There are several significant milestones in any relationship, but one stands out from the rest. No, I'm not talking about marriage. I'm talking about those three little words that mean so much. Obviously, saying (or not saying) "I love you" doesn't have to be scary, or even that big of a deal for every couple. But sometimes it can make us nervous, and that's pretty normal. The thing is, if your partner never says "I love you," you shouldn't necessarily freak out. Because it could honestly mean anything, and every situation is different.
First of all, it's important to do some self-evaluation. "It really depends on how often you expect them to say it," Trina Leckie, breakup BOOST podcast host, tells Elite Daily. "If you want them to say it multiple times a day, you should instead focus on why you need constant reassurance. Are they doing something to make you feel insecure? Are you perhaps still hurting from a past relationship? When you start coming across as too needy, it can be a turn off and detrimental to the relationship."
Everyone — and every relationship — is different, so don't worry if your partner doesn't say "I love you" as much as you would like them to.
But if your partner doesn't say "I love you" ever, or hasn't said it yet at all, don't hesitate to have a conversation if you feel it necessary. Leckie suggests approaching it with caution. "You wouldn’t want to ask them to say it more, because then it may come across as not being genuine," she says. You don't want to force the 'I love you' out of your partner, but instead, "you want them to say it because they are choosing to say it."
According to Leckie, "you can definitely sit down with them and simply say something along the lines of 'Words of affirmation mean so much to me in a relationship, but I notice you don’t seem to say 'I love you' very often. How are you feeling about us?'" It might be scary to confront them about it, but your needs are your needs, and you deserve to have them met.
The way they respond and whether or not they make an effort to improve going forward will help you gauge how they're feeling about your relationship. Hopefully, if they know it's important to you, they'll step it up and express their love more frequently. Bottom line — you want to feel loved in a relationship, but it doesn't hurt to evaluate whether you're expecting too much from your partner, or if they're just not as into the relationship as you are. It's not easy.
"You don’t want someone to say it just because you said it, you want it to be genuine," matchmaker and dating coach Julia Bekker tells Elite Daily "Let your partner say it when he/she is ready. If you’re still not hearing it or questioning whether feelings are mutual then have a healthy conversation about where you both stand." Basically, if you think something is up, then follow your gut and say something to your partner. Maybe they're going through something or have an issue and you just need to talk it out. Try not to worry too much, and let them feel what they need to feel before you get upset or end things.
And if your partner refuses to say those three words? According to Bekker, "If your needs aren’t being met and your partner doesn’t feel the same way about you as you do about them, you should ask yourself if that is the type of relationship you want to stay in." It sounds rough, but at the end of the day, you have to do what's best for you. If you talk it out, and your partner doesn't exactly seem like they want the relationship to progress at the same pace you do, it might be time to end things.
Saying "I love you" is important in a relationship, and if your partner isn't saying it enough, give them time and talk it out. You should both be happy and comfortable with the pace at which you're moving.
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