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Did anyone else watch this season of “Couples Therapy”?

I wasn’t a faithful viewer, but from time to time, I would tune in. I paid attention to see what was going on with rapper Treach and his girlfriend, Cicely, but was often captivated by the drama between former “Bachelor” Juan Pablo Galavis and girlfriend Nikki Ferrell. When she was the last bachelorette standing in “The Bachelor” season 18, Ferrell was supposed to get her happy ending. But she didn’t get a ring, nor an ‘I love you,” and after what the couple claimed was about a year of being together, she still didn’t get an ‘I love you.’ Even worse, Galavis seemed to care less and less about the things that affected Ferrell, and he didn’t make much progress on “Couples Therapy.” Inevitably, the couple were going to have to go their separate ways, and they did recently–right before her birthday.

“We were just going back and forth through texting. He was questioning the relationship and I was questioning it back. I sent him a message saying, ‘We should fight for this. We should work this out.’ And he didn’t respond.”

But a big reason he probably didn’t want to fight for their relationship is because while she loved him, and had said it on more than one occasion in the media, he never said it, never felt it. He cared about her, but was reserving ‘I love you’ for when he actually meant it. Well, at least he was honest.

“She wants to hear I love you. It’s a word issue. If I say it, I mean it.”

But really, would he ever say it and actually mean it?

I can relate to this struggle because I have been in Ferrell’s shoes in the past. When I was in college, I was in a relationship for about a year and a half with a guy I was crazy about. I left an ex-boyfriend begging to have me back who said ‘I love you’ regularly for this new guy, who was good to me, made me laugh all the time, and fought to be with me (he literally almost had an altercation with my ex). Only problem was, he never said ‘I love you.’ Maybe “I like you a lot,” and I do remember, “I love you, but not in that way yet,” but that was about it after all that time.

I said it midway through our relationship, around six months, and I did mean it. But it hurt more and more to say those words to someone who wouldn’t say them back. Someone who would say ‘thanks’ and ‘that’s sweet’ in response. Talk about a dagger to the heart…

And yes, he showed me love in other ways for a while, and that was always his comeback when I would ask him if he really thought he wanted to be with me. But once his gestures became less and less, I was given a wake-up call: I was saying ‘I love you’ to a man who obviously thought he had me wrapped around his finger because emotionally, my nose was wide open. I say that because he was so comfortable to the point that I was the one doing all the work to keep our relationship afloat. He was literally declining my requests that he visit me at my dorm. Did I mention that in walking distance we lived 10 minutes away?

With my busy class and work schedule, I no longer had time for his shenanigans, or love. After crying for days leading up to my decision, and days after, I ended it. While other people might like trying to search for those three words solely in their man’s gestures like they’re looking for Waldo, I had come to the end of my rope.

So I wonder, is this petty? Can you ever go too long in a relationship without being told ‘I love you’? Can you go without hearing those three words?

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