These Real Men Reveal Exactly What They Were Thinking Before Saying ‘I Love You’

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Dating today is so much more relaxed and casual than dating in the past. Nowadays, it’s also more acceptable for women to make the first move. If you really like a guy and want to ask him out for coffee, why not go for it? But we do still expect guys to make the first move in many situations, even today. When’s the last time you heard of a woman proposing to a guy? It definitely happens, but it’s quite rare. And when you get into a relationship, isn’t it nice when the guy steps up and says “I love you” first? After all, being the first one to say those three little words is super scary!

So, we expect guys to make the first move and to be the first ones to say “I love you.” How do guys feel about it? When a guy says “I love you” for the first time, what’s really going through his head? It’s hard to tell—guys aren’t as emotional as girls are, so sometimes it can seem like it’s impossible to understand what they’re really feeling. But here are 15 confessions from guys remembering the moment they said: “I love you.”

15. “I felt pressured to tell her that I loved her…I didn’t feel it yet, but I knew she wanted to hear it.”

Sometimes it can be hard to let someone down, especially if you care about them. Actually, scratch that—it’s pretty much ALWAYS hard to know that you’re letting someone down. And if they’re someone special in your life, knowing that you can’t do what they need just gives you that awful sinking feeling in your stomach. Maybe that’s why this guy decided to tell his girlfriend that he loved her, even though he didn’t really feel that way. He says that he definitely did not actually love her yet when he said those words, but he knew that she really wanted to hear it. So he went ahead and said it anyway. It’s clear that in this relationship, the girl has stronger feelings than the guy.

14. “My first girlfriend rushed into saying ‘I love you.’ When I told my next girlfriend, I meant it, but I was so nervous because I wondered if I was making the same mistake.”

When your first relationship goes south, it can leave you feeling very jaded. Suddenly, all of your ideas about how wonderful love can be just go right out the window. Now, you know just how awful heartbreak feels, and you don’t want to go through it again. But most of us to make the choice to open up to love again someday. It can be scary to take that step, but it’s worth it to try again. When the guy who wrote this confession said “I love you” for the first time, he was scared that he was making a mistake again. What if he was rushing into it once more? What if he was wrong about his feelings? However, it seems like this couple had a happier story.

13. “When I told her I loved her, I wasn’t sure if I was lying to make her feel better, or to trick myself into believing things would actually work out.”

Sometimes, people think that saying “I love you” can save a relationship. They think that if you just say those three magic words, everything will turn around. The fighting will stop, you’ll be honest with each other, you’ll start communicating like adults, maybe your friends will start getting along, too…but unfortunately, that’s not how life works. You can’t solve all of your relationship problems just by saying “I love you.” It’s not realistic. But look at what the guy who wrote this confession has to say. For a short time, he believed that saying “I love you” could actually fix his relationship with his girlfriend. He says that he was trying to make her feel better—and he was also trying to make himself believe that things could work out.

12. “I had just come back from a year-long deployment. I told my girlfriend I loved her as soon as I saw her. I just wanted her to know, no matter what she said back.”

Awww, now here’s a happy story! This guy says that he was away on a year-long deployment and did not see his girlfriend for all of that time. We can’t imagine how difficult that must have been. Many couples have broken up over less. In fact, some couples can’t even stand to spend one day apart, let alone a full year! But all of the obstacles that come along with long distance were worth it for this couple. The guy says that when he got home from his deployment, he knew without a doubt that he had to tell his girlfriend that he loved her. In fact, he says that his feelings for her were so strong that he did not even care if she said it back or not. He just wanted her to know.

11. “We were fighting when I said ‘I love you’ for the first time-I was scared, but those three little words fixed everything.”

Remember how earlier, we said that just saying “I love you” usually isn’t enough to fix all of your problems? Well, it’s still true—but this cute confession proves that every once in a while, there is an exception to the rule! This guy says that he and his girlfriend were in the middle of a fight when he finally said “I love you” for the first time. And although he was scared to say it, he is now glad that he took the risk. He says that just saying “I love you” really did change their relationship. Maybe his girlfriend just didn’t realize how much he cared before. Some people need to be reassured and validated more often than others, and reminding them that you love them can work wonders.

10. “I was so nervous to tell my girlfriend I loved her…and she just responded with, ‘Okay.’ I was heartbroken.”

Building up the courage to say “I love you” for the first time can feel like an impossible task. Anyone would be nervous, right? It’s very understandable. This guy says that he was super scared to say those three little words. It’s a big step in the relationship, so we don’t blame him! But he finally decided that it was time to just take the leap and go for it. So he told his girlfriend, “I love you” and waited for her answer. Unfortunately, she did not say the same thing back as he had hoped. Instead, she simply told him, “Okay.” Ouch! That must have been a huge letdown—and it probably lead to a seriously awkward moment. How do you bounce back from that?

9. “I didn’t hesitate to tell my girlfriend I loved her—as soon as I felt it, I just blurted it out. What’s the point of hiding?”

Life is short. Hey, that’s a pretty easy way to justify taking risks, right? Any time you want to do something that someone else might consider a little bit crazy, all you’ve really got to do is shrug and say, “Well, life is short!” Now, living on the edge all of the time might land you in some sticky situations, but when it comes to telling people how you feel, we believe that you should just go ahead and say it, because it’s true—life is short! You never know when people are going to come in and out of your life, so you have to make the best of each moment you have together. When this guy realized he loved his girlfriend, he told her right away—he saw no point in waiting!

8. “I knew things were ending, but I said ‘I love you’ anyway. I knew she would tell me it was over. It was a Hail Mary.”

As we talked about before, saying “I love you” in order to fix a relationship is always a long shot. You might be able to patch things up and put a band aid on it for a little while, but in reality, just saying those words won’t be enough. You’ll have a lot of work to do when it comes to fixing all of the underlying problems. Just look at the guy who wrote this confession. He was going through a lot of problems in his relationship, and he didn’t know what to do to fix it all. He was simply too overwhelmed to think of any realistic solutions. So he decided to just tell his girlfriend “I love you” in hopes that it would fix things—but unfortunately, it didn’t.

7. “I was so excited to say it. I thought she would say it right back. She hesitated. I know she doesn’t feel the same way.”

Sure, there are some people out there who would say “I love you” even if they knew there was no chance of the other person saying it back. And that’s amazing! Good for them, honestly. They can be open and real about their feelings without expecting a certain reaction from anyone else, and if everyone was the same way, the world might be a better place. But the truth is that most people do not fall into this category. The guy who wrote this confession truthfully expected his girlfriend to respond a little differently when he told her that he loved her. But she hesitated before saying, “I love you, too,” and now he says he knows that she does not feel the same way.

6. “When we had to go long distance, I finally told my girlfriend I loved her. I wanted her to understand that I wouldn’t leave her.”

Some people tell their significant other “I love you” right when the mood strikes, while some people wait for special occasions. For example, a guy might wait until his girlfriend’s birthday or their one-year anniversary. Sometimes, waiting for a special moment can make it even more romantic! The guy who wrote this confession hadn’t told his girlfriend that he loved her yet, but he knew that they would be going long distance. Before they moved away, he finally told her that he loved her. He says that he waited for this moment because he wanted to reassure his girlfriend that he would not leave her while they were apart. That’s so sweet—if only there were more guys out there who acted this way! She’s one lucky girl.

5. “Honestly, I don’t think I feel real love for anyway. When I told my girlfriend I loved her, it felt like a lie from the beginning.”

Some people really struggle when it comes to their emotions. In fact, many men suppress their emotions and actively hide them. They’re taught that it is not “manly” to be emotional, and they end up feeling like they are unable to express themselves when they’re older. Maybe that’s why the guy who wrote this confession says that he isn’t sure if he’s ever felt real love for anyone. As sad as it is to read that, there are probably many people out there who can relate. Today it is very easy to stay isolated from other people and avoid forming real connections. He says that he has told his girlfriend that he loves her, but from the first time that he said it, he knew it was a lie.

4. “I had just cheated on my girlfriend. I told her I loved her to ease her suspicions. I felt horrible before and after.”

Ouch. Reading confessions like this can make your skin crawl! Anyway, let’s dig into this guy’s situation. Basically, he starts by admitting that he cheated on his girlfriend. And he knew that there was a good chance she would start to suspect exactly what was happening. So what did he do? He decided that he needed to cover his tracks by acting more affectionate. He told her, “I love you” for the first time so that she would ignore his other sketchy behavior. We feel so bad for this girl. Reading a story like this is enough to make you doubt anything that comes out of a man’s mouth! But don’t lose hope—there are still plenty of good guys out there who would never do something like this.

3. “I said ‘I love you’ for the first time when my girl was having a panic attack. In that moment I saw how much she needed me.”

Many people today are becoming more and more open about their struggles with mental health. This is a good thing—it means that we can finally start breaking down all of the stigma surrounding mental health issues like depression and anxiety. But when you are struggling with your mental health, getting into a relationship can still feel like a big, scary step. Because you know that whoever you are dating will have to be someone you can rely on during those days you feel like you just can’t get out of bed. This girl is lucky—her boyfriend confessed that he said, “I love you” for the first time to comfort her while she was having a panic attack. He says that was the moment he realized how badly she needed him.

2. “One day I randomly told my girlfriend, ‘Surprise! I love you!’ I was so anxious about it that I had to turn it into a joke.”

Awww, this confession is so adorable! Now, at this point we’ve established that it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious or scared about saying “I love you” for the first time. Even if you’re the most confident, manly guy in existence, it’s totally fine to feel nervous about saying “I love you.” The guy who wrote this confession found a unique way to handle his situation. He wanted to tell his girlfriend that he loved her, but he was so freaked out by the thought of actually saying it that he knew he wouldn’t be able to just sit her down and tell her. So instead, he randomly blurted out, “Surprise! I love you!” He says that he was so scared he just had to turn it into a joke!

1. “It felt so good to say it. I didn’t love my previous girlfriends. But I love this girl with all my heart. I knew I meant every word when I said it.”

Now, this is the type of confession that every girl on the planet would want to hear from her boyfriend. Seriously, how cute is this? We wish that every guy took a cue from the man who wrote this confession. He says that he didn’t truly fall in love with his previous girlfriends, but when he met the girl that he is dating now, he just knew that she would somehow be different. He says that by the time he said, “I love you,” he knew that he loved her with all his heart. There was no doubt in his mind when he finally said those three little words. If he was nervous, he probably didn’t show it—but honestly, it doesn’t sound like he was scared at all!

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