Dear Ms. Q,
I’ve been seeing this great guy for a couple of months. We’ve had some great times together. He’s fun, romantic, and he treats me very well. The other night after the best and most romantic sex ever, I told him that I loved him. It just felt right and I felt it was the right time.
So what did he tell me? “I haven’t decided how I feel about you.”
I was crushed. He didn’t say anything else. I got dressed, left, and went home.
It’s been three days. I’ve been in a funk ever since and he hasn’t called. Even though I called it as I saw it and he might not see it the same way, I think I deserve an apology for his asshat response. It’s not like we’re kids. He’s 52.
Am I overreacting? Should I call him to try to clear the air?
What you did was a brave thing. The “L” word is such a big thing to say for the first time and it was very mature of you to know there was a risk in telling him. But to be told, “I haven’t decided how I feel about you?” “Asshat” doesn’t even begin to describe what he said to you.
In my opinion the word “love” is more of a loaded word than it should be. Some people can identify when it’s the beginning of something great or could be great very early on in a relationship. Others equate saying “I love you,” as a monumental, definitive and permanent as “Marry me,” or “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
I have my parameters of knowing when it’s right and comfortable to say the “L” word. Generally, three months is a good landmark to decide whether or not I want to move forward with a relationship … to reserve my weekends for time with a guy, to safely refer to him as “my boyfriend,” to know that he’s the kind of person I want to have in my life.
I don’t know what standards this guy has for admitting that he’s in love. If he’s having sex with you, there’s a reasonable expectation that he should have some feelings for you. Even if he was unprepared to hear those three words from you or he wasn’t ready to reciprocate a mutual response, he could have been a lot classier about explaining himself. The fact that he hasn’t done the right thing by acknowledging that he hurt you, unintentionally or not, and hasn’t apologized doesn’t say much about his character. Maybe this is the first you’re seeing of his true self, the self that emerges when the stars fade from his eyes.
Give him a few more days. Don’t call him; let him call you. Apologizing takes a whole lot of bravery. If he can’t handle the responsibility for making things right, then let him go. You deserve a better person in your life. If he comes back with hat in hand, forgive him, move forward, and enjoy him.