Social Question

serenade's avatar

What do you say when you're not ready to say "I love you," but you're on your way to getting there?

Asked by serenade (3779 points ) January 2nd, 2013

My new girl and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to end our phone conversation. We’re both feeling it, but it’s still a little early. What are ideas for things we can say that are better than goodbye but less than dropping the “L” word?

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20 Answers

bob_'s avatar

“Ok, bye.”

cutiepi92's avatar

Take care, babe

You’re awesome

Night, baby

Honestly, any typical goodbye tacked on with a special name usually reserved for significant others works in your situation

bookish1's avatar

Fais de beaux rĂªves.

zensky's avatar

If it’s online – here’s a simple rhyme;
Au revoir, Avatar.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

Go ahead and drop the other “L-word” like this.

AshLeigh's avatar

“I like your shoes.”

cookieman's avatar

“I lo”

AshLeigh's avatar

I hate when I accidentally say “I love you” instead of “I’m biologically driven to want to reproduce with you and I’m temporarily delusional.”

livelaughlove21's avatar

Why say anything special? A simple “good night” would suffice, no?

Before my husband told me he loved me, he used to say “I like you a little bit” and it became somewhat of a thing for us. Then, one night, he said, “I like you more than a little bit. But I don’t know how to say it. It probably sounds something like ‘I love you’.” :)

burntbonez's avatar

Be a man. Say it.

hearkat's avatar

Talk to you tomorrow

G’night, Sweetie

I had a great time with you today, and am looking forward to seeing you again

livelaughlove21's avatar

@burntbonez Why say it if he feels that it’s too early? Saying “I love you” too soon can be a bit of a bad omen. No reason to rush the relationship – rushed relationships hardly ever last.

Shippy's avatar

Duct tape is always good.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I would say bye in various languages each night to keep them guessing and by the time you have exhausted them you might be ready to say it.

burntbonez's avatar

@livelaughlove21, I suppose I’m not a great example for this, but it is my feeling that people should express their feelings when they feel them. This holding back business seems to me to be too calculated. Do you have to time your love? That’s not real to me. I feel you should say what you feel, especially if it is love. Love is rare. Love needs to be expressed. It’s a good thing. I don’t understand why you would hold back out of some calculation about it being too soon. How do you know? Is there a handbook for these things?

If a relationship is real, saying I love you “too soon” isn’t going to hurt it. And if the relationship isn’t real, waiting isn’t going to help. It strikes me that when you wait, you are more concerned about pride and who says it first than you are concerned about saying what you really feel. Sorry, but I’m not interested in that kind of posing.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@burntbonez Sometimes lust is confused for love, so it’s best to not say the words until you know for sure. Some people are under the impression that you can fall in love in a very short amount of time. I disagree with that. How can you love someone you barely know? You can’t. Just because there are people out there that claim they loved their spouse from day 1, I think it’s either bullshit or it’s the exception to the rule. If this even exists, it’s rare, and why would one assume they’re one of the “lucky ones”?

You also don’t know how the other person will react to the words. Some people throw around the word “love” as if it means nothing; others are scared of the word and its ramifications; some people only say it when they think they want to be with the other person forever (after many months or even years of dating).

I don’t think holding it back is “posing” as much as it is smartly waiting until you’re absolutely sure those feelings are what you think they are. And sometimes it’s too early to know if a relationship is real, so why pour your heart out when it’s perfectly possible that you’re just caught up in lust or puppy love, especially when it could scare the person away because you’re getting serious before you even know each other.

I hate when people say, “If it’s meant to be, it’ll be” – it’s simply untrue. But it’s an easy way to shrug off a failed relationship. How is one to know that relationship wasn’t real just because a girl freaks out when a guy she really liked says “I love you” on the third date? You don’t know, so why risk it if you haven’t given yourself time to explore those feelings before you scream them from the rooftops?

I’d also like to point out that we don’t know any details about the OPs relationship. Telling him to “be a man” when he’s clearly not ready to say the words without knowing the situation isn’t very helpful. For all you know, they just met last weekend.

burntbonez's avatar

It is true that we don’t know the time frame in the OP. However, my sense from the question, which could be wrong, is that we are talking months here, not days. In my experience, it is at the several month stage or even later that the “who says it first” game starts being played.

Of course, if you’re right, and we’re talking a few days, then my hat’s off to you. You’re right. There’s no telling what the relationship is at that point.

And you dont know me, so you probably can’t recognize that my “be a man” comment was tongue in cheek. I don’t believe in being men or women. I believe in being people. No gender roles. However, I do believe in being honest, as should be clear from my second comment.

If you aren’t sure what a comment means (referring to saying “I love you”) than an adult couple talks about it and what it means. It’s not the test of a relationship and someone who freaks out doesn’t run. If this is a young couple, say under 21, then I can understand they don’t have good relationship skills and have a hard time talking about things. However, anyone with any experience under their belts, should get to the point where you can talk about what “I love you” means without freaking each other out. These are more mature individuals in more mature relationships.

I am not saying “if it’s meant to be.” I don’t believe in fate. I believe in maturity. If saying “I love you” chases someone away, then the couple is not mature enough for the relationship. And it won’t be saved by waiting to say it until later. And this is not screaming something from the rooftop. I’m not at all sure why you would make that analogy.

But I agree, that I’m assuming the feelings have been explored to some degree if someone finds themselves wanting to say the words. I do not assume some kind of kneejerk motivation. This is serious stuff, and if you find yourself wanting to say it in the way the OP describes, then to me that says it is a serious feeling. If it’s a serious feeling in a serious relationship, you do not risk anything by saying it. If you do risk something by saying it, then you are severely deluded about the relationship. Seems to me, you’d want to know that.

serenade's avatar

GAs, all. It’s been a little over a month. I exited a 6 year relationship soon before I met this one, although the last year of it was the breaking up part, so I’m not terribly crushed by the breakup nor am I rebounding (already did that a few months ago). It’s just that my teacup hasn’t yet been emptied. I probably need time to myself to be me again, but she’s really awesome in a lot of ways. We both danced around it last night (she almost said it, which is how it came up and I told her I felt mostly similar), hence my question about what do we say for the time being. I don’t have it in me to be in love right now, because I haven’t cleared the things I need to clear, but I feel strongly about her sometimes, and sometimes when she’s not around I feel like I do love her. It’s definitely an in between space, so I’m looking for in between behavior/responses.

spykenij's avatar

There is no middle ground, unfortunately. It either is or it isn’t love and only time will tell you if you wasted time or dodged a bullet by not saying it. I have yet to see a biological man have a heart to truly hurt, so I doubt you’re truly worried about your feelings. That’s not a ‘tude, it’s simply every experience I’ve had in my life from birth. Do her a favor and let her say it first. Do her another and don’t say it at all unless you know you are 100% sure you mean it. It hurts far more to hear it than not, in the end. Bottom line is, only you will know when you are ready and there are no other words.

snapdragon24's avatar

“Alright my sweet vanilla sponge cake, goodbye!” Haha make it into a joke…to ease off the tension. That is what my bf and I do! ‘ok my little hott cream caramel pie, sweet dreams!’ but say I love you in person before saying it on the phone ;p

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