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Parallax - Advice

March 04, 2002

The right time?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I have been with this guy for about three months, and I am very drawn to him. I don't like to go to sleep at night without talking to him, and I think about him all of the time. I broke up with a man whom I was not very interested in so that I could be with the 'new guy.' (I was planning to break it off anyway because it was very unfulfilling.) This new man is intelligent and funny, and I am attracted to his entire soul. My question is: How or when is there a good time to say, 'I love you?' Is there even such thing as a good time to say, 'I love you?' He has not yet told me; our relationship is still fairly new. Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Newbie,

Oh, I wouldn't drop that one unless you're sure you'll get it back. Nothing like that big announcement just hanging out there - rejected. Painful, painful. There is no 'right' time. The 'right' time is whenever you both feel like saying it. It sounds a bit early to me to be certain he feels that way too. Of course, if you don't have concerns about reciprocation (that is, you don't care if he says it back and you just need to say it) then, of course, just make your big announcement and put it all on the table.

I must warn you, however, that there is no going back once those three words have been uttered. He will know he has you, and he can decide to do with that what he will.

If he loves you, things will only be better. If he doesn't love you, you may spook him and spur him to back off from the relationship. All depends on your risk profile girlie...

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His view:

Dear Newbie,

Don't even think of saying 'I love you.' Not for six months, at least. Not before you have had many other conversations in which the general status of the relationship is evaluated, in which your mutual feelings for each other are explored in more subtle and roundabout fashions, in which you gently wrest from him his expectations for the future potential of the relationship.

For all you know, you may not even be his steady thing yet. Have you had the 'exclusive conversation,' the one where you agree to not sleep with others? Have you had the 'boyfriend/girlfriend' conversation, the one where you both admit to public acknowledgement of the status?

If you love him and you just feel like you can't hold it in, think about this chilling scenario: You say it, and then he mumbles some incomprehensible response that sounds like he's choking on a fish-bone.

What if he doesn't say, 'I love you, too?' Where does that leave you?

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