Falling in love is a beautiful part of life, but it can also be terrifying. What’s even scarier can be determining how to tell a guy you love him.
I used to think the most difficult thing to do in love was determining whether or not you were in love. That is, until I had to tell my significant other that I loved him. I never thought I would struggle with how to tell a guy you love him. Because in high school I dated a couple of guys, that at the time, I thought I loved.
I actually threw that word around like it was “hello” or “goodbye.” So, when I entered into what would become my first serious long-term relationship, it never occurred to me I might find it difficult to tell my boyfriend that I loved him.
When the time came, I actually broke down in tears. I think he thought that he had done something to upset me—but on the contrary, he had the opposite. He showed me what it was like to be in a loving relationship, where my partner cared for and supported me and my decisions. I loved him. Feeling this way was so overwhelming that I didn’t know how to put it into words. Eventually it came out—between the sobbing and ugly crying. I told him I loved him. [Read: Heartfelt signs it’s time to say “I love you”]
How to tell a guy you love him
I wish that prior to this incident, I asked somebody how to tell a guy you love him. Maybe I would have avoided the tears. However, in hindsight, it truly was a beautiful and raw moment.
But I’m not going to let you make that mistake. No, when you tell a guy you love him, you are going to do it with confidence and poise. I believe in your abilities. It’s not as simple as saying those three special words, I assure you. It takes a lot of preparation—emotionally and logistically.
#1 Be confident. Nothing could be more important than this! Confidence is key when telling a guy you love him. Don’t do what I did, be confident in your feelings and who you are as a person. You are worthy of giving love and being loved in return. [Read: The secrets to self-worth and self-belief]
#2 Make sure you really do love him. I mentioned previously I had a history of telling guys that I loved them, when in fact, I really didn’t. Admittedly, it can be challenging to know in the moment whether or not this is truly love. But I think taking the time to truly reflect on your emotions and the external factors that may affect your feelings for him is important before telling him that you love him. [Read: How to tell if you actually love someone]
#3 You only get one chance. You only get one chance to tell him you love him, for the first time. Make it special. If you’ve been feeling this way for some time, then schedule a romantic date night, and tell him. This is a moment you will want to remember for your entire relationship.
#4 Recognize that it could get messy. Just like my experience, it could get emotional, and it might not be in the perfect candlelit setting. Sometimes the best “I love you’s” come out of nowhere and aren’t planned at all. Be prepared for this, because it could actually be quite beautiful and catch you by surprise. [Read: Memorable ways to say ‘I love you’ without saying a word]
#5 Actually, it could get really messy… I know this sounds terrible, but be prepared for silence–or worse. Perhaps they don’t feel the same way. This could look two different ways: They could (1) not fully love you YET, or they could (2) not see a future with you at all.
If it is the first option, be patient with them and thankful because you would much rather them tell you that they love you when they truly feel it, and not just because they feel like they should say it back. If it is the second option, then let it go. Sometimes the world has two wonderful individuals that just don’t work as a duo. You tried, and it didn’t work out as planned. Life tends to do that often.
#6 Do it in person – PLEASE. Listen, I know that in-person conversations can be absolutely terrifying, but please don’t tell him you love him over text *for the first time*. Say it in person, because seriously nothing beats the look on his face when he hears you say those special words to him for the first time.
#7 Make sure you trust them. A huge part of loving someone is trusting them, so before you tell them you love them, make sure you trust them. This is important because you cannot truly love someone entirely unless you trust them. A part of your heart is closed off from that person if you do not trust them. It is important to know that you love and trust him before you tell a guy you love him.
#8 Think it through… Often times love leads to life. What I mean by that is, when you love someone, you typically will want to spend your life *or at least a large portion of it* with that person. Think about it, can you see yourself creating a life with this person? If not, maybe reconsider whether or not you truly love them.
#9 Do it in private. When it comes to figuring out how to tell a guy you love him, you need to keep in mind that it is a very special moment between the two of you, and you deserve your privacy. Don’t do this at a family dinner, as if it is an announcement for everybody and their dog to hear. This is a personal moment between you. Keep it simple. [Read: When should you say “I love you” for the first time?]
#10 Be patient. Hearing the news that your partner loves you can be a lot for some people to process. Be patient, they may take some time to think about it before responding. And this could look different for every relationship. They may take two minutes to respond, or they may get up and leave the room. This doesn’t mean they are upset. They might have a previous trauma that has been triggered from this moment.
This also might just come as a huge surprise to them, and they need to determine what to say to you in response. Just be patient with your partner. If you love them, you will want what is best for them and for your relationship.
#11 Have a follow-up discussion. This might sound silly, but after you tell him that you love him, it is important to discuss how it made him feel. This conversation might come naturally following your statement, however it might need to happen a few days or weeks after. You need to know how it made him feel, in order to understand what this means for your relationship together. [Read: 13 obvious gender differences in gender communication]
#12 You are not a reflection of who does or doesn’t love you. Like I said, it might end messy. They might not feel the same way, but I think it is important to remember that you are not a reflection of how they feel about you.
You are worthy of love and affection, and perhaps they are not the person to give it to you. It might even be a case of timing, maybe they just aren’t in the right place to reciprocate love. That’s okay. You will get through this feeling.
Learning how to tell a guy you love him can be a tricky and complicated process, and it never gets easier. Love is a battlefield, as they say, after all. But if you stay confident, I know you’ll create a beautiful moment for you both.
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Brett is a health and wellness blogger who aims to inspire her readers to live happy, fulfilled lives. She follows a plant-based lifestyle and lives in a tiny a...