He hasn’t said the three words

As promised, I'm posting the list of self-help/love books today. These are books that are mailed to me by publishers because I write about love. If you want to review one of these books for the Love Letters audience (anonymously, if you want), e-mail me (meregoldstein at gmail dot com) with “BOOK REVIEW” in the subject line, and tell me your book of choice and home mailing address. I'll contact people who are getting books and I'll keep sending until I run out.

Those who get books will have a few weeks to read them and come up with a one-sentence review. Our interns will choose the best review.

Here's the list. Be quick. Books go fast. (Today's letter is below the list. Just scroll down.)

Kundalini, by Cyndi Dale

The Official Booty Parlor Mojo Makeover, by Dana B. Myers

The Art of War for Dating, by Eric Rogell

Delicious Dating, by Babe Scott

Fight Less, Love More, by Laurie Puhn, JD

Lovecasts, by Judi Vitale

Women are from Venus, Men are Idiots, by John McPherson

Celebrating Love, by Jim McCann

Project: Happily Ever After, by Alisa Bowman

From Heartbreak to Heart’s Desire, by Dawn Maslar, MS

A Compendium of Kisses, by Lana Citron

Shameless, by Pamela Madsen

The Military Marriage Manual, by Janelle Hill, Cheryl Lawhorne, and Don Philpott

Dealbreaker, by Dave Horwitz and Marisa Pinson

Girl, Get Your Mind Right! by Tionna Tee Smalls

eHarmony Guide to Dating the Second Time Around, by Dr. Gian Gonzaga, Ph. D

The Case for Falling in Love, by Mari Ruti, Ph. D

Back to Us, by Raphael Cushnir

Attached, by Amir Levine, M.D., and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A.

I Love You Even Though, by Rebecca M. Schuler and Christine W. Regan

What About Me? by Dr. Jane Greer

Life Unlocked, by Srinivasan S. Pillay, M.D.

The Man Whisperer, by Donna Sozio and Samantha Brett

His Cold Feet, by Andrea Passman Candell

Fury, by Koren Zailckas

Money and Marriage, by Michael Sion

Dear Meredith,

Long time listener, first time caller, as they say! Here's the plot:

Cast of Characters
Me: mid-twenties, gainfully employed, no smoking/drinking/white shoes after Labor Day.
Him: mid-twenties, gainfully employed, no smoking/drinking/romantic comedies starring Hugh Grant.

The Prologue
We met in college, and have been dating on and off for almost four years. Our "off" periods were primarily due to our respective careers -- I moved out of the country for a period of time, his unusual job requires an inordinate amount of travel. After traveling the nation and the world, we've come to to the realization that we are perfect for each other. We've talked about our future, raising children, and we're back together and totally in love. Well, I am totally in love.

The Problem With the Script
Not once in our many years of being involved with each other has he ever said, "I love you." I’ve said it once or twice, and his response each time was, "You mean the world to me." He’s never said it to anyone else in his dating history, so I know the words mean a lot and he wouldn't ever take that kind of verbal commitment lightly. The problem is, hearing "I love you" is really important to me.

My question to you, as the Official Script Editor of Cupid, is: how can I address this subject, sensitive as it is, without freaking him out? It’s important to me, and it's something I need to hear in a relationship, but I understand it’s also a Very Big Thing to bring up. I can already hear shouts from the audience, telling me I should be grateful for a man who shows his affection, though he might not tell it (and believe me, I am grateful); but is it wrong of me to feel that the words carry their own emotional weight, as well?

Thanks in advance for all the advice!


Hoping For A Rewrite, Boston


HFAW, you might hear a few shouts from the LL crowd about being grateful, but it seems to me that you are. I think most of us want to be told that we're loved, not just that we mean the world to someone.

If he hasn't said it because he just doesn't feel comfortable saying those very loaded words until it feels natural, I'm not worried. Some people psych themselves out and can't say "I love you" until they've already loved someone for quite some time. It only matters if he hasn't said it because he's unhappy or doesn't see this lasting.

You have my permission to ask whether it's hesitation or unhappiness and doubt. If it's doubt, you can panic. But if it's hesitation, which it probably is, you just have to take a deep breath, sit tight, and remember that you do mean the entire planet to him. That's something. If he's happy, hang on to that and try to relax. Kiss him and tell him that you'll enjoy the "show" part of the show and tell.

I wish I could edit your script. Life doesn't work that way. Which is a bummer, because I'd come up with some amazing lines for him. You'd melt.

Readers? Should she even bring this up with him? We get a lot of "I love you" letters. Can anyone who holds off on saying it explain why? Is his job and their on-and-off beginnings relevant? Discuss.

– Meredith