So you’ve started dating this really amazing guy and things seem to be going well and falling right into place – until he tells you those three, big words. What do you say?

If you’ve just gotten out of a really bad relationship or you're simply not ready to get serious with the person you’re seeing, it would be better to be honest about what you really feel instead of ignoring what he said.

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Sure, responding to a guy’s “I love you” can be difficult, but can you imagine just how much courage he had to muster up to confess to you?

Jocelyn Charnas, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Manhattan says that you have to acknowledge it nonetheless. “You have to look at it this way: If you’re going to be in a relationship with someone, you have to be able to have difficult conversations with them,” she says. 

You have to remember to make him understand why you’re not ready to say it yet (if you are indeed trying to take it slow) – of course, you wouldn’t want to say it back when you don’t really mean it, right? They also suggest that you show your appreciation since they just opened up their feelings to you. Given that you want to pursue a long-term relationship with the person you're dating, be transparent and tell him that you would reciprocate it when the right time comes.

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Better Help telehealth counselor and psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle that saying those three words should never be hurried since it can be harmful and could be a really terrible idea. 

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