Back when I first started writing romances, an editor criticized me for having my characters say “I love you” too often.
Maybe in fiction, there’s such a thing as saying it too often. Especially since readers do tend to frown on repetition in a story.
But I wrote that way because in my own life, I couldn’t hear it enough. For me personally, at least, there’s no such thing as hearing “I love you” too often.
For some people, though, it’s difficult to say even when they feel it. They might assume their partner “just knows”. Or they might have had negative experiences in the past that leave them reluctant to open their hearts that much.
You can’t really push a partner into saying something they don’t feel able to say. On the other hand, you can’t expect your partner to read your mind. My past left me unable to trust my own judgement about relationships, so even if I see signs that a partner loves me, I’m never completely certain unless they say it. In fact, if they don’t say it, I manage to convince myself that I’m reading too much into the things they do and say–even if *they* believe those things are clearly showing me they love me.
If you love someone, don’t just assume they know. Try saying it to them at least once. Because sometimes it’s just nice to hear.