Do you remember a little while ago when I posted a letter from a dear friend who needed my guidance and awesomeness? Well, my workload has finally normalized and I have the time to post properly. Since this answer is long overdue, here it is:
Dear Word Crazy,
I feel your pain. I know exactly what you're feeling and what you're freaking out about. There's something really important that you need to keep in mind: men are babies. Stupid babies. They take forever to mature, and even once you think they've finally joined the "grown-up" world, they disappoint you by being emotionally stunted. There are times when actions and not words are important. There are people who are "I love you" whores and just walk around saying it to everyone, but don't really mean it. Then there are others who show it and never say it.
If you ask me both are immature and foolish. If you really love someone, you should break down and say the words, for their benefit as well as for your own. Life is too short to walk around not telling the people you love how you feel. You never know what will happen tomorrow and if you don't verbalize and show how you feel, you may regret it.
As someone once said: a rose to the living is more than sumptuous wreaths to the dead. Braithwaite
So, while I think it would show immense zen maturity on your part to go ahead and take what you can get from him, his loving actions and not his words, I think you need those words. He's being a silly, ridiculous baby and he needs to get over himself. Any time things get intimate with the two of you he starts whining and moping about his ex and how she broke his heart, discarded his poem written in blood, and - oh, horror of horrors - didn't say she loved him back. My God! She treated him like shit the entire time and here he is still crying about it and letting it effect your sweet geriatric relationship. You guys are two old, wrinkled (in spirit) peas in a pod, and if he can't see that and declare already, then it's his loss.
In my opinion you need to give him a time limit. The amount of time is up to you, but be careful not to wait too long. Before you know it 5 years will have passed and you'll still have no idea what's going on. If he doesn't grow up and stop being selfish and demanding "control" (what the frick??) you will have to suck it up and Super Nanny his ass. That's right. Time out. No soup for you! How else is the silly baby going to learn?
Before I close, I just want to comment on the fact that you said in your letter that you didn't want to look like a fool. Honey, that ship has sailed. You yourself said that you and him baby talk and make up names for your kisses (gag...mini vomit). Does reading it in black and white help you see how ridiculous it is? No? Fine. I give up. It's hopeless. Go ahead and baby talk all you want. What do I care. Just don't you dare do it in front of me.
Good luck. I'm cheering for you,