When and how to tell someone you love them

PERFECTION asks: Right now I have this never ending urge, to let this girl I love feel I truly love her, to let her know I am here for her. Sometimes I think am I pushing things too fast. But I can’t stop my feelings from growing and showing my love to her. Is it normal to feel that way? And would it be a good idea if I were to tell her today or someday that “I love her,” or should I just let my actions speak for themselves?



This is one of those issues where we dogs just have to roll our eyes a bit, and remember that we love you humans.  Because we just don’t get it!  We jump on people and dogs we’ve just met and shower them with love, and let them know that we’re crazy about them – at least for that second – and don’t know how to be any other way.


And we always like being told that we’re loved too!  Even dogs who’ve been abused, and can’t have people run up and hug them, love getting that love in milder ways (like kind words or treats!).


But you guys are different.  Humans can get scared from someone saying they love you, and feel pressured or misunderstood.  So your question is legitimate and smart.  And very hard to answer.


Because the answer is all about HER.  Just as I love getting hugs at first sight, and my friend Aria screams in terror if someone tries that, I don’t know what this wonderful lady tolerates or hopes for.


So I think your job is to find out more about her.  Have you ever asked her what her favorite movies are, or books?  Maybe there’s an answer in there.  What about songs?  Some humans are attracted to bold expressions of passion, and others want to be approached gently.


And of course I don’t know exactly how she feels about you – though from what you’ve told me, she has sure stayed in contact with you a lot, which is a very good sign!


And if that keeps up, at some point, you’re just going to have  to tell her.  And find out, from that, how she’ll react to it.  Does she exclaim “What took you so long?!  I’ve been waiting to hear those words from you forever!”  Or does she nervously step back, with fear in her eyes?  Or does she haughtily state “How dare you, you little fleabag, think you have the right to love me?!”


Well, if it’s the latter, then forget her, she’s not worthy of you!


But the first two?  Either is possible.


So, when the time comes, you’re going to have to do the hardest thing I could possibly suggest.  To let her know without worrying about the result.


When you write me a question, do you hesitate, thinking “I don’t know what mood Shirelle’s in.  Maybe she can’t get to it for a few days.  Maybe she has to get a flea bath.”  Probably not, right?  No, you just put it out there and see what my response is, whenever it comes.


Well, as much as possible, that’s what I want you to do with her.  Because that’s the way you’re going to be able to really focus on what matters, which is letting her know.  Regardless of how she reacts, regardless of whether she wants to hear it, to just let her know because you need her to know.  For your own sake.


Then how she reacts will be just… up to her.  As it should be.  And at that point you should TOTALLY pay attention, and respect her feelings – good or bad.


But in the meantime, while you try to learn more about her, which will tell you how to go about telling her (in the way she’d most like), I have three assignments for you.  Three songs that Handsome says you should listen to.  All of them just wonderful.


First, “A Lover’s Question,” by Clyde McPhatter.  That’s where you are now.  Wondering how she feels, and how to find out.


Second, “If I Keep My Heart Out of Sight,” by James Taylor.  That’s where you need to go next – learning about her, figuring out what best to do, while playing it cool (as we dogs NEVER do) and giving her time.


And third, “Make You Feel My Love,” by Bob Dylan (though it’s been recorded by tons of other people as well).  That’s what I want you to really focus on, eventually.  That your goal is to make her, or let her, feel your love, in the best, most empowering way possible.  “I could make you happy, make your dreams come true,” he sings.   Isn’t that what you want her to hear, and feel?


Honestly, I can’t imagine she’ll be all that surprised, given how attentive you’ve been to her for all this time.  But I do want her to feel loved in the way she most needs.  And I sure hope she returns it with the love that you need, and SOOOOO deserve!


ALL my best wishes on this!


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