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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"I Love You" Too Soon

We've all had it happen. You're in a relationship for a few weeks . . . or even a couple of days and you hear it: "I love you." What is your initial reaction? Well it will depend how much you're into this person. You may say it back, thinking you mean it; or you may just run far away.

I'll be writing this article more for girls (sorry, guys) because there are a lot of guys out there (more than girls) that will say this line to you just to get you to fall for them . . . and for them to get what they want out of you. No, not all guys are like this; but some are. Let's take a closer look at this phrase and what comes of it, shall we?

Remember that love takes time. I've been arguing with myself for years about "love at first sight" versus "lust at first sight" and if you could really fall in love with someone by just looking at them. I've decided that, no, you can't just love someone when you first meet them. It takes months and sometimes years to fall in love. I believe it depends on the connection, chemistry, and personalities of the two people above other elements. It doesn't mean that love is any stronger if you fall in love with someone after 3 months when compared to 3 years; it just shows that some relationships take more time than others. I feel that we can feel a deep connection with someone at first and feel very attracted to them; but love just doesn't happen like that!

So when a guy tells you he loves you after the first date or after 5 weeks of dating . . . what does it mean? I've had several clients contact me about this very same issue which is why I feel it is important to address. There are 2 different ways girls normally take this news: they completely fall for the guy, or they laugh and leave. For the latter, they all have something in common: they're letting fate lead them to a better relationship so they don't care about having some guy that jumps all over them at his first chance. The former all have something in common: they crave love and attention, they want companionship and feel devastated without it, they need a relationship, and they're lonely. There's nothing wrong with either. 

Now let's focus on why guys might jump on the "I love you" train. Well, chances are, they just want your trust . . . and sex. Naturally he wants to butter you up so that you feel he truly loves you and wants to spend his life with you; so then you'll be willing to give in to his every wish. So the next time a guy tells you he loves you and you've only been dating for a short while, think about it; does he mean it or is he just trying to get in your pants? And is that the kind of relationship you want? Or do you want a relationship where the guy takes time to get to know you and when he tells you he loves you, you know he does.

I definitely warn my clients that this is red flag; more often than not, the guys intentions are purely to love 'em and leave 'em. Whatever you do, don't say it back (unless you know you mean it) because it will only encourage him. Allowing this to occur may only hurt you in the long run. Allow things to go at a nice, comfortable pace because letting "I love you" slip out; and make sure you actually mean it and just aren't wanting to hear it back!

A lot of people will oppose this while it will encourage others to be curious and may even give a few a wake-up call. So what things should you look for to know whether or not he really loves you when time is an issue? Let's see:

  • How long have you known each other? I don't mean "well we went to school together for 4 years but never talked." I mean "we've been talking for about 4 months." Don't include time where you didn't talk; like those 15 years that passed between talking in high school for a year and now; those don't count. If you've known each other for a long period of time, it's more believable that someone has fallen for you rather than knowing someone for a short period of time.
  • How long have you been dating? While how long you've known each other isn't as important as how long you've been dating, I feel dating still plays a key. When you date someone it helps put that person in a different light. Hanging out as friends versus dating brings something new to the table; it might be the same experience, but definitely with a different vibe. If you've been dating for a short amount of time but feel you love the person because you've known each other for years, don't necessarily get ahead of yourself by announcing your love; make the moment more passionate by knowing they feel the same way and that the relationship lasts more than just a few days. 
  • What levels has your relationship gone through? There are different levels in a relationship. There's acquaintances which are people you've met but don't really know. There are friends, best friends, occasional buddies, and so on. Knowing what level the relationship has been through in the past will help you identify where you stand now. If you've been occasional buddies on game night or group outings, you know there are still some levels to go through before love blooms. But if you've been best friends for years, love is like your car's right mirror: may be closer than it appears.
If you're after a quick relationship, then this is the relationship for you. But if you want a loving relationship with a solid foundation that will last into the future, then make sure love isn't rushed. I once had a client that was in her early 30s (before she came to me). Her friends were all married with kids and she wanted to settle down and have a family before she got over the hill. She fell for a guy that told her he loved her from the very beginning. They would fight often and by the time she came to me for guidance, she felt like she was trapped in a relationship. I saw that all this guy wanted was sex . . . and also that he was involved with someone else. My client found out the man was married but his wife wouldn't give him anything in the bedroom so he sought it out elsewhere. Instead of him having a string of one-night stands, he wanted a "sure-fling." I use the term "sure-fling" to describe the relationship they had; she was always there for him when he needed some sexual relief so he didn't have to look around for another girl. According to my client, they always fought and he always said he loved her. Now she is reaching her upper 30s and is finally getting herself back out there to find someone to spend her life with. I'm hoping that with this post, it will reach out to some people that are in a similar situation that need to re-examine the relationship when the "I love you" hit comes out way too soon. But how you take it means everything.

The bottom line is to beware when you're told "I love you" after a short period of time. True love takes time; lust takes a second. Figure out what that person wants by looking at the relationship from a third-person point-of-view. Do you want a relationship like this or something better? As I said before, love depends on a variety of elements; just check to see which are there. Not every guy is like that; but there are some that are. Throw out the bad ones and keep the good ones! I wish you the best of luck in relationships!

Beautiful Blessings,
Natasha <3

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