Labored Love

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,

I told my girlfriend of a few months that I love her. At the time she told me she couldn’t say
that she loved me back. Since then she’s slept over every night at my place. We continue to hang out and nothing has really changed in our relationship. I don’t know if she hasn't said “I love you” because she won’t ever love me or because she just hasn’t gotten to that point yet. I don’t want to belabor the question but I’m not sure I should stick around and wait to find out if she can ever love me. I’m having fun but the anxiety of feeling deeper thoughts for her than she feels for me is starting to get to me. When do I know to back out of the relationship? Is it worth waiting around?

Labored Love


Dear Love,

Even if you don’t want to belabor the question, it seems like your only option is asking your
girlfriend whether she’s capable of loving you at some later point in your relationship. After all,
you’ve only been together for a few months, so it’s incredibly likely that it’s too early for her to say “I love you,” even if you’re sure of your own feelings. Of course, it won’t be easy to ask her such a bold question, so ease her into it. Stress that you still love her and enjoy the time you spend together, but that you want to clarify aspects of your relationship. If she’s unwilling to define the relationship or explain why she couldn’t reciprocate your “I love you,” then you might consider breaking it off so you’re no longer weighed down by the anxiety of loving her more. That being said, most relationships are a little unbalanced when it comes to love. Ideally you should love each other equally, or at least switch off, but you might have to come to terms with caring for your girlfriend more, especially when you’ve developed feelings so quickly. If the anxiety is unbearable, or if you’re opposed to being in a relationship in which love isn’t reciprocated, then you might be better off alone. Nevertheless, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you’re genuine about your feelings and your concerns and ask your girlfriend to explain her answer. It’s admirable to wait to say “I love you” until you really mean it, and I suspect this is the case with your girlfriend.

Much love,
Miss Lonely Hearts