Oh no! He just told me he loves me. I’ve been sort of seeing the same guy for 3 months now and I was getting the feeling that he might say it soon. He was just giving me those vibes. And then he did! What do I do? Do I have to say it back? I don’t know how I feel. Truth is, I don’t even know if I want to be in a relationship!

Posted in: You asked Sisyphean toil

Sounds like you don’t feel the same way, and that’s perfectly ok. You never owe anyone anything. You might feel a lot of pressure to say it too, because you don’t want to hurt his feelings, or you truly care for him. But it doesn’t do anyone favours to lie to them or soothe them with an insincere “I love you too”.

With that pressure off, how do you feel about his saying I love you? Does it feel good to receive? Do you feel seen and understood by him? (In other words, do you feel like it’s you he loves? This can make a world of difference). If it does feel good, it’s ok to say so without saying “I love you” back. You can say, “Thank you. I feel your love, and I treasure it”.  Whatever is true for you.

Or do you feel pressured or invaded upon? Are things moving too fast for you? If so, regardless of how he feels about you, it’s ok to chill things out and slow them down. Say how you feel and what you want, “I would like to go slower”, “I feel confused and need to sort things out”, “I don’t feel the same way about you”, and even “I don’t know how I feel right now”.

And understand this: Disappointing someone because you don’t feel what they want you to feel is not a mean thing to do. Yes, it hurts. But it’s not your job to never hurt anyone. It’s your job to be true to yourself. And if you can do it kindly and with respect, that’s icing on the cake.

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