There are some who say the three words readily and some of us who hesitate. There are some who confuse lust with love, and there are some of us who confuse love with “butterflies.” There are some who say it to everyone without any thought and some who never say it at all.

Dropping the L bomb is not something I’ve ever done readily, so I’m always surprised when, after just a couple months of dating, a guy will tell me he’s falling in love with me. That statement sends such a feeling of – how can I describe it? – security, assuredness, and finding my fate that it can be hard to keep my head on straight and realize that he’s saying it a little early in the relationship.

Do men say the three words many women want to hear because they think it will get her into bed with them? Do they really share their feelings and put it all out there so readily? Are they really confusing lust with love? My last thought, and definitely the one I give the least amount of weight to, is are they really falling in love with me?

The first time I told someone I was in love with them was after eight months of dating. Thank goodness, he reciprocated the sentiment. Ten years later, when someone told me they were falling in love with me after two months, I did not reciprocate. When I finally felt comfortable enough to say it after just three months, he broke up with me a week later and completely crushed me. What happened to he was “falling in love” with me? What happened to my security and my happily ever after?

Another ten years later, another guy told me he was falling in love with me after just two months of dating. This time, I didn’t return the sentiment, again, because I just wasn’t there yet. Fortunately, I never got there because he turned out to have a lot of issues that they explore in Lifetime movies.

More recently, another guy has told me he “could” fall in love with me. “Could” being the operative word there that I choose to focus on. What does that mean? “Could” if I sleep with him? “Could” if I spend more time with him? “Could” if I run for President?

So I have to wonder, do these men who say they love me so readily just not know what it means to be in love with someone? Are they really that manipulative? Do they not know what it means to love someone for what’s inside and not what they see on the outside?

The older I get, the less often I find myself dropping the L bomb. Maybe it’s because of my past experiences, or maybe it’s because I don’t meet men that make me feel that way. Maybe you only get one shot, and I just haven’t found it yet. Maybe I got the shot and messed it up.

Regardless, I’d advise you to beware the person who says those three words too readily. For me, things have never gone very far with guys who tell me they love me in the first few months of dating. Getting to know someone and falling in love takes time. That other thing you feel in the beginning of a relationship, that’s not love, baby.

Happy dating!

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