I Said “I Love You” First & It’s Slowly Ruining My Relationship

We all know how amazing it feels to fall in love. The world looks brighter and everything seems so darn upbeat; the bad stuff doesn’t get you down so much and the little things make you happy. Unfortunately, I got caught up in that new relationship bliss and said “I love you” first. Bad move.

  1. I was vulnerable with someone that hadn’t yet earned my trust. It’s not so much about not being the first to say it, it’s about being in the right place when you do. When I said “I love you,” we’d only been together a month. That’s not enough time to know you can trust someone with such a profound statement. People can take advantage of someone once they realize they have their heart. It was a dumb move that I soon paid for.
  2. My self-esteem was on a roller coaster until he said it back. When you say “I love you,” you’re hoping for an “I love you too” right away. My boyfriend didn’t give me that and I don’t blame him since it came out of the blue. But those weeks in between were horrible. I kept thinking that he was trying to find a way to dump me or that he thought I was crazy. Do yourself a favor, ladies: say “I love you” when it becomes painfully evident that you’re both falling in love. Taking a stab in the dark and hoping for the best will eat you up on the inside.
  3. I worry that I pushed him to say it back so soon. A few weeks after I said those three little words, my boyfriend said it back. As I look back on that time, I don’t see any concrete signs that he was actually falling for me and I kind of wonder if I projected my feelings onto him. You know what it’s like—someone mentions how cold it is and all of a sudden you start to feel chilly. I wonder if my boyfriend loves me or if my saying it first made him interpret our relationship in a different light.
  4. The tone of our relationship immediately changed. It’s natural for relationships to change, but I kind of regret how mine evolved. Before, our conversations were lighthearted and fun. Now they all feel really serious and every word has to be weighed carefully. After all, no one wants to offend the person they claim to love. There was also this pressure to say “I love you” and share feelings regularly. Ugh. I wish we could go back to how chill things were. Things got too deep too soon.
  5. The speed of our relationship picked up. Again, I blame this on telling him I loved him so early on. All of a sudden, my boyfriend started talking about moving in together and he wanted us to make plans for our weekends and holidays. I may be a little old-fashioned, but I prefer to take my time. Saying “I love you” opened the floodgates. For many people, admitting you love each other makes you want to do everything together, but not me.
  6. My friends and family started treating me differently. What I wasn’t ready for was my friends and family’s reaction to my declaration of love. All of a sudden, I became like a married woman. Everywhere I went, people asked where my boyfriend was. Any time I got invited to something, they asked for him to come. It was like I became one half of a whole. I hate that I stopped being an individual.
  7. I felt pressure to start living differently. Again, this came from friends and family. Whenever I’d go out, people would make comments about me needing to go back home to my “boo.” Uh, excuse me—I’m perfectly capable of spending time away from my boyfriend. People just assumed that I’d want to be with him all the time and I don’t. Every woman needs time with her girlfriends and by herself. I especially need time alone. The pressure to start acting more like a “taken” woman is annoying.
  8. The more I got to know him, the more I realized I fell in love with an image of him. Time is a great teacher. It’s harsh and unforgiving. The more time I spent with my boyfriend, the more I realized I fell in love too fast. Few people shed all their layers when they first go into a new relationship and my boyfriend definitely didn’t. I quickly realized that while I’d worked very hard to be my honest self from day one, he’d been holding back. I noticed he had a bit of a clinginess problem and that he gets upset very easily. This is not the man I fell in love with and I don’t know that I want to continue dating him.
  9. I’m scared to blindside my boyfriend. The thing about saying “I love you” first is that it shows that you see something positive in a relationship. My boyfriend said he loved me back based on my confession. I feel like I opened the door for him to be open and talk about a future with me. I don’t want to blindside him by saying I was wrong or that I’ve fallen out of love with him. That’s the worst part—when I said I loved him, I think I was caught up in the whirlwind of a good few days. I don’t think I ever really did, and now I’ll have to break his heart. Ugh.
Hannah is a twenty-something-year-old freelance writer, obsessed with reality TV, and all things sweet.