Fear of rejection is common when telling a man that you love him. Actual rejection is a possibility, and your fear may be increased due to the significance of this man in your life, advises psychologist Tom G. Stevens in an article "Beyond Fear of Rejection and Loneliness to Self-Confidence," for California State University Bakerfield Counseling Center. It's not easy to open yourself up to someone, but doing so may greatly enrich your life, no matter how he reacts.
Create Your Own Happiness
If you depend too much on other people for happiness, your fear of rejection may be heightened. Take responsibility for your happiness by incorporating things that make you feel happy into your daily life, suggests licensed clinical psychologist Russell Grieger in the article "Happiness on Purpose," for "Psychology Today." This may be listening to a favorite song, reading an inspirational poem or spending time with a friend who makes you feel loved and valued. Appreciate the positive things in your life, says Paula Tursi, founder of "Reflections Yoga," in the article "Creating Your Own Happiness," for Huffington Post. Make a list of things that are going well in your life, and another of the ways in which you feel loved by others. If you go into your conversation with the man you love with a greater sense of appreciation, positivity and happiness, you will be better equipped to handle rejection.
After you've said "I love you," to a man, you can't take it back. Before you blurt out your feelings, consider how the man is likely to react, and make sure you are able to cope with a less than positive response. Prepare yourself for feelings of extreme sadness, confusion, loneliness and vulnerability, advises sexual health educator Debby Herbenick in the article "Unrequited Love: When the One You Want Doesn't Want You Back," for "Psychology Today." Don't be scared of those feelings. Having the courage to be vulnerable can lead to higher self-esteem, says psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar in his book "Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create Your Own Road to Happiness." By allowing yourself to be vulnerable to express your love for a man, you are revealing your true self, which may lead to greater joy and happiness, reveals Ben-Shahar.
Give Your Love Unconditionally
It's natural to hope that when you tell a man you love him, he will immediately say it back to you. However, focusing on how he feels may lead to anxiety, warns Stevens. Tell yourself that you are giving this man a wonderful gift, but that he has the freedom to do whatever he wants with it. Feel good about giving him this gift, even if he doesn't reciprocate. If the man doesn't share your feelings of love, you have still given yourself the gift of separating those who are right for you from those who are not, says Stevens.
Find the Right Words
Nothing says "I love you" more clearly than those exact words. However, if you don't feel able to say it, you can still leave a man in no doubt of your feelings for him. In the article "25 Romantic Ways to Say I Love You," authors of "The Intimate Couple," Jim and Carrie Gordon, who have been happily married for over 30 years, suggest several alternatives. For example, "You take my breath away," "You are my one and only," "I adore you," "You stir my soul," and "I'm head over heels for you," are all perfect ways to express yourself to your loved one. Choose something that you feel comfortable saying.
- Psychology Today: Unrequited Love and Lust -- When the One You Want Doesn't Want You Back
- YourTango: 25 Romantic Ways to Say "I Love You"
- California State University Bakerfield Counseling Center: Beyond Fear of Rejection and Loneliness to Self-Confidence
- Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create Your Own Road to Happiness; Tal Ben-Shahar
- Huffington Post: Creating Your Own Happiness
- Psychology Today: Happiness on Purpose
- MM Productions/Lifesize/Getty Images