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“What do you say to a man when he says I love you….
But you’re not ready to say it back / don’t want to say it yet?”
Mr. In a Relationship SEE BIO NOW>
I would imagine this would make for an awkward moment. General concept—never tell someone you love them unless you really mean it (or you are never going to see them again, in that case what the hell). There will be repercussions, and you’ll have to backtrack, lie or argue your way out of that.
If you aren’t ready but you are okay with the guy saying it, tell him that while you are touched by the sentiment and you care a lot about him, you just aren’t ready to take that step yet. If you aren’t comfortable and you are totally freaked out by it, get outta dodge.
Mr. Sensitive and Scientific SEE BIO NOW>
Umm, awkward silence? Hug him so tightly that he can’t speak? The thing about love is that nobody can tell you you’re in love or not in love, you just know. He knows he’s in love and you aren’t there yet. I think honesty is the best policy, which is that you should tell him you don’t feel that way yet. The trouble is that people in love don’t listen to logic, they’re acting emotionally. Even if you give him lots of verbal signals and explanations, his emotional base won’t change. Don’t expect him to leave when you say you’re not ready. Chances are strong that he’s going to stick around and try to wait for you to “fall in love” with him. Sadly, I think chances are that you will not.
Why? The emotional core of a person tends to drive people, and then the brain rationalizes emotional decisions. When I’ve told people that I loved them, one of two things happened (1) the words “I love you too” literally burst out of their mouths, or (2) silence. Every single relationship I’ve had where the girl responded with silence ended in tears (mine). She may have been connected to me for friendship, lust, whatever, but her heart knew I wasn’t the right guy. It just took a while for her mind to figure it out.
Likewise, when a girl has told me she loved me, and I said I wasn’t ready, it meant that subconsciously I wasn’t ever going to be ready, but I enjoyed the comfort of the relationship. Emotional bases are pent up in the mind, so if he mustered the courage to say I love you, he’s probably been feeling it for a while. You have not. You’re probably enjoying the companionship and there may be plenty of reasons for you to stay, but if you’re not ready, I’d ask yourself deeply whether it’s that you’re not ready to say it now, or you’re not ready to say it to him.
Mr. Loves Boys Too SEE BIO NOW>
You slap him as hard as you can across the face and say, “I cannot believe you just said I smell like Olive Juice! Didn’t your mother ever teach you any manners?” Between the harsh slap and the mis-quote, he’ll likely not say that again for a while. Okay, that might be a bit of a strong reaction.
Really, I think that honesty is the best policy. You can say something like, “I appreciate your feelings and I’m excited that you feel that way. I’m not a person who throws the word ‘love’ around meaninglessly. I think that things are moving in the right direction for us, but I’m not quite ready to make the jump from like to love just yet.” Of course, if you’ve been dating the guy for eight months, maybe it’s time to either commit or move on. Now, should he make this proclamation on one knee with a ring in his hand, you’ve got bigger issues. At that point, you may need to revert back to the “Olive Juice” approach…or say yes and live happily ever after.
Mr. Noncommittal SEE BIO NOW>
For better or worse, I have almost never said I love you first. You’re really putting yourself out on a limb by doing that. In my opinion, the signs that the “both of you” are in love with each other should be blindingly obvious. Too many people sling “I love you” around with no mind of whether or not they really feel that way.
If for some reason I said “I love you” and the girl didn’t feel the same, I would want her to be honest. Is she just not there yet? Is she not feeling it? Does she want to break up? That statement is a quick road to a more serious step…or the end. But keep in mind that if you think you might get there, tread lightly—guys are much more fragile than you might think. Some men have been known to turn into jerks when they see that what they are feeling isn’t being returned. The key is, if you don’t feel it, don’t say it.
GIRL TALK TIME: What do you think? What would you do in this situation? Has this ever happened to you? Do you usually say “I love you” first or wait?
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