When Do You Say “I LOVE YOU?”

1 min read


This post is part of a series of questions I answered during my time at HeTexted. Hundreds of girls asked me relationship advice, and I responded.

On March 16th, a girl asked me…

“Dear Chris, Me and my boyfriend have been dating for a year, but he still hasn’t said i love you. He’s been hinting at it recently saying things like “i’m just trying to show you the love” and stuff like that but am i over reacting by worrying about him saying I love you? He knows how i feel about him and i’m pretty positive he feels the same i just really want him to say it back. lol what should i do!”

My advice…

“I…. love…… you.” It’s a very frightening moment when we recite those 3 small words for the first time. What’s the fear? For one: That your boyfriend will stand there in silence and not reciprocate.

Whoa. Heavy stuff. Culturally we’ve put a lot of pressure on this moment. And so.. it wouldn’t surprise me if he feels it as well. We don’t know… it could be that, or it could be he’s massively confused about love (geez, who isn’t). It could be that he’s been in love before and has traumatic associations with the word? (Confession: I do!)

Either way… when it all comes down to it, one of you is going to have to make the first move. And since you contacted me it clearly sounds like this is on your mind.

This reminds me of a page from Alain de Botton’s “On Love” when he is have a panic attack about saying “I love you” for the first time. And instead, after a long dramatic pause at the dinner table, he picks up a marshmallow and says, “I marshmellow you”. Later recalling, “She knew exactly what I meant and after that the love thing was figured out”. Haha.

So maybe start there. Or maybe just go for it. The worst that can happen? You read his reaction and it doesn’t match yours. At this point it’s best you talk about your feelings for each other, and check in.

Did that help? Write back with some follow up.. I’m curious how it goes.


PS. I’m also reminded of the Joni Mitchell song “Both Sides Now” where she swallows her fears and her pride “To say ‘I love you’ right out loud”. Ah it kills me. So beautiful. We’ve all been there. Best luck!

Thanks so much for the input, I actually went and listened to that Joni Mitchell song you talked about and it’s quite inspiring actually lol. So since you asked for me to let you know how everything goes i thought i’d let you know that I’ve decided i’m going to make that first move because i agree we’ve been together long enough and it’s time to discuss our feelings for eachother.

He’s recently asked me to move in with him so i’m positive he feels the same..so I’m going to make that first move and just tell him 🙂 i’ll let you know what happens nexxt 🙂

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