Ok, this is a first world problem compared to many on this board!
I'm 32, I have a young daughter and split from my husband about 18 months ago. Not that it's relevant to this question but it was a crap marriage and he was pretty EA. It took a while to break free.
I met a man 4 months ago. He's my age and it's been brilliant. Just really easy. We see each other as much as possible which is 2-3 times a week because of work and my child are. We talk everyday either on the phone or by text.
We get on great. There's a lot of attraction. We have fun, we're really affectionate. He hasn't met DD, he has said he would love to but I want to hold off a few more months. We've had "chats" about how much we like each other and how lovely it all is bla bla bla!
Lately when I'm with him I just feel so loved up and I feel like it's actually a struggle to hold in "I love you" when we're cuddled up falling asleep or had a couple of wines!
What if he's not there yet? Is it too soon? Am I ridiculous and do I need to grow up and realise it can't possibly be love yet or do I need to grow a pair and just say it?
I don't think he would tell me that yet. He's mentioned a few times about trying to go at my pace as I am slightly more guarded then him and my situation is more complicated with DD etc.
I'm a big 'I love you' person. I tell family, friends, all kinds of people I love them and if they don't say it back I really don't take it personally. Because I think the world needs more love, I'd encourage you to express yourself. .... whatever the reaction
Well... We had a lovely night. Drinks and food. He has had a lot of work issues recently and told me how grateful he has been for my support, how I'm the first person he calls, how he can't remember not knowing me, how great the last four months have been and how happy he feels.
I felt all gooey and said it
He said "really?!"
Then he told me he wants to be more cautious (his ex wife cheated), to him that is a big milestone and a sign of big commitment and he doesn't feel ready to say it back.
I said it was ok, to me it's not that big a deal, to me it's more of a nice feeling with no expectations attached. And I carried on smiling even though I wanted to die inside.
I know. Hurts a bit though. I don't feel like we're on different pages but Im having to force myself to not go into self preservation mode and do any backing off and keep it normal. I'll get over it. I think
It's 'out there', he'll think about, and all you have to do is carry on as normal. You made out it was a casual statement so be consistent with that rather than deciding, after the event, that it was a big deal after all. See how it goes.
Don't worry OP my husband said it after about 4 weeks, didn't put me off. I don't think you can put someone off if it's right long term. I said similar to your husband, took me a long time to say it back to him - about 6 months - he swears it was longer - because I wanted to check him out and be sure.
Also - one of my best friends fell in love with an old friend of hers and confessed one day. He said he needed some time to think about it, and they kept in touch and finally he decided he loved her too (can't remember the time frame) and that was about 17 years and 3 children ago.
DP told me first, and I wasn't there at that point and did much the same reply as your boyfriend. I know you feel bad but he probably feels bad as well - everyone knows the expected response is 'me too!'.
At least he is being honest with you and he hasn't said anything about not expecting to ever feel that way.