Tell me you love me... on second thought, don't.
December 7, 2007 6:09 AM   Subscribe

I have a hunch the new boyfriend is going to drop the "I love you" bomb this weekend. I'm psyched. Trouble is: I don't know if I believe him, and therefore don't know how to best respond.

I'm crazy about this fella, but have my doubts about his romantic sincerity for good reason (see this link for background). However he's been nothing but attentive/romantic/wonderful to me the last couple weeks, leading up to him hinting on the phone that this weekend "there's something I want to tell you about us that I've only just realized, but I want to wait until we're face to face to make it special."

Here's where we enter the muddy waters of self-defense mechanisms and neurosis: the last time I allowed myself to really fall in love with someone, I got seriously hurt/emotionally crippled from it. My last boyfriend swore up and down that he was in love with me, convinced me to embark on a grand romantic adventure together-- and then cheated on me a few months later. And to add insult to injury: he then said he realized never ACTUALLY was in love with me, he just fooled himself into thinking it because we were so compatible as a couple and because he just craved the high romance aspect of it all-- but not actually me as a person. Which totally did a number on my perception of my ability to be loved since he knew me better than anyone else, etc, etc... Whatever. I realize it happens all the time.

So because of that I've been very careful about maintaining an equal power dynamic, at least on the surface, with this new boyfriend. I am incredibly self-sufficient, not needy, would never drop the "L" word first. I've been doing my best to be smart in this relationship and not get carried away just because I irrationally feel like I could be with this guy for the rest of my life. Because even though I'm head over heels for him, I don't 100% trust him or know him extremely well, even though we've been together for about 4 months.

So I guess my question is, when he says "I love you" this weekend, should I:
A. Respond (truthfully) "I love you too." And then spend the next few weeks cringing, secretly waiting for him to take it back.
B. Say "You really don't have to say that, if you're not sure. You want to take a few weeks to think about it and then get back to me on it?"
C. "I feel like I could love you too-- but I have been hurt in the past and it's made it very hard for me to open up that way. So please don't say it unless you really mean it."
D. "Thank you, you're lovely." ...And then tell him I love him whenever I feel safe doing so, even if it's not until weeks and weeks later.

I realize I'm crazy and over-thinking it. I'm just trying not to screw this up, or screw myself over again, in the exact same way I did before. (For what it's worth, I haven't told him about the ex. He doesn't know how damaged I am.)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (48 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I vote for a combination of A & C; if he says he loves you, be happy and say you love him back.

...then, during an opportune moment in conversation later (hours later, potentially), bring up the angle about how he'd better not be kidding. Gently, of course (don't go all psychotic, however amusing I might find it).
posted by aramaic at 6:21 AM on December 7, 2007


"Thank you" is probably a good start; if it turns into a discussion where he expects you to return the magic words, then you can start explaining why you didn't say more.

Or you could always go the Han Solo route: "I know".
posted by jozxyqk at 6:22 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Two points, first: try to say what is true. Second, closing your heart to protect yourself, in my experience, does not work. Opening your heart to let in more love from one person, even at the risk of getting hurt, has an expansive effect: you think you are just loving your boyfriend a lot, but you are also loving everyone a little.

You cant focus love too tightly.
posted by shothotbot at 6:22 AM on December 7, 2007 [16 favorites]


If A is really truthful, then do it. Sadly, living in fear of love going away is part of what's special about it. (Sorry for the depressingly true platitude; apparently I write for Grey's Anatomy now.)

And eventually, you should try to open up about the latter parts of answer C and explain why you might have said B -- though I'm enough of a romantic to think you should try to do it later and not kill the moment with it. If he's going to be with you, he should know this and if you're going to be with him, you should feel comfortable telling him it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:24 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Crimany, don't say thank you. Not only is it a rebuff, it also sounds patronizing.

I'm with aramaic, I like A&C, especially if you do love him. Seems silly not to tell him as much. But don't feel any hesitation in telling him why you might be guarded about things. Open and honest communication has always been a big thing in my book.

I don't really want to play internet psychologist, but there are a lot of issues floating around here; in love with someone you don't trust, the whole jezebel thing, the fact that it reads like you feel some obligation to guard yourself, etc. Be careful out there.
posted by craven_morhead at 6:26 AM on December 7, 2007


I don't know if I believe him, and therefore don't know how to best respond

I purposely stopped reading right here; your only answer can be:

I don't know if I believe you, and therefore don't know how to best respond.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 6:29 AM on December 7, 2007


(For what it's worth, I haven't told him about the ex. He doesn't know how damaged I am.)

There's your problem. Lack of communication. (is whats causing this to be such a big issue... not your internal scars)

I know you may have your reasons, but for the love of christ: TALK. It may not be easy (talking about your past) but the understanding you two have of each other is key to making it work (assuming you want it to work). 90% of all problems in relationships could be easily solved if people would just learn how to communicate better. (no I'm not an expert in communication or relationships, but damn :)
posted by jmnugent at 6:30 AM on December 7, 2007


If A is true I don't see how B, C, or D are actually likely to protect you from getting hurt. I say go with A initially, and then say the latter part of C thing later at a more opportune time.
posted by roofus at 6:33 AM on December 7, 2007


Can I just suggest not walking around thinking of yourself as "damaged"? You've been knocked around a little by love and life. Everyone has been. It doesn't mean you're defective now (or ever were). It's really important to find a way to believe in yourself, and in your own judgment. On a practical level that means, trust your instincts.

Also, don't imagine you're the only one with 'issues' in any relationship. Everyone has their pressure points and quirks.
posted by tiny crocodile at 6:42 AM on December 7, 2007 [4 favorites]


What's the worst that can happen? If you love him then say it back, and mean it, because then no matter what happens, you were honest and stayed true to yourself. And if you aren't ready to say it back and mean it, then don't. No amount of pre-emptive warning and explaining is going to change the truth of the situation, whatever it is or may end up being, and that "I've been hurt in the past so you'd better mean it" stuff isn't going to change anything either. By all means talk about your feelings and worries and how you came to have them and how they affect your perceptions of things, but don't make them part of telling him how you feel about HIM during one of those "I love you" moments (do you want to remember your first "I love you" with this guy to be "I love you", or do you want it full of qualifiers and disclaimers?), there will be better opportunities to talk about that. If YOU said "I love you" first to someone, what would you want the response to be?
posted by biscotti at 6:43 AM on December 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


I guess I'm going to have to second craven_morhead in seeing some issues; after reading your very clear-headed thoughts on the situation, I began to wonder just what it is that makes you so in love with this guy.

Is it just to be in love? Or is there something strikingly special about his personality that you can't live without? I personally found that after years of not really trusting many people (didn't realize I didn't trust anyone until real trust finally hit me square in the head like a two-by-four), that being able to invest yourself in someone without fear of losing them is a huge deal.

It involves a lot of self-love, and most importantly, the ability to see the relationship as worth having, regardless of the level of physical intimacy. I'm still not the picture of self-confidence, but I know that it's not worth it to invest my feelings in someone whom I don't trust.

However, if this guy fits the bill, then congratulations to you. I vote for a combo of A and C.
posted by fan_of_all_things_small at 6:43 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


don't say thank you. Not only is it a rebuff, it also sounds patronizing.

Totally context-dependent. It could certainly come off as much more sincere than just repeating what he just said back to him.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 6:50 AM on December 7, 2007


I say option D. I think if you go with option B and tell him he doesn't have to say it if he's not sure, etc. etc. - it'll come across very low-self-esteemy.

Or, combine A and D. If you love him too, tell him!! Don't worry about him taking it back. If he's put this much thought into it and wants to wait to tell you til he sees you, he obviously knows what he's feeling. Don't tell him to wait a few more weeks, it sounds like he's already thought it out!

You just really have to trust your instincts on this one. If they're telling you to say it back, say it!

My best friend dropped the L bomb on her boyfriend first after about 6 months. He didn't reciprocate it and she was FREAKED OUT. He said he didn't want to say it just because she had and wanted to be sure about it before he said it. Somehow that seemed very noble and the right thing to say, and even though she was embarrassed and terrified, he said it to her a few weeks later un-provoked. They've been together for 2.5 years now and are very happy.
posted by slyboots421 at 6:52 AM on December 7, 2007


Damn don't over think to much. If you love him then say I love you back and that's that.

Don't worry about problems you don't have. If it turns out that he was lying and is actually a horrible person that is going to suck regardless of whether you've spent months mentally preparing yourself for it. So don't mentally prepare yourself for it. That's a stupid and sad way to live.
posted by chunking express at 6:55 AM on December 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


wow. i never realized people thought about "i love you" this much. if you love him, say it. if he loves you, he should say it. it shouldn't be plotted or "saved" or revoked.

you can't worry about "what if he takes it back and then i already said it and i look like a fool" because that's just a way to run a relationship into the ground.



but, if all else fails, i vote the han solo route too.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:04 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


A...absolutely A.

But you also apparently have some trust issues and you clearly need to work on that. Having your heart broken is one of the more common, shared experiences of the human experience. You need to communicate these fears to him and work on getting over them. I wouldn't bring it up in the heat of the moment but at some other opportune time...perhaps the conversation turns to former relationships....Whatever you do don't even jokingly harp on the "Oh if you ever cheated on me...man I would be so mad at you" if he hasn't given you any indication if that could happen. No one likes to experience that from a SO.
posted by mmascolino at 7:18 AM on December 7, 2007


(Oh and I want to hear more about the roommate situation too).
posted by mmascolino at 7:18 AM on December 7, 2007


When Future Hubby announced, out of the blue, "I think I'm in love", I gaped at him in astonishment and blurted "Oh dear!" (as in "Uh oh", not "Oh, my darling!") The point being, to some extent it doesn't really matter what you say - if he really loves you he'll stick around.

Maybe a toned-down Han Solo: "I've been sort of wondering about that" or "I've kind of been getting that feeling"? Then see how he wants to play it from there. Future Hubby and I cuddled on the couch for a while, him looking very relieved to have gotten something big off his chest, me looking like a deer in the headlights thinking "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, what now?" But it worked out OK in the end.
posted by Quietgal at 7:21 AM on December 7, 2007


There is a lot of good advice in this thread, but let me add that choice B is quite possibly the most annoying and inconsiderate thing you could say to him. It would be kinder to say "I won't ever love you". Choice B diminishes his emotions, and it presumes that he is being fake, which is going to make him feel like his feelings don't matter and you don't take him seriously.

So don't say B ever. Say A if it's true, or C (but leave off the "But don't say it unless you really mean it".) If he didn't mean it, he either wouldn't say it in the first play, or if he didn't mean it he would simply say "But I really do mean it" and not really mean that either. Don't openly question his honesty or his feelings.

And if you do love him, then say it. Not saying it won't really protect you, and love is always risk, because the future is uncertain. "I love you" is a statement about the present. You're not promising to love him forever, because that is impossible.

Good luck.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:22 AM on December 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


I meant to say "That promise is impossible to make".
posted by Pastabagel at 7:24 AM on December 7, 2007


It might not be that he's going to say 'I love you'. He might be going to propose. Or he might be going to say how wonderful it is you both like pina colada and walking in the rain. Or how wonderful it is that you're both the sort of people who can carry on a relationship without all that 'love' crap.

Clearly 'I love you' is a big thing for you, but for many people it doesn't really represent a particularly big milestone - not the sort of thing you'd announce in advance.
posted by Phanx at 7:31 AM on December 7, 2007


Submitter, stop thinking of it like it's a game. Tell the truth. Communicating truth is more important than saying (or hearing) temporarily-comforting lies.
posted by cmiller at 7:31 AM on December 7, 2007 [4 favorites]


"Thank you" is probably a good start

No, it really isn't. "Thank you" is something you say when you get socks on Christmas, not when your significant other tells you he or she loves you for the first time.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:36 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


So because of that I've been very careful about maintaining an equal power dynamic, at least on the surface, with this new boyfriend.

STOP IT. Stop comparing this guy and the last guy. Stop playing games. Stop lying and covering things up and pretending to be cool and whatever else you're doing. Stop now. It's a total waste of your time and energy. You can't play your way into a secure, solid relationship, and if you could, would you really want to? If your boyfriend says "I love you" this weekend, you respond with: whatever the truth is. I love you but I'm scared, I love you but this is hard for me, I love you I love you I love you too, whatever. But you need to stop plotting and scheming as though it's going to save your relationship from whatever the future may bring. It's not, and meanwhile, you're missing all the fun.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:44 AM on December 7, 2007 [25 favorites]


nthing the "thank you" being bad. I can't think of a single instance when that would be a suitable response.

Context? It's a declaration of feelings, not a compliment.

Also, don't build yourself up or worry about this too much. Just say what you feel. Love is a little bit about taking risks, but you only get what back you put in. Caution is one thing, but over analysis and trying to pre-empt reactions or situations is just going to give you a headache and usually not help...

Be honest. Honesty is always best.
posted by Brockles at 7:48 AM on December 7, 2007


I think you're moving into the territory of unrequired drama. It's an 'I love you', not a marriage proposal, and the essential meaning is 'I have a yummy biochemical reaction' not 'Will you have my babies?'

Don't be one of those couples where every single moment in the relationship is a turning point full of anxiety. And incidently, in love there is no take backs, just alterations of feeling. Sure your partner's feelings might change, but this isn't something you can stave off by playing games.
posted by Phalene at 8:01 AM on December 7, 2007


Respond truthfully. There's a chance that you will get hurt in the long run, but that is the price of doing business.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:02 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ha ha, wow. Dude, this is crazy. I'd be worried I was insulting you by saying that, but given the last paragraph of your question, you seem well aware of that. Look no further than shothotbot's advice and ThePinkSuperhero's advice above, both of which are on the money.

This is more or less a variation on what I answered in your last question (I recommended trust, with pyrokinesis as a backup), but: go for it, option A, minus the subsequent cringing. Open yourself up and say what you're feeling, and don't worry about getting hurt. Trust the guy, for gods' sake. Should events come to pass which show that you've made a mistake in trusting him, there will always be opportunities for really extraordinary revenge later.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:34 AM on December 7, 2007


I've been very careful about maintaining an equal power dynamic, at least on the surface, with this new boyfriend. I am incredibly self-sufficient, not needy, would never drop the "L" word first. I've been doing my best to be smart in this relationship...

If you're afraid to drop the "L" word first because it would change the power dynamic, then you're not self-sufficient, you're just scrambling to have the upper hand. Sure, it's a risk. If you never take that risk again, you'll never get hurt like you did before. But you'll never have an secure loving relationship either. You'll have games and contests and drama, but you'll miss out on vulnerability, honesty, trust, and real love.

Maybe this guy isn't going to end up being someone you can trust. Maybe you'll get to know him better and decide to break it off. But you're not going to find that out if you never give him a chance, are you?
posted by heatherann at 8:40 AM on December 7, 2007 [5 favorites]


Girl, seriously, dial the drama back about 10 notches and take a breath.

You were not "emotionally crippled" when your last (college?) boyfriend cheated on you, and you won't be even if THIS dude does. It's love, you're young, CHILL FOR GOD'S SAKE.
posted by tristeza at 8:44 AM on December 7, 2007 [6 favorites]


Crazy about him? He's been attentive/nice/romantic lately? Then he says he loves you?

Kiss him until you are both dizzy, and enjoy it.
posted by TheyCallItPeace at 8:45 AM on December 7, 2007


Tristeza is spot-on. Relax.

My wife calls me Mr. Over-Analytical Man. I think things through like this all the time. I know it's dumb, but I do it. Don't give your past so much control over your life. Relax. If you love him, say so. And why do you need to wait for him to say it first?

Be in the moment, not in your head.
posted by jdroth at 8:57 AM on December 7, 2007


It's time to stop covering up your emotions and fears and start being honest.

If you can't do that, you're not ready to be in love with someone else just yet. It's not a failing on your part, you just aren't; it's where you are and it's understandable.

Remember, you can not manufacture or manipulate your way into what you seem to be looking for, which is a loving relationship with someone you can trust to be kind to you. You can manufacture infatuation, but you can't engineer and rationalize your behavior so that you create an environment where someone really loves you wholly, that's on them -- to see you, fears and all, and still want you.

You say you love him and are thrilled that he might say it to you but are scared. You need to think about this differently. Think about what you want, and then think about whether or not you're willing to ask for it and state it plainly.

The fact is, based on your two posts, it seems to me that you do not trust him at all. It really doesn't matter if it's your baggage or his behavior that's keeping you from trusting him, it's where you are. You need to decide whether or not you're ready to do that.

Also, no matter what happens, even if he tells you he loves you and you say it back and you decide to trust him and the EXACT same thing happens again, you did not repeat history. You walked into this knowing the risks and you were brave enough to take them again. That should help you to build self esteem and be proud of yourself, to know that you tried again, and if you are open, honest and kind and he takes advantage of that, you need to place the blame squarely on him.

That is, if you're looking to be truly connected to someone. If you want a relationship full of games and insecurity, just keep doin' what yer doin'.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, I very much identify with where you're coming from, I'm mostly there myself and it's a daily challenge to be honest about my feelings, because I feel like a crazy person sometimes -- but crazy is trying to make things happen that aren't really there. If you are honest about your feelings and it drives him away, then he's not actually able to love you and you're better off knowing, as much as it hurts, so you can get back out there and find the person who's going to rock your world and get past the walls you seem to want to build.

Also - some practical advice for being honest about your feelings without stating something, freaking out and babbling and then saying something that immediately contradicts it: Say what you want to say, are scared to say, then clam up and count to ten. Let it sit there and breathe. It is scary, but then it feels good.
posted by pazazygeek at 8:58 AM on December 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Here's where we enter the muddy waters of self-defense mechanisms and neurosis: the last time I allowed myself to really fall in love with someone, I got seriously hurt/emotionally crippled from it.

Well of course you did. This is the wonderful terrible thing about relationships -- it's a risk. You have to take a deep breath and jump off the cliff.

Look, if you love the guy, and he tells you he loves you, go ahead and tell him you love him. You can say "this is really scary and I'm a little overwhelmed and yes I love you too" and it still counts.

Your last boyfriend fed you a whole line of horseshit because he needed to justify how he could be a guy who cheats on his girlfriend. He lied to you when he cheated on you, so don't put too much faith in his elaborate explanations of his newly-realized feelings. And hey, focus on the now.

Here's the tough love segment of this program:
A little perspective might do you some good -- maybe read some RelationshipFitler for some examples of people who have been through some more hellish stuff. Getting your heart broken SUCKS, but c'mon, you're not damaged goods for life.

Setting yourself up for disappointment is a self-fulfiling prophesy. Don't do that.

"You really don't have to say that, if you're not sure. You want to take a few weeks to think about it and then get back to me on it?" is, sorry, terrible. It's mush-mouthed rejection of his feelings. How would you feel if you told someone you loved them and they came back at you with that?
posted by desuetude at 9:00 AM on December 7, 2007


Your previous boyfriend was a jackass to you and now you're letting his actions mess with your current relationship. This is pretty much the definition of baggage.

Just let it go, and judge your current boyfriend on his actions rather than lumping his actions together with your previous boyfriend's actions.
posted by 517 at 9:21 AM on December 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


My last boyfriend swore up and down that he was in love with me, convinced me to embark on a grand romantic adventure together-- and then cheated on me a few months later.

Your current boyfriend is not your previous boyfriend, and may or may not be your last boyfriend. It's not remotely fair to penalize him for what other people have done to you and with you. Short of openly cheating, it's probably the fastest way to make yourself single again.

Dial back the drama 10 or 12 notches, and just let yourself do things naturally, without a million precalculated scenarios rolling around in your head. If he says he loves you, kiss him long and passionately and repeatedly, until you're both sweaty and flush -- and then if you want to say something in response, go right ahead. If he doesn't say what you're expecting (or says something else instead), don't sit there expectantly... just go with it. Do what feels right, what feels good, what puts a smile on your face. Time spent with people you love (or may love) is supposed to be fun. Don't sabotage that by trying to associate some deeper meaning and ulterior motive to every single move, statement, or idle glance -- especially before the fact. Sometimes a smile is just a smile.

Oh... and A if you mean it. Some variation of C if you don't. Absolutely not B or D -- stunned silence and "I don't know what to say" would be worlds better than either of those.
posted by toxic at 9:31 AM on December 7, 2007


You should probably figure out whether you believe him or not. You could start by asking him what exactly he means by it, because different people have different definitions in mind, or no definition at all.
posted by kidbritish at 9:36 AM on December 7, 2007


"there's something I want to tell you about us that I've only just realized, but I want to wait until we're face to face to make it special

Has it occured to you that maybe he is scared? Remember, he's the one putting his ass out on the line more than you. The fact that someone would open themselves up like that is more than enough to believe that he's sincere. Your boyfriend is taking the risk, not you.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:53 AM on December 7, 2007


go the han solo route
posted by jannw at 10:07 AM on December 7, 2007


A - there's no shame in loving someone whether or not he takes it back.
But trust your instincts. And figure out what protecting yourself really means. You can accurately report on your feelings ("I love you. And I'm scared of getting hurt") without entering into some emotional dependency and/or getting stranded in some distant city.
But I don't personally think the expressions of love need to be where that strength and independence get hammered out or negotiated. No use pretending you don't love him if you do, you know? Stronger to be honest.
posted by salvia at 10:12 AM on December 7, 2007


i feel a sense of pity for any man whose anticipated proclamation of love will be met with a synthesis of internet stranger inputs.

you must face this with the blank mind of the warrior. you cannot decide yourself in advance, let alone let us decide for you, you must act and speak in the moment, spontaneously, when that moment comes to you. it's a little like approaching the point of a left turn across oncoming traffic on a busy highway, you wait and decide whether it's safe at the last second, when you pressure yourself to decide a couple hundred yards in advance, you increase the risk that you will get t-boned at high speed. putting this question up on askme unfortunately increases the risk that you will be romantically t-boned.
posted by bruce at 10:26 AM on December 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


You know, I feel like if you're in a relationship where you're constantly thinking about power balances and trust and what someone is going to say, that is a huge amount of work.

And I don't think it works. I think that if you're in a relationship with someone and you're a couple and you're sexual with each other, your heart is open to this guy no matter what you're telling yourself.

Don't approach this as a negotiation. If he says he loves you, respond however you want to respond in that moment.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:31 AM on December 7, 2007


So anonymous, this is your second post about your relationship. Call the first one the free half hour on the couch, but now, you're a repeat customer and you've gotta pay the bill. Here's the payment required: You've got to update us on what happened since your last question. Is the sorostitute still living with him? Did you befriend her? Inquiring minds want to know, and it makes some difference in giving a good answer to the question at hand.

(I think this relationship is doomed, by the way. Trusting someone is a lot more important than finding that you think is the "perfect match" (because that feeling of perfection goes away after a few months. No pedestal is designed to withhold the idol you place atop it for long.))
posted by Happydaz at 10:57 AM on December 7, 2007


You kids nowadays! If you love him, tell him you love him. You're not giving up power by doing that. "I love you" is a description of feeling. It doesn't bind you to anything.

It's even possible that your ex DID love you, even though he cheated on you. "I love you" doesn't mean "I'll treat you well" or "I'll be faithful to you." It means "I love you." Tons of couples screw up because they endow the L phrase with so much power that they think once it's said, everything is magically different.

Don't get me wrong. Love is the most wonderful thing in the world. But it's not everything in the world.

My last boyfriend swore up and down that he was in love with me, convinced me to embark on a grand romantic adventure together-- and then cheated on me a few months later. And to add insult to injury: he then said he realized never ACTUALLY was in love with me, he just fooled himself into thinking it because we were so compatible as a couple and because he just craved the high romance aspect of it all-- but not actually me as a person.

This sounds like crap to me, and I'm sorry it had such a devastating effect on you (though I understand why it did). It's much more likely that your boyfriend had a genuine feeling. The feeling didn't last forever, and then back-peddled and created explanations.
posted by grumblebee at 11:11 AM on December 7, 2007 [10 favorites]


Do you have a friend you can talk to about this?

You can run things like this by them on a daily basis (while making sure to respect their time and listening as much, if not more, than you talk). I can sit here and tell you "you are a good person who deserves to be loved." I genuinely think that! But it has a lot more weight from someone you know in person.

I feel like you are like I used to be--I had some friends and I would never tell them anything I thought that was crazy, or weird, or strange, especially in my relationships. It was all sunshine and roses. I really wanted them to think I had it all together because I thought way too hard about how I seemed to feel and not enough about how I really felt.

Just a thought.
posted by sondrialiac at 11:11 AM on December 7, 2007


I think you're right to be worried.

If you're manipulating his image of you (acting, based on power dynamic predictions and his anticipated reactions, instead of being), then how could he really love you, even if he really believes he does.

If you want to be able to believe him when he says he loves you, then you have to be you with him.

That gets to the question of how to respond in that this is a great time to be authentic, and say what you're feeling, not what you think would be tactically optimal.
posted by Salamandrous at 3:11 PM on December 7, 2007


listen to our pinksuperhero
posted by caddis at 7:29 PM on December 7, 2007


Although I frequently disagree, TPS has it right this time. Say whatever the truth is, and cut all the psychodrama bullshit out. Maybe he's telling the truth, maybe he isn't, but you'll never know unless you put your feelings on the line. No risk, no reward. The quickest way to run a promising relationship into the ground is to try to hedge your bets emotionally. Go for it, if that's what you want to do, and if it doesn't work out, oh well. It's just life, no point in hiding from it.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 1:56 PM on December 8, 2007


« Older Holiday Celebrate. Just one day out of life...it...   |   I'm an iPod n00b Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.