Excellent question! There are two separate situations: 1) Not being in a relationship. In this situation, self love is the key, man! I’m not going to pine away for something that I don’t have, which is romantic love from someone else. Though, I can still recognize it’s value and want to have it at some point. 2) Being IN a relationship. If I’ve reached this point and things are serious, I need a partner that is going to be able to do the bare minimum in verbally expressing love — saying those words. It’s important to me.