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Can You Tell a Guy You Love Him First?

Group Therapy: Should I Tell Him I Love Him?

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I'm a 25-year-old graduate student, dating a 25-year-old graduate student for about four months now (official for three). Everything is absolutely perfect. I feel like I love him and the feeling is mutual, but he has not said it. I really have to stop myself from telling him I love him, because I would feel so incredibly vulnerable. I'm not sure if he'd say it back, or if he'd only say it because I said it first. I know I'm really caught up in my head. He's somewhat emotionally guarded because his last girlfriend of three years really destroyed him (they've been broken up for a year and a half now).

Yet he's told me I'm the first person he's been really affectionate with, that he trusts me, that I make him happy, that he's never used the word beautiful to describe a girl he's been with before and I'm the first, and that I'm the first time a girl made him feel special and cared about during sex.


Should I just "man up" and tell him I love him? Or wait for him to say it first? I've never felt this way, and I've had three boyfriends before him (2 years, 1 year, 2.5 years respectively).

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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Join The Conversation
dikke-kus dikke-kus 6 years
Let the man tell you first. They will. They always will. Before they tell you they will try to prove it to you in many ways. While they do this you will have no doubt in your mind, especially if they make a lasting effort over time. I would wait. Four months is not long. I never blurted out I love you first. I love you. I love you they whisper. Does she answer back with the same words? It won't even matter. They'll follow you to the ends of the earth if they love you.
looseseal looseseal 6 years
A guy said "I love you" after a couple of dates once, and I ended things with him right quick right then, because we barely knew each other, so it seemed to me he falls in love at the drop of a hat. With a few months under your belt, you have a much stronger basis for saying I love you without it coming off like you would say I love you to just about anybody, but I don't think it's that big a deal if you just show it instead of say it. I can really relate to your bf in being guarded. Don't fret about him taking his sweet time to say it. So long as he shows his love in other ways, it just means he takes those three little words very seriously. I think being resistant to falling in love and saying "I love you" are great qualities in a significant other. That way when he makes an exception for you, you know it's really something special. Who wants "love" from a guy who tosses it around like it's nothing?
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 6 years
On one hand, I'd say be true to yourself & him. If you truly feel that way, then go for it! On the other hand, I remember a few times I've said it first & the long term outcome was not what I expected. So, use the words carefully & good luck!
atraditionalist atraditionalist 6 years
I'm a traditionalist and I think things are a tradition for a reason-becasue they tend to work. I believe in men coming to women - they tend not to really respect the women who chase after them. Now that's not saying that you can't show it in many different ways and tell his you trust him as well. He might really like you right now but not love you and if you say it you might scare him away. Just hold off for awhile - a couple months maybe - he should feel it and want to express it by then.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 6 years
@Natty85 I was the first one to say I love you in my relationship, pretty early on actually, but we hit it off really quick; it was actually an accident, I was thinking it and blurred it, and was mortified afterwards that I had said it so soon. He said he felt the same and it's been great since, we've been together for about a year now, really happy together. Recently I asked him when he figured out he loved me, and he said that he realized it when I first said it, suddenly he was thinking "Do I love her?" and he said it hit like like a ton of bricks, he realized he did, and it's been lovely since. So saying "I love you" to someone DOES raise the question "Do I love them back?" and that's a risk you have to take... If they realize they do, it'll make your relationship that much stronger.
wolfpackgal wolfpackgal 6 years
With my last boyfriend, I said "I love you" first. We were together 3 months officially also (5 unofficially). Turns out, he had been planning on saying it to me a few days later. I'm the same as you, I've had 2 other boyfriends who said it to me, but this one had never said it to anyone. Just say it, if you feel it. The worst he can do is say he's not ready to tell you that yet. :)
GTCB GTCB 6 years
In my case, I was first - I had been dating my now-wife for about a year when I told her I loved her while on vacation in Turks. I had never told anyone that before, but I was serious. How serious are you? You sound like it. It can't hurt to wait a while before saying it. Besides, after only a couple of months you don't know enough about each other - specifically, you've never been through a really trying, draining, frustrating set of circumstances. It's easy to get along with someone when times are good, but when times are bad people's true colours come out. I would wait for that to happen first, and if you still feel the same way, then give him everything you've got.
pureperfection pureperfection 6 years
SAY IT DARLING!!! MAKE HIS CHRISTMAS THE MERRIEST!! since it doesnt cost you anything to say it, SAY IT.
GregS GregS 6 years
There are a lot of adjectives in the thesaurus on "beauty". He may very well chose a different word, like "pretty" to describe the woman he was with. Perhaps she really IS the first woman he could call "beautiful". Give the guy a little slack. As for telling him you love him, if he's not prepared to go there yet, he may push back. He was apparently very hurt by his last gf and you're seeing the residue of that. Give him time. But you don't have to hold too far back. In your description you say that he's told you that "I'm the first person he's been really affectionate with, that he trusts me, that I make him happy..." You can reflect that back to him. Tell him that you trust him, too. That you feel better when you're with him and that you think about him when you're not. Tell him that you enjoy being with him, and that you haven't felt these kinds of emotions towards one person before. These are all different ways of saying you love him without using the "L" word. You're going half way to saying it. The feelings are all there, all true and the message will be received. I'd be willing to say that it wouldn't be long before he tells you what you already know.
Vanonymous Vanonymous 6 years
I think you should tell him! I was in a similar situation (had been together a few months, etc.). I didn't even plan on saying it and it just came out. He did not say it back... until the next day when he said it on his own. I asked why he waited so long and he said he wanted to make sure I knew he was saying it b/c he meant it and not just as a response b/c I said it. We've been together almost 6 years now. There's nothing wrong with the girl saying it first! And don't panic if he doesn't immediately parrot it back to you. And if, as Natty said, it scares him away... then chances are it wasn't going to work out anyways. Trust your instincts!
BiWife BiWife 6 years
If you love someone, there should be no discouragement of showing it. Whether this is in physical actions or verbal affirmation, it's important to show your love. The first step to receiving love is to give it & especially if you guys have had bad relationships before, it's important to make sure you are showing your feelings to one another & not putting up emotional walls.
Natty85 Natty85 6 years
Honestly. I really liked this guy. We were dating officially for about 2 months and it was going really well. He ended up telling me that he loved me. As the person on the receiving end of the "i love you", I was very shocked and it made me realized how much I did not feel the same way. I ended the relationship because I didn't want to keep leading him on as I did not feel the same way. It hurt to end it but I just didn't want to give his hopes up if I didn't fall in love with him quickly. I think it would be best to wait. If a guy loves you he will do more than tell you, he will show you. It should be easy to tell how much he cares about you by his actions. You telling him that you love him this early in the relationship might seem like you are just blurting it out rather than giving his love time to grow because some people need a little while to decide how they really feel.
missmaryb missmaryb 6 years
I think you should say it. It's scary and you will be totally vulnerable, but he may be feeling the exact same way. I agree, there are no rules about who has to say it first. Remember..."you miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Good luck!
Miss-Bree Miss-Bree 6 years
And, I'm just putting it out there in response to the other comment.... "EARN closeness emotionally" ?! Please don't feel bad about this. This is the 21st century, it isn't the end of the world that you're sleeping together before you've said "I love you." In fact, you sound quite normal. It doesn't sound like you've rushed into anything, and you sound mature. Go forth and love in every way, my friend!
Miss-Bree Miss-Bree 6 years
I think you're at that point in the relationship where you say "I love you." If you feel it, say it. There's no rule that says he has to say it first. It sounds like it will slip out sooner or later, and it sounds like he'll say it back. Those moments before the first "I love you" are always scary and exciting. I'm so happy for you! Congrats, and happy love!
pax4pax pax4pax 6 years
What sort of progress is there left for your relationship? Love seems to have fallen behind acts of love, like sex and actually verbally expressing emotions. Re-start and let love guide actions, rather than rushing into intimacy before there is a commitment. If he won't say it, he doesn't understand. Maybe he needs to mature. You, too, since you rush to physical acts before you earn closeness emotionally.
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