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Is he just scared to tell me how he feels?

Tagged as: Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (21 July 2010) 14 Answers - (Newest, 24 July 2010)
A female United States age 22-25, anonymous writes:

I can't stop crying my eyes out. I just told my boyfriend of 4 months that I love him but he didn't say it back. I thought all the right signs and signals were there that he did and that he was just afraid to say it, so I said it first.

Sign 1: I just started a new job as a Nursing Assistant and right now I'm in training for it but once I'm certified, I'll be working the night shift, 3-11PM or 11-7AM. He was concerned about how often we would see each other then, so he suggested that he would give me the key to his house and room.

Sign 2: I told my boyfriend that I may have to move down to NYC with my dad once his new wife from China comes over to America; he suggested he would have me move in with him then because NYC is too far away.

Sign 3: He has also suggested that I move in with his bestfriend and girlfriend and him, but I didn't give him a straight answer because when that was suggested, we were only 2 months into our relationship.

Sign 4: He drives me to work on his days off, even when I have to work early in the morning.

Sign 5: He cares enough about me to help me save my money and help me manage my debt. Basically, he met me when I was unemployed and encouraged me to find a job and to take the nursing path I'm taking now. I was carless and he still made the effort to take me places I wanted to go even though I didn't have a car to take myself there.

I don't know how I am supposed to handle this. I feel sad, confused, angry and insecure right now, and I can't stop crying. I don't understand him right now. He told me he can't say I love you as easy as me because of how he's been hurt in the past. But it wasn't easy for me to say it at all. I was so nervous, because of the slight possibility of rejection and because of how I have been hurt in the past too.

I understand that some people take longer to say it, but I broke the ice first and I don't know how to handle it. When I asked him about us and where he thought we were, he said he didn't know and that he likes me very much and that he is perfectly happy with us, but he's not sure if I'm the one yet. What is that supposed to mean? I didn't know people can only say I love you to the one.

Someone please help. I have done everything I could to let him know that I wouldn't hurt him. And I'm not the kind of person to just run off with some other guy, if that's what he's worried about.

View related questions: debt, I love you, insecure, money

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A female reader, OhGetReal United States +, writes (24 July 2010):

OhGetReal agony auntTime spent together so he doesn't have time to cheat is not an endorsement of his character or his committment to the relationship or to you or to his changed ways.

So I can't tell you what the answer is, I would try to trust your instincts and I wouldn't disregard his story about the three girlfriends at a time who still wanted him after they found out about each other....this is a guy with a player mentality who may just realize the benefits of only having one girlfriend at a time, not because his intentions are true...that you will have to suss out a little more. One way to do that is to NOT spend all of your time with him, set some boundaries, do your own thing and see if he will fit into your schedule and remain faithful on his own without prompting from you.

Good luck.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 July 2010):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

OhGetReal, you have completely summed up my dating process. It's true that I won't bother to waste time unless I know for sure that there is going to be a future together and most guys don't even last this long with me. I do consider his past "player" history when I think about things, but some dogs change. I'm not saying that I believe I can change him, for the most part he does whatever he wants to do, but listens to me at the same time. Perhaps I had said too many negative things about him in my replies back. Or maybe I just didn't mention that he's too busy playing World of Warcraft to be bothered with cheating. And when he isn't playing that game, he's busy working or with me. We spend most of our time together, which is probably why I feel so close to him so early on.

We spend our weekends together and if he has off on a weekday, I'll spend the night at his house and he'll drive me to work in the morning since I work weekdays.

And I'm not sure if I mentioned it in my reply, but he is going on his trip to Canada with our friends for one of our friends 19th birthday and all their friends are bringing their significant other. The only reason why I couldn't go was because I wasn't sure of my schedule and I didn't want to take time off because I had just started working.

His last girlfriend he was with for 2 years before cheating on her because he was drunk. I'm not saying alcohol is an excuse, but I think 2 years is a pretty long commitment for a player. So, I don't know. Some things just contradict things and confuse me more.

I do trust him, it is just the fear of how he might break my heart. I did have trust issues with him in the beginning, but like I had said, we spend most of our time together so there is no time for him to be cheating on me.

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A female reader, OhGetReal United States +, writes (22 July 2010):

OhGetReal agony auntOK, I am going to go out on a limb here and say some things you may not want to hear and I am not suggesting you take my advice as the gospel truth, but I want you to take it on board that you may be over investing yourself in this relationship and that you may not be on the same page with your boyfriend.

First off, let me say that it is troubling that he "used to be a player", the fact that he even admitted to you that these girlfriends still wanted him after they all found about each other is really a form of bragging on his part, and if he is comfortable leading women on, then that isn't going to change anytime soon....the fact that he keeps throwing out vague promises about future commitments like sharing a phone plan and living together are not really signs of a true commitment, they may be a form of manipulation to keep you hooked in. It is really easy for a practiced liar/manipulator to build an emotional bridge for you to the future because the future remains to be seen, it isn't reality but it keep you hanging in there and most importantly keeps your focus of the present the here and now, which is your reality, not the words about the future.

Another troubling thing is you state that his trip with his guy friends is to see if he can be faithful, like he is a dog that is tryng not to chew a bone, like that is his nature and this is a test to see if he will go against his nature. Let me tell you a dog will always follow it's nature, it will always chew a bone if given one...so if you even suspect he is a dog, he is.

I am also going to assume that you are Asian, and your boyfriend is Caucasian, although I don't pretend to know a lot about your Asian culture, what I do understand is that Asian women have to feel that a guy has serious intentions, as in dating her for the long term future, or she won't consider wasting too much of her time. Men know this, and if they want to date you, they are going to tell you what you what you want to hear.

Men don't commit the same way women do. They view exclusivity as "just dating you". Where to you it means you are serious about each other and his intention is to take you on a path to happily ever after, which is marriage. Well offering you a job position as exclusive girlfriend is a trap because men do NOT commit unless and until they get down on one knee and propose. He will always see you as someone he is dating, and he has previous women with the job description of girlfriend before you who thought the same thing as you did about what "serious relationship" means.

So what do you do about that? You realize that he isn't commited to you, at least not yet and you keep hold of your heart and don't give it totally away to him until he steps up and claims you as "the One". You really have to keep your focus on YOU and not try to analyze what his behavior means or his words mean. Events are not markers to men on the road to commitment like they are for women, meeting family, going on vacations etc, they don't attach meaning to them like we do...they are still just enjoyable experiences they are having with us, dating.

So he has to know that you are still open to other men, not screwing around, but that he could lose you to someone who will step up and claim you as te One....so you keep your heart open and if he starts dating other girls he needs to know that you will leave the relationship, he may not like that you keep your options open, but that's too bad, you have the power here, you are the woman, you are the person he has to prove things to that he has to earn. Men do the asking for the hand in marriage and women decide if he is the kind of man who deserves her trust, heart, and love.

So don't over invest, because I seriously doubt that after only 4 months that you are on the same page as he is about how serious this relationship is at this moment in time.

I hope that helps you out and isn't too confusing, but I would just keep your wits about you because I don't know if he is being sincere with you....you have your doubts, too, or you wouldn't be asking a bunch of strangers what all this means.

I hope everything works out for you in the end, but remember by taking care of yourself in this way, you will be fine no matter what ends up happening with this one relationship.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 July 2010):

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Ah, sorry I keep missing questions lol. I had trust issues with him in the beginning because he used to be a player. We live in the same area but went to different schools in high school but some of my friends knew of him and his friends. He even admitted to me he had 3 girlfriends at one point in high school and that 2 of them still wanted to be his girlfriend after they all found out about each other. His last ex, I know that he had cheated on her at a party one night because of alcohol and that was why they broke up. And we had conveniently broken up after his ex got back in touch with him. But he says he doesn't talk to her anymore and does not want to get back with her no matter what.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 July 2010):

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Actually, we are in a serious relationship. We've established that so far. We're not just dating around or just seeing each other. I'm the only girl he sees and he's the only guy that I see. He's even said we're in a serious relationship. So I take it that we're serious lol.

My father is straight from China and so is his new wife. He's sponsoring her over to America so he has to wait for however long he has to wait. I'm assuming it won't be for a long while though since things like that take forever due to past experience with other family members. He's in a disadvantage where he doesn't speak or read English well but he's moving down to NYC where my other relatives live to be closer to them and also not have to drive himself everywhere, as where in the suburbs upstate, he has to drive however miles to get to places or major towns/cities. I'm not saying I'm going to have to move down there with him, but my dad did suggest it since I'm the only one of his daughters that isn't married lol. I only told my boyfriend that for conversation, like something I was talking about my dad the night before and telling my boyfriend what happened.

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A female reader, OhGetReal United States +, writes (22 July 2010):

OhGetReal agony auntAre you sure you just aren't having trouble understanding him and taking him to literally? If he said he would put you on his phone plan if you were going to be together forever, did he mean he wasn't going to help you out by putting you on his phone plan right now and that is why because you aren't to that level of committment right now??

It seems to me he is having trouble getting accross to you that he is not ready to marry you or commit to a forever kind of deal and he's being as nice about it as he can without offending you.

I think you are rushing things here, and he is reacting...why are you so worried about this one man when he hasn't made a full committment to you? You can avoid all this nervousness by keeping your heart open to other men and allowing yourself to let other men take care of you emotionally, you can be sexually faithful and still be open to other's because you aren't engaged yet, you aren't in a serious relationship and that is what you need to wrap your head around. He may want to go there with you, but he isn't ready yet to commit himself and therefore, neither should you. See how that works? You are the prize so to speak that he has to win, so back off and let him do the stepping up to the plate, don't you go following him around in his confusion and hesitation. He my or may not committ to you, but I tend to think that 4 months is way too early for most sane people to commit.

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A female reader, OhGetReal United States +, writes (21 July 2010):

OhGetReal agony auntdon't think of this trip to Canada as a test to see if he can be faithful, that's setting yourself up for disappointment...ask him to call you at some point of the trip, and then wait for him to check in with you.

He'll probably miss you and wish you were there.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 July 2010):

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Ask Oldersister, we've been together for four months. I dont have a phone plan right now because I had to give up my previous plan when I had an upgrade available due to the fact that I couldn't afford it before. I'm still working on being able to afford things again due to unemployment, but he had told me that he would put me on his plan if we were going to be together forever. Which.. I don't understand why he would say something like that if he wasn't already fully committed.

I'm letting him go to Canada by himself with a few good friends of ours next weekend. I mean that's proof right there that I trust him, am I right? I had a few trust issues in the beginning with him but he has proven to me that he can be trustworthy. And I'm thinking this trip to Canada may be a test for us, or for him rather, to see if he stays faithful..

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 July 2010):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks for all the answers and help guys. We talked some more last night since I couldn't sleep because I was so upset about the issue. He cleared things up for me a bit. The main reason why I was scared was because the same situation had happened to me before. I didn't tell him I loved him but he led me on to believe that something might happen.

We both had a very long talk and things are cleared up now. He assured me that if he didn't feel something he wouldn't be with me and that I just have to give him a little more time...

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 July 2010):

If he drives you around wants to live with you, he loves you. he just does not feel ready to tell you this for some reason. I think he'll come around. Tell him you love him again soon and see if he responds.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 July 2010):

If everything's been going fine otherwise, with you two, and it seems he's been a great boyfriend so far, don't worry about his one hesitation of being burnt by saying he loves you. He feels it will take both of you to a whole new level where he is alot more vulnerable to being hurt. If he's thinking like I used to think, he's afraid to say it because he assumes you might feel too comfortable and things might change, possibly involving arguments or other aspects, where right now, he feels safe from that, because everything is going so well. He's too content with the safety and happiness you both have now, which he feels he may be stripped of if he brings you to that whole new level, where you heard him say he loves you.

Just as much as you feel you need to hear him say that, he feels that he needs to not say it, since he knows most girls need to hear that to feel completely content. In his mind, it's either his contentment or yours, but he feels threatened by the way most girls turn when they "know" the guy loves them.

I've seen changes in girls, myself, after telling them "I love you, too", and it's not to say you'd be the same way, in a negative sense, but he most likely wants to keep things going as great as they are, and doesn't want to take the chance that you might just mess with his mind or be too manipulative, confident, controlling, etc.

That's why guys don't want to go there, anyway.. he might have a different reason, but it's most likely that one. Of course, if he's smart, he'll avoid telling you that truth at all costs, or may not even realize that's why he's hesitant. If he told you he can't say it as easily as you because of how he's been hurt in the past, I'm sure he's on the same page as me.

Therefore, I wouldn't try to pressure him into saying it, or you'll scare him away. Just take things how they are going, and be happy that he treats you so well and that once he's ready enough one day, he'll say it.

Long story short, he feels just as happy to be with you, and just as loved, but doesn't want to admit he's too serious, because he doesn't want to lose you either. You're wanting things to stay going well, in a woman's way, whereas he's wanting the exact same thing as you, but in a man's way. It's not that he's not as serious about you as you are about him, but just that he thinks on naturally different wavelengths, being he's a guy. You're working on achieving the same thing, but from different angles.

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A female reader, OhGetReal United States +, writes (21 July 2010):

OhGetReal agony auntWhat he is saying to you about saying "I love you" is he takes it very seriously and he won't say it to you unless he really means it as in I could love you forever. It is so easy to say I love you and there not be anything really behind it in the way of a committment. I think if you pay attention to his behavior rather than his words that he is loving you through his actions, so I don't think you have that much to worry about.

Four months in my estimation is way to early to make a committment to anyone, you can say you love someone and not be committed and that's OK to say it, but to really commit, no. You are in the first stages of a relationship and you both are on your best behavior and you don't really know each other well enough to "know". Don't hold that against him, I think he is a good guy that takes those three words very seriously.

As far as moving in with him, I think it is way too early for that too, and you are telling him you may be moving away, so I understand why he would be holding back there as well...this may not work out due to timing, that happens sometimes, but it doesn't sound like you know for sure yet that you have to move away.

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A male reader, Danielepew Mexico +, writes (21 July 2010):

Danielepew agony auntA caring person who doesn't say he loves you back? I would call that "a caring person".

However, why was he always asking you to move in with him? That I can't quite square.

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A female reader, followtheblackrabbit Cayman Islands +, writes (21 July 2010):

followtheblackrabbit agony auntHe sounds like a really great guy and I do think he cares for you. Probably, he just wants more time with you before he's confident enough about his feelings. My best guy friend had his girl tell him she loved after five months and he calls me saying yes, he felt he loved her very much but he felt the same about his ex, and she deeply scarred him. YOU know you wouldn't hurt him, but he's being careful because he's probably heard that before and it's natural that he'd be wary. Just give him time, let him see that you mean what you say and then, he'll feel more secure about expressing whatever feelings he has in words.

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