Should you say "I love you" first?
Should you say "I love you" first?
Have you ever tried to get a man to say “I love you” by saying it first? If so, you have a lot of company. And I don’t just mean saying “I love you” the first time – I mean even when you’ve been with someone for many years, even if you’re married to them. It’s easy to want to hear those three little words so badly that we become vulnerable and insecure when he doesn’t say them.
For example, this happened to me just recently with my husband of 20 years. Yes, two decades and still facing the same problems! Why? Because men will always be men and we will always be women, no matter what commitments we have made to each other.
Just an innocent phrase, right?
So my husband was away for a little while to visit his family and I was feeling particularly vulnerable and missing him. When he called we had a nice chat but I was very aware of the fact that he wasn’t saying “I love you”. And I really wanted to hear it – a lot. That’s why I said it first. And he just kept talking about things. I ended up feeling angry and neglected until I couldn’t take it anymore and told him. Then he told me he loved me and I know he meant it, but in the end I felt like I forced him to say it.
Here’s the first lesson of this story: never say “I love you” unless you’re sure you don’t expect anything in return. Of course, this is never the case, as it is impossible not to notice that the man does not say it back.
The new scenario of “I love you”.
Instead of saying “I love you” for him to hear back, I could instead express my feelings for him in an innocent, non-judgmental way. So here’s what I did the next time he called me: I told him how weird this all was and that I didn’t want him to feel obligated to tell me he loved me, but that it was too bad when he didn’t. And then I asked him what he thought. This is key: you express a feeling (I felt weird), then say what you don’t want (so you don’t make him feel obligated), and then I asked him what he thought.
The reason this works so well is because men appreciate it when you’re vulnerable about your feelings without blaming them, tell them what you DON’T want, and then give them a chance to come up with a solution.
When I did this, my husband said he felt no obligation. This is the second lesson in this story. Guess what – men DON’T FEEL obliged! It’s a “feminine” thing that we’ve been taught and fed and made to feel guilty about. And at that moment I realized that I was making something out of nothing.
Replace the old script
And here’s lesson number three: even though I’ve practiced my own tools for connecting with a man’s heart all these years, I STILL fall into old habits and have to remind myself to sit back and let him lead the relationship. I have to remember to keep my focus on the most important person – ME – so whether or not he says I love you is completely incidental to my happiness.
So take heart: we’re all human and we all need to practice to get rid of old habits and replace them with newer, more productive ones. Realize your old habits that make you think that his words “I love you” are like a magic potion that will make you feel completely safe.
Don’t say “I love you” first.
Yes, you have to open your heart first. Always. You should be like an open book with the pages that are you – flying free for all to see. And the colorful ones, and the black and white ones, and the empty ones too.
If I had said, “I notice I’m waiting for you to say ‘I love you.’ I feel really weird after being with you for so long…” That would be different. This would be my open book.
But instead – I tried for a higher spiritual level where it didn’t “matter” that I said it first. And I found myself saying it as a “trick”.
So – look for YOUR tricks – start noticing them when you want to do them. Over time, you will need them less and less and you will open your heart so that when he first says “I love you” you can be grateful for the spontaneity of his feelings. And that ends up making you feel a lot more secure than if you had pulled it out by force.
#quotI #love #youquot