sorry for the cheezy subject, i just couldn't think of a better one.
so yeah, my boyfriend said 'i love you' for the first time last week, and i said it back, because i do, and was really really happy about it for the rest of the night. we've said it to eachother since then as well, and i haven't told him, but since the day after i've been kinda freaking out. i know that i love him, that's not the issue, but basically i'm kinda terrified by the prospect of being loved that much by somebody else. now that he's said it, i've started to worry that he's going to regret it, and i also freak out because i've always felt like anyone who really knew me couldn't possibley love me, and so now i'm starting to feel as if maybe he doesn't really know me......? also, and i know this is stupid, but i've always had this thing where i really can't believe that any guy really genuinely cares about ME... i always get all paranoid that it''s just a physical sexual thing. so now i'm alternating between feeling very detatched and fatalistic, and feeling extremely anxious and clingy... and i don't know what to do about it! i know where a lot of this comes from... i've had a lot of very traumatic experiences growing up with my family and with other guys... but i don't want any of that to ruin what should just be this really wonderful thing for me. i guess i feel like maybe i just can't handle being loved... or maybe like i don't deserve to be....? ugh, i know i'm being ridiculous, but i can't seem to help it. what should i do to get over feeling this way??
I think the trauma you're describing will probably dictate how you react to this situation. Under normal operating circumstances, I'd suggest you stop overthinking things. It's obvious that this person likes you, so why mess with a good thing? But admittedly, I know very little about how therapists help people get through traumatic experiences, so if what you are speaking of was that bad, I'd suggest you seek counseling for it to get better answers.
But assuming that you're like a lot of us, and are just wary of how the word "love" will alter the balance of a relationship, I'd go back to the advice about keeping your mind in check. It's common for our psyches to go absolutely nutty when a new wrinkle is added to a situation. That is why the words "I love you" can create issues, and it's also why we're so big about making sure one is ready for sexual contact before it is initiated.
Things aren't going to get better until you wade in a bit though. Right now you're in that cusp where the words have been said and you're waiting to see what will happen next. Quit waiting for that other shoe to drop. Instead, move forward with it, accept the fact that he likes you for a variety of reasons, and see where that gets you. It may not be perfect advice, but it is practical and has been tried countless times before. Why don't you give that a shot and let us know how it goes? Good luck!
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