Why Couldn't Mike Say "I Love You" To Eleven?

Date:  June 29, 2022

In Stranger Things season 4, Mike was struggling to say "I love you" to Eleven – but why?

Byers family moved to California to start a new life while Mike and the rest of the group remained in Hawkins. During the spring break, Mike went to California to meet Byers family. Eleven and Mike were very happy to see each other but there’s an underlying tension between them as well. We find out that Eleven has been lying to Mike about how wonderful her life has been in California. On the other hand, Mike did not write that he loved her in all of his letters which bothered Eleven. Some fans have speculated that Eleven should break up with Mike as has been finding it hard to express his feelings for her.

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We know that long-distance relationships can be difficult, especially for teenagers. Though the actions of Mike have always indicated how much he cares for Eleven, he’s always had more trouble telling El exactly how he feels, instead generally showing this by his actions instead. This is arguably why Mike couldn't say "I love you" to Eleven.

Another reason could be the loveless marriage of his parents Ted and Karen Wheeler. Throughout four seasons, both display almost no signs of affection for one another, and Ted often criticizes his wife and puts her down for no reason. Mike, though he’s in love, has never seen a couple tell each other how they truly feel.

There is a big difference between Eleven and Mike is clear. Eleven grew up in an abusive environment while Mike received love from his parents, his friends, and his siblings. That's why he doesn’t realize how important it is for some people to hear that declaration.

Apart from these, there are also many theories. Some say that Mike only loved Eleven because of her superpowers. While others suggest that Mike might have feelings for Will too.

Why do you think Mike cannot express his love for Eleven? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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3 comments on “Why Couldn't Mike Say "I Love You" To Eleven?”

  1. I personally believe that Mike is having some identity issues. He might have feelings for both El and Will and doesn't know how to express them. Maybe he's confused on his sexuality?

  2. Ted "criticizes his wife and puts her down for no reason"? Not once did I see that happen. They never seemed to talk much, like they don't have much in common, but not once did he citicize her. If anything, she was more critical of him.

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