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.
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.
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.
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