It's New Year's Eve. You and your new bae are counting down until midnight. The ball drops. Everyone is cheering. You both kiss. He stares into your eyes and he says those three magical words, "I love you." Now your mouth has dropped. Panic has set in. Do you run away? Pass out? Fake your death? You really like him, but you don't love him.
Here are 10 things to say to your S.O. if they dropped the "L" word, but you're just not there yet:
1. "I'm falling for you, too."
The famous line used millions of times throughout Bachelor history. "I'm falling for you," isn't technically saying you love them, but it also shows that you're on the right track to possibly love that person eventually.
This one is a good one if you don't actually think the person loves you. Say it has been two weeks and the guy doesn't even know your middle name. Asking this question might seem insulting at first, but maybe after some thought, the person will realize they were acting on passion instead of genuine love.
3. "I like you a lot, too."
(Ew. I don't miss his greasy, pizza-eating sweaty face.)
I mean, is there really a right thing to say when you don't love a person back? At least they'll know you're still interested.
4. "No you don't."
So this is one you would use if the person literally knows nothing about you. I had a guy profess his love to me, but he hardly knew me. I hadn't even been on the date with the guy. I literally had to say this. Sometimes people think they love a person when in reality they're just infatuated. Infatuation and love can easily be confused, especially if you've never experienced real love before.
5. "Prove it."
When someone drops the "L" word to get out of trouble you bet your bottom dollar I am not saying it back. Actions speak louder than words. Don't waste an "I love you" on a person who is all talk and no walk.
6. Make out with them
Body language. It will take you far. Your S.O. will be left confused on whether or not you love them back, but at least they know you're still about it.
7. "That makes me so happy."
Be appreciative. This person just laid it all out there. Someone loves you. That is always a good feeling. Don't forget to at least let them know how much you care, too.
8. "I am so lucky to have you."
You can't force yourself to love a person, but you can recognize how great of a person they are. If you aren't ready to say the "L" word back, but you are aware of how lucky you are to have that special someone in your life, THEN TELL THEM THAT. It isn't "I love you," but it still shows you know how great of a catch they are.
9. "How much?"
If you say this flirty enough you might just get away with not saying it back. Hopefully, he will be so distracted by your playful manner he won't even notice you didn't say I love you back.
10. "I know."
If he doesn't get it, break up with him. Just kidding. Pull a Han Solo. You might be going solo to your next date party, but at least you have a good story.
All in all, it is important to just be true to yourself. If you aren't ready to say I love you, don't feel bad. Everyone has their own timing. The best thing you can do is be honest. Your S.O. might feel heartbroken initially, but when you do finally say those three words, your person will know without a doubt you mean it.