Saying I love you is a big deal for some people, and not such a big deal to others. No one should ever have to say those three little words before they’re ready. So what happens when a guy says it to you and he’s clearly waiting for you to say it back, but you just can’t get the words out? If he truly loves you, he’ll give you the time you need.
Don’t let him pressure you. Even if he doesn’t pressure you with words, the way he reacts to your silence could be just as bad. Seeing that disappointed look on his face is enough to make some girls blurt out those three words before she truly means them, and that’s not good for either one of you.
Give him a hug. A little physical affection will go a long way to show him you aren’t completely freaked out by what he just said. Him saying the L-word should bring you closer together, not create distance between you.
Assure him that you care about him. This is a vulnerable moment for him, so make sure you don’t hesitate to let him know you care. It’s a good thing that he’s in love with you, so you don’t want him to regret saying it.
Be honest with him. Lying to him about how you really feel is only going to backfire later. Chances are he’ll be able to tell if you aren’t being genuine anyway, so there’s no point in saying I love you if you don’t mean it. Just tell him you aren’t ready yet, and he should appreciate your honesty.
Treat him how you’d want to be treated. Think about how you would feel if you said I love you to someone and they didn’t say it back. Pretty scary, right? So cut him a little slack if he needs a little time to process that. If you’re understanding then he’ll most likely come around.
Make sure to let him know you’re headed in the same direction. Just because you aren’t ready to say the words right now doesn’t mean you haven’t thought about the possibility of saying them in the future. A lot of the time hearing those words has a way of forcing your hand a little bit. Are you in this for real or not?
Don’t act weird around him after. If you act awkward and uncomfortable around him, it’s only going to make him regret saying I love you. He’ll feel rejected and start worrying he’s scared you away. So just act the same as you were before. It doesn’t have to be awkward unless you make it that way.
Don’t say something awkward like “thank you”. Sometimes when we’re caught off guard we blurt something out just to fill the silence. But a couple seconds of silence is better than having to backtrack after saying the wrong thing. Take a second to think before you speak and you won’t regret it.
Tell him what you like about him/your relationship. If he seems a little discouraged after you tell him you aren’t ready to say those three little words, tell him he has nothing to worry about because you love being with him. You don’t want him to think he did anything wrong or start questioning your relationship, so make sure he knows how happy you are.
Be honest with yourself. After you make sure he’s okay with you not reciprocating on the I love you right away, take a minute to think about how you really feel. If he caught you off guard by saying it, maybe you just need some time to consider if you feel the same way. It’s okay to be cautious about saying I love you, because it’s a big deal and you owe it to him and yourself to only say it if you’re sure you mean it.
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