“when I knew it was right to say ‘i love you’” three little words. So much meaning. All kinds of pressure! Here, men reveal when the gooey feelings got too much and they just had to speak out. By Sasha Gonzales
“We’d just been intimate for the first time. She was lying next to me, about to fall asleep, when I whispered it in her ear. I felt really close to her at that moment and the words just came out.” – Mark*, 41, writer
Photo Jutta Klee/Ableimages/Corbis
“I told my partner about two months after we started dating. I was down with the flu and she took care of me for an entire week. Her kindness really touched me, and I knew then that she needed to hear what I truly felt.” – Jase Chua, 32, accountant.
“We were watching television together when she started laughing uncontrollably about something funny on screen. She looked so beautiful that I felt compelled to say those three words to her.” – Ben Koh, 28, business student
“My girlfriend actually beat me to it. We were celebrating three months together when she told me she loved me. I told her I loved her too, and that I’d been afraid to say it sooner.” – Marcus Ang, 25, graduate student
“I’d been watching my girlfriend of one month in deep conversation with my mother. Just looking at Marie giving my mum that much attention and respect opened up something in me. I told her I loved her later that evening.” – Raymond Lee, 29, civil servant
“We had an argument on our fourth date because I told her that I wasn’t sure what I wanted with her. She walked out on me and I chased her down the street to apologise. I said that I loved her, but that I was afraid of getting hurt and that I needed her to be patient. She understood, and we’re still together, so I feel I was right to be honest.” – Johari*, 33, communications manager
“Laura* and I were walking through the Botanic Gardens and talking about the future. She asked me if I could see us being together years from now, and I replied: ‘Of course, why wouldn’t I? I love you.’ I wasn’t planning on saying it that soon because we’d only been dating for three weeks, but that afternoon, it felt perfect.” –Chris Anthony, 34, teacher
Photo Jutta Klee/Ableimages/Corbis
“I told Stacey* that I loved her on our first date! I’d loved her quietly for years, so when she finally agreed to go out with me, I was over the moon. Unfortunately, she didn’t say ‘I love you’ back right away – she thought it was too soon – but the timing felt right to me.” – Ramesh Paul, 32,sales director
“My girlfriend was at the airport, about to leave Singapore for a month-long work trip. I didn’t want her to go, and I knew I’d miss her beyond words. We’d only been dating three weeks, but I knew I had to say what was in my heart.” – Peter Chua, 38, business manager
“She’d just given me this incredibly sexy kiss which lasted at least a couple of minutes. It stirred up some crazy emotions in me, and that’s when I blurted out ‘I love you’.” – Michael*, 25, graduate student
“We were slow dancing at a mutual friend’s wedding when I told Julia that I loved her. The setting was romantic, she looked gorgeous, we had our arms around each other, and we were staring into each other’s eyes. We’d been dating for nearly two months and I figured it was about time she knew what I felt.” – Shawn*, 35, army officer
“The woman I was dating for a few weeks told me she was unsure about being in a relationship with me. I didn’t want to lose her because I was in love with her, and I told her so. That was enough to make her stay.” – Steven Perera, 37, self-employed
*Not their real names.