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Saved 1/08/13 to Group Therapy

Should I say "I love you"?


I've been dating my boyfriend for almost a year now. I know that I love him, but I'm just worried about saying those three little words outloud for a number of reasons. First, I've always thought I would hear it from him first. Maybe it's just the traditionalist in me, but I'd love to hear it from him unprovoked. Second, I'm afraid of what he'll say - or not say - back to me. I grew up in a family where we expressed a lot of affection. He had a quite different experience, nor has he had a serious girlfriend before to get experience expressing his emotions. Third, he expresses his love for me everyday by going out of his way to do things for me, by listening to me and just generally supporting me through thick and thin. I don't need to know whether he cares for me (I know he does) but I am now all wrapped up on these three words. We had the same issue defining our relationship. We were exclusive from the beginning, but he avoided calling me his girlfriend for the first couple months. Now we're both pretty comfortable with our "definition" as boyfriend and girlfriend. Should I take the risk and lay it all out there? Or be secure with knowing that he cares deeply and probably loves me,but just doesn't want to SAY it?

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mimi2012 mimi2012 1 year 35 weeks
yay go for it!
henna-red henna-red 1 year 36 weeks
I agree, say those words. Be prepared for him not repeating them automaticaly, and be prepared to be ok with that. You learned how to express your feelings from the family you grew up with, as did he. And you learned different things. That's ok. You already know that he cares for you, so what you're really looking to do is to express yourself in the way you are used to . I grew up in a family that doesn't hug and say I love you much. But once I started to move out in the world on my own, I found friends who do express more effusively, and I started to learn from them....and I loved being able to do that! I love a great hug, I love saying I love you to my friends and family! And I introduced my sister to those friends, she learned it too, and we ended up taking our new found expressive skills home and teaching it to our less expressive family members. The most important thing for you, I think, is to learn not to be afraid to express yourself in a way that you're happy and comfortable with. And to understand that you don't just say I love in order to hear it in return. You say it because you feel it and you want to share how you feel, and saying it is how You express it. It may not be how your boyfriend expresses it, but he doesn't have to express in the same way you do, so long as you really understand that because those words are difficult for him, doesn't mean he isn't feeling the love. Just be open to whatever happens, and don't make saying it a big, big deal. Make it a casual, normal thing for you. Maybe he will do something that particularly touches you, so you say I love you, and give him a little kiss and a squeeze, make eye contact, smile,and keep on doing what you were doing. That will give him time to respond with words, if he is comfortable with that, or to not...and the eye contact and smile will let him know whatever he does is ok. Challenge you fear, and be confident in your expression and don't be worried about whatever form his expression takes. love and luck
Sherrilee Sherrilee 1 year 36 weeks
I think you should. Some people find it hard to say those words but express them. Your boyfriend has by doing things for you. Actions speak louder than words. some people just say I love you and never treat a person like he loves them. I don't think you have anything to worry about.