Listling Without Commentary: Things We Say When We’re Not Quite Ready to Say “I Love You”

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Sometimes you just aren’t quite there yet, but maybe you want to be.

I made this with my heart.  (Via

I love your pineapple.

Things We Say When We’re Not Quite Ready to Say “I Love You”

1. I like you.

2. I heart you.

3. I miss you already.

4. You’re my favorite.

5. You’re special.

6. You make me so happy.

7. I opposite-of-hate you.

8. I really really really really like you… but not in the uncomfortable way.

9. I’m in like with you.

10. Honey, you’re just… you’re just great. Real… great.

11. If you were, like, my friend, I would totally say “I LOVE YOU” right now, but I can’t because we’re really casually dating.

12. You’re the best.

13. I super like being around you.

14. I like your face.

15. I like-like you.

16. I liiiikkkkee you.

17. I’m twitterpated with you.

18. I adore you.

19. I less than three you.

20. I made waffles.

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


    • My friend once asked me if she could borrow my head over winter break. I was kind of (completely?) in love with her. (Even though I still thought i was straight. HOW.)
      If you were talking to me your results would probably be good, is what I’m saying

  1. My best move to date is probably playing Likke Li’s “Little Bit” while they’re brushing their teeth before bed and then acting like I had nooooo clue what was happening when they got back. “Oh, this song? It’s just catchy. Don’t you like it?”

  2. Dammit Autostraddle, get out of my head! Between this and the journalling post…oh man. My life.

    Also I was totally going to go for the “I really really like you” last night but then my girlfriend and I were interrupted mid-makeout and I had to go home. Alas. I will try again next date!

  3. Back story: I was long-distance dating a guy at the time, she had just the night before broken up with her boyfriend, my colleague (how I knew her.) We were prone to long walks together, tea, reading each other our poetry, and finding every excuse to hang out all the time and I was freaking out about how hard I was falling for her without even knowing if she would ever date a woman. I’d told my boyfriend a couple months before I was having feelings for someone else and it was confusing me. She called me and we went on a walk….

    her, taking my hand: I think you’re incredible and I really like you.
    me: I really like you too!
    a little while later, still holding hands
    I really like you.
    I really like you too.
    I mean, I really really like you.
    I really really like you too.
    *dying of suspense does she mean what I think she means???* finally
    me: “When I say I like you, I mean, I think you know the way I mean.”
    her: “I do know what you mean, and that’s what I mean too.”

    It went exactly like that, except with more suspenseful hopeful declarations of like.

  4. Or “Goodbye, I love you!”

    Step on bus, realize what you said, frantically send a very long text message explaining that you didn’t really mean to drop the l-bomb and it just kind of came out and there’s really no pressure because you know you’re only casually dating and that’s totally cool and you’re still totally down with the casual thing but you just really like them and the words just kind of fell out of your mouth, you know?
    Then sweat profusely while waiting for a response text that hopefully says you can just laugh it off and be normal.

    Not that this has ever happened in real life, of course. Just hypothetically, this might be a thing that happens to a person.

  5. Send a long and complicated letter about how you don´t know what to say because “I have a crush on you” is too fifth grade and “I love you” is more possessive than you´re allowed to be considering that she has a boyfriend and so you´ll just stick with quoting WizardRock and songs from Catholic youth service.

  6. My M.O. Is to bring candy and pastries to the object of my affection. I specially recommend bringing it to her at work, so she can share it with her co-workers. That way they will like you too (why wouldn’t they? you are bringing candy!) and she will spend all day at work around people who tell her how great you are and asking her when you’re coming over again.
    Oh, chocolate croissant, I owe you so much….

  7. But, I made my friend waffles…Does this mean I’m in love with her? Am I in love with her…? She has said at least half the things on that list to me. Is she in love with me…? A conundrum. Looks like it’s time to sit down and define our relationship.

  8. “So, I know we’re not serious at all, but sometimes I feel like saying ‘I love you,’ like just automatically, and I’ve always caught it so far, but I just wanted to warn you in case I slip cause I know we decided to stay casual and it’s way too soon anyway, I just think it sometimes and I wanted to put that out there.”
    “I think it sometimes too, you know, just in natural moments like after saying goodbye or something, I don’t want to trigger your commitaphobia, but I totally know what you mean, don’t worry about it! It wouldn’t mean anything or anything, I know we’re not that serious.”
    “I mean, if you did slip and say it, I promise I wouldn’t mind…”
    *2 hours of this later*
    “I love you.”
    “I love you too!”

    This is how commitaphobic my girlfriend and I were at first. And how much processing it took to get over that. Haha

  9. Before me and my girlfriend said the big L word, she would always say stuff like “I love spending time with you” or “I love being around you” or “I love this or that about you” lol it was soooo cute ☺️

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