5 Ways to Make Him Say I Love You
I’ve seen far too many long-suffering girlfriends waiting for their boyfriends to say, “I love you.” You wouldn’t think that a person’s happiness and security in her relationship would ride on three little words but if you’ve ever been in this position you know that it can be an unnerving, frustrating, and self-esteem crushing time. It’s not that we want the men in our lives to pretend to feel something that they don’t. It’s just that when you know that you both are in love and he seems allergic to saying those three little words, it would be great if there was some way to prompt him to say the words and to see how much saying those words means to you.
So what do you do? Do you say it to him first hoping that he’ll do something other than the following: run, scream, say “thanks,” pause and mumble “me too” in a way that convey that he totally doesn’t mean it, or try to change the subject? Do you suffer in silence hoping and waiting while driving your friends crazy complaining about his inadequate verbal skills? Do you leave cue cards lying around the house complete with a script of the whole scenario? Do you just blurt out the question, “do you love me or not?” Personally, I would advise against all of the above.
There are five ways I’ve figured out that seem to provide more success but the most important thing to making any of this work is that you both have to actually be in love. You know how you feel but I know it is difficult to tell how he feels when he won’t tell you in his own words. If he hasn’t directly said the words I love you, make sure that he’s given you some clues that he really is in love with you. These may be nonverbal, like spending oodles of time with you, talking about the future—even a few weeks in the future—with you in it, seeming really happy and secure when he’s around you, taking care of you when you’re feeling sick and look disgusting without you even have to ask, and introducing you to his best friends and his family.
If he’s done those things then odds are he’s in love with you. Now you just have to find a way to make him comfortable with saying it out loud.
- Give him clues that you love him. He likely has no idea what your feelings are for him and that will make him nervous about saying “I love you” without being certain that you will say it back. Do stuff that he’s interested in to spend more time with him and show him that you are supportive and open to having him be an active part of your life. Make him something like his favorite cookies or a special dinner. Let him know how much you like having him around and how much you value him. While you’re doing all this, watch for signs that he is misconstruing your attempts with being clingy or obsessive. Just make sure that there is no room for doubt in his mind that you care for him.
- Tell him how important verbal communication is to you. Men and women communicate very differently. He may believe that the nonverbal signs of love that he’s showing you are sufficient and that you should know how he feels without him having to say it. Tell him how important communication is for you. You can even say that you’re pretty sure you know how he feels about you, but you’d really like him to say it out loud. Don’t sit around and fume silently, getting angry with him for his lack of communication skills.
- Actively show him your respect. Respect is extremely important to most men. Do your actions and words convey your respect for him? Or could he see some of the jokes you make about his job as a sign of disrespect? Could he believe that you don’t respect him because you trivialize the things that he likes to do or always insist on doing exactly what you want to do on every date? If he feels that he has your respect, odds are that this will make him secure in your relationship and make him more likely to say “I love you” sooner rather than later.
- Figure out why he hasn’t used the L-word yet. I went out for a few months with a guy who was about as expressive as a block of concrete. It drove me up the wall. I was certain that he really cared for me and even loved me but he just never said the words. Then I met his family and saw that they were a pretty stoic bunch. Suddenly my boyfriend’s silence made more sense. He did lots of nonverbal things to show his affection and I realized that this was his way of saying the L-word. I decided that those nonverbal ways were enough for me and sure enough, after I stopped waiting impatiently for it, he actually said those words out loud with no prompting.
- Tell him you love him. Okay I know that I said earlier that I didn’t think you saying it first was a good way to get him to say it back BUT there are exceptions to every rule. If you’ve observed multiple and continuous nonverbal clues that he loves you, if you’ve tried to get him to understand how important communication is to you, if you’ve been waiting for months and he still hasn’t said it, go ahead and say the words yourself. Maybe none of the ways you’ve been showing him you love him without saying it have been too unclear and he still is unsure. If so, make it obvious and say “I love you.” Do say it casually, sorta like in passing. For instance, he does something amazing for you and you exclaim – You are great! I love you! You don’t have to wait for him to say it back immediately. You are planting the seed, and while you are not confessing your undying love, you are subconsciously demonstrating that you would love to hear him say he loves you.
There’s always the risk that he won’t say it back but if you don’t try, you’ll never know. He’ll have no clue that you’re upset with him for something he hasn’t done and you will find it increasingly difficult to hide your frustration from him. With some guys you just have to be more direct so there’s no room for confusion. With any luck he’ll get over his aversion to those mystifying three words and say it back.