You’ve been dating this guy for a little while now and you like him. Really, really like him. In fact, you’re pretty sure you love him and you feel so strongly about it that you just can’t hold it in and you have to tell him. Whew. The problem is, he won’t say it back. When you make your declarations and utter those three little words, he just says “Aw, thanks!” or something equally as awkward and uncomfortable. Here’s why he won’t say “I love you” back.
- He’s not sure he feels that way just yet. It’s not that he doesn’t like you. In fact, he might even like you a lot. It’s just that for many guys, saying “I love you” is a really serious thing and requires a depth of feeling that they struggle to recognize and accept. Maybe he’s never been in love before or has never told a woman he loves her so he wants to make sure it’s 100% right when he does say it. Either way, you can at least be thankful that he’s not just paying you lip service.
- He’s afraid of getting hurt. Maybe he does feel the same way about you and he knows it but he feels like by voicing it and saying “I love you,” he’s somehow jinxing himself and increasing the chances that something will go wrong and he’s going to end up hurt. This is especially likely if he’s had his heart broken in the past with someone he’s been so close to. Give him a bit of time. With a bit of care and space, he’ll get there.
- He’s not ready to live up to the seriousness of those words. He probably knows that by saying “I love you,” he’s taking your relationship to the next level of seriousness and there’s no way he can slack on being a good partner. Even if you haven’t officially defined yourself as boyfriend and girlfriend, exchanging declarations of love implies a level of seriousness that neither of you can deny. If he’s got commitment issues or freaks out easily, this could be the case.
- He doesn’t want to lead you on. Maybe he’s not saying “I love you” because he legitimately doesn’t feel that way and realizes he probably never will. Maybe your feelings are far stronger than his and he doesn’t want to be dishonest and lead you on thinking that you’re in for some big romance together. It’d be nice if he could go a bit further and tell you straight up that he’s not feeling it, but maybe he just doesn’t have the courage.