I can say from personal experience that there have been times it’s happened to me and I really did love the girl, but my life was a mess in other ways and wasn’t in the shape it needed to be in for an I-love-you type of relationship.I don’t feel good saying it, but I handled it less than gracefully – I have no idea how exactly me not saying it back was interpreted by the woman, but of course it wasn’t good.
Lately, it has become somewhat popular to make the Ambiguous Gay a child or teenager, waving away the character's questionable sexuality as them still trying to figure it out—yet still playing their mannerisms for laughs.Because of increasingly permissive censors, and depiction of gay people becoming more common, modern media is somewhat more likely to be explicit in the sexuality of their characters, making it a Broken Trope.We know that saying it, to some extent, is a demonstration of our commitment to her and that we’re not going anywhere. If you say it first, then it’s like you’re forcing that implied commitment, in a way.And even if a guy does love you, he will feel to an extent that he’s being pressured.I say that because him saying it first to you means a lot more than you saying it to him first…
When he says it to you first, it will come across as him declaring something to you.
They may live in a single-bedroom apartment with one of their "roommates".
A male character may lisp, and have an interest in fashion and musicals.
Compare Hide Your Lesbians, where the characters may not in a stereotypical manner, but their relationships are never outright stated or displayed (except maybe by Word of Gay).
The writers in charge of works focused on Heterosexual Life-Partners may play around with this. In many old films, characters are often given descriptions that may be perceived as code words for gay.
However, nobody in-universe will ever discuss the character's sexual orientation.