Knowing how to respond to I love you isn’t always as easy as saying it back.
Love is a very complicated thing. It seems so easy in the movies. We grow up thinking we’ll find that special someone, tell them we love them, they’ll say it back, and happily ever after.
The truth is that it’s not always that simple. Sometimes we don’t feel the same. Sometimes we’re scared to admit how we feel. Maybe you’re not ready. Or you just don’t feel the same.
Knowing how to respond to I love you without saying it back is key when that time comes. Whether you want to say it, aren’t ready, or just don’t feel that way, knowing how to respond to I love you can make things a whole lot easier.
Saying I love you is always different
Not everyone will fall in love as quickly as others. Some people are confident in their feelings and trust themselves. Those people can say I love you quickly and feel great about it. Others may have those feelings deep down but can’t come out and say those three words.
None of these timelines mean the love is any less real or intense. Everyone has a past that has caused them some sort of hesitation about knowing how to respond to I love you, no matter how they truly feel.
Whether you take longer to feel those feelings sort to admit them, all the ways you can say I love you and respond to it are valid. Don’t let society tell you that there is anything wrong with you because you take things at your own pace.
How to respond to I love you without say it back
Just because you don’t love them at that moment doesn’t mean you never will. It simply means that, at that time, you don’t feel it. Sometimes you need more time to fall in love with someone or to feel comfortable saying it.
If you’ve ever been in this situation before, you know how awkward and uncomfortable it can be. You don’t want to hurt them, but you need to be true to yourself.
How can you balance being honest and possibly hurting someone? It takes some good communication, but it can be done. Luckily, we have everything you’ll need so you’ll know how to respond to I love you the next time someone confesses their feelings.
1. Smile and be appreciative
I know it can be a little scary when this happens, but it’s still a great thing. This person loves you. They enjoy you so much they have completely fallen for you. That’s something to be happy about. As long as you still want to be with this person, this isn’t something to be upset about.
2. Tell them how happy that makes you
You can even just say, “That makes me so happy!” It’s really that simple. It might not be the words back, but it’ll be enough to make them realize that you’re happy with their love. And it is better than saying thank you.
3. Give them a hug and a kiss
Sometimes words don’t even need to be said in response to love you. You can just show them your appreciation by giving them a kiss and a hug. You can even do this in combination with some other tips. The Bachelor franchise has nailed this down to a science, so if you’re not sure how, watch some episodes to see a prime example.
4. Tell them how much you care about them
What messes most people up when they don’t know how to respond to I love you is that they don’t clarify that they still care about the person. By not saying I love you back, they assume you don’t have feelings for them when that likely isn’t the case.
5. Tell them you’re so lucky to have them in your life
This is very important. If you do have strong feelings for them and are genuinely happy to have them in your life, say it. Tell them that your life is better with them in it.
If you gloss over this part, it’ll leave them insecure and upset. You don’t want them worrying about ending things, so make sure they know that you are grateful for them. Learning how to respond to love you even if you don’t love them back right now should be about your truth, not just avoiding those words.
You have to tell them you’re lucky they’re in your life. You can even mention something about feeling lucky they are in love with you.
6. Let them know how much you appreciate them
Appreciation is really all someone wants. If you can’t say I love you back in response to them saying it, make sure they know you aren’t just ignoring them or overlooking this. This is a big moment for them and let them know you appreciate them and their vulnerability and don’t take it lightly. Even though they may not like that you didn’t say it back, they’ll feel better knowing how you do feel.
7. Ask them why they love you
This might seem a little odd, but hear me out. When your significant other tells you they love you, ask them why. This isn’t a test. But, getting an answer to this can make you feel more confident in your feelings.
8. Tell them where you are
Just because you’re not saying I love you back at the moment doesn’t mean you’ll never feel the same. Make sure they know that you’re on the road to feeling that way. Let them know if you don’t know how you feel or if you do feel the same but aren’t ready to say it.
If you know why you’re hesitant, let them know that too. You don’t have to respond to I love you with the same words, but if you offer them vulnerability in return, they will know that you are on your way.
9. Flirt back
This is actually a really great way to respond if you’re looking to change the subject or take the attention away from your response. This wouldn’t be the best way to respond to I love you, but it can work. This has to be done in a flirtatious manner to avoid offending them.
10. Keep it simple
Saying something like, “I’m so glad,” might seem lackluster, but if it’s genuine, that is what is most important. If you are freaked out or scared, don’t say this, but be honest if you are happy to hear it.