that the passion of being in love. I can actually envision you standing outside a window looking in on him and his children, wanting so much to walk through the door to be a part of that life, but you don't have the key. Perhaps it would help if you were to set aside his fine attributes as a father and your respect for him & let yourself focus on what it is you feel for him as a lover, partner & friend. How do you feel when he looks at you or touches you? Instead of describing how wonderful he is in the context of his own life as a father & family man, ask yourself how is he wonderful to you? While it is certainly possible to be happily married into a "pre-existing" family, perhaps what you really want one of your own with a man who you love even more than the dream.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 11-28-2011 - 11:23am

I agree w/ what the other 2 posters said--do you actually feel like you love him?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2011
Mon, 11-28-2011 - 12:01pm
The reason for the divorce wasnt because he put the kids first.. That's one thing she SAID was her reasoning. But you'd have to know this woman. Nothing makes her happy or ever will. Literally, if she doesn't have a problem, she'll create one to have that drama in her life.

My boyfriend works very hard to make me happy. Actually, not long ago, I was upset with him and he left my home to get the kids home because we tried talking, but I wouldn't talk in front of them. So, he brought them home, then came back to get things resolved with me. Little things like that are important to me.

And how do I feel when he touches me? I melt. I absolutely do look forward to getting time alone with him. There's a lot of things about this man that make me want to be around him, as much as possible. I know if I can't see him a whole day, it bums me out. If he were to break up with, I'd be devastated.....

But I still get nervous. I had a relationship that was abusive, and he was a cheater. I had two relationships after that, that they just stopped talking to me. One had gotten a new girlfriend and posted it on Facebook, actually...that's how I found it was over. I'm afraid to say it for many reasons.

Knowing how I get when somethings really on my mind though, I'll probably just come out and ask next time the moments right... Why not? Take the risk or give up and move on, right? I'm really over complicating things...
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Mon, 11-28-2011 - 4:20pm

What kind of cnvefrsations have you had about marriage and your future? Are they 'hypothetical sort of philosophoical discussions, or are they more of "when we get married..."

How long have you been exclusive? Like the others, I can't imagine dating for 15 months with out some sort of statement. And its not easy to be the first t say it. My SO said it to me long before I said it to him, He was not worried about it, he said when he told me (walking on the beach, very romantic) that he had totell me how he felt about me and that he did not expect me to say it back to him, he just wanted me to know how he felt. Honestly, I felt it for him long before I felt like I clould say it to him. But every relationship is different.

One other thing though, if she says that is why she divorced him, I would take that at face value and not try to second guess her motivation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2008
Wed, 11-30-2011 - 12:55am

short dad and I dont say i love you I can remember maybe 5 times that

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Thu, 12-01-2011 - 2:53am

>>love you is sooo over used for me it doesnt mean what should mean. Actions speak volumes......I live in a world where I love you is a manipulation<<

I have a different view of "I love you".

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2008
Thu, 12-01-2011 - 11:41am

Ahhh.... we dont say sorry enough in this house....never once did I hear my Ex tell me sorry for pushing me or for yelling at me so hard I was shaking in was you know I love you right...or its just cause I love you..same with my mom...Im telling you you are stupid cause I love you if some one ever says thier the man I am dating now says when I am hurt by something he has said ( its only needed to be 2 times in the whole 16 months we have been dating) but good lord there was a flood of emotions that come on...good ones that I havent felt in a very long time...

Its interesting how people are so different in thier needs ...Love Languages

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Fri, 12-02-2011 - 3:46am

I'm so sorry you went through that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2008
Sat, 12-03-2011 - 1:21pm

what doesnt kill us makes us stronger....current guy is OK I like that I am not affraid of him and that we talk when we have a dissagreement though there have been only a couple.....sorry isnt going to be needed to offten he very laid back though sense he has never had kids and his marriage no one really paid attention to each others needs only themsleves I am kinda a wake up call for him LOL Damn it I matter to