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How to respond when he/she doesn't say love back?

How do you respond when the other person

doesn’t say I LOVE YOU for the first time?

First thoughts: Can’t breathe. Wrong moment. Said it too fast. And most importantly, why not, why not, why not? Devastating when a few short second feels like an eternity.

With Time, and the Past speaking quite loudly and clearly, I’ve usually been the one to say it first. In my teens & 20’s I was in love with being in love. Facebook my ex’s and they’ll concur. As my 30’s are flying by, my love to say I love you has waned. This of course I’m sure, has to do with the fact that the past three previous relationships all have one thing in common: I said, “I LOVE YOU” muted silence, followed by life lessons. These stories take place in Asia, in the rapturous, never sleeping city of Seoul.

First: first response to the wind blowing around dead silence was…I hugged her. By hugging I was hiding, followed by clumsily mentioning things like,

“It’s been on my mind awhile.”

“Obviously without mentioning it, say it when you’re ok with it.”


“Really, nothing?”

Almost felt like I played it off cool, then turned back into myself with a, “Really, nothing?”

But in times of war, two hearts are at stake. Generally, foolishly I lay mine out to see a result. Do we go back-to-back, face-to-face and take on life together? Or do we politely find another way around it and walk away unscathed all together? Eventually one day she said those 3 words back to me…but time and distance destroyed that later on.

Second: “James, I do too, but I’m not ready to say it out loud.”

“You just did.”

“No, I didn’t say it, I’m just agreeing with you.”

I wanted to take her agreement, throw it out into the street and watch a stampede of elephants come racing through.

When she finally told me those 3 words, I slowly realized that it was really 4 words. There’s a comma and a too involved. The more I thought about it the less I liked it when you say it and they reply, “I LOVE YOU, TOO.” Doesn’t that mean an agreement? So she was right after all. When someone says they love you it’s one person’s expression without a comma. So from this I now never want to say, “I LOVE YOU, TOO.” Instead, looking her in the eyes, “I LOVE YOU.” That way we have 2 different loves that bleed into the other.

Third: “I LOVE YOU, TOO (only now I know this trick). But I’m still in love with the last person too. So I can’t mean what I say.”

“But that means you’re not saying it at all, right?”

“Yes, but I felt like I should’ve.”

Lifelong school this LOVE thing is.


Quite possibly one of the last three words I expect to feel back from love.

Fear. Shame. Unknowing.

Now, with unknowing you realize that love will take you anywhere and everywhere. So I would like to think we already know the unknowing.

On the flipside of these stories: I too haven’t muttered those 3 or 4 words back. And what those stories have in common is every girl after awhile has always asked me why I didn’t say it back in that moment. Are women stronger in that way? That they will ask for an answer for a question that could have such devastating aftermath? All storieswere with a Korean or Chinese woman… which leads me to ask: Are these Asian women traits or merely love kicking our ass anywhere in the world?

Looking forward to hearing comments and stories about any and all of this.

Next Thursday's topic will be:Foreigner night/Asian night.

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