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"I said "I love you" and she didn’t say it back. She seemed really touched and didn’t freak out, but now I feel like an idiot. What do I do?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

OMG LISTEN. One time someone told me they loved me for the first time while we were in a fight in my car and I was stunned and I said “well..” and then patted them on the shoulder… SO LIKE. WHO AM I, first of all. SECOND OF ALL, I totally loved her, 100% loved her and wanted to tell her, I just couldn’t get it out of my mouth. For like a week I was like ‘LOL HI’ and she told me she loved me again and I just smiled.

I’m just now realizing I’m the worst…

EVENTUALLY, I was curled up and feeling like I was gonna barf and whatsherface was like “are you okay” and I was like “no” and she was like “what’s wrong” and I was like “nothing” and she was like “are you sure are you okay” and I was like “just thinkin about how I love you that’s all” and she was like “oh really…” and then I think she rolled her eyes and started watching a Beyonce Music Video or something.

My point is… Some of us aren’t great with our words. AND some of us don’t know how to express ANYTHING. Your boo might be afraid and maybe also your boo just isn’t ready to say those words, which is totally fine. Love is an incredible gift. Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable is one of the most amazing things you can do. Don’t feel like an idiot, you’re amazing. So many people keep their feels tucked away because they’re afraid. I’m 100% certain your boo is so happy you didn’t do that.

Kristin Says:

The very first time I fell in love, I said I love you and didn’t hear it returned for many many weeks. I think, maybe because of how my entire body felt that it was flipped upside down, and maybe because I had never had a feeling like that one before… it didn’t even phaseme to not hear it returned. I was like an adventurer standing atop a mountain that no one else had ever climbed, discovering what it meant to say “I love you,” and mean every fiber of that phrase. I was saying it to tell her, sure… but I was saying it because I had to say it – it was absolutely incredible and wonderful and terrifying and life-changing.

Eventually that lovely girl told me she loved me back, and then we dated for two years, and then we broke up, and then we remained friends, and then we became best friends, and recently she officiated my wedding. So, whatever, lesbian tangent.

The subsequent times that I fell in love I cared more about hearing it returned, because I was worried about all the things that you are likely worrying about right now. What if I was the only one who felt this way? What if she thought I was stupid? What if I scared her off?

I understand those feelings, sure… but I do believe that the truest way of saying “I love you” doesn’t hinge on the return of that phrase. Your perception that your words moved her are likely spot-on, and that is why we say those words to one another. We want to let someone know how very much we care. Now, sure, if you go another six months and she never returns the sentiment, you can absolutely have a conversation about how she’s feeling and how you’re feeling and how everyone’s feeling and feelings feelings feelings. Totally.

For now, though — for this initial period of maybe a few weeks or a month or so, just tell her you love her because you love her. Let her navigate her own feelings, and get to them as she gets to them. Feelings – and love especially – can be tricky, and hard to pin down.

I think she’ll get there.

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"I wanna say "I love you" to my boo for the first time. Is writing it on the bottom of a rubber duck a bit too strange?"

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

OH MY GOD YOU’RE SO CUTE.

No, that’s NOT… I mean, maybe it is strange to someone who hates rubber ducks and being in love.

You should do something that’s personal and will make BREADCRUMBS (your boo) feel all melty inside, you know? This is kind of a big deal for the two of you, and it’ll be super cute if you go out of your way to make it special and memorable.

Also though, if you’re totally caught up in the moment and the two of you are making out to the USHER pandora station and you can’t hold it in anymore and you just blurt out “I LOVE YOU BREADCRUMBS”…That will be equally as cute. I promise.

Being in love is the greatest. Anything you do will be perfect.

Kristin Says:

If you wrote I love you to me on the bottom of a rubber duck I would probably marry you.

That is my complete answer.

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"How do I break up with my girlfriend? I’m her first love and I don’t wanna hurt her…"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

Be honest, don’t drag it out, be kind and give her space.

I know you will probably want to try and be friends because she’ll say that’s what she wants.. but you guys… no one wants that immediately out of the gates. You both need to take time after the break up to ACTUALLY DEAL WITH THE EMOTIONS. Don’t hang around each other and have awkward moments where you both look at each other like you’re about to kiss and then you have to say ‘i should probably go’ … let the L Word handle all that okay?

I think not dragging it out is the most important, tell her now, don’t lead her on. We all, as human beings, deserve to know the feelings of the person we love. If you’re not feeling it just tell her. It hurts so much more when you find out your person has felt like the relationship was over LONG BEFORE she told you. It makes your heart turn into nacho cheese and fall out of your butt.

Be nice to her. It’s going to hurt.

Kristin Says:

You can also go into it knowing that after it hurts, it creates strength and knowledge that we all need in order to grow as people. Now, if you look at her and say, “this will make you a stronger and smarter person someday,” she will, justifiably, throw a piano at your head. So, what I am saying is – understand for yourself that despite hurting her now, you being honest, truthful, firm and respectful is the absolute best thing that you can do for both of you.

Tell her that you love her, but that you know that your relationship is not going to work because of reasons that cannot be changed. DO NOT SAY THINGS LIKE, “I’mmostly sure that we can’t make this work,” or “I can’t imagine my life without you,” or “Maybe we can still get dinner on Thursdays.” You being wishy washy equals her hearing that you are only partly breaking up with her – and that is going to hurt her more, and for a much longer time.

I have had my fair share of long-term breakups, and while I still did manage through them, I am of the opinion that, when you know something is not working, you have to rip it off like a bandaid. She will listen to music and cry, she will cook dinner and cry, she will talk to her friends and cry, she will think that the world is over – because, truthfully, that is how a broken heart feels – she will get angry and do things that she is embarrassed about, and she will eventually start to heal.

Remember that the love you had isn’t undone by your actions now, and if anything, your love is strengthened by being real, and by taking care of her through your honesty. It will hurt you too, just as much and in different ways.

Breathe, speak, breathe, walk away, keep breathing.

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