Should I say 'I Love You' first?

So i've known this guy for about 9 months, we've been together for around 4 months but we are in a long distance relationship. we've met a few times, we've had great times, we are exclusive and both are committed to the relationship. he said he is willing to wait until i come back to his country (which is 16 months). But until now, none of us has dropped the L word yet. He is willing to quit smoking for me, but im not sure if that makes him love me because sometimes he is choosing playstation / tv over talking to me.

Although, at some point I don't care if he doesn't say 'i love you too', i just want him to know that I do.
So should I say it first through video call?
Should I say 'I Love You' first?
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