“My boyfriend and I have been together for one year, and we are starting to have conversations about the future. We align on so much in terms of family and lifestyle, but here’s the hitch: he hasn’t said, ‘I love you.’ I said it six months ago. When I finally asked about it, he said he just doesn't know yet. Is this normal to not be sure after a year? I am really worried these future conversations are moot.”
It is really vulnerable to put yourself out there, and be left hanging for six months. So, first of all, I commend you for not self-sabotaging an otherwise happy relationship in the six months since you said ILY.
It would have been very easy to fall into a trap where you think two people are supposed to feel the exact same thing at the exact same time, or the relationship is doomed. Just like orgasming at the same time or wanting to commit at the same time, confessing mutual love in the same moment is one of the great fallacies of romantic relationships: That successful relationships are founded on perfect timing. In reality, they are founded on patience, understanding, open discussions, problem solving and believing in your partner. You’ve already shown you’ve got the mettle to make this work.
Of course, you want to know your partner loves you; that’s natural! But there are tons of people who have hang-ups about saying the words. Maybe your boyfriend has never felt romantic love before and has nothing to compare it to. Or maybe he’s just not verbal. Here are two big questions to ask yourself.