Ugh, this is always a tough one. This constantly happens to me but it’s because I always say it on the first date.

Is that a bad idea? I kid, I kid…

But it is always a bummer when you drop those three sacred words and you don’t hear them back. Or when someone says it to you and you just don’t feel the same way.

AskReddit users reveal what happened to them.

1. Great idea.

“Let’s get something to eat.”

Source: George Costanza.”

2. That’s one way to do it.

“According to my ex you say you’re not there yet but I really really like you and I want to see where this goes and then completely disappear a week later ?”

3. Might work?

“You can go the Eric Forman route and hit them with ‘I love cake’.”

4. On the same page.

“We’re reading the same book, you’re just a couple chapters ahead.”

That’s what my husband said to me years ago when I blurted out my love for him a couple months into dating ?

Guess he was right, though.”

5. I guess it worked.

“My now husband said “you’re aces!” as a joke for FOUR YEARS before he told me he loved me. And I married that jerk.”

6. Twenty minutes later…

“I know one time I took twenty minutes and responded I love you too because I liked the person and was afraid the relationship would end if I didn’t say it back.

Then added sorry it took me so long to respond I was eating a Pop Tart.”

7. Not there yet.

“My current boyfriend and I ran into this problem.

He was ready to say it after a couple weeks and so he said “I think I love you.”

And I said “I’m not there yet.”

He asked if he could say it anyway and I said yes.

For weeks he would say “I love you!” and I would say “Mhm!'”

8. Be patient.

“I told my boyfriend I’m not worried that he’s not ready to say it back yet, because I know I’ll see the day when he is.

I want him to say it when it feels as natural as saying hello or goodbye. At the point when the words will tumble out of his mouth, when not saying it would feel wrong. I don’t want to hear it if he’s not 100% ready.

I’m not worried, because every single one of his actions and every aspect of his personality radiates care, love and trust. He’s already told me he loves me, even if I haven’t heard the words. I’m completely confident that it’s not an issue of insecurity or lack of love. It’s just not time yet. And that’s more than OK. Until then, I’ll keep enjoying every ounce of time he and I spend together.

So if you’re not ready to say “I love you” yet, or your partner isn’t, try not to let it detract from all the special moments between the two of you. Let those moments speak love, and the words will follow in their own time. Be confident and be patient.”

9. Made a correction.

“First time I told my wife, she said “That’s really sweet.”

I was shocked.

I walked away in shame, but she grabbed my arm and said “I just f*cked that up…what I meant was that I am so in love with you it hurts.””

10. You know when it’s real.

“Yep, this. I said “I love you” she said, “I’m not ready to say it back yet, and I don’t want it to be just a response to you saying it.”

I went from “Huh?” to, “That’s cool!” in about three seconds.

When she did say it, goosebumps….because she meant it.

When you meet someone that in touch with their feelings, and confident enough to do that, you know it’s real.

So, I married her, best move I ever made!”

11. Said it eventually.

“I get to tell this story!

I believe it was about a month into our relationship. It was the day before my birthday and we went to her fathers house. He had recently passed so she was cleaning the place up to sell.

Anyway, that night, we ended up having s*x. Yeah, I thought it a bit odd that we were banging on her dads bed but we were young and a new couple, so I went with it.

After things were said and done, we cuddled and talked about life. Then, there was silence and she looked me in the eyes. She said that I probably won’t believe her but she loves me.

My response was “Real slick timing to say that after we f*ck. Didn’t know I was that good”

She laughed and I told her that I couldn’t say it back but that I cared about her a lot. Three weeks later, I said it.”

12. Gotta be honest.

“A week after meeting my boyfriend when I was 18 and he was 21, he confessed he had fallen in love with me, I was not feeling that same way and I said “Wow, I never expected you to have such strong feelings for me so fast and thats okay!

“But I am not feeling that way for you right now!”

He wasn’t mad, maybe embarrassed but we have been married for 10 years in October and together for 13 🙂 It is OKAY to not have the same feelings right when the other person does!”

13. Don’t overthink it.

“My current significant other and I recently dealt with this and I thought she did it very well. I told her I loved her and she said “I know” all cocky.

She’s a fan of Star Wars and I got the joke so I laughed.

Then she told me she’s sorry she’s not ready to say it back.

That’s honestly the best way.

It stopped me from overthinking it and it allowed us to have a conversation about it and I could tell her I didn’t ever want her to say “I love you too” in response.

Just say it when/if she wants to say it.

Then I told her I was jealous that since I said it first she got to now use the cool “I know” line whenever I said I love you.”

14. Text you later!

“This happened to me. i was leaving her house and she said “bye handsome! i love you”

And i said “haaa, text you when i get home.”

Felt pretty bad.”

15. It took a month.

“My husband said I love you first and I was so shocked I said “thank you!” lol.

A month later I said it back but man I still feel bad, he looked so sad when I didn’t say it back right away but he was so patient with me.”

I hope this doesn’t happen again…until my next first date…

Am I kidding? AM I?!?!?

Okay, enough about me… has this ever happened to you on either end of the equation? Tell us what happened in the comments!