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What to say when: He says ‘I Love You’

Jonathan Ellis is a freelance writer and web developer living in Texas with his wife and three children. Jonathan writes about everything from technology to fantasy sports.

How to react to those three little words

One of the most important moments in a relationship is the 'I love you' milestone. For men especially, this moment can take time to reach. And honestly, it can be a difficult decision because while we may love you, we might not love the added responsibilities automatically invoked once those three little words are uttered.

Couple in embrace

What to say when he says 'I Love You'

Preferably, all men want to hear in return is "I love you, too" -- that's it. After that, just savor the moment that you will both remember for all of eternity (or at least until your next relationship).

However, if you don't know whether the love is mutual, don't lie to us. Explain what you are feeling -- this is one of the few times men really do care to hear every last detail. Lay all the cards out on the table. We might get mildly upset, but we'll also be relieved to know where we stand.

What to do when he says 'I Love You'

The most important thing you can do is to assess the situation. If he's telling you that he loves you to try to get you into bed or while in the throws of passion, that doesn't count. It's only valid if sex isn't involved.

Being excited, planting a big kiss and calling your best friend are all acceptable responses. We understand that this is a big deal in the relationship. And if you want to go cook a big celebratory dinner, we won't turn down the fork.

What to avoid when he says 'I Love You'

Don't go overboard. Even if we mean it, saying those three little words doesn't give you carte blanche to start planning the wedding and naming the children. Crying is also a bad move. We can't tell if you are crying because you're upset, happy or secretly in love with someone else. Spare us the confusion.

Don't say, "I love you, too" if you don't mean it. People don't always fall in love (or admit they've fallen in love) at the same time. Just because you aren't ready yet doesn't mean the relationship won't survive.

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