Why women shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ first by Wendy Atterberry on CNN.com [PDF]

What a load of shit. All the points that she made, that same advice applies to men as well. A man can well be capableof falling in love with a woman before she’s found that same love. I’m a man, and it’s happened to me. So really, this isn’t any point to make about men or women. That she attributes this advice as skewed towards feminist/non-feminist is flawed.

The whole thing about saying “I love you”…I don’t care whether you’ve got testicles or ovaries. Here’s my take on it. And this applies to either pants or skirts.

Saying “I love you” is a leap of faith. It is a scary thing to say. It leaves you completely and entirely vulnerable. You may as well be on your back with a big gaping hole in your chest, waiting for some predator to come and tear you to pieces. It’s a big risk. Timing means everything.

For the ease of expression, we’ll use an example. Troy and Marcy have been dating for about a month or so. Unbeknownst to Marcy, Troy has fallen in love with her already. Marcy is also in love with Troy. The two are in love, but neither of them know it. They have not said those committal words to each other yet.I’m a fan of creating a solid foundation to work on. Troy’s end goal is to see if Marcy reciprocates the same love that he has for her. What should he do? He can lay the groundwork. There are lots of ways to hint that you’re in love with a person without actually saying it. “I think about you every day”, “You’re the first thought when I wake up and the last thought I have when I fall asleep”. You can express your love through your actions without ever saying it. Be caring and affectionate. Show your love. With all these indications of adeepemotional bond, it’ll make it much easier for Marcy to say, “Troy, I love you.”Be encouraging of an open dialog of emotions. It can be hard to tell someone you love them if they’re always judging what you’re saying and reacting abrasively to the emotions you’re expressing.

Create opportunities for her to say those words to you. It can be in a quiet contemplative spot in a park, when you two are holding hands. It can be when you two are sitting on a couch, cuddling (gosh I hate using that word…guess I’m still a real guy to a certain extent) while watching TV after some Chinese take-out. It can be any time, anywhere. But create those chances, those windows of romantic opportunity. In a trusting relationship that inspires a feeling of safety, it shouldn’t be long until one of you will speak those words.

Saying “I love you” is a leap, but it doesn’t have to be blind one. Of course it will always be a risk, but you can lessen the chances of failure significantly just by being romantic. Personally, I think Ms. Atterberry doesn’t know diddly about what she’s talking about. I entirely disagree with what she says. It’s not a question of who’s got a Y chromosome. It’s a matter of the dynamics in a relationship. Perhaps the guy is the one who’s more emotional. Perhaps the girl is the one who’s more focused and directed. It all depends, and it’s asinine to imply that a man’s gotta be the one to say “I love you” first because of slow-developing feelings.

Listen to me and you’ll be alright. I guarantee it. And if not, well…I’ll send you a batch of chocolate fudge brownies and a box of Kleenex. Or a condom and a couple of phone numbers of some prostitutes.

The author is always open for discussion and advice on the topic of relationships.