Ask A Guy: Can A Girl Say ‘I Love You’ First? post image

Ask A Guy: Can A Girl Say ‘I Love You’ First?

I think I have been reading too many magazine quizzes and too many relationship books for my own good. All of them pretty much say that the woman shouldn’t ever be the one to say “I Love You” first. It is like the “kiss of death.” While I understand the advice of not jumping the gun, as we women are supposed to be “more emotional,” I am in a relationship now where there is a lot of “hinting” around it going on and it is really tempting to “come out
and say it.” What does a guy think about the age old question? If the woman makes this “big move” first, does it make a guy squirm…or run?

Read our guy’s response after the jump!

I would generally say that it’s better for the guy to say it to you first. The reason being is that to us, the saying of it isn’t a big deal in it of itself. In other words, to the grand majority of guys, he’s happy if the relationship is good. He doesn’t need to hear it, generally speaking.

That’s not to say that guys don’t care, it’s just that if the relationship is going well in every way, we’re pretty much satisfied.

The reason we say, “I love you,” to a woman is because we know it matters to her. We know that saying it, to some extent, is a demonstration of our commitment to her and that we’re not going anywhere.

QUIZ: Does He Love You?

If you say it first, then it’s like you’re forcing that implied commitment, in a way. And even if a guy does love you, he will feel to an extent that he’s being pressured. Beyond that, if you say it first, you’ll lose your chance of ever finding out when he would have said it.

My feeling is that you should let him say it first. I say that because him saying it first to you means a lot more than you saying it to him first… When he says it to you first, it will come across as him declaring something to you. When you say it to him, it will most likely come across as you forcing it on him.

Now, I don’t know you, I don’t know him and everyone is different. But generally speaking, what I’m saying here is good reasoning to follow.

In terms of the way that it feels to a guy when a girl says I love you first, well, it depends. I can say from personal experience that there have been times it’s happened to me and I really did love the girl, but my life was a mess in other ways and wasn’t in the shape it needed to be in for an I-love-you type of relationship. I don’t feel good saying it, but I handled it less than gracefully – I have no idea how exactly me not saying it back was interpreted by the woman, but of course it wasn’t good.

I’ve been asked if a woman “loses all her power” when she says “I love you” first. There’s a whole discussion in today’s culture about who has the power in the relationship and a bunch of other nonsense. Generally speaking, I think that the person who doesn’t think in terms of someone having power in a relationship probably will be the one who ends up having the so-called power.

Reason being, if you think in terms of having the power in the relationship, you’re going to be making “power plays” and doing all sorts of screwy and weird stuff to try and protect yourself from losing this imagined power. You’ll act weird and he’ll sense it. As a result, the guy will be weirded out and he’ll distance himself and put up emotional and mental barriers to protect himself from manipulation. With these walls up, he’ll be harder to reach and you’ll end up trying harder and harder to break through to him.

Bottom line,… (continued – Click to keep reading Ask A Guy: Can A Girl Say ‘I Love You’ First?)

Written by Eric Charles

I'm Eric Charles, the co-founder and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing articles to help people free themselves from suffering and have clarity in their love life. I have a degree in Psychology and I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to learning everything I can about human psychology and sharing what gets people out of struggling with life and into having the life they really want. If you want to contact me, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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Jacqueline Watts

Hello my friend did tell me when he is in the bars with his friends he sees some women he would like to get close to but he has erectile dysfunction so him and I are not having sex. and every time he calls me he tells me he is thinking about me he also told me I am the only women that comes to his house I did talk to him about what he told me that he sees other women that he would like to get close to I told him he hurt my feelings and he disrepected me he told me he would not say that again he calls me all the time and we go out together every saturday I have been seeing him almost six months should I break my friendship with this guy and move on I need help I just dont know what to do please help me. Thank You

Reply May 16, 2019, 2:20 pm

Farida Rapha

Thanks so much for all this words… They have really increased on the feelings I have for my boyfriend….

I fell for him first at the working area but he never realised it.. He made me his best friend and could tell me so many things about his life, hobbies, family, all that. Could even tell me about his previous love stories… But then he was a very busy man even up to now he’s just a busy man, so one time when I resigned work because I had other things to do.. He realised he also loved me immediately i left… He could call me day after day, text and I felt so special but he couldn’t say out that three sentenced word…

So I kept on waiting until after two years of being friends is when he opened to me…. And then I asked myself could he have had a girlfriend before and they have broken up that he wants me?…

No one could give me the answer but all along he had been telling me every Lady he gets never understands him so that gave me courage that may be he’s found that I understand him better after friendship of two years….

We are now in real love, unconditional and God fearing love… I love him and he loves me too..

So I would say its better to wait for the guy to say it first….

Do it to avoid embarrassment in his sight, his friends D your

Reply March 28, 2019, 9:01 am



Reply May 3, 2018, 3:32 pm


I was in a relationship with my boyfriend for 5 months and i told him i loved him first. It was the fact that i knew how he felt and i wanted him to know he meant that much to me. i wanted him to know that i had fallen in love with him. He didnt say it back at that time, but i wasnt mad or sad or anything. If he had said it because he felt obligated too, then it wouldnt of been real to me. We had talks about love before, and he mentioned that saying he loves me means so much to him, it was his promise of commitment and he was going to say it when he was 110% sure about us and our future together. I actually told him a few times that i loved him before he told me, and it was never weird for us, or anything. Besides, the relationship as a whole, i could tell he loved me even though he never said it. Actions are louder than words and if you guys treats you right and you feel that love then, whether he says it or not, you just know. After being with him for 8 months he finally said that he loved me and he knew he loved me for a long time. Ever since he said it out loud, he tells me all the time randomly during conversations or when we’re hanging out, and his actions still match his words.
I agree about looking at the relationship as a whole, but i dont think it matters who says i love you first, because Eric has a point ; saying i love you means something different for every guy, as it means something different for every girl. But if you know how you feel about someone, at the end of the day i think they deserve to know.

Reply January 26, 2018, 12:42 pm


I think probably right for the guy to say it first. But what if the guy is really shy??

Reply April 29, 2017, 6:35 pm


omg… thank you so much for the clarification…! you’re right, if the relationship is doing well we should just leave it the way it is… after reading this I realised most guys who are really in it for real, don’t “say” love out loud but instead they “do” it everyday, right under our noses. I’ve been so focused with the fact that he never ever says ILY but now i realised all those little stuffs he did tht actually mean big… and thank you for the insights of how guys actually fall in love. girls do tend to choke it down to guys and emotionally force them only to be frustrated in the end of the relationship…

Reply March 12, 2017, 1:25 am


This is frustrating, because guys are told to let the girl say it first, or risk looking weak, needy, or desperate. And despite this article, that’s how you girls end up seeing it.

Reply February 2, 2017, 4:30 pm


He accidentally called me his “GIRLFRIEND ” it was the cutest thing because he tried to play it off cool like he never said that. We went on a movie date at movies while we cuddled then a haunted maze and was very protective. Later on he asks “what would my girlfriend like to do next”? Haha, I immediately responded what? And he said nothing sometimes I talk out loud when I smoke haha. Was he trying to get a reaction out of me?
Our actions clearly show that we are starting to fall head over heels with each other. He is trying to be patient and give me time. Should I be the one to wait and make him say I love you first and make me his gf his idea? ! ? ! ? Or am I being childish and I should I just communicate? I am a hopeless Romantic

Reply October 30, 2016, 3:01 pm


Hey the same thing goes for girls too I’ve dated guys that said I love you either the first day or a couple days later. I feel awkward and then avoid them for a week and then dump them because I wasn’t really taking any relationship seriously I only wanted to have fun. My fiance right when we first hooked up I thought it as just a fling and and he said I love you and I was like uh huh. and then he practically forced it out of me. I just went along with it cause he was good in bed. when he asked me to marry him I said sure. I just figured you know I could just get a divorce. been together for three years. kind of feel stuck he gets way too emotional no joke I swear to god it’s like I hooked up with a women. Mostly with him out of habit and laziness. I really wish I dated normal guys who don’t show their emotions because it is so annoying it’s like I’m a magnet for weak men or my personalty just attracts their kind.

Reply September 11, 2016, 6:30 pm


I think your fiance should leave you. You don’t love him you should leave. Real men show their feelings broken men don’t.
And broken women don’t know how to handle their emotions either.

Reply May 4, 2017, 12:16 am


Hmmm…interesting concept, but I think I have to go with my gut on this one. I’m the type of woman who doesn’t really hold back. If I feel something, I say it. I show it. I’m just not afraid to do so. I was stuck for four years in a relationship where I was always afraid to speak up for myself because the dude made it very clear that I should be acting a certain way. He operated on culturally imposed gender roles and in the end it made me feel really, really awful about myself. I felt like there was something wrong with me. It wasn’t until far, far later that it was a mismatch and I should be proud of who I am.
Now, I’m with a man who appreciates me for exactly who I am. He encourages my personal growth and he fully supports my unabashed openness. It’s just a better fit. I said “I love you” to him first because it just happened to be what I was feeling. It didn’t mean anything permanent to me — all I have to offer him right now are my love and good intentions. I think we understand this about each other and he said it back. He said it back and he meant it.
I guess, my viewpoint has always been — say it because it’s for YOURSELF (whether you’re the man or the woman). I don’t believe you should be saying it with a notion of expectation. Of course, it’s wonderful to hear it back — that’s what we all want. However, how you feel is how you feel and don’t you owe it to yourself to just be honest with how you feel? If your partner is truly on the right track, then they’ll appreciate it and say it back…or, just appreciate it. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you or they won’t grow to love you or whatever. That’s not the point. I feel that you have this immense POSITIVE feeling for a person and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Just say it :)

Reply February 9, 2016, 8:29 pm


In my last two relationships, the guy told me, both within the first month, that he loved me. The relationships were both not good. There were good things about them, but overall they were toxic for me. If a guy tells me he loves me too soon, it’s a huge red flag for me now. I’m in a new relationship, as of about 2 months ago, and I can tell the guy really, really likes me but I told him of the “L word” being said early on my previous two relationships and why it was a problem for me. I think this guy is really good for me and we’ll say it when we say it. The word has been on my mind for a couple weeks now but given my past experiences, I’ll hang on to it for a while longer and let the feeling develop. Things are going great with this guy as they are. I think some time is needed to truly determine how you feel about a person before you blurt out a word like that that is supposed to hold so much meaning.

Reply September 16, 2015, 11:34 am


This is a very interesting topic… I can see how a man or woman would find the phrase “I love you” to have serious implications for the direction and commitment level of a romantic relationship. I definitely can understand and appreciate that perspective. But here is where I am coming from. I recently told the person I am having a non-defined romantically inclined “relationship” of sorts with that I love him. The reason I said it is because he is going through a pivotal phase of growth and change in his life right now recovering from alcohol addiction. He has very low self-esteem and has never been in a relationship before. I think his family/parents have contributed to his lack of self worth. We have had a very immediate and deep connection, which seems transcendent of how long we’ve actually known one another (about 2 months.) I feel great empathy, care, and compassion for him, and I love spending time with him. So, with that in mind, after about the first month of getting to know him, I told him I loved him. Of course he did feel pressured to say it back, and I told him that I’d rather he didn’t say it back now (or ever) unless/until he genuinely felt that emotion for me. He said he doesn’t trust his own emotions, is uncomfortable with the idea of being loved by someone, and does not “understand” love exactly or what it means. For now, that’s ok. I told him I loved him plain and simply because A. it is truly how I feel. B. there is so much negativity in the world, surely there is value in letting people know how much you care about (ie love) them when the feeling is genuine, without concern for all the weird relationship issues getting in the way (you say I may never know when he would have said it totally on his own…respectfully though…so what? I think that’s overthinking things) . C. given that I felt the love, and felt how much he would likely benefit from hearing it from me, I felt no reason to withhold it whatsoever, and hence gave of it freely. Of course being culturally conditioned, it was a little hard to accept not knowing if I was loved in the same way, and perhaps I am not. But there is also something liberating about being able to share that feeling for another without NEEDING to hear it/receive it back every time. It’s just putting it out there so it can do its good for other people. I mean hey, I can’t lose anything by giving it away, so I may as well share it. I realize this probably sounds unrealistically Pollyanna of me, but I’m sincere. Even if he never says it back, which I admit would be somewhat disappointing, because mutual love is even more powerful, I feel happy to contribute to his healing in that way if I can. I would have discussed exclusivity, which he is on board with, regardless of having said it or not. So the commitment was always expected and implied with or without those words. That’s just how I date people. Most people desire monogamous relationships. And loving him does not mean I think we will be together forever, or even very long at all. I accept that people flow in and out of your life for various purposes, some of whom you may love, while others not so much. Accepting the present moment for what it is is extremely challenging but also rewarding for those who can figure out a way to do so. I think you should let people know that you love them, because as the old saying goes, life is really very short, and it’s a shame not to. And you never know when you might bring a little light into someone’s life just by doing so.

Reply August 29, 2015, 6:41 pm


Wow..really should’ve broken that up/edited, didn’t realize. Sorry!

Reply August 29, 2015, 6:43 pm


I’ve recently told my guy of 4 months that I love him. All he did was touch my arm and say ‘that’s nice’.
I feel a fool now. He never said anything else or showed any affection.
Very early in the relationship I felt I did feel those love feelings from him but I don’t feel them now. I’m not demanding of his time, I’m very easy going and not possessive at all. Maybe it was just infatuation from him? Now he’s ‘got’ me, he expresses very little. ????

Reply August 28, 2015, 7:49 am


As far as saying “I love you” and it meaning different things…how can this be? It is a feeling, nothing more or less. It is not a commitment. Well, okay, I guess I’ve said it to platonic friends, at a heartfelt moment of appreciation and warmth, and I have said it out of habit or because a friend or relative said it first; but to say it to someone your in love with in a physical and emotional way is what it is…a feeling that you want to hug and kiss and cuddle them and express your emotion by sincerely saying, “I love you.” So if someone says they love you in a romantic context, it is reasonable to assume the are feeling it, which is a desire to kiss, cuddle, hug, and express your appreciation for being able to feel these things, regardless of whether or not they say it back. It does not mean you want to get married, it does not have to last; it does not have to be returned, but if it isn’t it won’t stay wonderful for very long because it will turn to hurt. Then it is simply…I loved you once.

Reply August 19, 2015, 11:03 pm

Eric Charles

That might be how you feel about it, but try being a guy and saying, “I love you,” then later saying, “Oh I was just feeling that in the moment… wait… you thought this implied some level of commitment from me?”

Spoiler alert… no woman would buy that… guys aren’t going to say it lightly because we’re used to getting crucified for saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing, so guys are used to feeling that they’ll have to back up anything they say or do.

I’m not saying this is right or wrong, but women in our society are taught that anything they say or do is OK if that’s what they were feeling… so yeah, if you want to say “I love you” because you were feeling that in the moment and then change your mind, nobody is going to crucify you for it in society like the do with guys… hence… my article.

Now… again… I’m not saying society is right or wrong here… From where I’m sitting, I have to write articles about how things actually play out based on how society typically is, how guys are, how women are, how people generally operate.

Reply August 19, 2015, 11:21 pm


I would say in my own words that love is like a rain that you may never know how long will it rain or stop ! I am in a situation were I love a guy but I’m not sure if he loves me back we know each other by just passing each other we usually but we have a bond how I don’t know he usually stares at me or we blush at each other so I don’t know what to do at this moment cause I really love him but I don’t know if I must tell him or wait please help me I need advice?

Reply May 27, 2015, 11:25 am


This seems to do more with culture. I was with an American for 2 years, and I was really surprised to find out that his sister had been dating a guy for a year and they hadn’t said I love you to each other yet. To me, that sounded like a fwb relationship that wasn’t very deep, but apparently to his sister and to my ex, it was a legitimate relationship. In my culture men tell you I love you almost instantly and it seems like such a normal thing to do. I’ve never been afraid to say I love you, or to hear it from someone.

I don’t really understand the way Americans date, in the Latin culture we have very clear steps. Americans seem too cold, and it seems so difficult to find out where you stand in a relationship because it is taboo to say I love you, it is taboo to openly talk and ask things, it is just weird.

Reply May 7, 2015, 10:09 am


In part I believe it is a cultural thing. The Dutch aren’t very expressive in this sense either. However, my first two boyfriends said “I love you” in the first month and I have to say that’s WAAAAY too soon for me. It’s like: “I barely know you dude. I like you and I like spending time with you, but that is waaaay too much”. It doesn’t help that I am slow in processing my own feelings (I know what I feel, but it’s hard to put it in language for me as I feel it constricts what I feel too much, like the word isn’t big enough to fit what I feel.) Now I’m seeing a guy for a couple months, we’re exclusive and our friends know we’re together and we tell each other we like the other and that we missed the other, but no “I love you’s” as of yet. Though I did on several occasions think it to myself, but I don’t think I’m exactly ready to say it to him yet.

Reply January 9, 2016, 6:13 pm


I really love you who can say

Reply April 6, 2015, 2:28 am


I feel like this article definitely helped me, I especially appreciated the ending about taking the relationship as a whole… I say I love you to my man because I know it helps him to hear it but he doesn’t say it back, which has been the source of much anxiety recently…. But I do feel the closeness from him, and know that he cares and I think this article put it in perspective as far as taking the pressure off of needing to hear it. Thank you :)

Reply March 9, 2015, 12:02 pm


Hi, I really need some advice, preferably off a male. After a very long time I met my husband, we became friends and we have been married for two years. My husband is a nice man, he isn’t the romantic type though, he doesn’t do romantic gestures such as; card, flowers, handwritten notes and other things that fall into this category. I am a romantic person but I have been witholding it from him. I have bought anniversary and valentines cards since we have been together (two years), I bought some more this year and I haven’t evem given him last years cards, let alone this years cards. He hasn’t given me cards or flowers since I’ve known him. The thought of me being the first person to give the anniversary and valentines cards, brings me anxiety. I have carefully chosen ‘cute/sweet/funny-ish’ cards without the words “I love you”. I feel a great sense of fear and anxiety related to this subject.
I don’t know if these fears are from the past, being romantically forthcoming first or too soon and later on down the line, things take a turn for the worst and end up feeling devasted with depression/anxiety.

Reply February 5, 2015, 9:55 am


Just to clarify, my husband has not said ‘I love you’ and neither have I. Although in the early day (we got married quickly after 4 months of meeting each others). After the first week of living together, I felt nervous in his presence, I said to him to maybe you can talk about something to take my mind off being nervous and he said: “I love you”. I didn’t know what to say but it didn’t seem genuine to me, it felt like he said it to please me. I said thanks and didn’t know what to say, it was confusing. After that he has only said it once or twice, it sounded forced. I haven’t told him ‘I love you’, well not yet anyway

Reply February 5, 2015, 10:07 am


Speaking as a guy who has never been the first to say “I love you” first in any relationship, I would say that is definitely okay for the girl to say it first.
The anxiety a guy may feel about hearing the girl say it first is usually rooted in either 1- a fear that your gal is trying to “emotionally trap you” or 2- a feeling that he won’t be able to adequately reciprocate the expression (this falls under the category of hearing her reply “you only said it because I said it first”).
Some background on me to give you some context – I was raised in a family where those words were never said. I believe that the first time either of my parents said it to me was after I had turned 18 and was leaving for college. I don’t believe my siblings and I have ever said it.
Since you are married, “I love you” seems implicit in the very way you live around each other- or, at least it should be. The question you need to address is whether you want this verbally expressed, and how often. I’d advise you to just say it and then follow up at some point with a conversation about how you feel and why you just now said it after being married for the amount of time you’ve been married.
The more sincere your explanation the more it will mean. I always appreciated sincerity when a girl has said this to me and in her telling me why she said it at that particular time. (To be honest, it was not something that I needed to hear, though it meant a lot, and I realized that it was something that was important for her to hear). And going forward, I made sure to say it, although I did explain that those were not words that I said lightly.
I felt the sentiment was better expressed in many gestures (small and large). The words, by themselves, were worth saying, but not so often that they became empty.
Hope that made sense. Good luck (though I believe you shouldn’t need it).

Reply May 31, 2015, 11:36 pm


I reconnected with my first ever boyfriend from high school recently. It had been a little more than 20 years since had last spoken. He looked me up on the Internet and called. I was aghast to hear his voice after so many years, but even more astonished that all of the strong feelings I had for him more than two decades previous had come rushing back in. We are both divorced with kids, so the timing could not be more perfect to see whether or not we can reconcile. We both feel our paths have crossed again for a reason. About a year ago, I told him that I loved him and although I knew there was no way he could have felt the same (we only dated for a short while in high school), I was so impressed with his response. He was genuine and humble and thanked me for sharing. He seemed so flattered and grateful…and that was a sufficient enough response for me. We both agreed that we would just see how things go. I am so happy I got my feelings off of my chest and now he does not have to wonder how I feel. If and when he is ready to take the step into a relationship (and I am still available), he knows that my feelings for him are true. In all of my serious relationships since college, I have always said the three words first and in all cases the guys eventually came around and loved me back as time progressed. I don’t think it matters who says it first, as long as you realize that love takes time and everyone who you love won’t develop love for you at the exact time as you. if you really love the person, you will be patient and allow love to blossom in their hearts at their pace. Life is short and we often never have the same moment in time with the same people, so why not take the risk and tell them what’s on your heart. Like John Mayer said “say what you need to say.” I would personally rather tell the person how I really feel and throw the ball in their court, then to risk never having the chance of sharing my true feelings.

Reply January 21, 2015, 10:04 pm


I was the first one to say it in my new relationship.i take things jokingly when it comes to the word blew up in my face and showed me that he wasn’t feeling it.i tried to explain but he wouldn’t let me.i hate myself for doing this because I ruined a relationship that was fun and interesting.

Reply January 9, 2015, 7:58 am


He’s texted me saying he loves me but never said it in person! So I don’t know whether to be the first one to say it in person or not :S

Reply October 16, 2014, 11:02 pm


when the girl i tell i love u,she says i will think about,what does it mean?

Reply July 30, 2014, 3:14 am


When I told the guy I like that I loved him he thanked me for my honesty and told me why he would make a bad boyfriend right now and wasn’t looking for anything serious.

He was very kind to me when I came out and got that off my chest and it bonded us even more, he listened to me and didn’t interrupt me but asked questions but was very quiet.

But as of late he’s become more nervous around me, he looks at me from across the room and looks away or will even smile or laugh if I catch him.

He will walk up to me while I’m sitting down and just stare deeply into my eyes and not say a word (his pupils are HUGE)

I will find him always being near me or following me.

He’s now become physically affectionate, warm and very attentive he’s been going slow but it’s been steady.

He was never like this before I told him I love him.
This is all very new to me and interesting.

Reply July 27, 2014, 2:09 pm


Eric, so a guy should say, “I love you” first, I get that and they way you’ve written it makes sense to me. What happens if you never hear it? I know you give advice on how to make a guy fall in love with you, but how long do you wait if it seems like that day is never going to come? Do we just follow the other advice articles on your page and decide that “in this moment, the relationship sucks and I can’t enjoy it, therefore, I’m ending it?” No offense, I know you say women shouldn’t plan, but that’s kind of what we do by nature and we don’t want to waste time with a guy. How long should your wait to hear it? Most advice columns say that if you don’t hear it by nine months, call it a quits, but your article seems to suggest that if you follow all of your relationship rules by being independent and living your life like you don’t need a boyfriend, then it’s impossible for him NOT to eventually fall in love with you – perhaps even if you’re years into the relationship. Is this the case?

Reply June 24, 2014, 4:13 pm


I am mailing a guy for the past 6 months…….its long distance since we are both in different countries. He says he has fallen in love with me but I still see he is on the matrimonial site where we met. Is he fooling around ??

Reply June 20, 2014, 7:34 am

ruhan kandel

this poime I like its is verey nice thanking abd god bless u

Reply June 20, 2014, 12:51 am

lu lu

I’m seeing this guy….well two actually… professed love from the start….and wanted to commit right away…the other guy was just a fwb….i met him first and our fwb relationship was definitely a little more than that in a sense i met parents and close friends and there was quality time. But with the time being spent i started to develop feelings and expressed some of them in which he expressed the same sentiments. However because of our relationship status and his decision to have a relationship, I allowed another guy into my space and when i backed off. he joked about someone taking my attention and i told yea it was true. He got upset and i explained my reason was because of our agreement as fwbs that i didn’t want to tell im how i felt because i felt it was irrelevant but he said he felt the same and he wished i told him. So long story short, sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and speak what you feel. Saying I love you don’t scare all guys this rule does not apply to all guys. Most guys I meet wants me to love them so to hear me say it is music to their ears. You could also miss out on something special.

Reply June 16, 2014, 10:32 am


Ive been dating this guy I’ve known for 7 years for a little over a year now.. we had a debate over the phone over something stupid he called back and apologized. I sent him a short text shortly after and said “still love you even though it sounded like you were ready to chop my head off lol” totally not expecting any response it was more in a joking way. He texts back and says “I love you too” we’ve never said those words so does he really love me??? I was shocked to get that response

Reply May 24, 2014, 12:27 pm


If you decide to say it, say it in a straightforward way. If you decide not to say it, then don’t–not even in French while he’s sleeping, only to tell him later that you do that, as if it’s third person.

Reply April 8, 2014, 10:44 pm


Interesting article. I have been seeing a guy for about nine months now and he has said it twice although both times it was said in a context that I knew he didn’t genuinely mean it. On Valentine’s Day in his card, I had written “you are loved” in French …. I say it to him when he is sleeping, I say “I love you”. I do it because I am afraid that me saying it, will scare him or make him feel pressured which I don’t want. The other night I told him that I wanted to say it but I was afraid. He replied with just say it. I answered that I say it when he’s sleeping and then asked him if he knew what it was. He answered with yes. So now I sit here and feeling like I need to say it. If I never had another chance to tell him, I would be saddened. If he never had the opportunity to hear me say I love you to him I would hate it. It has to be worth the risk. He is 41 and I am 42 and we do work together, although not directly. He has never been married, no kids and has never really been in a relationship. He doesn’t easily share his feelings and tends to use sarcasm ….I have learned to take about 70% of what he says, seriously. I have told him that no other woman out there would put up with him. The relationship is good, I am content and we are comfortable. I don’t need the words back. I am not at all clingy, demanding or needy .. .independent and don’t pressure him. Are the words I love you worth the risk I could scare him or cause him to feel overwhelmed, I don’t know.

Reply April 8, 2014, 8:18 pm


I recently said it first and he felt relieved because he was so nervous. It was the perfect timing by any means but it was in a way. I was with him staying at his parents, helping him grieve the recent loss of his sister. The day of the funeral, I told him how much I loved him. We’ve been stronger ever since. Doesn’t matter who says it first. You can tell by the way a man looks and treats you if he’s in love. That’s why I took a leap of faith

Reply March 24, 2014, 9:21 am


This is ridiculous. I said, “I love you,” to my boyfriend first. I didn’t expect a damn word back. Life is short, too short to hide how you feel out of fear. I wanted him to know he was loved and he was amazing. And, even if he wasn’t saying it back, I knew we had something special. You shouldn’t say something or do something for a reciprocation. You should do it out of a genuine heartfelt feeling, it’s something selfless. In relationships it seems “advice” columns are always teaching women to be submissive yet NOT clingy or needy in the slightest. You’re trying to build us to be non-human entities. We are all humans. We have emotions, we have feelings and we have ups and downs. Men do as well. I’ll be damned if I listen to advice telling me I should be devoid of all of that to attract and keep a mate. It’s absurd.

Reply February 10, 2014, 9:49 am

Eric Charles

Lol… holy toledo… calm down!! You’re going to give yourself a heart attack… jeez.

Why are you getting so outraged about this? Why are you projecting your opinion of my intent onto me (despite mountains of evidence to the contrary)?

Are you one of those people that gets off on being outraged by things? What’s really upsetting you in your life right now?

Reply February 10, 2014, 1:40 pm


She’s not “giving herself a heart attack,” she’s simply pointing out the blatant sexism in this article. I feel like I am reading something out of the 1950’s where women were not to be speak unless spoken to. You’re saying that women should keep their mouths shut about how they feel until it is deemed appropriate by the man in the relationship to say how they feel. “When he says it to you first, it will come across as him declaring something to you. When you say it to him, it will most likely come across as you forcing it on him,” like are you serious? When you say “I love you” to someone, it’s not forcing anything on anyone. It’s stating your affection towards someone. I feel sorry for any girl that has to date a sexist piece of shit like you.

Reply April 19, 2014, 9:56 pm


I agree with Hannah and Holly. This article was written by some control freak who has little concern for women and how we feel. The fact that the author of the article suggests that a woman who is matter-of-factly and very rationally disagreeing with him is “outraged” is also telling. Any GOOD man is not going to feel that anything is being forced upon him when a GOOD woman openly loves him. He is going to feel proud and treat her with respect.

Reply April 30, 2014, 6:02 am


I agree completely. I told my boyfriend I loved him, when he didn’t even believe in love! Two days later he said it back. Men and women both protect themselves, but a good relationship is nowhere to be shy about your feelings. LADIES: Say it if you feel it, and the right man won’t run.

July 16, 2014, 11:34 am


I have been volunteering at a ‘feed the poor’ program for several years; a couple of months ago a girl came in to help, beautiful inside and outside, the kind who makes guys heads turn. She’s grounded, funny and all that. Well, last week out of the blue she said ‘I love you’ … I’m not sure if she meant in in a romantic way, although the context is yes/90% (sorry for the probability math). I had no problem with than and we hugged tight and I said ‘I love you, too,’ and meant it. Not in an ownership kind of way but Yes, I love you in the highest love way and also the romantic in-love way. I don’t feel any pressure from either her or me. But it was great she was confident enough to say it first. And again, she can have just about any guy, so she isn’t the needy type.

October 14, 2014, 1:18 am


I regret not telling my ex-bf I loved him. I was following the rule that a man should say it first. We’d been dating for two years and I asked him if he was in love with me and he said he didn’t know what love was, that he wanted to say it to someone he knew for sure would be his life partner. It hurt. I wanted to know there was a future for us and that we were both committed. After that conversation I felt different about the relationship. I started to distance myself emotionally and I broke up with him. It’s been five months of no contact and a lot of self reflection. I accept that he felt I wasn’t the one for him or that he wasn’t ready to love me, I’ll never really know his reasons. But I regret not telling him he was loved by me. We are all the same, men and women, we have feelings and want to be loved. From now on I’m going to not hold back even if the relationship doesn’t last. Telling people you love them and showing them you care is special.

Reply August 18, 2014, 5:13 am


Stephanie, I had a similiar situation to yours. I met this man on the internet ( not a dating web site) and he lived in another country. We had talked for 9 months and i was friends with some of his family members as well thru fb. He invited me to stay with him and his adult daughter. Yes, i had flown to his country too meet him. At the airport , when we physically met, he just hand patted me on the shoulder! I just chalked it up to nerves. A few days had passed. And he was getting more distant and building emotional walls around himself. I finally confessed to him that I loved him! He said he was flattered but he preferred his company with gentlemen! I was so devestated! I cried for months after that and went to counceling. This last Christmas he had texted me and said he was going back with his ex wife! So, for my sanity, I unfriended him and some of his family members unfriended me, I was really hit hard with a huge emotional loss. But i never regretted telling him how i felt about him. Life is too short not to tell someone how you really feel. It maybe your last time you ever see that person again. This is a story of an unrequited love. :(

Reply October 9, 2014, 9:52 am


I really need this right now!
I have an amazing man in my life. I want to tell him. I’m divorced after 25yrs it’s been almost 7months. His wife died a few years ago. He has a 12yr.old son. My twins are in college. I know he cares a lot about me. He shows it in so many ways! I seriously think I’m in love with him. I soooooo want to tell him. I’m seeing him this weekend. I’m nervous but I’m thinking of taking that Leap of Faith. I don’t want to scare him off !!!! He’s scared so am I ! Help
Thanks !!

Reply December 26, 2014, 10:22 am



Reply February 26, 2015, 6:52 am


Hi I’m miley and 17 . I went to Germany because of my dady’s work and I have problem with my language (a little) I’m in Germany for 6 months and I like a boy . In first days in school I don’t pay attention to him and I don’t know he pay attention to me or not but I went to a prom(school party) and he was there and when he saw me he huged me and say hi miley and I so surprised because I thought he doesn’t know me cause when didn’t speak with each other in school and he danced with me.after it we saw each other in school but we just look at each other and one day he saw that I’m but coming so wait for me and take door open since I came into school and he walked with me when we were alone in class or see each other in a place that no one was there we say hi or next prom he did like the last party too.i got a new feeling about him and now I like him and I don’t k ow why! My teacher said you can ask him that he likes u or not but we don’t speak so much just take a look to eachother ! I don’t know what should I do! I’m shying to speak with him … can you help me :( he is the first boy that I really like him.can you send me an answer thx :)

Reply January 31, 2014, 3:43 pm


What does it mean when a guy says I’m not in love with a person?

Reply January 22, 2014, 9:44 pm


Last night after 4 month of dating I felt like I cant keep it inside any longer and I told him I love you , he says Really? Are you sure? And I said yes , he didn’t say it back and I wasn’t expecting him say it back just wanted him to know how I feel, we been in bed and after he just put his arm around me and was quiet …Eric tell me pls what its can mean ? Sorry for my English))

Reply December 22, 2013, 10:15 am


The same exact thing happened to me. It stung way more than I had anticipated.

Reply December 29, 2013, 11:21 am


I have to comment here. My bf and I are 44 and 48. We’ve known each other 9 years, but have been dating for less than a year. I love him, and I know he loves me. We are happy and we are faithful and committed. We have never spoken “I love you” to one another.

I know so many people need to hear those words. But I don’t. How do I know he loves me? He shows it. He wants to see me. He makes an effort to see me and my children. We go on vacations together. We spend every weekend and some weekdays together. He buys foods and drinks that I like when he grocery shops. He kisses me passionately and hugs me often. He does little things for me that I don’t have time to do myself (like washes my car). He holds my hand when we go anywhere. And I do many things for him as well. I think some men don’t really feel comfortable saying the words, but a man will gladly show you how much he loves you. Just try not to miss the forest for the trees. =)

Reply August 16, 2013, 2:49 pm


After reading this article and then the comments,I’m more confused than ever. I’ve known the guy I’ve fallen deeply in love with for over 3 years now,off and on.These feelings scare me more than I can say.When I realized I was in love with him,it hit me like a ton of bricks.My first thought was ‘No way this is happening’.He was always quiet until today.It was like a dam breaking inside him,I was amazed at how he opened up,I could barely get a word in edgewise,and the way he would look at me sent a message he definitely had feelings for me,too.I also think he is as scared as I am.He’s a good man,and he can’t seem to do enough for me.I met him at a flea market and found out he lives almost 3 hours away from me,but he wants to make the trip to spend time with me.I still don’t know whether I should tell him I love him,or wait for him.My intuition tells me he has strong feelings for me,but at the same time,I can’t get it out of my mind that he had told me 3 years ago he didn’t want a serious relationship.I just don’t know.I do want to tell him I love him,but I’m so afraid to,I don’t want to scare him off. I’ve never been good at hiding my feelings. I’ve always been open,so this is something new for me.I don’t know what to do.Do I wait for him,or do I tell him how I feel?

Reply July 9, 2013, 9:50 pm


Honestly, guys are so difficult to understand! What if you have a great relationship (met our families, spend most time together, etc. )with a great guy, but it’s been more than a year without him saying “I love you”?

Reply April 28, 2013, 2:23 am


Eric here is a scenario Jorge and i while working at a certain company and that was 2003 we became friends, then we started moving out together, but our relationship is funny, Jorge is Cuban and am Ugandan his parents live in Cuba and only had uncles here, Before we met he had a girl friend and they broke up but at the time of their breaking up she was pregnant. He was confused because it was the least bit of responsibility he expected at the time and then his work wasn’t so well paying. He was actually confused although from the look of things, had his act together as a man. And for me then i was still pursuing my undergraduate degree, i also needed to have my stand as a graduate looking for a job and be independent. We became intimate friends with no benefits, but respect each other alot until now, he moved to another country for work but comes back home for holiday often. At some point i got a boy friend and he got a girl friend and both our relationships failed. and both of us knew what was going on in the others life. Here is a scenario we still feel the same passion for each other like we did when we first met i know i love him, but how do i tell that to him, cos its killing me inside.

Reply October 19, 2012, 6:13 am


I’m a guy, I’ve been in a couple long term relationships, that Involved the word love. Love is a powerful word to a womans heart, if she has feelings for you I would like to have one say it to me first.. But only if I’m pretty sure she does love me, because for me life isn’t about games it is about moving forward and writing our future together, it just so happens an amazing woman has come into my life… she recently told me that she loved me… I really thought about her telling me for what felt like 5 or 10 minutes before I actually understood someone did love me with out me having to put it on her. So call me immature or young. Be have it, its actually amazing to be loved first, in my MALE perspective. We ARE all different, with some similarites… :)

Reply October 8, 2012, 11:38 pm


This article is right on the spot. Don’t think, just go with the flow. Whatever happens goes to show how mature a relationship really is. There is bound to be a partner that has the maturity that you want. The key is look at the big picture and ask if this is where you hoped to be

Reply October 3, 2012, 11:44 am


What if your in a relationship for quite a while, lets say a few good months, happy months, and you feel like saying it and sharing that, and you feel like he wants to say it too but seams to also be waiting for something?
then what?
im trying to be the strong one here, girl power, and let him move first, but sometimes it hard, sometimes i just want to scream it to him, let it go, as if it will release me… but… NO!
im waiting for him to say..

good call?

Reply June 8, 2012, 9:40 am


Well he said it first and it was a good call, normally we girls are afraid of taking things too fast, so its good to wait and let the guys be ready for it… Its a dangerous spot, because you want to say it and for it to be said when it really means what it means! I feel that now a days people use the word i love you so banally that it takes all the magic out of it!
So i’m glad i waited! :)
In the end i actually took more time to say i love you to him.. I think it was a self preservation mode i put on, since I’ve been hurt so many times as any girl or boy.

Reply April 28, 2013, 1:45 pm


Is that really what goes in guy’s heads? “If I say it, it means X, but if you say it it means Y”?

That’s childish. It’s not fair to have to have to bottle up your feelings because a guy is going to forcefully misinterpret them.

Reply June 5, 2012, 10:50 pm


Alice, I agree to a great extent becausef a person whether male of female, will simply know when it is the right time to say it (when it is okay to say it). They go based off of what they are feeling. They ( a girl – or a guy) would not say it if they were not sure that the feeling was mutual. Feelings are intuitive. They are important.


Reply September 24, 2012, 1:03 pm


Alice, I agree to a great extent because a person whether male of female, will simply know when it is the right time to say it (when it is okay to say it). They go based off of what they are feeling. They ( a girl – or a guy) would not say it if they were not sure that the feeling was mutual. Feelings are intuitive. They are important.


Reply September 24, 2012, 1:04 pm


I have been friends with this guy,we have been good friends for 5 months..and he cares about me and he is always there for me to help me even if I wont ask for his help. I love him so much and am dying to know if he loves me too,I once asked him if he has a girlfriend and said no…when I text him ,he always replies..sometimes I may not call him to see if he make the 1st move and he does,I just don`t get cause he shows signs that he is into me but he won`t just say day i asked to go out with him he said he couldn`t i didn`t wanna pull pressure on him so i kept cool..i feel like i should forget about him and move on with my life but i can`t..i tried not to call /text him but he would call if i don`t.what should i do,cause am tired of waiting for a man to tell me if he loves me,cause he may not .and if i move along with another guy ,i may be losing my true happiness if he loves me too.And if he doesn`t love me,why does he keep on showing me that he does..?why don`t he just spill out that he has some girlfriend to show that he just want us to be friends.

Reply May 16, 2012, 8:12 am


go for it gal!think he is jst waiting for you to show response.

Reply May 18, 2012, 9:56 am


How did it go? Did you tell him?
want to know if it work out!
anyway if you didnt yet, think like this, you have nothing to lose by saying that your interested on him as more than a friend, dont say I LOVE YOU already, cause that would just freak him out… Just say your interested in something more, and if he says no then maybe u can stay friends or just move on.
good luck*

Reply June 8, 2012, 9:37 am

Rebecca Wyatt

‘If you say it first, then it’s like you’re forcing that implied commitment, in a way. And even if a guy does love you, he will feel to an extent that he’s being pressured. ‘
Oh no, oh no. It’s so hard to understand you guys…
Your head and heart is a dark and deep forest. We are probably really from different planets.

Reply May 11, 2012, 6:21 am


oh for the love of god ive read that guys shouldnt say it first because theyll lose their dominance and girls shouldnt say it first or else the guy will run off but really these games are so juvinile who gives a damn who says what first and why peace love and unity man

Reply November 27, 2011, 10:14 am

Eric Charles

Haha… Believe me, I hear you.
Listen… I’ll tell you a secret about a lot of the articles I write.
It’s usually never a matter of “technique” about who should do what, when, etc.
It’s dumb, but most people want technique-advice. “Do this and you’ll have ever-lasting love, etc.”
You know what the REAL secret is in relationships?
Becoming a master of your own emotions.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman. Most people want to be slaves to their own emotions… they get irrational, make poor decisions and then get caught up swirling in a pool of emotions, unable to escape.
Blindly following every emotion that floats through us is a surefire way to land in hot water with relationships.
If you look at everything I’ve ever written, I will usually pander to the “gimme how-to advice” crowd at first, but then explain that ultimately it’s a matter of emotional maturity and perspective. Hope that makes sense…

Reply November 27, 2011, 12:45 pm


There is also the “I feel” advice out there too. Being transparent.
I do agree with this article in my present circumstance.
I said I felt like I was falling in love for the first time (I also am surging with bonding hormones mind you) Guy freeked out, and is running.
Should not matter how I feel versus how he does. He can feel how he wants to feel; however, don’t say one minute that there is a connection then say there is no connection the next.

Reply August 27, 2013, 12:56 am


Yeah but I mean all of us are egotistical and want the girl to say it first. We try retain dominance when we can, sometimes it is not the case. Funny thing is, I had a girlfriend and it was COMPLETE puppy love, I thought I loved her but I never said it because of my ego. I wanted to wear the pants in the end hahah

Reply December 6, 2011, 5:23 pm


I will never hide my feelings. If I feel it I am going to say it. If I feel something and don’t say it, that’s playing games. I said it free of any expectation, not to hear a return response. If in time the feeling isn’t mutual, I will know I gave my all and he just wasn’t the ONE for me.

Reply November 25, 2011, 12:20 pm


I agree. i wish women would just stop over analyzing and just do it. stop worrying about the consequences!

Reply July 21, 2012, 10:29 am


It’s clear to see if a guy isn’t in love with you. Picasso once said, “women are either goddesses or doormats”.
Separate of rules or who should say it first….take time to notice what’s happening. If the indicators are there that he doesn’t love you, don’t say it! If the indicators are there and you are denying them, don’t say it!
But if you do …(I like what Kate said)…and he doesn’t say it back for whatever reason let that then be the indicator!
Enjoy yourself, but be honest and leave when it’s apparent it’s not equal! That is the one and only time he’ll take a second look …either a goddess or doormat.

Reply November 25, 2011, 11:35 am

Eric Charles

Picasso really said that? If so, that’s one hell of a quote.
And I agree… but I have a very wide image of what a Goddess is…
These days, lots of girls would equate being a Goddess with being a diva. That would be… a mistake. :)

Reply November 25, 2011, 1:31 pm


@ montana…the situation with my boyfriend is this: before he met me he was totally in love with this woman. they hadn’t seen each other for years and then got back together and picked up where they left off. he rushed into using the “L” word and it is plastered all over one of his facebook pages. imagine how embarrassing for him that the moment he was ready to pack up his life in another state to move to be with her, she put on the brakes. she did this twice, and it broke his heart. i told him i love him and he said he can’t say it YET. after knowing what i know about this, i don’t blame him one bit. i really do love him and can read between the lines, and because i really do love him am willing to give him the time until he’s ready. i believe he FEELS it but is afraid to commit in words just yet. maybe your boyfriend has similar reasons. just an idea.

Reply November 25, 2011, 10:42 am


I have been with my boyfriend for a little over 9 months now. Neither one of us have been married before. He’s 41 and I’m 34. We spend just about everyday together. We go hiking, movies, dinner and trips. I attend all of his family functions, holidays, birthdays, etc. We have so much in common and really enjoy each others company. Our relationship just comes naturally and easy to us. He has never told me he loves me and I have never told him but those emotions are built up inside of me so much that I feel like I’m going to explode if I don’t tell him how I feel. I keep telling myself, “todays the day I tell him” I find myself not having the courage to say it. Why can’t I say it? Why hasn’t he said it? Don’t you think by 9 months he’d be saying it by now?

Reply November 24, 2011, 3:30 am


One website says the man should say i love you first and another says the woman should. who’s right?

Reply November 23, 2011, 7:33 pm

deependra soni

i love you osheen ever

Reply October 25, 2011, 6:40 am


I think more importantly is to ask, why am I saying I love you?
A lot of people express this for reassurance and have expectations. I thin personally I will wait for the guy to say it first. In the mean time, actions speak louder than words. I think a
man will better appreciate my expression of love through actions rather than words.

Reply October 15, 2011, 5:10 pm


I think it should be from men first..coz usually men fall in love first..or even ask a girl first..not girls ask….then then man would feel the ” love ” first..the “i love you” it self makes the girl fall in love 2 … so they will be 2 in loves..and the i love you would be the way of ” love by 2-sides”

Reply October 13, 2011, 7:11 pm


I think a lot of the premature “I love you’s” might stem from security issues. I can’t speak for other women out there, but for me, I’m constantly worrying about making him as happy as he’s making me, or showing him how happy he’s making me, and the easiest way to go about it is to verbalize it. The problem with I love you is that it means so much, especially when we say it to someone else. I mean, I can love my cat, my house, even the chinese leftovers in the fridge, but when I tell him, the word somehow gets heavier. It’s like it takes on a responsibility of sorts, an obligation to both you, the giver, and your significant other. It’s not about power per se, but… ah, how do I explain this.
Alright, I once had a boyfriend back in college who said those three words way too soon. As in we were only dating for two weeks kind of too soon. I was not in love with him. I mean, I liked him well enough, but after he said that and I wasn’t ready for it…well awkward is not a strong enough word.
So why do we say it? Neediness? Lack of self-confidence? Another boyfriend of days past didn’t say it until almost a year after we had been dating just because he was afraid I would reject him somehow or that I wouldn’t feel the same way. Meanwhile, I didn’t want to say it too soon either, afraid of freaking him out the way my previous boyfriend had done to me.
So when IS a good time to say it? Do you wait for him? My experience has been that girls want to say it first for emotional stability or whatever reasons they have. But before you do, dig deep inside yourself and make sure you are saying it because you want him to know and not because you want to hear him say it back. You have to have enough confidence in yourself to accept that he might not be ready to say it, and you have to be mentally prepared that he won’t return it. A lot of times it is just easier to wait for him to say it first just so you don’t have to worry about coming off as needy or clingy or whatever. Just remember he might be going through the same thing as you too, wondering about timing and such forth. What I recommend is dropping hints here and there (but not too many or too obviously!) just so you can get a feel for what he is thinking. Really though, don’t sweat about it. When you, as a couple, are ready, it will come out then you can breathe deep and not have to worry about it any more.

Reply September 17, 2011, 2:25 pm


Wow! Now that was a refreshing answer – and coming from a guy. I like how your (Eric) article (Can A Girl Say ‘I Love You’ First?) is not defensive. It’s fair and sensible. I’m smiling.

Well, my guy (I mean “just friends”) hinted all kinds of love stuff by writing between the lines (potent love songs included) and when I finally figured it out, I replied by doing the same and made the mistake of answering one of his requests with something about “missing” him and I haven’t heard from him since. Otherwise, we had a very trusting and sharing “relationship” (I guess I’m not supposed to say that word either). But anyway, being a girl, do yourself a favor and don’t let him know “how much you love him” until he can actually share how much he loves you first! He just might not be ready.

Now I have to figure out how to get him back…or give him up! Either way, it’s really HURTING. Okay, so he’s an Introvert and needs his time and space…whatever…

Reply August 29, 2011, 7:01 pm


I commented a while ago…I said I love you first….and wanted to write again to let you know where I am. I have really learned a lot and thank you for your comments.

I made a mistake by doing that.

Granted saying it first is not necessarily a bad thing–expressing yourself is great– but often saying it quickly (ie: first) is a signal of an unhealthy mindset.

My boyfriend broke up with me in November 2010. We had a great relationship but in truth I was needy. We did a lot together–running, riding, cooking, talking, movie going, dreaming… so breaking up also represented loss of a friend. When he asked me to stay his friend, it was a tough decision. ( this could easily be it’s own blog subject!) . Anyway, I had to dig deep for my answer…over time, I agreed but had to fully “commit” to friendship in my head/heart (meaning no agenda). This required and continues to require huge discipline on my part!

The undertaking meant I had to “go in” balanced and stable –this propelled me to have a full life, care for myself, sleep well, eat well, pursue personal interests, read, have friends, etc. etc. I did that to be successful in friendship and ended up with great love.

The irony now (almost a year later) is we’re very close….not because I force it or because I title it so, but in truth. He is very open with me, very loving, very attracted to me ( I can tell, but I don’t hedge on that ). He often initiates, and speaks in terms of forever..he smiles, is affectionate, attentive and responsive.

So by caring for myself, focusing and respecting myself I got to love–in this case a good friendship but my life is better, I feel strong, and in this place, looking back, I can imagine saying I love you, but not like I did/when I did.

I consider this a life lesson.

I suggest, ask yourself before you say “I love you” spontaneously, who are you to yourself, how’s your life, what is your purpose and if any issues come up address them from a position of self-love.

Reply August 13, 2011, 9:31 pm


Your right there is no rules for the word “I love you” but you have to look deeply inside to see that, when a female say it first she is going all the way in with her all heart. She is putting her best love on the field for him. By her saying “I love you” first when that time come for the realtionship to end, she will be stuck crying simply because, she said ” I love you” first. The reason for that is because, she thought it was love, not understanding her partner feelings fully. When a guy say “I love you” first it mean so much more then a female saying it, he have a understanding of showing his true feelings with you when your around other people, he can connected to you on another level that he thought would never happen… I perfer for the male to say it first because, it shows me that he is serious, it would mean so much more to me that I am the love of his life. If females would understand and take their time understanding males you would have a lot better realtionship and a lot better of the word COMMITMENT…

Reply August 12, 2011, 7:46 pm


I’d with the guys saying it first. I think it takes the pressure off women and the risk of getting rejected and humiliated for saying love and guy not saying it back.

Reply July 20, 2011, 9:32 pm


hi i think its a croc of shit i love you can be said by who ever me i liked saying it cause i loved showing how i felt but id be more then happy for a woman to say she loves me but i gess im just a freak i think it should all be equil no rules nothing just love between 2 clean and simple

Reply June 14, 2011, 8:37 am

Frances Cooper

Does it mean anything when a man goes from say that I love you to love you?

Reply April 27, 2011, 6:56 am


ok so a couple years ago my ex would say he loved me and i figured out afterward he was only using it to manipulate me. He said it first after two weeks of dating and swore he meant it. I said it back and I didn’t really mean it but that was two months later because he kept saying it. I had a talk with him but he kept swearing that he was in love. I said I loved my current boyfriend last night first, for the first time, and he freaked out, and never sid anything back. But hes still talking to me. We have plans for tommorrow, and I don’t think hes going to leave me, he’s just not there yet, and I have no problem with saying it becasue I mean it. While I was concerned with his reaction I didn’t mind that he didn’t say it back. I want him to mean it, because I do. My ex said it early, and soon he didn’t love me anymore, and I really doubt that ever loved me at all. When a guy says it first sometimes it can mean they have a hidden agenda. I think having a connection and truly caring for another person is what matters not who says it first.

Reply March 15, 2011, 11:42 am


my situation: I was very nervous and scared. What if he backs away and pushes me away? But in the back of my mind i know he’s not going to do this. Because he would have by now because how i feel is so damn obvious. you’d have to be deaf, blind and dumb. So i was a nervous wreck when i got on web-cam with him(LDR). I find this kinda humorous. after a long time trying to say it to him, i finally said it! i covered my face and lowered my head. He very tenderly says why are you hiding from me? Is this what you’ve been worried about? You’re silly. I told him Ive been wanting to tell him for so long now. and i didn’t need to hear him say it until he was ready to say it. i believe i chose the right time for myself to say it. I know he’s not ready to say it which is fine by me, because his actions speak volumes!!

i think he will be saying it very soon.

Reply December 13, 2010, 9:13 pm


Tes, I think you gave him no opportunity to say it. When you did say it, instead of just letting it hang in the air, you told him “and I hope to hear it from you someday” to avoid being rejected by him not saying…but then again he might have said it. The focus went on not him saying it back but that it will be a BIG DEAL. And when you asked him to agree with you that you put too much pressure on him.

What does that mean? You didn’t even let him finish.

I wouldn’t consciously make an effort to “pull back.” I would just treat him like you always have treated him and don’t bring up that you pressured him or you act like you waiting for an answer. Eventually, down the road, if he brings it up, don’t jump on him – let him talk.

Reply October 9, 2010, 3:04 am


I google searched, “what does it mean when a guy says I care about you very much” and I came across this website and read the advice on can a girl say I love you first. I liked the advice–this website’s great!

I took away a couple things: 1) if the relationship is going generally well, the guy’s satisfied and doesn’t place a lot of importance on the words i love you. That makes sense in the context of my relationship and speaking of context….2) context matters!

So here’s the context to a question (or two) that I have:

My boyfriend and were introduced by a mutual friend who used to run with each of us (separately) and connected us to expand our running circle.

We ran a couple times and then met for a glass of wine, then dinners, running, skiing, snowboarding, (amazing sex), climbing, camping, short trips…and now holidays and family affairs too for a year now. Wow. can’t even believe it. We smile when we’re together, are very compatible, bring each other new perspective which is fun, and have a lot of passion (still) too. It’s pretty awesome. We’re exclusive–that I know because we’ve had that conversation, and we see each other 2-4 times a week-altogether seems pretty “real”. I’ve never pushed to define it otherwise-nor has he, we’re generally just happy together and left it at that…..UNTIL…

The problem. I did actually say I love you first (last night) and he didn’t say it back…:( It gets worse. When he didn’t say it back, I said you don’t have to say it tonight but someday tell me you love me… : l

We woke up this morning together and either I just imagined it or it seemed like there was a lot of pressure in the air. Uugh. I wished I didn’t say it at. Until that everything was easy, sexy, and even goodbyes were smooth.

Well so I talked to him tonight and I said I think I put a lot of undue pressure on the relationship “by asking you to say you love me”. I said would you agree? (to the fact that that placed pressure on it) and he said yes.

Then he said, “you know I care about you very much”….

I said you, “it doesn’t matter” (it was a gut reaction –I don’t know why I said that ). He said, “I hope it matters, that matters to me” I said “you don’t have to say that”. He said well I do.

Question 1: What does I care about you very much mean in this context?
Question 2: I’ll probably pull back a bit now–be the same person, but won’t be saying gushy comments anymore. Is that an appropriate response or is it defensive and immature?
Question 3: How long can a relationship be generally good (very good) before a guy wants to say I love you?

Reply October 9, 2010, 2:38 am


First of all Thanks alot Eric..and for everyone who posted a comment and added alot.

I have been so long googling on this subject.. until i got this site.. and am so happy i read the article.. Am going through a stange relationship…. and i was so confused of whether to say I LOVE YOU or not.. and i hesistated alot.. yet its to complicated ..
However, thanks God .. i didn’t and i will wait for what happens next.. and as you said it not gonna cange anything.. and i don’t want to force him on anything.
Thanks again.. for making it so clear..

Reply August 14, 2010, 2:04 pm

Eric Charles

Hi Nikki,
I appreciate your comments.
There’s no rule that women have to wait for the man to say it first or that it’s destructive or anything like that.
But I would say that a lot of women who say it first do it and then later regret it since they start to wonder: “When would he have said it if I didn’t say it first? Would he have said it? Does he really love me or did he just say it because I said it?, etc. etc. etc.”
If you’re secure and experienced, you’re right – this is a non-issue. But there are plenty of people who aren’t always 100% secure 100% of the time… and for that reason this is something good to consider.
As for homosexual couples, this still applies. Actually, I’m glad you brought up the point because what I am saying here has much more to do with personality tendency and less to do with being male or female.
On the other hand, I would be lying if I didn’t say women typically have this tendency far more in heterosexual relationships than men. There are exceptions and I am acknowledging that. But I think you would agree that *typically* the scenario I described is more of a trap for women than men.

Reply April 25, 2010, 12:35 pm


I honestly don’t think we can make blanket statements about how to handle expressing ‘i love you’ between two people. What about homosexual relationships? Who says it first, the woman or the woman? The man or the man? lol. As for relationships between men and women, I’ve found that a lot of men are afraid to say it first…hah. My current bf said to me: “It’s the woman’s job to say it first.” I don’t know where this whole “wait for the man to say it first” came from. I think it’s ridiculous. It doesn’t matter who says it first, just don’t be stupid about it and make sure the timing is right. Why should the woman wait? Not all women are insecure and need the “reassurance” of a man who says I love you first. Then again, I’m not the type of woman who says I love you to guys not even 3 weeks after knowing him. I wait…and I make sure he deserves my love before I open up my mouth (even if he happens to say it first).

Reply April 25, 2010, 9:11 am


for me it doesnt matter who said it first… i guess a guy can simply say that girl proclaim her love first is they feel that girls manipulating a guy, i think NO why? because we have different level of standing in a relationship. If you cant simply say it in return then don’t at least you know where you stand in a girl that you love most. Why wait for the special occassion or time when to say this… after all if that time does not come anymore (or if one of you gone forever in this planet earth :-( that’s a more regretful mistake you have ever done in your entire life. Treat everyday as special day for your love and make him/her feel that special feeling you have . Coz at least in the end you can utter this words WHAT IF? & IF ONLY? thats more painful when you dont express your self to the one you love and now all TOO LATE…

Reply March 16, 2010, 3:49 am


I was the person who asked this question. I just wanted to report that I ended up saying it. I only said it in the past few weeks, though. He was very happy that I said it. He already knew that he loved me and I loved him. Because I was so nervous, the topic did come up that I had been waiting for the right time because I didn’t want to mess up, and he told me that he would have loved to hear it long ago, but now was equally as great – it was worth the wait. It was one of those cases where both of us felt it, but no one made the move. Now he says it to me all the time :)

I would say if your relationship is brand new – don’t do it. I agree with you still, Eric, about taking things in context. This is sort of a relationship where we were both sort of blown away by eachother/swept off our feet/felt this relationship was a definite game changer in our lives from the get go. But if someone is barely getting a pulse from a guy – I would say hold off.

Reply February 19, 2010, 10:14 am



What’s more interesting is how girls use indirect action to manipulate guys.

Reply November 8, 2009, 7:40 pm



Reply November 4, 2009, 10:49 am


The very first time I’ve been on this site, and this post blew me away! This post is greatly appreciated, it has given me a different point of view to think about, and I ultimately reached a certain piece of mind by the end of the article, and all the comments. I couldn’t add anything to the discussion, but I wanted to let you know…

Thanks so much. I hope you have a beautiful day!

Reply November 4, 2009, 10:49 am


Thank you :)
Something I was wondering: you say that men say ‘I love you’ only because they know it matters to the woman. This statement caught me by surprise. (I’m not saying that it isn’t true, of course; I’m not a man and cannot claim to know all the inner workings.)
Just in my experience, when male friends talk about their saying ‘I love you’, it is more or less a story like this: ” we were spending time together, and she said something/ did something so great/funny/… that I couldn’t help saying it to her”.. which, if I interpret correctly, would mean that the men were not thinking of how much it would please the woman to hear it – they just couldn’t help saying it when confronted with their strong feelings.
This could be a misinterpretation or romanticizing on my part. But I do wonder if men say ‘I love you’ for the sake of expressing themselves, rather than for the sake of the woman.

Reply July 2, 2009, 5:52 am

Eric Charles

Yes, let me clarify. Men say “I love you” because we know that women like to hear it. That is not to say that a man doesn’t feel a tremendous amount of love for his woman if he doesn’t say it.

I agree with you that guys have stories like this about saying I love you and how they couldn’t help but to say it. And yes, it’s absolutely a way of expressing how we feel. The point I was making is that it’s one way that a guy expresses his love, but it’s not the only way.

Even when a guy is completely infatuated, smitten, enamored and “gaga” over a woman, he still has his own definitions of love and his own way of expressing long. There was definitely times in my life where I had been so in-love that I couldn’t help but say it to the girl I was with.

But as time goes on, I’ve become much more reserved about when I say it in a relationship. I do not say it as easily or freely. It definitely does not mean I don’t love the girl very much. But it’s a matter of expression and life experiences, history, etc. that can make a guy more reserved about when and how he says it.

Again though, it’s not to say that what you’re talking about doesn’t happen or that it’s not real or anything like that. I’m just saying that it’s not the only way. What is most important is his feeling towards you and the depth of the relationship itself.

Reply July 2, 2009, 10:55 am


This has been interesting to read. Eric, I highly appreciate your tactful, concise and analytical approach.
The different possible meanings of the word ‘Love’ is a very tough question. The problem is, I think, that deep down most women don’t want to hear ‘I love you because you are (nice, beautiful, loyal, smart)…’, but ‘I love you in spite of everything (for no logical reason – I just know you’re the one – etc)’. I think this is behind many women’s question when they ask if their boyfriend ”really loves” them or not.
From personal experience, I have been in a relationship where my boyfriend told me things like ‘I was a great match’, or compliment me on my looks and personal traits. The problem with this is that it just comes across as way too dry – I wanted to hear how he wanted to be with me IN SPITE OF my flaws, NOT ONLY because of my positive traits.
I think many women – and men – need their romantic partner to provide something that’s ”special” in their lives.
– It’s great when your boss compliments you on a great report, or when your teammates congratulate you on a good game. But with a partner, you need to feel that you are special to them in full, that they would still want you if you made a mistake or many mistakes, would stick by you through thick and thin. That’s probably how I’d define the kind of ”real love” I personally would want my man to tell me about.
Just a (long-winded, sorry) thought.

Reply June 30, 2009, 5:27 pm

Eric Charles

Kate, great comment. Thank you for saying this, I think you you make a really good point and you said it beautifully. I agree entirely.

Reply July 1, 2009, 11:52 pm


I’d say from your question you are putting way too much time into analyzing this. Relax. Love is a word, in this case expressing our best and most complex emotion. If you are the type of person who can be happy knowing you might love someone who might just not be there yet with you, say it. The way the person handles those words may actually tell you an awful lot about them in the long run.

Reply June 17, 2009, 12:31 am

Eric Charles

To Sarah: Agreed… and well said.

I am glad that people are commenting on this because this bring a community of people together to weigh in on an answer. Thanks!

Reply June 4, 2009, 10:19 am

Eric Charles

To PeaceTurkey:

I agree with what you’re saying. Let me clarify something about Ask a Guy: When I’m answering the question, I’m talking to the woman and the audience who is asking that question… But I am not speaking to “all women” or making a generality about all women. The women who this answer doesn’t apply to wouldn’t be asking this question.

Everyone is different. And for every woman who has asked me relationship question she is struggling with, most of the time I have had guys ask me the same question.

So, to me, the gender of the person does not matter to me nearly as much as the question itself. The question itself exposes what the person asking is probably experiencing internally (their fears, frustrations, confusions, etc.) as well as what they are probably seeking in their relationships.

Also true that not all guys will run or fear commitment. But if the woman who’s concerned about this is the type of woman who would later ask herself, “Does he really love me or did he just say it back because I said it to him first?”, then that’s a woman that should just wait. It’s a personality thing, not a gender thing.

I appreciate your comment and I hope I clarified where I’m coming from… I’m taking note of what you said here for future posts.

Reply June 4, 2009, 10:17 am


Ok I’ll admit it, I said those three words first. Did it freak him out, no. Yea he didnt say it back, which was a good thing becuase he wasnt ready. When he was ready he said it. And if i guy just says he loves you because that was we want to her, I’d rather not hear it. When your man says ‘I love you’ a well-observant woman will now if he does or doesnt mean it. If you dont, then pay more attention to your guy. Every relationship is different. Who cares if a chick says it first. If you say it and he doesnt run away, good. If he stays around, hes in the relationship because he is on the verge of love, he just may not be able to say it yet.

Reply June 3, 2009, 12:52 pm


Both this post and the comments all make one general assumption – that women are needy, clingy, emotional violatile creatures in need of constant validation of both themselves and their relationships. Let’s break out of this stereotype, can we please?

I like the “Ask A Guy” section of A New Mode and generally agree with the advice you give, Eric.

This time though, I don’t agree.

Not all men are terrified of committment and love and saying “I love you” first. And not all women are DYING for their partners to say it first so they can immediately come back with an “omg I love you too! Yay!”

Let’s not pigeon-hole men and women into neat little stereotypes.

Every relationship is different. And blog posts and comments like the ones I’ve read here only reinforce this emotionally delicate, cloiying type of woman that we are all apparently supposed to be.

Reply June 3, 2009, 12:43 pm


I’m a female and “TOO LATE I SAID IT FIRST!” I was going out of my mind tryin to keep it in..Whether or not he said it didn’t matter, cuz he now knows how I feel and there was a great burden loaded off me. He hasn’t said it back, But it seems that know that i’ve said it, we are even closer..

Reply September 21, 2011, 7:49 pm


I did the same thing… I said it several times in our last meeting.. he kept smiling and shared most of his life stories with me and kissed my hands before leaving. We agreed to stop writing as I was a married woman. And he died suddenly and I still do not know if he ever loved me! I suffer every day and night and don’t know how to forget him.

Reply December 18, 2011, 11:36 pm

Eric Charles

You said it a lot better than me. :)

100% agree.

Reply May 31, 2009, 10:14 pm


for safety’s sake, the guy should just say it first.

I advise this on one notion: that girls will dissect absolutely everything to no-end. and this will leave out the indelible question, “did he mean it? or did he say it because I said it first?”

let him say it. no questions.

sorry, but guys are more apprehensive and less apt at commitment than we ladies. I personally think it’s a big deal to them and means a lot when they can throw their hearts on the table. and though I may grow impatient, I will wait any day to hear that.

Reply May 31, 2009, 10:01 pm

Eric Charles

Hmm… well, you’re right. There are no rules.

Before I start into my response, let me say that I do appreciate you giving your comment. I don’t agree with it, but I don’t have anything against you for sharing it – it is appreciated here.

There’s no rule that says you can’t talk about religion, politics, abortion or any other loaded subject at a company picnic. But that doesn’t mean it’s an intelligent idea. At the very least, it would be a bad idea to just blindly make a comment that could be volatile without considering the effect it could have.

She got my opinion and now she has yours too. The truth of the matter with this section is that people are going to do whatever they feel like doing anyway. I’m not here to tell anyone what to do or what’s “right”. But if someone asks for my opinion, I will give them reasonable things to consider to the best of my ability.

Let me clarify this a bit. I don’t want to come off as me being mean – not what I’m going for.

All I’m trying to say is that saying “I Love You” is a very loaded phrase for some people. Just because you would take it a certain way doesn’t mean someone else would take it that way. And just because one guy would take it one way doesn’t mean that that’s the right or wrong way to take it.

You don’t know because you’re not them. So my point is that if you don’t know, you should (at the very least) proceed with caution. Contemplate a few different points of view.

Generally speaking, it’s not an ideal strategy to just rattle off the first thing that comes to your mind just because you feel like saying it. It sounds romantic and lovely, but it is my opinion that it’s not a great idea in this case. Again, my opinion.

Reply May 31, 2009, 9:42 pm


Pfft what a load of rubbish! Main reason fella’s say it is because they know it matters to us? C’mon, only a guy who hasn’t been in love could say that sort of thing…! There should be no ‘rules’ surrounding the saying of “I love you” …. you say it when the time feels right, if the other person doesn’t say it back, it’s clear that you’re not on the same page… and this should be a fairly good indication of where to go next…

Reply May 31, 2009, 5:27 pm


this! this article is reducing love down to politics “when you play the game of thrones you win or you die” that’s not how I want my relationship to feel, I’m always the one to say I love you first because I fall very quick and hard, but I would love to hear it first, it wont happen but I would love it if it did.

Reply June 30, 2012, 6:56 am


As a guy, I love it when a woman I’m with says I love you and yes I do care, it was a dream of mine for a long time to have a woman say it to me first.

I recently had a woman I really care for say it to me on the fourth date in a very warm embrace and it felt so good I said I love you too without hesitation.

I dated a woman for a year and a half and I told her I love you a few times and she never said it back once. It broke my heart so much.

Reply March 12, 2015, 2:01 am

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