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    “Help! How Will I Know When to Say the ‘L’ Word?”

    My boyfriend and I have been dating for two months now and have yet to say the “L” word. That’s always been fine for me, but now I feel like we’re really getting deeper in our relationship, and it scares me because it’s new and some of my past relationships (mostly with family and friends, not guys) have not turned out very well after I had gone deep in. I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to say the big “I love you” yet anyway, and I’m very nervous about what he would say in return. Am I letting my anxiety be too big a part of this, and how will we know when we can honestly say we love each other in that way?

    Hey girl! Who would think that those three little words would be so hard to say? Well, actually, for some people they’re not. So often “I love you” is thrown around randomly, but these words are worthy of so much more. Don’t you think so? Of course you do. Because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be asking me this question. You’re obviously taking it seriously, so kudos to you!

    The truth is that if you don’t feel that you’re ready yet, then you shouldn’t say it. “I love you” is a commitment. It takes you from dating to courting, because you see permanence in your relationship and you’re considering marriage. They may be just three words, but they say so much, right? I mean, think about what those words mean. When you say, “I love you” to your boyfriend, you’re saying, “You’re the one for me” and “I want to have a future with you.” Are you ready to say those things? Are those things true for you? Have you even had enough time together to determine whether you want to share your life with him?

    Not to scare you, but “I love you” is a life-altering statement! When you say, “I love you,” you should really mean it. Don’t just say it because you feel you should or because you’re afraid to lose him. And how will you know when you can honestly say it? When you honestly feel it!

    How much have you experienced in your two months together? Except for intimacy, you should really experience a variety of emotional scenarios. I’m sure you have shared good times, but what about bad times? You need to live through good and bad before knowing if you love someone. Why? Because if your relationship survives the bad unscathed, it builds your relationship and strengthens your desire to say the “L” word.

    Trust me, you will know when you can honestly say those words because you won’t be able to keep them in. And you won’t worry about his response because your desire to share your feelings for him will take priority. And you will know when the time is right because it will feel right.

    So, here’s what I think you should do:

    1. Don’t stress over when you should say the “L” word. Instead, focus on the relationship.
    2. Remind yourself of the characteristics and values that you are looking for in your future spouse and then compare that with your guy.
    3. Evaluate your relationship and seriously determine whether this guy could be your future husband. If he’s not, then ask yourself why you’re pursuing the relationship and going so far as to consider telling him that you love him.
    4. If you do feel permanence in your relationship, then ask yourself if you’ve experienced enough ups and downs to determine whether you two can successfully survive life’s trials together.
    5. Pray! God will guide you if you trust in Him and His plan. Ask Him to open your eyes to the truth of your relationship.

    Good luck and God bless!

    Need some advice? Ask your relationship questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!

    Ask Olivia
    Got a question about boys, your besties or God? I'm here to help! As the girl all my friends always came to for advice, I've turned my girl talk, level-headedness and love of Jesus into a job -- one I love because I was a teen not long ago, too! Click into Ask Olivia in our Girl Talk Forums to ask me a question!

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