The prospect of saying, “I love you” can sometimes be an intimidating moment. Especially for those who didn’t grow up hearing those words very often, the question of who should say I love you first is a big issue. Words have the power to change people’s emotions and, sometimes, relationship statuses, in an instant.
What makes saying “I love you” intimidating
For one, it’s easier to say you like people. It’s a different story when you tell them you love them. Love is a strong emotion. But perhaps more importantly, love is an action word. The prospect of choosing who should say I love you first entails all the commitment that comes with the word love. When you love someone, you don’t just say it. Of course, it starts with those three words sometimes. However, when you truly love someone, you show it. Avoid saying I love you for the first time over text.
You show someone you love them by doing things for them not just for the sake of doing it but because you have a strong affection for them that magnetizes you to do things you normally wouldn’t have. The beauty of loving someone is that you start thinking outside of yourself. You begin concerning yourself with the needs of the other person… the person you love.
Now all of these things about loving someone are great and all but these can sometimes start to become a pressure-filled experience for some. Some people feel a slight burden with the words I love you because they understand the heaviness, depth, and commitment that comes with saying those three words. Others are afraid of saying I love you first and not hearing it back. And this is why even just saying I love you can be so intimidating.
Who should say I love you first?
In a heterogeneous relationship, you have a man and a woman in a romantic partnership. They could be dating for, say, a couple of months. And not one of them has said I love you to the other yet. The looming pressure then is on the inevitable question, who should say I love you first.
In love, it is essential to remember that everyone is equal. Although men are sometimes expected to be the ones to say I love you first, these are more likely based on cultural backgrounds. In some cultures, men are assumed to say I love you first because they are generally more aggressive than women and more naturally inclined to profess their feelings.
Women may profess and express their feelings as well but, historically, it was the men who wooed the women, courted them, and professed feelings for them. For some, they do feel conscious of what do guys think when a girl says I love you first.
In our modern times, however, when equality has become such a privilege and pressure simultaneously, anyone can say I love you first especially if they really mean it. What actually matters when saying those coveted three words is the intent behind them. Saying them just to get something out of it for yourself doesn’t really do it justice. It has to come, as they say, from the heart. This is why love can sometimes seem so complicated: it cannot be explained by the mind alone. And thus, the heart plays such a big role with love. You either say you’re in love, feel you’re in love or do things for love. But you don’t go around using love or saying I love you for selfish purposes.
It’s not about who should say I love you first
It is about how two people come together to create a life of love. This is quite rare to find. Especially during these days, when we have so many distractions available to us because of technology and modern culture, we sometimes can’t find the kind of love we’re looking for. However, when a guy you barely know says he loves you, this is a red flag.
When both individuals create a life of love together, they actually both exist independently and yet they choose to work at life together. They’re a team. They don’t have to complement each other all the time and they don’t need to have chemistry every single minute of the day. But they do their best to compromise even if it’s hard. Even if, sometimes, compromising can go against who they thought they were. Living a life of love together is evolving together.
Read also: Signs to know if a shy girl likes you
When we were younger, we thought of romantic relationships as something that goes on forever. Particularly when we’ve grown in a family setup that has seen parents being together for decades, the children start to learn that romantic relationships can last forever. And, on the surface, it will all seem so easy. But the truth is that anything that ever comes worthwhile is never easy, including romantic relationships.
Saying I love you for the first time is only the first step. The consequential events that happen thereafter will be a beautiful mix of hard work, dedication, compromise, and joy. Of course, enjoy the infatuation. Always enjoy what is in front of you because everything, including infatuation and possibly challenging moments in the future, will pass. Nothing will stay the same as always and this is part of growing. When you don’t grow, you stagnate.
Why the first I love you don’t matter?
What matters is if that love is real. If that love can survive hardships, and if that love is not selfish. Just like in life, what truly matters is the day-to-day living. Little moments of happiness accumulate towards a fulfilling and love-filled relationship. But so do the big moments that challenge both of you. Words are impactful but the true proof of love is in the actions you’ve taken throughout time. And this is why it’s so much easier to fall in love but harder to stay in love because time tests us every now and then. Times heals us but it also teaches us so many things about love and life.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, think about this. Think about whether you truly love the person you are with. If you do and if you think they deserve to hear those three words from your mouth, tell them. But if after this you find yourself thinking twice, give it time. You will make decisions in life that are scary and sometimes unwise. And you will oftentimes stumble along the way. But that is how you learn that the first person you should be loving first is yourself.