I didn’t quite hear him

A different kind of "I love you" letter ...

I'm 23 years old and very particular about the people I date. However, I've been seeing someone for about three months now, and things have been going great. It is the most serious relationship I've ever been in. That has posed some problems for me since I've never experienced these types of feelings. This man is a few years older and has been in serious relationships before.

The issue I'm writing about happened recently, when we had just finished spending time with some mutual friends and everyone was parting ways. He and I were saying goodbye to each other with a passionate kiss when I hear him mumble something. I was so distracted by the kiss — and his words were so muffled because of our friends talking behind us — that I didn't really hear what he had said, and just said a regular goodbye. A moment later, after he walked away, I realized what he might have mumbled. I think he said "I love you" in that moment of passion, but I really can't be positive.

He's not really one to talk about his feelings and is more of an actions-speak-louder-than-words type of guy. I want to talk to him about it because I truly love him back, but what if that's not what he said and we're not on the same page? Of course, if I don't bring it up, he might assume that I heard him and ignored him, or that I don't feel the same way. I take that step of "I love you” very seriously, especially since I have never felt this way about anyone before. Because of this, I don't want to mess this up in any way. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

— Say it Again

I'm trying to think of what else he could have said.

I like you? I loathe you? I licked you? Call you later?

It's possible you heard what you wanted to hear, but that's the whole point of this letter, right? You hope he said it because you're very much ready to tell him how you feel.

My advice is to say it, without mentioning the mumble, because it doesn't matter whether he said it first. Your best bet is to treat your next passionate kiss like a do-over and articulate your affection – clearly, please.

He can reiterate — or say it for the first time. If he doesn't reciprocate, he can tell you where he stands. I know you're scared of getting hurt, and that you'd love a guarantee that he'll say it back, but new love is always a risk. No matter how "particular" you are, there's no getting around that.

— Meredith

Readers? Should she ask him what he said or just say it?