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"I love you" What's normal?

(46 Posts)
nomoreiloveyous Sun 23-Sep-12 11:00:29

My last partner (DS's dad) was overly affectionate and quite smothering, he said "I love you" all.the.time. Ultimately he was a cheat and so it was clear to me that saying I love you and gushing all the time meant jack shit.

Of course my next partner (current partner of 5 years, we live together) was an antidote to that. The strong, silent type. Very few compliments and "I love yous" But they were all heartfelt when they did come. And when they did, I was like a little child being given a treat. Sad really, on reflection.

So it's now been 6 weeks since the last time. Which was, I think, only because I said it and he said it back. Beofe that it was a month previous, after an arguement and the context was "We'll make this work... I love you"

I feel stupid even asking this. It sounds so needy and ridiculous. But what exactly is normal?! Is 10/12 times a year what ther people do?? I don't want to be one fo those couples that say "love you" flippantly at the end of every phone call - but when we discussed it a few years back we both said that it was nicer to hear it when it was really felt rather than just out of habit. I stand by that but I wish that he "really felt" a bit more often.

I say it more tha him but to be honest I've stopped now as I feel needy and daft.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 23-Sep-12 11:03:49

I'm with a strong, silent but very affectionate type myself at the moment and, funnily enough, had an effusive fake prior to that as well. smile I don't think there is a 'normal' therefore. I'm quite happy that actions speak louder than words. However, if you'd like to hear 'I love you' more often and it's important to your sense of security, perhaps the easiest thing to do would be to explain how you feel?

puds11 Sun 23-Sep-12 11:05:24

I had the exact same situation with my last 2 ex's. One said it all the time, and the other almost never said it.

I found the first one said it a lot because he was crap at relationships and thought that would make it better, the second one never said it because he was an abusive asshole who liked to make me feel like shit.

I also am unsure as to what normal is.

EvenBetter Sun 23-Sep-12 11:08:47

We say it about once a month!
But I feel loved by him all of the time, having dinner made for me or a cocktail made or told I'm beautiful and stuff all make me feel loved, I'm no good as expressing emotions!

It's what's normal for you, if yous are a couple that need to say it throughout every day or every few weeks

nomoreiloveyous Sun 23-Sep-12 11:16:03

You may have hit the nail on the head there - I don't feel loved . At the start, there were so many other displays of affection that I smugly judgedd those who just said "I love you" as if that excused the complete lack of emotion/ affection/ romance in the relationship. But now that all of that has stopped there is nothing left.

Well, not nothing... he does things for me. Like takes my clean folded clothes upstairs, or makes me a cup of tea. Sometimes he says I look "nice" but that's it really. I think I need to get out sad

lostinindia Sun 23-Sep-12 11:16:42

I think the last spontaneous time, rather than nudging him to say it, was back in 1994 after particularly energetic shag. He said it many times in a row and I think I must have got my life quota there and then. Seriously though I know he loves me. Its the things he does rather than the words he says.

nomoreiloveyous Sun 23-Sep-12 11:27:41

Ha, that is funny!

So you don'tmind, India? What kinds of things does he do to show he loves you? I had to struggle to find the two examples I gave below sad

I used tot hink he did things out f love for me but I now realise that he did them for himself. i.e. he took me abroad for my firstbirthday that we spent together. I thought it was so romantic, but it was toa city that he had always wanted to go to and we mainly did things that he wanted to do. There have been selfless things that he has done for me over the years, don't get me worng. But particularly over the last 6 months I feel like I'm the last thing on his radar. Everything have dwindled away. Not so much as a card this year on Valentines or for our anniversary. I feel conned in to what i thought the relationship would be like, only to be left with nothing. I don't think I want this low level of affection for the rest of my life. We're not even married yet, it's not going to get better is it?

KatieScarlett2833 Sun 23-Sep-12 11:36:46

Spontaneously at least once every few days.

And at the end of every e-mail we send while we are meant to be working

18 years married.

KatieScarlett2833 Sun 23-Sep-12 11:37:25

And we don't do valentines day.

Yuck.

FuckityFuckFuck Sun 23-Sep-12 11:40:02

See, I'm the one in my relationship that doesn't spontaneously say 'I love you', but thinking about it, OH doesn't say it much either. I honestly can't remember I uttered those words to anyone apart from DS. As others have said, I feel loved so the words don't matter.

If you are not feeling loved, then you have a problem. Have you spoken to him about it? You don't have to stay with him if you don't want to

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 23-Sep-12 11:48:57

It's vital to have affection. The aforementioned strong, silent type is extremely affectionate and tactile with occasional stabs at romance that give him the 'ah bless' factor. If you're getting neither words nor actions then it's a bit of a one-sided affair - literally -and, no I don't think, it does get better from there

fluffyraggies Sun 23-Sep-12 11:50:54

XH - never in 15 years.

DH - every day, more than once. He'll look me really deep in the eyes and say it sometimes, which is particularly lovely just after a good shag making love.

It does sound to me as if you need to have this convo with your DP, OP. Bad/lazy habits with your OH can make a relationship rot away sadly sad

CanIOfferYouAPombear Sun 23-Sep-12 11:56:57

We say it every day to each other. It's normal for us but may not seem normal for others.

Do you feel loved? Some people prefer to show love rather than say it all the time, others do both, some do none!

OhEmGee24 Sun 23-Sep-12 12:31:52

Several times a day every day. It is a relatively new relationship (8months) so I'm sure many will say that'll go. But both of us have lost people very close to us (my friend at 23, his dad at 49) so we are extra conscious of always telling each other our feelings whilst not knowing what may be round the corner.

GirlWithALlamaTattoo Sun 23-Sep-12 13:25:14

We say it very infrequently - the last time was 3am as he left to catch a flight abroad, a couple of weeks ago. I can't remember the time before. But, as someone else said, I feel loved. We're affectionate, we do nice things for each other, he buys me flowers and chocolate for no particular reason, and he's told me no end of times how pleased he is to be marrying me.

I'm happier this way. With my ex, it was like the cat's particularly annoying miaow. It usually meant "I want something" and didn't at all make me feel loved.

Ephiny Sun 23-Sep-12 13:33:20

Maybe two or three times in 10 years, though it wouldn't have occurred to me to actually count! It's not the sort of thing I tend to say really, I'm not the sentimental type and I might have laughed last time DH said it to me, oops actions speak louder than words IMO.

nomoreiloveyous Sun 23-Sep-12 13:40:28

So then, in conclusion - there is no "normal" but the actions of lovemust be present?

I guess I know what I need to do then.

throckenholt Sun 23-Sep-12 13:46:34

I think the saying of it is not as important as the showing of it. If someone says it a lot but doesn't act it then it loses is currency. And can be very irritating - like saying it makes up for the rest. It like saying sorry automatically but not actually meaning it.

Only you can decide if that is the case.

Mumsyblouse Sun 23-Sep-12 16:31:09

Nomore, it might be that it's all past saving, but I wondered if you heard about the five love languages? You say your husband takes the washing up the stairs for you, or makes you a cup of tea, they are called 'acts of service'. My husband wouldn't do those things, as his primary love language is gifts, I'd love a cup of tea occasionally! As I say, this may not be appropriate, but you need to be sure that he isn't being loving before you conclude that, not everyone shows it in a hearts and flowers way. What do you think he would say if you said you felt neglected and not loved?

sades101 Sun 23-Sep-12 17:53:04

Me and my partner have been together for just over 2 years (we haven't spent one day apart since we met) We have had an up and down relationship as I have some extreme trust issues and he wasn't exactly a model boyfriend at the start (although by no means an awful boyfriend)

We say I love you a lot and sometimes its out of habit. I like to say 'I love you' when I say bye on the phone just in case something awful happened and it was the last time I had ever spoken to him a bit morbid I know... (I also do this with my family members) but because I do love him it's not like I don't feel it when I say it, because it's true. If ever it stopped being true then I wouldn't say it and I wouldn't remain in the relationship.

I would agree with a lot of the posters that there probably isn't a 'normal' as my first relationship was with a man who barely said it but he was very faithful and I don't have any regrets in that relationship. (lived with him for 3 years)

My second relationship was with a sneaky little liar who said I love you ALL of the time (lived with him for 2 years)

I think this relationship is a happy medium really...

Just talk to him and let him know your feelings then if there is no change then get out of it and find someone who makes you feel special, because thats what you deserve!! x

idobelieveinfairies Sun 23-Sep-12 18:21:30

I said it to dp today after he fixed the dishwasher.

I say it after extremely good sex.

He doesn't say it unless I do...... Hmmmm...

Will be having a discussion about this when kids are in bed!

TequilaMockinBird Sun 23-Sep-12 18:25:34

DH leaves for work while I'm still asleep every morning. Just before he leaves he'll come upstairs, kiss me and whisper I love you to me. I'm a light sleeper so always wake up but pretend I'm still asleep grin

We also say it every night before going to sleep whilst cuddled up in bed.

nomoreiloveyous Sun 23-Sep-12 19:27:45

Thanks tequila. I'll just go and top myself wink

I don't feel special. Will google the five languages of love. He's not by nature a helpful person so maybe the fact that he does me favours is his way of loving me but even if so, it's not a match to my needs sad

nomoreiloveyous Sun 23-Sep-12 19:40:37

I just did my languages of love questionnaire and my high scores came out as "words of affirmation" and "physical touch"... With acts of service being the lowest... It doesn't look good does it sad

Tortoise Sun 23-Sep-12 19:51:03

nomoreiloveyous Sounds like my boyfriend. Been together a year and it feels like we are more like friends with a bit of sex thrown in. Twice he has surprised me with a sudden Love you text but he's never said it to my face and nor have i because i'm scared he wouldn't say it back.

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