We all know that feeling when you're in a relationship, but it feels like it's not turning serious until you hear him say he loves you.
No matter how great it's going, there's just something about the reassurance of those words that helps you stay optimistic throughout the ups and downs of your relationship. But what happens when you don't hear it for the first couple months, or even the first year? Does that mean he doesn't really love you?
That question alone can open up a can of worms because the next question is the whole, "Where is this relationship going," which can be draining to even think about. Still, despite my now husband waiting over a year to say those seemingly magic words, in hindsight I realize how perfect the timing was.
Is The Future A Real Topic Of Conversation?
Knowing that my husband was dating me with the intention of marrying me meant more than hearing him say he loved me. Not saying that marriage is everything, but it was clear he was making plans for our future. It was a constant topic of conversation, even in the earlier days of our relationship. Even though this wasn't the first time a guy said they planned on marrying me and talked about the future, he made his intentions clear when he actually made plans for our future, and not just saying I was "wifey material."
And listen, this wasn't just him saying stuff for the sake of it because he thought it was what I wanted to hear. Sometimes it's so easy to look for something specific, whether it's him saying he loves you or putting your relationship on social media, for your guy to prove how he really feels. Plus, he could have thought he was expressing it in his own way and doing a bang-up job. Either way, since he was obviously committed to our relationship for a lifetime, I decided I could be too, even though he hadn't said he loved me yet.
How Does He Treat You?
The whole statement that actions speak louder than words might be overstated and overplayed, but it's still just as true as it was when it first hit the scene. While at times my husband's decision not to say it made me question what was really happening, he showed me he how he felt by how he treated me. On the flip side, I remember a guy I was "dating" told me he loved me as he apologized for flirting with other girls, and made it clear he wasn't going to stop doing it because we weren't "official." Clearly, those little three words did nothing for me. So, to not have those words said to me in a completely opposite situation was fine with me.
If there were times I had to question my husband's character and his intentions, then yeah I would definitely be serving up the side eye, but since that wasn't the case, I decided I could stick around.
Does He Say It Without Saying It?
So, funny story. There were so many times when I thought he was saying he loved me without him actually saying, "I love you." Me and one of my friends channeled our inner Nancy Drew and tried to figure out if he was telling me in his own way. For example, there was one time when he let me drink after him, which apparently was a big deal for him. He said something like, "You know I love you because I never let anyone drink after me." And for some reason, I thought this was the big moment. It wasn't. But it at least gave me hope that he was starting to inch toward that, or at least expressing it if he already felt that way but didn't know how to say it.
Sometimes, especially when it comes to relationships, your significant other really might be doing the best they can in telling you how they feel. There's this clear and obvious pressure for a guy to man up and tell a woman that he loves her if that's how he feels. While that sounds like an open-and-shut case, I also had to take into account his relationship history and his past in general as to why he might be hesitant to express it in the traditional way.
When Does It Actually Happen?
My husband told me he loved me after about 14 months of being together. This was also the same day we went public on social media, which is another story. It was in a birthday card written in capital letters, and he was so excited to tell me in his own way and in his own time. It's kind of like when you're waiting on a guy to propose. Of course, you want it to happen but pressuring can only add this awkward energy. And seeing him come to this conclusion on his own, even though it took longer than I wanted, was worth waiting for. This definitely depends on the type of guy you're dealing with because some need that extra push.
But after I read the card, he explained that he pressed pause with telling me before because he really wanted to mean it when he said it. He had been in previous relationships where he said it because he thought he was supposed to and didn't want that to be the case this time around. And clearly neither did I. If only he could've told me that sooner, but of course it's never that simple. While the wait sometimes caused me to question his affection, when he did say it, it only opened the door for him to say it all the time. And to be honest, it really didn't change much about our relationship, except maybe make it a little more romantic.
Because even though he didn't say it in the way I was looking for him to, he said it in his own time and always in his own ways.
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