What’s the Worst Response to “I Love You?”

What should you do if someone declares their love for you but you are unable or unwilling to respond? There is one thing you can be sure of: You won’t spout one of these appalling replies to “I love you.” Since, yikes.

This embarrassing and unsettling topic was submitted in an AskReddit thread yesterday by CluelessSerena, and of course Reddit was prepared with a ton of answers, many of which seemed to be based from personal experience. The reasons you might not want to respond with “I love you, too” are numerous and varied (you don’t love the person, you’re unsure if you love them, you think you might love them but aren’t quite ready to say it, and so on). It goes without saying that no one is ever required to say this. There are some approaches that are preferable to others when it comes to an unreturned “I love you,” though. These answers? not those methods.

As hilariously jerky as it made him sound, I’d take “I know” over most of these responses any day. It’s common knowledge in the world of film that Harrison Ford’s improvised “I know” response to Princess Leia’s declaration of love for him just before he was frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back. Get set to cringe.

1. Reverse It

This could indicate “No, you don’t,” or it could mean “Let’s act like it never happened.” In any case, PNWTacoParty is correct: Ouch.

The Pointed Reaction

I should also mention that the person who posted this quick and uneasy comment went by the moniker “Monosyllabic.” Coincidence?

3. The Remorse

“I’m sorry” can signify a lot of different things, just like the song “Take it back,” including “I’m sorry, but I don’t love you back,” “I’m sorry you fell in love with a dirtbag like me,” and other variations. Context is crucial.

4. …

Awkward. However, there are instances when knowing what might be on the other side of that quiet is helpful.

If Wishes Were Fishes (5)


6. The Split

So at least there’s that. I suppose it’s possible to see the miscommunication as evidence that the couple needed to end their relationship. or anything.

7. I’m sorry, but nothing

It breaks my heart for you.

8. Did I Say Anything Hilarious?

Even if you truly believe it to be a joke and it comes out of left field, it’s still hurtful for both parties.

9. There Is Almost Always a “But”

This approach also ends it sooner rather than later, similar to the breakup response.

The Avril Lavigne 10.

Why do you have to make things so difficult?

11. The Replacement

She was the ex-wife, so perhaps that’s why.

12. The Misperception



For the record, there is no other acceptable response if you’re in a relationship and your spouse declares their love for you before you’re prepared to do so:

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