Why I’ve Never Said “I Love You” First

Why I’ve Never Said “I Love You” First ©iStock/rez-art

I’ve never said “I love you” first. I don’t have to think about timing — I just wait. Of course, a guy saying it to me doesn’t mean I’ll automatically say it in return. It’s not like I go on a few dates, realize I like this guy, and then spend the next week deciding whether to say those three little words or not. I just assume it’ll happen when it happens. As it turns out, men usually say it first anyway, with guys saying it within the first 88 days and women waiting 134 days on average. I guess I’m not that strange, after all.

  1. I don’t want to jump in too fast. Saying “I love you” too soon just seems like you’re trying to jump into something serious too fast. I like to take my time and make sure I actually want a serious relationship with a guy first.
  2. Commitment terrifies me. Yes, I’m a commitment-phobe. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. So, I’m not exactly one to say anything first that might imply I want a deeper commitment. I’m faithful — isn’t that enough?
  3. Guys get clingy when you say it. When I’vee said it back to a guy, he gets insanely clingy — well, at least most do. A couple have given me space. No surprise that those were the few that actually lasted any real length of time. Sorry, but clingy makes me run.
  4. Guys run away when you say it. While I haven’t had this problem, a few of my friends have. They like to say “I love you” early on. I commend them for being honest with how they feel. Too bad that the guys they’re with suddenly stop calling or texting.
  5. It takes me a while to admit what I feel. Dating a guy isn’t like picking your favorite ice cream. With ice cream, it’s simple – chocolate. There’s no contest unless it’s double chocolate. With a guy, I have to make sure my heart, head and gut agree before I admit how I feel. That takes time. Okay, so maybe I over-complicate it, but that’s just me.
  6. I hate trying to figure out the right time. I’ll admit that I’ve tried to say it first a few times. I just couldn’t figure out when to do it. Seriously, is there a set number of dates? Should you have sex first? Do you do it during dinner or wait until he’s trapped in a car with you?
  7. I want to see how he feels. I know I shouldn’t put it all on his shoulders, but honestly, I want to see how he feels first. I want to see if he’s feeling the same way I am. Of course, it only means something if he says it and doesn’t expect me to put out just because he said it.
  8. I don’t want him to think I’m desperate. I love my friend, but she has this bad habit of saying “I love you” after just a few dates. Did I mention she has a hard time getting past date number 2? I’ve wanted to say it early, but I’ve always been afraid I’d seem desperate.
  9. I’m usually focused on other things. I’m more career and hobby focused than relationship focused. It’s a flaw I’m working on, but my current boyfriend accepts it. He’s the romantic one and tries to keep me grounded when I get a little too caught up in work.
  10. I tend to hide my emotions. It takes time for me to open up around a person. I seem friendly enough, but I hide the majority of my emotions. It’s kind of hard to say “I love you” when it sounds painful coming out. I’ve actually had a guy dump me because he thought I didn’t mean it. Sorry, I’m just not good with emotions.
  11. I like to show rather than tell. I’m more of a show versus tell kind of woman. Even when I’m in love, I’m far more likely to do nice things for a guy than say “I love you.” Of course, once he says it, I’m happy to say it. I’m just more comfortable with actions until he breaks the ice.
  12. I’ve never gotten the chance. I don’t know what kind of guy I attract, but I’ve never had the chance to say “I love you” first. Even guys I didn’t really like that much have told me how much they love me. My friends tell me I’m lucky. It’s honestly kind of weird to me. Maybe one day, I’ll get the chance to conquer my fears and say those three little words first.
Crystal Crowder is a freelance writer and blogger. She's a tech geek at heart, but loves telling it like it is when it comes to love, beauty and style. She's enjoys writing music, poetry and fiction and curling up with a great book. You can find her on Twitter @ccrowderwrites or check out her other writing on Medium.