3 Signs You're Too Scared To Say "I Love You,” Even If You’re In Love
You're walking in a field of wild flowers (read: down a trash-covered city sidewalk) and all at once, your SO says it: "I've been thinking about this for a while... I love you." You think you love them too. No, you know you do. But do you say it back? Are you ready to say it back? Are you too scared to say “I love you”?
Maybe they said it on a subway ride or one morning in bed. Maybe they stood across your window and wrote it on a post card, T-Swift Style. You think of them often. You do the little things for them, and you prioritize their well-being. You don't want to be seeing anyone else. You know you're in love, you just don't know how to say it. Being nervous to say those three little words is completely natural. Not everyone is a verbal communicator, nor did everyone grow up saying or hearing "I love you" often.
Some people mainly communicate with words, but many others show their feelings through different means, such as with actions. If you find it's not easy for you to talk about your own feelings, it's completely understandable how your feelings that involve other people might feel even harder to express.
You Show, You Don't Tell
Do you buy their favorite flavor of Takis because you saw it in the corner market on your way home and you know it's hard to find? Do you do things for them without needing to be asked? Did you help them move? (That's some real sh*t.) If you're more of an actions person, you could be showing your love in a number of ways outside of a grand proclamation. "One thing that I cannot stress enough is the importance of understanding one’s love languages because not everyone will verbalize their feelings, but they may show you," White shares.
You Communicate In Other Ways
Maybe you write a letter or a card. Maybe you sing a song or perform a poem. Maybe the idea of directly saying "I love you" seems more intimidating than saying it with an art piece or a written note. "Sometimes, partners don't need words to understand how they each feel," Rubin adds. "Couples can communicate what they need and how things are going so they each feel supported in a relationship."
You don't need to be saying the same things, or speaking the same way to be openly communicating with your boo. If you trust and care about each other, you can start to learn the best ways to have big conversations.
You'd Rather Walk The Walk
To some couples, the first "I love you" is like the big closing scene of a movie with fireworks and champagne and ballgowns. To others, its a sleepy Sunday morning, or a drunken night in a local dive bar. If you feel the phrase gets thrown around too much, or you're unsure what "I love you" means for you, you may feel hesitant about saying it. "Physically stating 'I love you,' can be a perceived as a word of affirmation and it may freak them out. But, they may show you through their acts of service," White mentions. Maybe you say "I love you" in just being a good partner everyday. Maybe you would rather spend your time with them being in love, rather than talking about how in love you are.
There is no one time to say I love you, and if you're feeling scared to say it, you're not alone. If you're a verbal Veronica, and dropping that first ILY was NBD, your partner's lack of verbal response doesn't mean a lack of feelings. Communicating about communication styles takes self-awareness and patience. But knowing the way you show love can be helpful when talking with your boo about your needs. Dating someone who's more or less of a verbal communicator than you doesn't mean the end is near. With mutual respect and understanding, you can both find feel-good ways to express how you feel.