Did He Say "I Love You" Too Soon?

Q: I feel an amazing connection to this woman I started dating a few weeks ago. We're having a great time getting to know each other and I really see a future with her. At the end of a date recently, I slipped and said, "I love you." It wasn't planned and — of course — she didn't say it back. She didn't say anything, in fact. I'm worried I freaked her out. How do I recover from this? Do I talk to her about it or act like it never happened? — Chase, 22

Dr. Susan: Just proceed as if you hadn't said the "L" word so soon. Not everyone is ready to announce their loving feelings aloud, but it doesn't mean she didn't register what you said. Give it more time, get to know her better, talk about how you see your future (with or without her), and see how things develop. There are some women who get scared away by such early pronouncements of love, and there are some who don't mind but aren't able to reciprocate honestly. Doesn't mean it won't happen eventually.

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