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My Live-in Boyfriend Won’t Say He Loves Me

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I have been dating my partner for 4 years and moved in together a year ago. We talk about getting married and are both making career choices that put both of us on a path for the future together but he still has not told me he loves me. He tells me he cares for me greatly but I am unsure if I should be setting up a foundation with this man, when he will not tell me that he loves me. Not sure if I should be concerned or if all his other actions show that he loves me and I should stop focusing on him telling me he loves me?

My Live-in Boyfriend Won’t Say He Loves Me

Answered by on -


Thank you for your question. Your boyfriend’s hesitation is cause for concern. Marriage is going to be tough enough even when the couple is over-the-top committed and confessing their love to each other on the hour. The fact that he can’t bring himself to say it after 4 years, and doesn’t have anything to offer as an explanation, would concern me if I was on the receiving end of his withholding. I am going to direct you to an article I’ve written for the Proof Positive blog that highlights the research on what makes a happy couple. The cornerstone is mutual vulnerability. Each partner feels they can be emotionally vulnerable, yet safe, in the presence of their betrothed. It sounds to me like his inhibition is causing you to question your vulnerability with him.

I would see a couples counselor (you can find one at the top of the page under the find help tab).

If the two of you can’t manage to negotiate the use of one word you may want to rethink your choices and path.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

My Live-in Boyfriend Won’t Say He Loves Me

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Live-in Boyfriend Won’t Say He Loves Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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