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January 13, 2012 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Help me say "I love you" for the first time.

Been dating the boyfriend for, oh, almost 3 months now. We're exclusive. We see each other several times a week. We've had sex, traveled together, met the families, met the friends, etc. (we're both in our 30s). I know I'm totally head over heels in love with him. I've felt this way for a solid month now, so I know it's not just limerance. I need to tell him! I want to tell him! How do I tell him?

I'm obviously nervous as hell. Everyone keeps telling me that I should let the guy say it first (which I think is ridiculous). I think he loves me back (he's told me that he's "fallen head over heels for [me]").

What's a fun, touching, creative, awesome, and amazing way to say "I love you" for the first time?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't make it into an event, that's just going to stress you out and potentially overwhelm him. Don't try to be creative, don't try to be awesome, or fun, or touching. Trying to be something other than a genuine expression of love is just going to make it sound stilted and awkward. Or the threat that it might sound stilted and awkward is going to make it sound stilted and awkward.

Tell him quietly and clearly the next time that the two of you are alone together and relaxed. It's not a production. It's not a play. Just let him know what's going on through your head and your heart, it really can be that easy.
posted by lydhre at 11:36 AM on January 13, 2012 [19 favorites]

Honestly, just say it. Don't plan some big thing, just let it pop out whenever the moment strikes. You might be doing something completely stupid when it happens, but it'll be honest, spontaneous, and make for a good memory later.

You can plan big gestures for further expressions of your love. But for the first time, simple and straightforward is best.

posted by phunniemee at 11:37 AM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Blurt it out. Or write it down. Or stammer it. Recite it. Read it off an index card you've spent all night staring at.

It's love. The way you say it is almost amazingly beside the point. The content, the words themselves, obscure and eradicate all the context. Worry about being gimmicky for later; for the very first time, when the words catch in your throat and need to be snagged with a hook and dragged up and out and flung, just say it, any way you can.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:37 AM on January 13, 2012 [5 favorites]

Telling someone for the first time that you love them is already kind of a big thing. You don't have to make explosions and skywriting for it to be amazing. Just say it!
posted by rtha at 11:39 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just say it. Don't make a big production out of it, unless he's the super romantic type.
posted by empath at 11:40 AM on January 13, 2012

Hug + saying "I love you" works a charm
posted by Katine at 11:41 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

How do I tell him?

Find a good time, take a deep breath, say it.
posted by mhoye at 11:41 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wait for an intimate moment (doesn't have to be sex), then say it while looking into his eyes and stroking his face.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:41 AM on January 13, 2012

followed by 1st-time-mutual-I-love-yous sex
posted by Katine at 11:42 AM on January 13, 2012

Just say it whenever the opportunity presents itself. Dress it up in a bit of silliness if you need to. Just say it. Say it.

The Boathouse is the time! (JK)
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:43 AM on January 13, 2012

I would advise against doing it post-coitally. So many accidental/unmeant I-love-yous have been said after sex that it is basically a safe zone for inadvertently saying that and not meaning it.
posted by griphus at 11:44 AM on January 13, 2012 [14 favorites]

"Guess what?"
posted by Danf at 11:44 AM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

"Guess what?"
"I love you."
posted by xingcat at 11:54 AM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

The best way to say I love you for the first time is to not ask 1,000 people for their opinion and overthink it to death.

Do you love this person? Say so. There, that was easy.
posted by johnn at 11:59 AM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I always, always get a kick out of seeing girls get really, really unabashedly physical. Running, jumping, giant, strong displays of affection with no regard for physical safety or decorum. Like this. Tackle, hug, kiss, say it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:02 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just say it. As long as you know it, just say it.

The reason people may have warned you against saying it before the guy says it is because they may be worried about the whole "what if you say it and he doesn't say it back" scenario - but that can happen no matter WHO says "I love you" first. There's no formal etiquette for who goes first in the declarations department.*

* If, God forbid, he does look a little freaked out and uneasy, and isn't ready to say it himself yet, don't panic -- what my ex said when I got that freaked-out look was "look, I just know that I do love you, and I mean it, and you'll say that back when you're ready and it's okay. Take your time." And that response meant that I was 'ready' about 3.5 hours later.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:02 PM on January 13, 2012 [11 favorites]

  • write a poem
  • hire a sky writer
  • paint it onto his car/house in 5ft high letters
  • ice it onto a cake
  • wear a t-shirt, with an arrow, like the "i'm with stupid" ones but replace the catchphrase, wear it in public/to dinner at his parents' house
  • in morse code, through his window, with a torch, every night.
  • change the alarm clock on his phone to a recording of you saying it
  • during something else he's supposed to be concentrating on
  • say it with pizzaTM
  • carve it into a tree
  • carve it into your arm
  • dedicate your first novel to him
  • convince him he should get his eyes tested and on the morning before he goes in replace the eye test with the endearing message of your choice
  • get drunk and say it whilst crying
  • while you're both on ecstasy (dead cert for an "I love you too" but can be excused at a later date)
  • make a giant cake and get in it
  • bribe someone at the local authority to plan layout of the town into the shape of his name/erect a statue of him
  • during sex
  • whilst stammering
  • karaoke!
  • transit it telepathically
  • fill in all the other words in his newspaper/favourite book
  • trick him into saying it first
  • record an entire album about all of the different facets of his personality that you like. go on tour and hope to get picked up by a major label so that one
  • day eventually he will hear it on the radio
  • write it on the soles of your feet
  • train snails to write it all around his house
  • train a parrot, lyre bird, myna bird or signing monkey to tell him
  • send him a letter that looks like it's from the inland revenue but inside is an awesome message and perhaps nude photos
  • through the medium of interpretive dance
  • through the medium of breakdancing
  • through the plate glass of a prison cell, whilst touching hands
  • through gritted teeth
  • pictionary!
  • mime
  • spin the bottle
  • unintelligibly
  • on one knee/on both knees/prone/jumping up and down
  • rig scrabble
  • say it with pornographyTM
  • pay for an embarrassing billboard on his way to work
  • pay for an orchestra to come round his house and play some bealtlesy love song type stuff
  • pay for an orchestra to come round his house and play philip glass for 8 hours
  • hire MC Hammer, he must be going cheap by now
  • say it with an amusing celebrity sound board
  • say it with irony
  • tell him in ancient latin/greek/arimathean
  • buy him enough cats, some black, some white to spell it out in binary/ascii
  • buy a shit e-card
  • tell your friend to tell their friend to tell their friend to tell his friend to tell him
  • say it 1 thousand times
  • say it in public
  • say it on public transport
  • say it with confidence
  • whisper
  • say it in a french accent
  • make a youtube video super cut made from all the films you have ever seen which have the phrase in it in chronological order
  • make a youtube video super cut made from all the films you have ever seen which have the phrase in it in the order you watched them
  • see above but with vimeo (it's classier)
  • blog about it, tweet about it, start a usenet group about it, start a live journal about it
  • over IRC
  • over CB radio
  • overbearingly
  • don't say anything at all. In fact say the opposite of what you feel, I read in a magazine somewhere that people like that, they like being confused about what someone's actually thinking because it makes them like you more. In fact split up with him and move to a remote island, change your name, appearance (and possibly gender if it helps) and never speak to him again.
  • "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach" so perhaps consider buying a scalpel and sneaking up on him.
To be honest I don't really think it matters how you tell someone you love them. I'd probably wait till a calm moment when you are both feeling comfortable and happy and say it slightly coyly.
posted by pmcp at 12:31 PM on January 13, 2012 [20 favorites]

train a parrot, lyre bird, myna bird or signing monkey to tell him

I second this.
posted by Falwless at 12:35 PM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

Don't do it like I did, which was to preface it with this serious and kind of ramble-y introduction that made it sound like I was about to break up with him.
posted by amarynth at 12:35 PM on January 13, 2012 [11 favorites]

My girlfriend first said it to me while I was sitting on the floor of her dining room painting the baseboard trim.
posted by emelenjr at 12:48 PM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. My current partner said it to me for the first time when we were deciding what to watch on tv and I suggested "Top Gear".

"You like Top Gear? I love you so much!"

So maybe work it in during a low-key moment. You can say it again during a more meaningful moment after the pressure is off.

PS Limerence lasts a lot longer than a month for lots of people. So it could be limerence AND love. You're a lucky one if you get both at once :)
posted by devymetal at 2:58 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I can't remember the situation exactly as it was so long ago (I was 17 at the time, now 27), but my boyfriend (still the one to this day!) and I were walking through the farmer's market and I bent down to look at some flower bouquets. I may have said something like, "I like/love these" and a second later he looked at me and said, "I love YOU." He later told me that the previous night as we were sitting in a tent in his backyard, he'd been gathering the courage to say it then, but couldn't. Just be natural! Good luck. And congratulations :)
posted by sucre at 4:34 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

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