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Advice on Saying I Love You

Advice on Saying I Love You

Advice on Saying I Love You

Advice Seeker :
Dear April Masini,

Help! My boyfriend said "I love you," and I was so excited and so freaked out that I didn't say anything back. He looked like he wanted to die with embarrassment, but I just couldn't say it. He's been avoiding me, now. I need some advice on what to do!

He loves me, he loves me not


April Masini's Advice :

Dear Loves Me Loves Me Not:

Those three little words, "I love you," first uttered, are meant to express warm and passionate feelings and make other people happy. So, why can they make you feel crazy? When you say, "i love you," for the first time, and your loved one doesn't say those three words back - there is no worse feeling. In fact, it can lead some to feel like they are being betrayed.

How can - I love you - spoken for the first time, make you feel so bad?:

When a man and a woman say these words to each other, for the first time, there is often the hope on the part of the person who says them, that the words will bind the two of you other together. Usually, that is the intent. Sometimes the sayer has been waiting for just the right moment to say the words. Sometimes he or she has been waiting months, planning the exact moment because saying it for the first time can be very meaningful. The build up can be intense. So when the other person doesn’t say it back, it can make you feel just awful!

”I love you,” tells you the relationship is moving forward:

The words, "I love you," spoken for the first time are just one of many steps in a romantic relationship that let you know where you are, and how you're doing. If you date someone for a year, and neither of you ever utter, ”I love you,” you can tell that the relationship is moving at a slower pace than if ”I love you,” was said in the first three or six months. 

So when one person gets to the point where they want to express their feelings by saying, "I love you," and the other person doesn't say it back, the silence - can be just devastating enough not to want to work out this difference or to live with it and see what happens next. You can feel that you just opened your heart and shared your intimate feelings with someone you've been spending every minute thinking about, and their silence feels like a rejection or even a betrayal.

But that doesn't mean it is.

Is it over if she doesn't say, ”I love you,” back?:

If he or she doesn't say, "I love you," back, the good news is that the person may not be ready to say it, and they don't want to say anything phony. While you may feel some discomfort at having - played your hand first - and made yourself vulnerable by exposing your feelings, and the other person didn't express the same feelings back, you can feel good about the fact that you're dating someone who is genuine and honest. They're just not ready to say it yet. If you can tell that they like you - they want to continue to see you, call you and they're happy in your company - then just be patient. They'll get to, "I love you," when they get to it. And it will be worth the wait because it will come from their heart.

If he or she does say, "I love you," back - only it's a little bit too fast and too forced, you may not be getting a genuine "I love you." 

What if you don't think you'll ever love him or her?:

If you are on the receiving end of "I love you," and you don't feel it back, and you've been having second thoughts about the person you're with -- that you really like them, but this isn't going to be "the one,"  then this is the time to be honest with that person and kindly tell them how grateful you are for their open and kind heart, but you don't feel the same way. Tell them you love spending time with them, but you just don't love them.

There's no easy way around this, but you owe it to the other person, and yourself to come clean with them about the fact that the relationship isn't going past the friendship -- or friend with benefits -- level. If you have any integrity, this is the time to say goodbye, even if you're afraid of being alone. Being dishonest on any level isn't good for you or the relationship.

You've been anticipating this moment? and you're not ready to say it back!:

If you're hearing, "I love you," from the other person and you're really excited by the proclamation of emotion, but you just can't say it yet, then there are things you can do to show your affection while taking your time and not saying it until you're ready. When he or she says "I love you," and you're not ready to say it yet, but you do love him or her (or you think you do - or you're about to), take his or her hand and smile warmly into their eyes. Kiss them. Hug them and tell them how lucky you are. Or come right out and tell them you're just not ready to say it yet, and you hope that they can be patient.

Be prepared for him or her to ask if you love them back. It's a fair question.

You can find great romantic date ideas to do with the person you are falling in love with in my book Romantic Date Ideas.