"I know in my heart that I love my boyfriend, but I'm so nervous about saying it out loud! Who is supposed to say it first? When does it usually happen? And ack -- what if he doesn't say it back?" ?from minks21 on the Guy Talk message board
When it comes to saying those three little words, there are no rules -- only romantic stories. Here, men and women from the Relationships channel community share what happened when they confessed their feelings. Will their happy memories inspire you to do the same this summer? Read on and let your heart decide. How Women Say "I love you"
"I told my boyfriend within the first month that we knew each other. He didn't tell me he loved me until four months later when we went to stay with his family for Christmas. I think he couldn't say it and mean it until I'd met them because he was afraid that I wouldn't approve of them! But the first night we were at their house I told him how much I liked his mom and dad. That's when he told me he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. It was worth the wait. Still, I said 'I love you' a lot without hearing it back. I mean, there's time for many 'I love you's' in four months!" ?from iVillager omuchacha
"I just blurted it out and walked away because I was afraid of my boyfriend's reaction. He followed me, and I kept telling him not to say anything. I mean, I didn't want him to feel obligated if he wasn't ready. Maybe I scared him, but it worked! Now, he is madly in love with me! The wedding is just a few months away.?iVillager mattpa22
"When my fiancee told me he loved me, I didn't want to say it back just because he did. So a couple of weeks later, we were at a bar. I got up to go to the bathroom, and accidentally said, 'I love you.' We both realized, and stared at each other for a second. Then I told him that I really did love him, and that I was planning on telling him, just not at a stupid bar while I was heading to the bathroom. I mean, that's not romantic! ?from iVillager cl-stacyj330
"I had known my boyfriend for years before we started dating. So one day, sitting on the couch, I couldn't help but blurt it out. It just felt right. He said "I love you" back right away, but still I'm pretty proud that I broke the ice!" ?iVillager cl-melissa_9499
How women hear "I love you"
"My husband always looks me right in the eye when we are talking, but on this occasion, he really waited until I had turned to him. Then, he said "I'm falling in love with you." I froze. I wasn't ready so I didn't respond! It wasn't until a week when we were on the phone very late at night that I said it. As we hung up, it slipped. But he waited until the next day to call me on it." ?iVillager katesmom24
"My boyfriend had a friend who demanded a lot of his attention. It felt like three of us were in the relationship. I was fed up and willing to walk away from him. I even told him I wanted to "take some time." But he emailed me and said he cared, that he didn't want to lose me, and how he wanted to tell me something in person. After we talked things through, he told me that he loved me. Before I even knew what hit me, I heard myself saying "I love you, too." ?member name TK
"My fiance and I grew up in the same small town, but we only knew each other as casual acquaintances. When we started getting to know each other, we discovered we have the same nutty sense of humor. One night, we were playing pool and laughing our heads off. I actually snorted and fell into a giggling fit. Then, he just blurted out, 'I think I'm falling in love with you.' So I said it too, and we hugged each other right there in front of everyone. Now, four years later we say it at least twice a day." ?iVillager mceleste2000
"I first dated my beloved in high school, during senior year filled with prom preparation and more. So 'I love you' may have been said one hundred times. Who knows? Then, I broke up with him early on in our first year of college. Twenty years later, we re-met at our reunion, and there were sparks. This time, it was only two weeks after our first date that he said, 'I love you.' I thought he should be more cautious with a girl who was such a jerk in the past. But no, he knew it, he said it, and I wasn't far behind." ?iVillager jbro99
"I had gone on a trip without my boyfriend of four months, and couldn't wait to get home to see him. Upon my arrival, he was waiting at my house, and that's the night he told me he loved me. Looking back, we both agree that there were plenty of times we'd both wanted to say it, but didn't want to rush. Guess a little time apart can't hurt." ?iVillager cschristi
How Men Say "I love you"
"After two months, I knew my girlfriend was as smitten as I was. I wanted to wait until we'd been together longer, but patience has never been my strong suit. So one weekend morning, when I got up to make coffee, I looked at her asleep and decided I would say the words. I thought it might be nice play the CD that I'd introduced to her during our first night together. But I couldn't find it anywhere. I finally had to wake her up and ask her where it was. She found it. I returned with the coffee, and finally said, "You know what? I'm falling in love with you." She was as happy as I'd hoped, and without missing a beat, told me that she fell in love with me, a long time ago." ?iVillager Alan, 25
"I said it first. My wife and I had been 'just friends' for most of our lives. But after a brief courtship, I told her I loved her and followed it immediately with the question, 'Will you marry me?' I knew she loved me as a friend, but had no idea whether she loved me loved me, so I felt way out on a limb. Luckily, she said yes." --iVillager lankyspanky, 41
"In a general phone conversation, my girlfriend who I met online said something really cute and giggled. Laughing, I said, 'That's why I love you.' I went on to try and explain why I said that because I knew I was feeling way too much, way too soon for someone I hadn't met in person. She said, 'Don't worry, it's just an expression, I know you didn't mean it the way it sounded.' But I thought maybe I did! So a couple of days later I got ready to tell her in no uncertain terms that I loved her. But before I could, she cut me off and told me first." ?iVillager Jimi_d
"I said it in a card. Too chicken to say it in person! LOL" ?iVillager vulture_circling_you
"My finacee and I were at a pitch and put with my best friends, another couple. And there were several of what appeared to be giant beetles all around us. So what did my lovely lady do? She started to squash them with her golf club! I gave her a look like, 'What are you doing?' She stopped, turned around, blushed and said, 'Oh, you and your friends probably think I am nuts!' 'No way. I love you,' I said. It just slipped out. So we both looked at each other and laughed. Later that evening I said it for real and she said it back. Phew!" ?iVillager Marc
How Men Hear "I love you"
"When my girlfriend and I started dating, I was more infatuated with her than any other woman I had dated, ever. But we had both recently ended long relationships and as she was still resolving her feelings. I didn't want to spook her so I wrestled with whether or not to say anything. Then, one night we were hanging out and instead of me declaring anything, she flat out asked "So, are you in love with me?" It just about killed me. I couldn't believe that instead of telling me she loved me or allowing me to declare my love in a romantic way, she asked if I loved her. I mean, I was obviously tied up in knots over everything. The real question seemed to me to be how she felt! LOL. At least we got it all out on the table, right? And yes, I love her now more than ever." ?iVillager Matt, 25
"Before we even started dating, I think I said 'I love you' to my girlfriend every time I saw her, over and over and over again. But, not long after we started seeing each other officially, it was one sleepy summer afternoon at an outdoor cafe, she said to me "I sort of love you? I guess" It was adorable, and let me tell you, nothing has made me feel so happy as hearing those words from her. ?iVillager Norm, 32