08 September 2016


Yesterday I received an email saying, "I did something everyone says us, girls, shouldn't do. I was the first to say 'I love you' to my boyfriend. I spent several days prior overcoming the overwhelming desire to let my boyfriend know about my feelings, coming up with multiple excuses both for and against why I should and shouldn't do this. Eventually, I decided to go through with it, for we've been in a relationship for over a year now and, from my point of view, doing something like that shouldn't be shameful. Several days later I regretted my decision very much. He never said he loved me back and to top it off, things had gotten really awkward," wrote Emma.

For years, women's magazines, TV shows, and relationship books, as well as our own mothers and grandmothers have been telling us to never be the first to open up about our feelings to the boyfriends. In my experience, very few women follow the rule, especially today. It seems unfair that the prerogative of saying 'I love you' has always belonged to men. As if women are not capable of loving.

They certainly are, but women and men generally put very different meanings into those three crucial words. They mean much more to the fairer sex than the other way around. Frankly, more often than not, they mean absolutely nothing to guys emotion-wise. Saying 'I love you' is more of an act of commitment than the demonstration of actual feelings, psychologically, for them. Hence, when a woman confesses, in the man's mind an alarm button goes off and he starts feeling he is being forced into a commitment he might not be ready for.

That's generally why it is believed the man should be the initiator of confessions like this. If he says 'I love you' first, what he really means is he is not going anywhere. If he hears the words unexpectedly he might have an immediate urge to run.

Now, a pretty logical question "Why should it even depend on the men, in the first place?" might appear and it would be totally justified. I believe that in a relationship there are two individuals, there is no way worse way to build a relationship than to consistently pursue to establish who has more power. Instead, you should try to understanding the difference between how men and women's minds function.

"Love" holds fundamentally different meaning for everyone. You can love sushi, and you can love your dog, and there is yet another type of love to your parents and best friend. In a relationship, love can as well be different, especially for men and women. It can be "I love you because you make me feel complete", "I love you because we've been together for so long, you have become an own person to me", "I love you because I am infatuated with you", and so on. You can pretty much understand everything just observing your relationship.

If your man is staying committed to you, and you are happy in a relationship, is it really necessary to say and hear those sacramental three words here and now? Truth is, most women are ready to hear it almost from day one, while for men saying and hearing something like that is a rather serious step. Unless he is playing with you, and you wouldn't like that, would you?

It is not about who says it first if you sum it up, it is more about how much it means for either one in the relationship. Understanding that by nature both sexes operate differently can give answers to very many questions. If you feel like saying 'I love you' to him, you should. After all, if he loves you he will say it back, maybe not immediately, but he will. And if he doesn't, at least you will know.

Personally, however, I would give it time. Taking into consideration, that most men say it when they really are serious about you, it will mean much more to your relationship.

Have you ever had an urge to say 'I love you" to your better half, without him having said it yet? Have you gone through with it? Do you think girls should be the first to say it? Share your experience and opinions.

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