BENGALURU:What is better: telling someone “I love you”, or waiting for them to say it first, so that you can say, “I love you too?”
This question matters especially when you haven’t said these words to each other ever before, because, like every sitcom says loud and clear, once you say the “love you” words, there is no taking it back. After that, it is either all the way to couplehood or to nothingness. There is no middle ground.
The question of who is the first to say “I love you” is a risky proposition. The first risk is that it is way too early for the other person, who then sees it as some kind of creepy stalking and immediately ghosts you, without as much as a “Thank you. That’s sweet of you to say.” Second, even if you have waited to really see how your feelings develop before thinking of taking this risk, it might still end up in a heart-crushing friend-zoning, if not an outright rejection.
Is it worth it then, to hedge your risk of rejection by waiting for the ‘I love you’ to come first from the other person? For many of us, the temptation is very clearly to say yes, of course I will wait and say “I love you too.” It is so much safer.
The real questions to ask in deciding whether to say those words are simply these:
1. Do you really love this person? If your answer is not a definite ‘Yes,’ then certainly wait.
2. Are you worried that somebody else is in the sidelines? If your answer is ‘Yes,’ then please know – saying these words isn’t about ‘booking’ somebody. It is not a race, however, many people might be wooing this person in.
3. Is your love conditional on being reciprocated? If your answer is not a definite ‘No,’ then you need to work on your own concept of what love means to you.
4. Can you allow yourself the vulnerability that comes from putting your heart out? If your answer is ‘No’, wait and work on your own resilience. There are no assurances in this world, and waiting for that assurance for fear of being hurt.
The answer to the “I love you” versus “I love you too”, is about how genuinely you love this person, and whether your hope that your expression of your feelings is met with respect if not reciprocation, can more than offset the fears that you will fall flat on your face.
Of course, this applies to all the “I love yous” in the future of the relationship as well. Don’t wait for an “I love you”, before you say those words when you mean it.