I Love You
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
I Love You