Q & A Wednesday: What if He Doesn’t Say “I Love You”?

Posted by in dating after divorce, love after 40, self-esteem in dating, single women over 40 | 0 comments

love, dating, i love you, love questions, dating coach, dating after divorceDear Sandy,

I’ve been dating Josh for about three months. He’s a great guy, good-looking, smart, and most importantly, he treats me with respect. I’ve had a tough dating and relationship history. I was engaged to a guy who never followed through with his promises and broke off the engagement. I was married to a man who cheated. Trust has been difficult for me. I’ve been following your great advice, and I now love and respect myself so much more. Because of that, I’ve been able to slowly develop this wonderful relationship. So I don’t want things to go wrong. Here’s the problem: Josh has never said “I love you”. I feel that he really cares, but I’d feel so much better if I heard those words. Am I being silly or insecure? Or should I be concerned if he doesn’t say those three magic words?

Thanks so much,


Dear Ginny,

Congratulations on your relationship with Josh! He sounds like a good guy for you. This feels to me like a much healthier relationship than you’ve been in for a while. Maybe the first?

So, you ask about those three little words; when do you say “I love you”? And from your email, it sounds like perhaps you’re ready to tell him and he’s not yet ready to tell you that he loves you.

Watch what he does, not what he says. 

If he’s showing you he loves and cares for you, you should feel pretty secure about that.

I would be more concerned if he said, “I love you” after 4 dates, and his actions did not match up. To simplify things for you, I have created a ‘does he love me’ self-assessment for you. Take this test to know how he really feels about you (with or without those three words).

The “Does he love me” self-assessment:

  • Is he calling consistently?
  • Does he take me out weekly?
  • Is the relationship escalating?
  • Do I feel valued by him?
  • Does he make me feel cherished?
  • Do I feel respected by him?
  • Is he considerate, kind, thoughtful?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the questions above, you can assume that he cares deeply about you.

People express their love in many different ways; through touch, language, actions, gifts. In Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, he lists the five ways of expression as follows:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch
I suggest you take the love languages assessment to find out what your preferred language of expression is. If you feel comfortable, you can ask Josh to do the same.
Understanding the way you each express love is one of the keys to accepting and embracing your partner. It takes away any anxiety that you may not be getting what you need in a relationship.
Those three words are highly overrated. They are meaningful, but so are lots of other forms of expression.
Remember to watch what he does more than what he says. And make sure both of you understand each other’s love languages. You’ll be able to take a deep breath and relax into the relationship.



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