Monday, July 18, 2011

When to Say I Love You

Dear David,
I have been very much involved with another man for the past year. We like being together very much and share a real intimacy. But I have never told him I love him or talked about my deep feelings for him. And he does not talk about this either. I have been very hurt in the past and somehow I don't seem to be able to tell him how I really feel. Your advice, please.

Dear Hesitant,
I am beginning to think actions speak louder than words. My immediate reaction is that of course you must tell your lover you love him. But I think he knows that or you wouldn't be behaving as you do.

One of my good friends has recently been very involved with a coworker at her job. They clicked, saw a lot of each other for a month and evidently became deeply involved emotionally. She is a beautiful and emotional women and when she poured out her feelings to him he froze. And departed. Probably the intensity of his own feelings frightened him. Men and women are quite different. I read some research years ago and at that time women defined "intimacy" as a very personal talk. Men defined it as working in the garden together.

For myself, I think men are like fish. You have to get the hook into them and then slowly, slowly reel them in. Men don't want to feel as much as women do. Particularly in the U.S. culture. Feelings are seen as being effeminate. If it were me I would say one day, "I know you don't want me to say stuff like "I love you" but I am sure you know that I do." And leave it at that.

Of course if this lover is Latin American that is a whole other ball game. He should be able to handle a lot of emotions. And remember, even if they slip away, they are never gone for good until one of you is dead.

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