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22 Women On Why They Would Or Wouldn’t Say ‘I Love You’ Before Their B

22 Women On Why They Would Or Wouldn’t Say ‘I Love You’ Before Their Boyfriend Does

August 19, 2015

via Flickr - Kelly Schott
via Flickr – Kelly Schott

1. “I’ve never been the one to say ‘I love you’ first. Maybe because there’s so much pressure on women to play it cool. There’s this idea that we have to play hard to get and we don’t want to be that ‘clingy’ girlfriend. It’s frustrating. But it’s a hard taboo to get over.”

—Grace, 24

beetlejuice

2. “I would say ‘I love you’ only if I really absolutely meant it – so it doesn’t really matter if he says it first or I do. And I certainly don’t want to hear it if it’s not true. But I think it’s kind of cute when both people know it and are struggling to say it because they want the other to say it. Still, get on with it. Life is short.”

—Natalie, 25

beetlejuice

3. “I’ve only done it once and never did it again. Why? Because it seemed like it put him on the spot like it was unwelcome and suddenly he started acting like there was all this pressure on him to act a certain way. Like, just be yourself because that’s the guy I love! Since then I just let them say it. That way I know they’re over the emotional hurdle already.”

—Emma, 26

beetlejuice

4. “Well this is one of those things where I wouldn’t prefer to be the first one to say it because a part of me is scared of being the one who doesn’t get an ‘I love you’ in return and then I come off looking desperate. Also I never said ‘I love you’ a lot as a kid and it makes me uncomfortable. It’s such a loaded thing to say. So I always kind of leave it being left unsaid for a long period of time and then having us both be like, ‘oh yeah, duh, we love each other.’”

—Kris, 23

beetlejuice

5. “It’s sad to say but the person who shows the least interest in a relationship has the most control. For my part, I always feel like dudes have most of the power anyway and so there’s no way I’m going to tell them I love them first especially if I know I do.”

—Veronica, 27

beetlejuice

6. “I’ve never said it first but that’s never been deliberate. I’ve dated a lot of emotional men so whether or not they’re feeling that way isn’t something I’ve had to worry about. However, I could see myself being hesitant about it if I thought that love meant something different to us. The guy I’m dating now is a very serious person so if/when I do feel like I love him, I’d be careful about saying it until I was sure we were on the same page. To me, ‘I love you’ is an expression of affection, whereas to him I feel like it’s an indication of a serious commitment. So unless I felt like I was ready for that commitment, I don’t think I’d say it to him.”

—Kimberly, 28

beetlejuice

7. “I’ll say it first, sure, and I have. Only once did the guy get this scrunchy look on his face that told me he was uncomfortable with it and that let me know he didn’t feel the same way. I’m not going to be ashamed of how I feel even if it means I risk getting hurt. Men that say ‘I love you’ first will hurt you too.”

beetlejuice

8. “I know I’m probably the exception but it’s never mattered to me. By the time I or the guy I’m seeing say it it’s always made sense like it was already implied, y’know? It seems like a confirmation of what we both know we’re already feeling.”

—Crissy, 31

beetlejuice

9. “I have never said it first for the simple reason that my mother always told me that you should let the man get there before you do or he might think you’re needy.”

—Patricia, 22

beetlejuice

10. “The first few guys I dated I said it first with but around my early 20s I encountered the first guy who clearly felt pressured after I told him I loved him, and I did love him. That didn’t work out for other reasons but I’ll never forget that freaked out reaction he had. I haven’t done it since.”

—India, 25

beetlejuice

11. “Whatever you’re comfortable with, I guess. Some of my girlfriends have rules about all this stuff but I don’t. I’ve never said it first but it’s not like I planned it out that way. Guys have always just told me first. I guess I’m lucky that way.”

—Michelle, 23

beetlejuice

12. “There’s no way I’m going to say it first.”

—Tina, 20

beetlejuice

13. “I’ll only say it first if I really mean it which is rare. There have been guys that said it first to me and if I really liked them I would tell them I just wasn’t there yet. On the other end, I’ve been told I love you by guys who clearly weren’t feeling it when I was the first to say it so not everyone operates with the same honesty. I don’t think anyone should feel pressured to feel something they don’t feel.”

—Ashley, 29

beetlejuice

14. “‘I love you’ has just come to mean ‘I’m not seeing anyone else’ these days. I’ve had guys tell me they love me after like a month and it always seemed like an attempt to lock me down. Looking back I think I used to do that too but I don’t anymore. It’s exhausting to say something like that if you don’t mean it because you have to keep saying it. But yeah, I’d absolutely say it first if that’s how I felt and I thought they felt the same way.”

—Erin, 26

beetlejuice

15. “If I felt like we were both in love with each other but were just afraid of being rejected then I absolutely would. You don’t want to end up in this weird stalemate where both of you want to take things to the next level but can’t.”

—Victoria, 23

beetlejuice

16. “I haven’t been in love since I was like 17 but I have told men I loved them when they said it to me. At the time I just really didn’t know what else to say and I didn’t want them to leave because I did care for them. I can’t help how I don’t feel though. If I was in love though I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to say so if only because I’d be so excited to feel that intensity again.”

—Dianne, 23

beetlejuice

17. “I’ve actually said it first every time and I’ve never regretted it. If you love someone then I think you have to tell them. Keeping those feelings hidden is just pointless and stifling. I won’t do it.”

—Fiona, 25

beetlejuice

18. “I just feel like the guy should say it first. That may sound old fashioned or whatever but I feel like it’s romantic. I like to be pursued and I think that a man going out on a limb to talk about how he feels is sexy as hell. It also shows me he thinks I’m worth the risk of rejection.”

—Ann, 24

beetlejuice

19. “Up until I hit like twenty four I was very cool with the idea of telling a man I loved him and being the first to do it but at some point the whole dating thing took on a more serious feeling. I didn’t meet guys through hookups anymore and the idea just quit being fun to me. I would say it first if I trusted the guy but I’d rather know he has serious feelings for me first.”

—Cynthia, 28

beetlejuice

20. “Nope, I felt really intensely for a guy I’d started seeing when I was twenty and told him I loved him after about two amazingly intense weeks. He chuckled. He apologized immediately after but that didn’t change the fact that he’d chuckled. So, no, I won’t be the first to say it. That made me feel lower than anyone has ever made me feel in my entire life. I would never do that to someone.”

—Tanya, 24

beetlejuice

21. “Apologies if this is a bit real but guys will tell you they love even when it’s because they just want to keep having sex with you. They’ll tell you they love you and in that second they’ll mean it. It’s only later that you discover that not only did they not mean but they didn’t even know they didn’t mean it. I’ve said it first before and meant it but I’m always suspicious of guys when they say it the first time especially if it’s during a rocky part of the relationship.”

—Jessica, 27

beetlejuice

22. “I’ve said it, absolutely. I said it to my husband and there was nothing more wonderful than to say it to him and know I meant it. It was pure joy because I wanted him to feel that love I had for him. I still hope he does every day.”

—Kelly, 30 TC mark


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