Can I say ‘I love you’ first?

What's on your mind about your dating/married/love life??

It's time to ask your own question.

Send it to [email protected] or fill out this form.

Hello Meredith,

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 10 months and "officially" dating for three. We have an undeniable connection. We go on each other's family trips and spend six to seven days of the week together. We hardly ever argue and we never get tired of each other. Sure, it's still a new relationship but there is no doubt in my mind (or his) that he's the one. We have discussed our future with each other and our plans, such as marriage and children one day. None of the conversations are super deep or long, but they have happened. However, he still hasn't told me that he loves me. He shows me every day that he deeply cares about me but he isn't one to be sappy. Should I be worried? He has been betrayed so I have given him grace and time to heal. That's why I haven't said that I love him. I want to give him time. But I almost slip and tell him that I love him every week. What do I do?

– Love him


I don't understand the "officially dating" thing, but I'll assume that means it was seven months of "healing time." You've known each other for the better part of a year, which seems relevant. It's been 10 months of falling for him.

Tell him you love him and then clarify what that means. For some, "I love you" means "I'm ready to get betrothed." For others, it's more, "I care about you, am attracted to you, and hope this keeps working because I'm so excited about it." I swear, if we all expanded on our "I love you" declarations, they might be less stressful – and more revealing. The only thing to hold back is the part about him being the one. Right now, all you really know is that you're hopeful. You love the way this is going. Focus on that.

Let him know you enjoy the way he shares affection, and that there's no pressure to match your words if it feels too soon. It's nice for someone to know that all of their other acts of kindness and support aren't being ignored.

I do get it. It's a scary thing to say first, but it's also kind of frightening (for some) to even reference a future with marriage and children. If one thing is possible, so is the other. Just be clear and patient.

– Meredith

Readers? Hold it back? Wait until it's been six months? Say it now? Clarify?