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31 August 2008

Relationship question OK, so my boyfriend and I aren't in love. But did he really have to sign his email with "Like" instead of putting "Love" or nothing at all? It wasn't funny and I feel hurt, and I'm sure he'll say I shouldn't be, so now what?
I expect he thought it was witty, without realising that it might hurt your feelings. As for what to say to him, I don't know - I am clueless about relationships.

ThePinkSuperhero will be along soon with exactly the right words.
posted by essexjan 31 August | 14:15
Since I know nothing about the situation other than what I've seen here, please take my hypothesis with a gigantic grain of salt.

It could be a passive-aggressive way of saying "hey, if I'm gonna be with someone, I want the relationship to be based on in-love kind of love. I'm not sure whether I feel that way about you, but I'm not sure that I don't, either. Yet the fact that we've both acknowledged that we're NOT in love closes off the possibility of that happening, and that doesn't seem fair to either of us, given that we're obviously investing something in this boyfriend/girlfriend thing."
posted by treepour 31 August | 14:45
What e/j said.

From your post, you've probably discussed this whole like/love thing before and it looks like he was referring to that. He could have meant anything from "This is a funny joke I thought of" to "Don't worry, I'm not that freaked out by recent conversations". It's highly unlikely to be "I don't want to be with you because we're not in love."

Now what: That's up to you. I wouldn't make a deal out of this specific incident, but it sounds like you've some issues you need to work out. That like/love thing can be a relationship killer for *some* people. However, without knowing you, your boyfriend, how long you've been together or the sort of people you are I'm incapable of offering any more detailed advice.
posted by seanyboy 31 August | 15:00
My uneducated guess is:

1. He feels he might love you but is unsure of his feelings and is masking it with humor.
2. He was trying to be funny but hitched a ride on the fail boat instead.
3. Sounds like maybe your feelings are a little stronger than you initially thought, and you feel slighted by this because of it?

For the record, my boyfriend and I didn't use the "L" word for the first year and a half we were together, but we both agreed that we wouldn't say until we were sure we meant it. It's nice because we feel like when we do say it now, we do so because we mean it, not because it's expected. My advice would be to tell him you were hurt, but maybe have another discussion about each other's expectations? Either that or just roll your eyes and move on?
posted by evilcupcakes 31 August | 15:40
Tell him "Ok, so I think you were trying to be funny or cute, but this really bugged me." Easy as that. He'll probably feel bad and apologize and then not do it again, or he'll get all defensive and weird, which might be a sign that he's really not ready for this "love" business. Not necessarily a relationship killer in and of itself, but his reaction might point towards a tendency to keep a safe distance from the "L" word and all its connotations that could certainly put a damper on things in the future.
posted by grapefruitmoon 31 August | 16:04
I'm going to go with "I've got to put something. She's more special than 'regards' or 'respectfully' or 'sincerely', but she's less than 'love'. 'Like' ought to do it."

It might have been something someone did to him at one point.

A more considerate thing might have been just to put his name, minus "love". I'm not seeing malice here, per se, just not seeing the impact it would have.

What to do? Be direct, say that you don't think it was personal*, but it would be better for him just to put his name at the end of his emails, if he puts anything at all.

Oh, and don't let anyone tell you how you should feel. I've been on both sides of that and it's wasted energy.

*If you're at that point. If not, ask if it was.
posted by lysdexic 31 August | 16:06
Now that essexjan set me up, I have to say something AMAZING! But I got nothing. I'm too confused over the part about you two not being in love- is it too soon to tell, or has it been long enough to tell that you're not in love? And if you're sure you're not in love, why are you still together?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 31 August | 21:34
I'm a little confused too about how you can be in a long-term relationship with someone that you don't love. What are you getting out of it?
posted by octothorpe 01 September | 00:15
I'd just let it go. People say stupid shit. And don't worry if you are or aren't in "love." Just enjoy each other. See where it goes. Maybe sign back: Like you, too,
posted by Pips 01 September | 15:46
(He'll appreciate keeping it light, I think. Keeping your sense of humor. Shows you're secure in yourself. We don't always have to share our feelings.)
posted by Pips 01 September | 15:49
1. He feels he might love you but is unsure of his feelings and is masking it with humor.
Sounds like the sort of thing a guy would do. Either that, or he wants to say he loves you but is concerned that, if you don't reciprocate, it leaves him hanging out there emotionally speaking.
posted by dg 01 September | 15:50
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