Jill, 26, editor, New York City

FRIDAY 11 a.m., work: My boyfriend has just signed on to G-chat; we discuss plans to go upstate tomorrow for the weekend. I'm hoping it'll be the romantic kick he needs to finally drop the L bomb. We've been together five months, and I'm troubled by his reticence.

SATURDAY 5 p.m., B&B: We arrive at the inn. I am in Victorian heaven.

6 p.m., our room: After a quick dip in the lake before sundown, we return for immediate bathing-suit removal.

10 p.m. Following a lovely dinner, we're rocking on the porch swing, under the stars. We kiss. We stare into each other's eyes. "I love you," I say. Pause. "What's the murder rate like up here, you think?" he responds. No kidding.

11 p.m. In bed, reading. I'm huffy. This is probably the fifth or sixth time I've said The Word, and he's never said it back. When I've asked him about it before, he has promised he can't say it to anybody and it has nothing to do with me, but I can't help feeling rejected.

SUNDAY 12 p.m., beach: After breakfast, we do a crossword. Then he drags me into the lake, bear-hugs me, and dunks me under water. I'm ridiculously happy, and I can tell he is, too.

11 p.m., car: I'm sleepy while heading back to the B&B from a drive-in movie and frustrated that he can't help with the driving (would it kill him to get a license?). But more frustrating is that I can't tell him how I feel without getting silence in return. He rubs my leg and reads to me from a magazine. He's so great; why is this the one thing he can't do?

MONDAY 8 a.m., B&B: We only have this room for three more hours, so we skip breakfast and take advantage of it.

5 p.m., car: Almost home when he gets a call on his cell. It's his mom, inviting us to dinner tonight. I've met her a couple of times, and his constant willingness to include me in family stuff is promising.

11:40 p.m., home: After dinner at his mom's, I drop him off and go home. He IMs me: "You have fun this weekend?" "Totally," I say, which is true, despite not hearing the one thing I wanted to hear. "You?" I ask. "Obviously! :-) " I go to bed wondering how a man so afraid of feelings can be so liberal with emoticons. But I guess, for the time being, I'm okay with a relationship where actions speak louder than words.

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