Saturday, June 20, 2009

Never Say I LOVE YOU First.

When it comes to relationships, I think I'm pretty bold and am willing to take risks. I think it's perfectly okay to ask a guy out, to make the first move, to initiate sex, but when it comes to the "L" word, my knees buckle.
I'm not someone who plays relationship games. And I've often fought little battles in my head- with one part of me saying- if you truly love someone, tell them.

Yet a stronger part of me says- Let the man say it first.

I think it's naïve for a woman to utter say it before a man does.

"I love you." Isn't just words, it's all emotion.

In that moment, he either loves you back or he doesn't.

You see, the raw truth is, it often takes men longer to get there than it does for women. Men aren't as emotion driven as women, and men are usually more cautious about taking their feelings to the next level.

I remember years ago... a couple of weeks into an intense relationship... I was young and naive... and popped the words I Love You to my then boyfriend. And to my utter disappointment... he looked at me and said,"Thank You."

THANK YOU?!!??

If a woman asks a man out and he rejects her, at least she doesn't waste any time pining over someone who isn't interested.

But an I love you uttered too soon, before the man has reached that same level of adoration ...could end a relationship. That's why women the world over label loads of men commitment phobes, or emotionally challenged. But really... all that might have been needed was just a little more time for them to arrive at that point themselves. Instead... we eagerly spout the I love you words way too soon, and make them feel cornered.

Saying I Love you changes the dynamics of a relationship. If a man doesn't feel as deeply for her yet, he may feel the pressure to manifest that emotion (or worse still, pretend to). And if the woman doesn't get the response she expected, it could damage her confidence.

I remember the first time Mark said I Love You to me. We had been dating for 2 and a half months. I think I started to really feel for him and I started loving him about a month into the relationship. One day I even blurted it out while we were chilling by the pool. He was making me laugh and I was very happy... and in a freakish uncontrolled moment, I let out - "Oh I love you". Then I took it back and said I meant to say I loved being around him. Haha.
But it all worked out well... because, just after midnight, on new year's day this year. He held my hand, looked into my eyes and said I Love You Holly jean. :) And it meant the world to me because I knew it wasn't said in response to me saying it first, or any sort of pressure. It was said because at that point, he realised that he did love me...

So that is why my advice to girls is - let the man take the lead on this one. Don't say I love You first.

(I'm sure many might disagree... but I'm open to hearing your opinions)

19 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:35 pm

    Ya, I disagree. lol. I once had a relationship when I started saying "I love you" to him like nobody's business after a few months. I didn't use them for any special reason, I was just playing a clown and using "I love you" in almost every conversation. At first he wasn't used to it, but after a short while, he couldn't get used to it when I grew out of the joke. He started initiating "I love you" to me just so that he would hear me use the 3 words like before. :) I felt it actually strengthened our communication toward each other over time. And it may not have happened if I didn't start it all. Even though our relationship didn't work out in the end, all those "I love you" habits are still a sweet memory for us.

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  2. mightymoose11:41 pm

    anon11.35 i tink those I Love You as you mentioned are not what Holly is talking about.

    I think she means the non-joking kind.

    Not the words which he liked to hear or got used to hearing. But more the meaning they carry when you first announce it.

    am i right?

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Anonymous12:07 am

    3 CommentsClose this window Jump to comment form
    Anonymous said...
    Ya, I disagree. lol. I once had a relationship when I started saying "I love you" to him like nobody's business after a few months. I didn't use them for any special reason, I was just playing a clown and using "I love you" in almost every conversation. At first he wasn't used to it, but after a short while, he couldn't get used to it when I grew out of the joke. He started initiating "I love you" to me just so that he would hear me use the 3 words like before. :) I felt it actually strengthened our communication toward each other over time. And it may not have happened if I didn't start it all. Even though our relationship didn't work out in the end, all those "I love you" habits are still a sweet memory for us.

    11:35 PM, June 20, 2009


    mightymoose said...
    anon11.35 i tink those I Love You as you mentioned are not what Holly is talking about.

    I think she means the non-joking kind.

    Not the words which he liked to hear or got used to hearing. But more the meaning they carry when you first announce it.

    am i right?

    11:41 PM, June 20, 2009


    Cynthia said...
    hmm... Well, maybe. But when I started saying those words I really meant them too. I recognised that we were quite early into the relationship and that it would be understandable if he weren't comfortable about it. So I used the words lightly instead, just so I could tell him how I feel without making him uncomfortable. :)
    anon11.35

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  5. Anonymous12:13 am

    oops, I made a mess of your comment box, Holly. lol. Was trying to amend my last comment cos I made a typo, but ended up pasting all the 3 comments. Now I can't find the delete button for the comment. :( So sorry.

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  6. Anonymous12:53 am

    I agree with you Holly. I never got the 'I love you's from my boyfriend even though I said it quite a few times and it made me frustrated that I couldn't get the desired response from him..and he told me he tried very hard to make himself love me...which obviously wasn't going to work since it's forcing himself to create emotions. He never said it on V-day or my b-day or any other days..he just couldn't do it..and my knowledge of his inability to love me just further crushed my confidence in our relationship. In the end I became insecure and him, frustrated.

    I will never take that first step again.

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  7. Anonymous3:32 am

    My ex boyfriend didn't say "I love you" to me first but he asked me "Do you love me" (we were spooning and out of a sudden, he asked me this)and I answered in the affirmative.
    I think it takes a lot of courage to ask a person if they love you...well, at least it is to me and my ex.
    Because it's basically putting yourself out there and at that point, you made yourself vulnerable to his/her answer.
    But that's just me...anyone think the same?

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  8. Anonymous4:43 am

    haha! i think girl should wait for man say that words 1st for sure. When i heard those words from girls, i really didn't know how to reply. I used to say Thank you back, haha! but now, I say "Ohhh, that's so sweet, baby!!!" then just hug her. haha! Although the outcomes are pretty much same. and when the situation like this, I know i need to move on again. haha! So ladies! pls wait and see, and don't say those words too early. thanks!!! haha

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  9. Anonymous2:21 pm

    Thank you is a lousy answer..that's so sweet is better.

    Well my ex was always at a loss..and he probably knew 'thank you' is stupid..so he just answers 'hmm hmmm/uh huh../

    ARGH.

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  10. Anonymous10:11 pm

    Hey! I'd say I agree with anon11.35. I think it depends on how you say it, but you could say it in a non-serious way first, just for fun, to express how much u like him. In time, it'll become for real. I mean it's really rare for a guy to be dating someone and not love her back when she's loving him a 100%, and telling him how much she adores him (something that really boosts their ego). UNLESS he wasn't really into e relationship in the first place and doesn't mean to be.
    Sorry to be such a geek, but research has shown that in general, men are in fact more romantic, and fall in love much harder than women.
    That said, every man is different, so... well, perhaps it depends on what kinda eggs u pick? :B

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  11. thepig10:44 pm

    i guess some guys probably feel the same way as girls (i.e. if her response to "i love you" would hurt him if he said it first)

    but being the fairer/weaker sex and afraid of rejection (i guess feminists would argue), wait for the men to say those 3 words first.

    and no one should say those 3 words without meaning it, like just saying "i love you" to appease your angry girlfriend.

    i vividly remember the first time my bf said "i love you", the rush of emotions made me cry. early in the relationship he told me he would not use these 3 words unless he really meant it, and when he said it to me, imagine how touched i was. but i could only reply "thank you" with tears in my eyes, then saying "i love you too" 5 seconds later. haha! i was too shocked...

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  12. awww... The Pig- your recount of hearing I love U from your Bf the first time made me smile.

    what a wonderful moment it must have been

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  13. nilia1:49 pm

    just to throw another discussion topic to the floor. do you think how a couple first met affects the dynamics of the relationship or how it develops? out of curiousity, holly, how did you and mark first meet? who initated conversation/contact first?

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  14. yes.. I suppose it will have an effect on the dynamics of the r'ship. Though I m not entirely certain how much it would.


    Mark and I first met at Borders mag section. It was not tensed, no ego type thing, or any play of power or manipulation.

    More of a look and smile. And I remember his smile being so easy and effortless and genuine.

    I'd say he spoke first. But I did give him the go ahead by smiling back at him and making eye contact/ checking him out . haha

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  15. My last relationship, we waited a year before we said I love you. We had gone on our first getaway together. On the second night when I was sleeping, I felt his arm around me and that roused me a little. That's when I heard him say "I love you so much (my name)".

    He said I love you when he thought I was asleep. I was over the moon, Holly. It didn't matter to him whether I said it back or not. He just wanted to say it to me. I hugged him to sleep that night and the next morning, as he was rousing from his sleep, I said "I love you".

    I was so glad I waited.

    He had been my best friend for 5 years and we were a couple for another 3 years. Then life happened. We broke up. But I think that "I love you" trumps all I love yous I will ever have in my life.

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  16. awww... what a memory. :) *warm fuzzy feeling inside*

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  17. Anonymous4:37 pm

    Hi
    just wanna share my experience.
    i once saw a race in which boys have to say i love you to ask the girls out for dating with him. :P

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  18. Anonymous4:40 pm

    Cont.
    what i meant is it's like a culture in that race.

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  19. Well SOMEONE has to say it first.

    I think the same reasons a girl may feel awkward about saying it first can be applied to the man as well. After all no one wants unrequited feelings.

    It’s not as easy for men to show emotion in general, so I can see that it can be hard for some to say the words “I love You” …give us some credit though, cause we are the ones that usually put ourselves on the line and therefore we are the ones often rejected. Why do we keep one going? …because the one girl that returns our feelings will undo all the other rejections of times past.

    I understand your strategy Holly, not wanting to ‘push’ him too hard too fast. However if you feel something in your heart it’s better to say it. Doesn’t matter if you happen to be the male or female in the relationship. Further if one partner says the 3 big words and the other does not reciprocate initially that does not necessarily mean the end of the relationship. You may be embarrassed yes …but you also gain meaningful insight into how far along his or her heart is. …and that’s good info to have.

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