Should I Wait For Him To Say ‘I Love You’ First?

I Love You

We wish it was this simple!

Ethan: I’ve been dating this guy for a few months now, and I’m really, really into him. I think he’s really into me also, but I’m not positive. Should I wait for him to say I love you first, or should I just go for it? I don’t want to scare him away, but I also want him to know how I feel.

Ah, the L Bomb: that little word cluster which, when dropped, can bring partners so much closer together – or leave an unhealthy dose of fallout in the wake. Not only does the time of detonation stress many a dater, but its projected effect on relationships is a cause of apprehension for both men and women.

There’s no official time frame for expressing love, so don’t ever just assume you’ve reached the “appropriate” point in the relationship. I also advise against revealing intense feelings while they’re still coagulating. Generally, the earlier you expose underdeveloped emotions, the wider you leave yourself open to heartbreak, and the more likely your partner might feel frightened, overwhelmed, or even suspicious. Love is a fruit that may seem to ripen quickly, but it spoils at a much slower rate – so take your time.

It took Chuck forever to say it to Blair, even though we all knew he did.

When I first felt the urge to tell my girlfriend I loved her, I toiled over the decision for two weeks. And then it took her another three painful weeks to reciprocate. Later she asked, “Would you rather I have said it just to make you feel better?” Although I felt like throwing up for the better part of a month, in retrospect, her waiting until she was ready made the declaration much more meaningful.

So don’t worry about when he’ll say “I love you” – worry about when you simply can’t hold it back any longer. And then, when the words are practically bursting from your lips; when you feel you might crap your pants trying to hold them in, be prepared to have your announcement met with silence. Even if he loves you back, he might not be ready to express it. Or, if he feels like he’s on the road to love but isn’t quite there yet, a reassuring embrace may be all you get in return. Once you’re certain about something as important as this, you can’t fear the consequences. The act of saying “I love you” is way more important than his reaction.

Good luck!

Are you confused about a guy? Do you find yourself wondering, “What is he thinking?” Tell us everything in the comments! And if you have a question for Ethan, email him at!


Do guys like to chase girls? Ethan fills us in.

Posted in: Ask A Guy, Dating, Help&Advice, Love Advice
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  • Carla

    I’ve been with my boyfriend just over 5 months now and I think I love him?? Bit I am scared to say it invade he doesn’t feel the same:/ I approached the subject once over text and he said it was too early to tell if he loved me or not??? What should I do??

    • june

      Same here carla, going tru d same…buh I gota tell u to b bold, look into his eye nd speak, tell him hw u feel abt him nd in conclusion tell him u love him…his reactions nd rply wil tel…

  • Shang

    hi am dating this guy who i really feel about i mean i love him but afraid to tell him, we meet last month and i went to his place yes eveythng went well he text and calls me but now he has not asked me at his place but i think he loves me but why hes not saying anything am confuse shud i tell him on shud i muv on coz now we slowly luzing communication please help.

  • Megan

    Okay so I really need help here… I have been with my boyfriend for 7 month… We are great together. But I ended up moving 2 hours away. I love him I want to say it so bad but I don’t know how he feels. It’s been 2 months since I saw him last… Because I have been in Hawaii for the summer. I just don’t know what to do, honestly me and him have been through alot, and we are still working through something. I have alot going on so it makes it really stressful between us… But I don’t know what to do, wait. Every time we talk I have this urge to just blurt out I love you but I’m so scared for his response… I really just need some advice at this point.

  • Adriana

    Ethan, I am in love with this guy and he loves me too. We were in a distant relationship. We would Skype every night and even chat on facebook for hours, basically spend our evenings/nights talking. we decided to connect our laptops together but unfortunately, I was chatting with my best friend guy and I said to my best friend ” sweet dreams, have a great night love. I love you”. so my bf got mad and overeacted when he saw my message. we argued abt it but then I know I should of have put myself in his shoes. I wrote an apology of 405 words and he said he can’t think clearly at the moment and he needs time to put himself back in the relationship again. I don’t know if that means im getting a second chance or might. and could you please tell me why was him overeacting? thank you 😀 xoxo

  • Kathryn


    I have been going out with this guy for about 7 months now, he is 18 and I really like him, I think I love him but I’m not sure because I’ve never been in love. I assumed the fact that I am posting this that I am, but I want him to say it first! We have hinted about it for a month or two and he has told me he will love me soon but that was months ago. He also joked a while back saying that the girl always says it first so id hate for it to be in a situation where both are waiting for each other!
    you think i should wait and see if he says it? Or say it myself? Because i wouldn’t want to wait if he didn’t say it back – it would feel horrible.
    On the other hand, im still very young, only 16, and so i think i shouldn’t even be thinking about love just have a nice time?



  • Laura

    Im dating a guy tht i used to date and we kiss, hug and other stuff but ever sence he’s been suspended but will be back Tuesday I want to tell him I love him but I’m very afraid. Wen we say bye to each other iwant to tell him but all we do is hug and kiss. What I do? I LOVE HIM.-.-

  • Laura

    I used too date this guy last year and now we aree together again & I really a Like him. I Love Him so much! We hug and Kiss but the thing I want to tell him is I love him but I’m very. Very. Veryyl afraid to. He told me in a text & when we call but I want it to be when we sat it to each other but should I just wait until I think it’s right to tell him? He told me he liles me a lot but I’m waiting for the “L word” . Right now he’s. Suspended.but is coming back Tuesday butbshould I just tell him?? I Miss him.

  • Jenna

    I have been dating this guy for about a month now. It took him awhile until he finally said he loved me: over text. but when we are together, he doesn’t say it. When we say goodbye, all we say is “see you”, no i love you’s or anything. I not sure why it seems so easy for him to text me it, but not say it when he’s with me. What’s up with that?

  • Jc

    I’m in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend. I live in the states while he’s in Australia. I know I’m in love with him but I’m afraid to say it. I’m afraid of rejection because my first relationship was extreamly horrible! And I said it out to my first during a fight and it ended that lol… With my current boyfriend I’ve drop hints and been waiting for him to say it but some reason he won’t!! I think he loves me by the way he treats me? He’s very attentive and takes good care of me when we’re together. He actually chased after me all the way from Australia. He flew me there the last time I saw him and when I had to leave departing the airport I cried on my walk to the plane. I didn’t let him see me cry but when I did tell him about it he told me “awl I didn’t think you would cry over me”. I was shocked when he said that.. Because it could mean we’re not on the same page? He’s naturally a very shy guy whom most of his past girlfriends were the one that chase after him. I’m the opposite of that… Guys have always done the first move and done the chasing which is what I am used to. The closest words he ever said to I love you was “I like you a lot”. My problem is I want him to say I love you only rather than I love you too. I don’t want him to say it just as a reply back to me. We been in this long distance for almost 2 years now. We had a few troubles during the two year.. More like abstinence of communication.

  • tania

    i like a guy who is my best friend and i realised this when i started thinking of whole day and night.. just love to spend time with him.. but he has a ex gf with whom he patched up recently after 5-6 months tym.. nw again i asked him and he replied that he has finalyy broke up with her.. but still i am not sure.. and simultaneously my feelings for him are growing every day and hour… please help me .. i realy need a solution to this and i am very confused. should i directly go and tell him what i feel and take him more than friend… or should wait..?????

  • Cass

    Is it too soon if he says it within 2 months of being together? I know you said theres no timeframe but still.
    Thanks <3

  • Mimi-hime

    Can I ask a question about this?

    My friend had a girlfriend. I actually didn’t know about his girlfriend… So, I talk to my friend a lot. Study with him. Read with him. Everything really (since we’re friends). I’m actually starting to like him. One day, a certain ‘bullies’ played a prank on us and took our picture while we’re happily reading a book that we both loved and they posted it in the internet. The next day, my other friend told me that I have a “scandal pic”. Not knowing what it is, I lay low about it. Then, after a few days, my friend told me that he broke up with her girlfriend. Of course I was shocked!!! I didn’t even know that he has a girlfriend!!! He told me that her ex-girlfriend saw that pic we had that was posted on the internet and thought that he was cheating on her. So, they broke up. I completely feel that its my fault that they broke up!!! What am I going to do now???

  • Marie

    Small question concerning this–

    Basing what i’m about to ask on American TV shows — why is “i love you” such a big deal? I saw that in a lot of shows the characters are all stressed out “do i love him?” “should i tell her?” “omfg i dont know” I mean– what is the big deal here? I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 6months now and we’ve said “i love you”pretty early from what I understand. In movies TV shows, all the same! My friends and pretty much every one in my entourage feels the same way as I do. Is it just the USA? I live in canada (in the french province) Maybe its because the only translation we have for “i like you” ends up being “I appreciate you” but that seems — wrong — “good night honey I like you” ?


  • BriannaWhoElse

    My best friend told me he loved me a few weeks ago but he didn’t mean it in the friendly way. I really had no idea what to say either because he has a gf… What should I do?

    • Ethan Fixell

      Whoa, scandalous! The last thing you want to do is get yourself caught in the middle of a love triangle, though…

      I think I can definitely help, but my answer will require a bit more space than I have here… Submit your question to, and I’ll try to answer it as a separate post. Then you can look for my response here:!

      Thanks for writing, Brianna,


  • Liela

    I love my boyfriend. I haven’t said it yet, and neither has he. But i know he feels it too. Sometimes the urge to tell him is so overwhelming I have to distract myself. I think he may say it this weekend, I’m too scared to say it first. I’ve never been in love before him<3

    • Ethan Fixell

      Hey Liela —

      It’s been about 3 weeks since you posted, and it sounds like you have quite the romance brewing… has he said it yet???


  • BuBbElZ14

    okay, i dated this guy and he said i love you first and after we broke up i told him that i love him too but i was afraid to say and after that he always said it but how do i know if he means it or what. I trust he does but im the kind of person who needs to be sure.

    • Ethan Fixell

      Well, all relationships are based in trust — so if you can’t trust his saying “I love you,” then he might not be the best guy for you in the first place. If you do believe him, then take his words at face value and be thankful he’s so expressive!

      Good luck,


  • jenny

    I’m dating this guy n we know each other for 7 weeks now.. i stay sometimes at his place n we don’t kiss or have sex most of the time.. i don know whats going on…

    • Ethan Fixell

      Hey Jenny,

      Sorry it’s taken me so long — I only saw this comment now! Are you still dating the same guy?


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