Why Can’t Men Say “I Love You”?
Men do love; they just show it in different ways than women do. Men show their love by taking care of the people they love and marrying the person they love, yet they may still have difficulty saying the words “I love you.” For a lot of men, the words are a form of giving up something about themselves. It is scary for them and often they have not had examples in their lives to help show them how to express and share their feelings of love.
Often for men it is safer to express their love for someone through actions instead of the vulnerable feeling of saying the words. Keep your eyes peeled for the actions of your man and how they may be showing you his true feelings. Each of us have different ways we express our love and affection – often called our Love languages. For more information on this, see the book reference below.
Some things that men do to show love are:
- Picking up something you like from the store
- Doing helpful things around the house
- Buying dinner or bringing home a movie you would like
- Showing affection like hugging, kissing or holding hands
- Saying things like “You’re the only one for me” and “you are beautiful”
Although we, as women, may view these things as normal everyday happenings, to our men they are constant shows of their love. But if our men don’t know our own love language, they will only show their love in theirs.
Men do not like to feel vulnerable unless they are sure the environment is safe and willing to handle them and their feelings. When you are in a relationship, often times neither of you are sure of the goals of the other. “Will he still love me when I am older?” “Am I still attractive to him?” or he might be thinking, “Does she feel I am all she thought I was when we met or is she now disappointed? “
It is difficult and sometimes impossible for a man to put himself out there and profess his love for you. It can be very scary for him to be this vulnerable, especially if he was not brought up in a home that showed affection or was outwardly emotional in a kind way.
A 29-year-old nurse Annie recently expressed her feelings in regards to men saying “I love you” and women wanting them to say it in response to her needs. “I tell him because I want to be the one place in the world he can be himself.” She was so insightful in that a man cannot express his emotions if he is not comfortable with his relationship and confident his feelings will be returned to him in his own love language.
If getting him to say the words “I love you” is extremely important to you, then wait until a time that you are not particularly emotional, and then talk about it with him. Don’t nag or push, just honestly share your feelings towards him and your understanding that it is sometimes difficult to share such personal feelings. Here is a book that can be very helpful: The Four Love Languages.
Remember that men do love, just like women love. It is unfortunate that men have been raised in a society that is not accepting of men who are emotional or show emotions in public.
Sadly, men are brought up to hide their feelings and ignore or stuff their loving emotions. They are allowed by society express anger or other emotions that don’t always help the women in their lives to feel loved and cared for.
Keep in mind all the things and actions your man does and how those may be signs of his love. Once you learn more about the love languages, you will be able to identify ways to help him and also help yourself in feeling loved.
And if hearing the words are important to the progression of your relationship, hold an open honest conversation about how you feel and your understanding of how he is showing love in all the things he does. Ask for the help of a qualified counselor if needed. And read helpful books on the personalities – such as Personalities Plus by Florence Littauer. This book will give you an excellent understanding of the four basic personalities. You will learn all about what makes you, your family, and your friends the way they are. The strengths and weakness of each personality are thoroughly covered. A “Personality Profile” test is included.
Most likely, he will soon come to feel the comfort of your arms and be willing to express his emotions with you.