How to Strengthen Your Relationship/Waiting Game


Hi Sharon,
First off, my boyfriend and I have been together for nine months, are both 24 and have lived together for the past eight months. We met while I was working out of town.
For the first time in my life, I thought it was love at first sight. We had instant chemistry and I was thrilled when he asked me to be his girlfriend after two dates. Although I was a little skeptical about being in a long distance relationship, he relieved those thoughts by asking me to move in with him two weeks later. And within a month of dating, I had quit my job back home, and moved several hours away from everything I've ever known.
Now, besides the fact that he has been the most attentive, caring and affectionate man I've ever been with and we have a great relationship, I'm confused about his feelings towards me. The thing is, he's never dropped the L-bomb. I told him I loved him 5 months into our relationship and his reaction was less than what I had expected. I obviously didn't say it to hear it back, I said it because I am in love with him. And instead of accepting what I had said (he didn't say it back) he responded with, "It's too soon and I'm not making that mistake again". I didn't dig into that comment as I was embarrassed and heart-broken. Of course I thought he felt the same way about me.
I fully understand that people discover love at different paces, and I would never want him to say those words unless he meant them. I'm at the point where it's 9 months into our relationship and he still has yet to verbalize his feelings towards me. I feel that if he still isn't in love me yet, he will never develop those feelings and therefore I'm in a dead-end relationship.
Is it possible that he will continue being a good boyfriend because he feels obligated? (Him knowing I gave up a lot for him). Or should I put on time limit on our relationship?   

Thanks in advance

Dear Sarah,

There is a natural progression in a relationship that should be followed in order to set up a lasting relationship. Friends first, then a little closer, then spending a lot of time togehter then I love you, then a lifetime commitment, and then moving in together.  

When a guy gets everything without a commitment, he often loses interest in really pursuing the relationship on a serious level. There is no incentive for a true commitment as he already has chased the girl and won. This happens a lot where one or the other loses interest when you move in together and sees all the faults of the other person before true love and commitment has cemented the relationship. It leaves no place to go. Having intimate sex before true love develops gets the relationship off on the wrong foot, too.  Sometimes one or the other is bored, or just loses interest.  

So, where does this leave you? It leaves you in what you describe as a good relationship with a thoughtful man; and so your choice is whether just to keep that going and hope it develops into more of what you want or move on to greener pastures. It is pretty simple. You can't force love. It has to grow naturally. I know it is disappointing because you assumed more than what he has to give at this time.

If you want love and marriage somewhat soon, then you need to move on. If you decide to stay then you might want to make a time limit in your head of when you will move on if it does not develop into his expressing love to you and whatever else your goals are in this relationship.  

Listen to your gut feelings, not wishful thinking. Perhaps he loves you but is afraid that if he tells you that, then it will mean more of a commitment than he wants to make at this time. If your gut feelings tell you that you have a good, solid relationship and it will be just a matter of time before he trusts enough to commit, then follow that. Sometimes things do work out, even when you jump the gun and get into a live in situation before it is wise. I realize also that long distance relationships don't work very well, either.

If you decide to stay. Do not push him. Be as happy as you can be and don't try to back him in a corner about how he feels about your relationship. The less said the better. It must be his idea without pressure from you. Just move on and be patient. Concentrate on other things. Make sure that you have a life outside the relationship with friends, self-development, hobbies, etc. This is very important. People get hurt when they have high expectations and wrap their whole life around another person. This is not wise or healthy. Having a life outside the relationship also keeps a guy on his toes more. Never purposely try to make a guy jealous, that is not good or fair. But having friends and things to do outside the relationship is good and healthy.

Think about how you felt before you told him you loved him and try to go back to the relationship and continue as though you didn't say anything. The less you talk about it the better unless he brings it up.  I do hope things work out for the best for you.

How to Strengthen Your Relationship

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Sharon Crandall


Over 30 years of working with individuals, families, and businesses. Teaching classes, private coaching--helping design individual life plans,, private personality assessment, group workshops, and training others to become Personality Consultants and Life Coaches.

Certified in two year program of Personality Science. Certified in secondary Personality Science program from a different institution. Trained in various workshops for Life Coaching, Self-educated from numerous books and programs, plus private training from Personality Science experts.

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Hundreds of people from all walks of life including private individuals, couples, families, and businesses--from homemakers to CEO's Worked with many groups in workshops and classes. Worked with businesses particularly in customer relations/service and sales.

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