Dolores <i>dice</i>...Love Hurts

Why can’t he say “I love you?”

Dear Dolores:

I just want to know what it means when a guy you date for over a year never says the words “I love you”? Is it fear, shyness or what?

—Rita en L.A.

Dear Rita:

It could be fear. It could be shyness. Or it could be what, as in, What if he doesn’t love you? But before you reach for the tissues feeling rejected and unloved, remember that many men’s DNA lacks the romantic molecule and therefore is not programmed for lovespeak. Some men feel that uttering those three little words will make them vulnerable by surrendering all power to the loved one. Others fear that as soon as they whisper it, their girlfriends will go deaf from the loud wedding bells tolling inside their heads and blind from all the bridal magazines they’ll start reading to look for the perfect dress. In the end, though, actions always speak louder than words. Does he shower you with little gifts for no good reason? Value your opinion when it comes to his outfits? Have you met him mom, his Tia Cuca and more than 40 percent of his cousins? Those are deafening clues right there. Unless he’s a zombie from outer space, if he loves you, you’ll just know it.

—Besides, the L word is so overused…, D

Bride of Frankenstein

Dear Dolores:

I feel like I’ve created a monster. I have been with my boyfriend for 12 years. The last five have been a mess—I’ve been holding us afloat financially while he’s been in and out of short-term jobs. To make matters worse, he’s the old-fashioned macho type who believes that el hombre es de la calle y la mujer es de la casa. So he pretty much goes out every weekend while I stay at home. How do I set things straight?

—Stuck in a hole in Philadelphia

Dear Stuck:

Respect his beliefs, m’ija. If he insists that, as a man, he belongs en la calle, then change the door lock and leave him out in the cold. You stay en la casa, warm and cozy. If he gives you grief, send out the townsfolk to chase him away with their torches. And before you hook up with a new novio, please make sure you go down to the basement and destroy every piece of equipment in your Doctora Frankenstein’s lab.

—Enough enabling, D