by Charly Emery
…. it’s possible for a man to share virtually every aspect of his life with you without being in love with you. Sometimes as much as he cares about you, he just not in love with you.
The feeling of being in love is like nothing else. Exciting, intoxicating, uplifting and heartwarming; the next best thing to experiencing love is declaring your love to the man you love right? Well… not exactly. If you share that sentiment sooner than he’s willing to say it, his silence can feel insufferable. In a flash, the ease of your relationship runs out the door while vulnerability, discomfort and anxiety come rushing in. Even worse, his lack of verbal reciprocation can cause you to reconsider the value of your relationship altogether.
In truth, your man is clearly showing commitment when he dates you exclusively, shares himself intimately and even consults you while planning his schedule. Yet there’s a tendency to judge the validity of a relationship, as well as a man’s intention by his willingness to say those three words. The problem is that doing so can unnecessarily sabotage a promising romance, which is why it’s valuable to understand some of the reasons why he might refrain from saying I love you.
Expectations are one of the most deadly threats to relationships because they replace open communication with unspoken presumptions. Many men associate saying I love you with new expectations they are NOT ready to fulfill. Others are simply afraid of what those expectations might be, thus they choose to keep everything moving along pressure free. Does that mean that your man isn’t willing to give you everything you want right now? No. In fact he may already be giving you more than you imagined. Therefore the key is to clarify where he’s at, and what his intentions are. Just as some men side step a boyfriend label while simultaneously being the best boyfriend you’ve ever had, the fear of expectations can inspire a man to express love through action rather than words.
Jennifer* and her boyfriend had spent two months exploring and building their relationship when she felt an overwhelming sense of closeness and connection. Thus on one beautiful evening while romantically intertwined on the couch, Jennifer unabashedly spoke the three words that can make or break a relationship in progress.
I Love You…
Her man had stated many times how crazy he was about her, therefore she was positive her profession of love would be warmly received as well as returned. Instead seconds passed like minutes ultimately revealing a deep discomfort that had enveloped his face. Jennifer was devastated, which brings me to the second reason a man might not say I love you.
Everyone associates different things with being in love. Your man may associate saying I love you with actions he’s not ready to take, or other conditions he’s not yet experiencing. The more honorable your man is, the more important it will be for him to feel like he can live up to his definition of what saying I love you means. Thus instead of prematurely pulling out of the emotional investment necessary to yield those three words, find out what professing love means to him specifically.
In Jennifer’s case she discovered that while her man was comfortable being monogamous, committed and loving, he associated saying I love you with taking the relationship to an even greater level. He’d been married before, and wanted to marry again. Further exploration revealed that he wanted to say I love you when he felt confident about the long term future of the relationship. Although their two months had been wonderful, he associated more than meaningful times with saying I love you.
3. He’s Just Not Feelin’ It
Just as you can love someone without being in love; fabulous times, passionate kisses and intimate love making do not necessarily = love or being in love. It’s easy to assume that the man who bears his soul to you on a regular basis without wanting anyone else must be in love with you. However as crazy as it sounds, it’s possible for a man to share virtually every aspect of his life with you without being in love with you. Sometimes as much as he cares about you, he just not in love with you. While the truth may hurt, it’s important to discern whether he’s closed off to loving you or simply a late bloomer in the falling in love department.
So what should you do if your man won’t say I love you?
First remember that men and women experience and define love in all different ways, therefore it’s critical for you to refrain from making assumptions when he refrains from saying I love you. Second, make it a point to learn what your man associates with saying I love you along with what he believes will be expected of him. Then you’ll have a better understanding of what saying those words mean to him. Third, check in with yourself and be sure that you aren’t placing greater emphasis on words than what you’re actually experiencing in your relationship. While it’s easy to harp on why he won’t say I love you, it’s equally important to understand why you’re placing so much value on him doing so.
What’s most important in love matters is that your individual desires and intentions are aligned with each other so you’re clear that you want the same outcome. Then you can be in it fully and create a relationship that reflects what you wish to experience today as well as tomorrow.
Read this article in Your Tango
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.