It’s possible you’ve started saying ‘I love you’ too soon.
As relationships develop, couples gradually disclose more and more information about each other. Starting with facts, their work for example, what they like doing, and so on.
And then they gradually start to reveal their feelings for one another – and their hopes and expectations for the relationship. But they won’t say anything too revealing before they trust you.
So you need to look for signs that your girlfriend trusts you enough to reveal her feelings to you, before you reveal yours to her.
For most couples, that comes after they’ve started to get physically close. So don’t start saying ‘I love you,’ before you’re comfortable kissing one another!
It’s possible that your girlfriend feels you’re being needy. Saying ‘I love you’ too often, or just being too eager or insecure would do that. Like messaging too much, or always insisting on knowing where she is, or trying to keep her away from her friends.
And so perhaps your girlfriend is trying to hold things back for a while. Or maybe you’re just choosing the wrong time or mood to say something so intimate? Things need to be relaxed and casual – and private – before you’ll get a response.
So probably the best thing is to stop talking about love for a while, and make sure you’re getting those other things right first. Once that happens it’s likely that your girlfriend will gradually start saying ‘I love you.’ In any case, don’t say those words again until she does.
And if she doesn’t? Ask her if she finds it difficult to say the words, and listen for hints that her background or upbringing may be the cause.
That’s especially true of anyone who had a difficult childhood or youth, or who went to a boarding school, where people are likely to make fun of you if you’re emotional.
Or maybe your girlfriend grew up in a family or community where no one ever said ‘I love you,’ or anything like that. And so she always feels embarrassed hearing or saying anything so intimate.
Or showing any sort of vulnerability, such as revealing her feelings. If that’s so, just get used to it! Though she may gradually change with time – so long as you don’t pressure her.
Or maybe she’ll say she just isn’t that into you!
And if that happens? Politely move on.
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