Tips for What to Do When You Say I Love You Too Soon
What to do if he or she says, "I love you" and You Don't Feel the Same
Dear April Masini,
My girlfriend of three months recently told me she loves me. Everything was going fine until then, but to be honest, I think it's too soon and that's not something I'm ready to say back. Of course, I stared blankly and stammered at her and now things are a little bit weird."
I don't want to ruin our relationship but I'm not ready for this. What should I have done? And is there anything I can do to fix it?
Just in Like
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Just In Like,
The most immediate issue here is what to do about the situation you have on your hands. While every woman is different and you need to tailor your response and behavior to your girlfriend, there are some things about saying "I love you" that you should understand. Undoubtedly, it was a big deal for her, and if you can keep that in mind you will be in better shape.
The first words a baby hears:
The first thing that mothers and fathers say to their babies, usually at birth, is “I love you.” For the next year those are probably the most repeated words that any baby hears, and sees the cooing, loving faces of adoring adults saying it to him or her. It’s no wonder that these imprinted words offer the promise of soothing, unconditional love and comfort to adults.
The impact of saying it first when you're not a baby anymore:
“I love you,” are the three words that take a dating relationship to the next level.
1. First date
2. First kiss
3. First time having sex
4. Meeting his or her family
5. First time someone in the relationship says, “I love you.
The order of these relationship landmarks is not always as ordered above. In fact, the order can take any form. But … once one of you says it, the cat’s out of the bag, and Pandora’s box is open.
Sounds like you stammered your way through the situation, but there are better ways of dealing with it, even if you are caught off-guard.
What to do if he or she says, "I love you."
- Say it back.
- Say nothing and smile, appreciatively.
- Say “thank you.”
- Say, “I wasn’t expecting that, but I’m delighted. I hope you can give me a little time to sort my own feelings out as clearly as you have.”
- Say, "I don’t know if I feel the same way."
If you don’t feel the love …
Once the words are spoken, the speaker is going to be waiting to see if the silent one will say it back. This will go on until it’s said – or the anxiety and discomfort between you gets so focused on whether the one who says it has too many expectations, or the one who doesn’t say it isn’t truly committed. If you don’t talk about it, or make an adjustment in the relationship, you’re in danger of a passive aggressive dynamic.
Some advice for your girlfriend ...
If you’re the one who says it, and your honey isn’t saying it back, and it’s three to six months since those three words were first uttered, I suggest you take your love elsewhere.