Daughter Wants Her Boyfriend To Say I Love You
by Worried Mom
My daughter is 16 and her boyfriend is 17. They have been dating for about 6 months, but have known each other for about 2 years. He is a year ahead of her in school.
Recently my daughter told me that she is concerned because her boyfriend had not told her that he loves her. We have got to know her boyfriend quite well. He spends a lot of time at our home and has gone on vacations with us. Other than my daughter's concern about him not stating he loves her they seem to have a very caring, loving and respectful relationship.
This is the second relationship for my daughter, the first for her boyfriend. When her boyfriend first started to express feelings for her (before they started dating) my daughter was reluctant to begin a relationship because she had recently broken up with her boyfriend and was still hurting. However, he did not push her and kept doing things with her as friends. Eventually, about 4 months later he asked her again if she would be his girlfriend and she accepted.
She has gone from being not sure about getting into a relationship to realizing she is very in love with him.
A little background on my daughter. Her father and I divorced when she was 2 years old. Her father moved far away and has basically been absent from her life. Over the years he has seen her, but it mostly ended in hurt feeling, disappointment and heartbreak for her. He has told her he would be here to see her and take her somewhere and then not shown up, etc.
Without going through every detail, I think that she has a lot of insecurity when it comes to anything that causes her to have fear that someone does not feel the way she would like them to feel about her, or the same way she feels about them. Hope this makes sense. Basically, she has been abandoned and hurt by someone who should never do that, her dad. However, I did remarry when she was 5 and her step-dad is very much a loving father to her.
She is a very beautiful, fun-loving, athletic, and straight A student. However, I think she is very hard on herself and lack self-esteem to some extent. In addition, her first boyfriend did not help her self esteem. She told me that he made her feel like she was never good enough. Thank goodness she ended the relationship.
Recently, we have had three occasions when she had become very upset, crying, etc, when she has told me about her concern with her current boyfriend not stating he loves her. I try to reassure her and tell her that her boyfriend spent a lot of time building a relationship with her and was very patient waiting for her.
I know she knows he cares about her deeply by the way he treats her. She told me her old boyfriend used to tell her all the time that he loved her. I told her that everyone wants to know that the person they love, loves them back, but I told her that actions speak louder than words. I have told her that I understand how she must feel.
I have tried to go through possible solutions with her, including her telling her boyfriend that she loves him or how she feels. She said she is too scared to tell him because it might ruin things or she will feel rejected if it doesn't go well or she doesn't want to think that he will tell her he loves her because that's what she want to hear.
I think that her boyfriend may be afraid to tell her because of how long it took her to just say yes to being his girlfriend and he may have the same feeling of ruining things.
It hurts me greatly to see her so upset. I don't know what to do. I have told her if it is bothering her this much she should try to get it out in the open instead of letting it build up inside and having it end up hurting her relationship. I am a believer that communication is one of the most, if not the most important part of a relationship. However, I think my daughter has emotional damage from the rejection and hurt she has experienced with her father.
I'm at my wits end and I am really having a hard time seeing her suffer. I don't know if I should let her work it out on her own and just be there for her or if I should intervene. I have thought about saying something to her boyfriend in confidence. However, I am scared to death of hurting my relationship with my daughter if he does not keep our conversation in confidence. He is a very thoughtful, caring and loving young man. I think if he knew the way my daughter is feeling he would be devastated and want to reassure her of his feelings.