I’m Scared To Tell My Boyfriend I Love Him Incase He Doesn’t Say It Back

My boyfriend and I have been dating for five months and I’ve developed strong feelings for him. I want to tell him that I love him so badly, but I’m scared of how he’ll react and I can’t help but worry that he won’t say it back.

  1. I worry that I’m being too eager. Is there a certain amount of time that should pass before you tell your significant other that you love them? Do most people wait a few weeks or months before saying it or do they just say it when it feels right? I don’t know if I’m jumping the gun by saying it now or if I should wait longer so I don’t seem too intense or over-the-top.
  2. I don’t want to scare him off. My boyfriend doesn’t show much emotion generally and he tends to keep his feelings bottled up. If I open up and say the big ‘L’ word, will he go running for the hills? Maybe he finds it hard to express his emotions and I don’t want to scare him off completely by showing him mine.
  3. It’d be really embarrassing if he doesn’t say it back. I have this scenario in my head where I pour my heart out to him and tell him how madly in love with him I am and he just sits there in silence and doesn’t know what to say back. I find him hard to read and if he hasn’t said it yet then maybe he won’t say it at all. I’m scared of being rejected and would be mortified if it happened.
  4. I don’t know if he loves me. Sometimes I find it hard to tell if he really loves me or not. He tells me that he likes me a lot but surely that’s what you say to someone on your third date, not five months into the relationship. Love is a feeling that takes time to grow, but if I’m feeling love towards him at this point, shouldn’t he be feeling it too? The fear of getting hurt is stopping me from bringing it up.
  5. I know it’s old-fashioned but I sorta want him to say it first. In all my past relationships, my boyfriend was the one to say “I love you” first and I kind of just got used to it going that way. I’ve never had to make the first move with a guy and I don’t know if I should be waiting until he says it first or what.
  6. I don’t want to pressure him into saying it. Maybe he’s not ready to tell me he loves me and if I say it first he might say it too early just because he’s pressured to say it back. Uttering those words is a big step in a relationship and it’s a form of commitment, so maybe he’s afraid to commit to me at this time. I’d rather he do it when he’s truly ready.
  7. I don’t want him to lie to me. I don’t want him to tell me he loves me if he doesn’t mean it. I’d rather be told that he doesn’t love me instead of having him pretend that he does. I’ve felt pressured into telling people I love them in the past when I really didn’t and I don’t want to be on the receiving end of that. He can say it when he means it and not before.
  8. He shows me he loves me, but is that enough? My boyfriend is caring and kind towards me. He makes loving gestures and says lovely things to me. I feel love from his actions, yes, but sometimes you need to be told that you’re loved just as much as being shown. I appreciate his efforts so much but I would just love to hear him say that he loves me too.
  9. What if he never says it? I have a fear that he’ll never fall in love with me and we’ll always be stuck at the “liking each other” stage. I don’t want to get stuck in an unrequited love situation and I don’t know how long I can stay with someone who doesn’t love me.
  10. Should I be worried about our relationship? A major red flag in a relationship is when a partner won’t say “I love you.” Sure, it takes longer for certain people to open up and show their true feelings, but when does it become too long? You have to ask yourself whether you can live with a person who doesn’t love you but merely likes you a lot. I’m trying to figure out where I stand.
Writer, thinker, storyteller, and lover. Emma is a freelance writer, editor, and owner of thethoughtjournal.com