I, for one, am very in favor of women taking charge in their relationships, especially if they’re dating men. Why? Because traditionally men have been expected to do all the courting, to–er–shoot their shot, if you will. But it’s the 21st century, guys. I don’t know about you, but the idea of waiting around for a guy to approach me stresses me out. In fact, that’s why I made the first move on my current, long-time boyfriend, and I don’t regret it for a second. But even if the idea of making the first move doesn’t scare you, we can all find commonality in our fear of this one thing: Saying “I love you.”
I’m all about living in a society where women are encouraged to be bold, but that’s so scary that I almost don’t mind the fact that dudes are so often expected to say it first. Admittedly, although I made the first move in our relationship, he dropped the L word first…which was great, because I felt the same way…and didn’t have to take the plunge myself. But what about those brave women who go on a limb to tell their partners that they love them, but don’t receive an, “I love you too” in response? Gaaaaah! I mean, it must happen pretty often, right? A recent survey concluded that people usually say the L word sometime within the first three months of a relationship, so there have to have been some girls and women who gather up the confidence to say those three little words, only to get an awkward smile in response. If you’re one of those people…don’t lose hope yet. Just…be realistic about what the future between the two of you holds. If you want a glimpse, check out these seven things you need to keep in mind if your S.O. doesn’t love you back.
Don't Panic: You Don't Need To Break UpCry in your pillow all you want: This absolutely sucks. But don't assume that just because your partner doesn't love you back, you have to break up now. That's ridiculous. Don't jump to conclusions just yet. Try to move on past the weirdness and then see what happens next. Your partner might still want to date you regardless of you spilling your guts out, and if you're on the same page? Hey, keep it movin'! Twin Peaks
Your Partner Could Very Well Grow To Love You BackLove means something totally different for different people. Love might take a while for one person to come around to than another. Maybe someone who recently got out of a long term relationship doesn't feel comfortable declaring their love for someone else yet, even if they feel it deep down. Love is this weird, intangible thing that is hard to measure, especially when everyone is using a different kind of measuring stick, you know? Your partner could very well be ready to say the L word in a couple of weeks, or a few months. Hell, maybe it'll take another year. But don't assume that you two are doomed to never be mutually in love just because you said it when they weren't quite ready. Submarine
Don't Pretend Like It Didn't HappenOne of the worst things you can do right now is to act as if what happened...didn't happen. Yeah, you might want to try to brush it off, act like it wasn't that big of a deal, pretend that you just got caught up in the moment, blah blah blah. But listen: You said what you said, and you can't take it back. Nobody says the L word lightly, so don't try to insult your partner's intelligence. At some point, you two need to dedicate some time to talking about what love means for you and what your relationship will look like moving forward. This is going to suck, this is going to be uncomfortable AF, but it's going to also be absolutely necessary if you want to restore some semblance of normalcy to your relationship. Skins
Put Yourself In Their ShoesImagine having very strong feelings for someone, but maybe not quite "I love you" feelings. Your partner drops the L word on you and...you don't know how to react! You like them, a lot, but you're not sure where you are on the love scale. This is what your partner is going through, and while you might assume that they think you're some kind of creepy weirdo, chances are they're probably upset that they can't reciprocate those feelings quite yet. Remember: This isn't easy for them either! They might feel super guilty about disappointing you. Be gentle with yourself, but have some empathy for them too, especially if they're still committed to the relationship. Freaks And Geeks
Expect Things To Be Awkward For A WhileThis is just a fact: Awkwardness is absolutely going to ensue, and if you want to maintain your relationship, you're going to have to deal with it. Just try not to hold it against your partner: being passive aggressive about this whole mess isn't going to make you feel better in the long run, and it can potentially destroy an already potentially fragile relationship. Blue Is The Warmest Color
You Need To Figure Out If You're Comfortable Dating Someone Who Is On A Different Level Than You, Intimacy WiseIf your partner has been blunt about the fact that they don't love you yet, you need to ask yourself if you're comfortable with potentially being with someone who isn't on par with you when it comes to the L word. Of course, even if they said they loved you back, you two still might be on different levels when it comes to passion and commitment to your relationship. So, please, don't use an "I love you" as the one and only barometer of someone's devotion and loyalty to you. But if things suddenly feel very unequal on that front, you need to get real with yourself and decide if you're willing to wait for them to feel the same way you do, or nah. Some Girls
Don't Beat Yourself Up Over Taking The PlungeYou might be berating yourself right now, thinking that you were foolish for saying those three little words, wishing it never happened, assuming you sabotaged your relationship, etc. But please don't be too hard on yourself for saying "I love you" first. You were brave AF, first of all. Do you know how many people are afraid to do what you did and wished that they had the guts? Second of all, you're not an effing mind reader, and that's okay. You made a move based on your assessment of your relationship; it's not like you did this thoughtlessly! You took a gamble, sure, but you're not an idiot for saying what you felt and revealing it to someone you care about. Clueless
Have you ever told someone that you loved them? Has someone ever said it to you? Tell us in the comments!