I Feel Like I'm Lying When I Say I Love You

IMG_4788These are statements I hear quite often in my practice: I feel like I’m lying when I say I love you to my partner. I feel like a fake, an imposter, like I’m leading him/her on. If I don’t feel love, how can I say it? And I’m not always feeling it. In fact, it seems like more often than not I’m not feeling in love, or loving feelings at all. So how can I be genuine and say I love you?

When you say I love you even when you don’t feel it you’re acting from who you really are. Yes, you are lying: You are lying to the fear-based part of you. You’re lying to the gatekeeper that wants to protect you from getting hurt… again. You’re being untruthful to your small-minded ego who is defined by its separateness and, thus, is terrified of losing itself in the oneness of real love.

But you’re honoring the deepest places of your heart: your place of truth, wisdom, softness, and open-heartedness. If you could peel away all of the layers of fear that have hardened there like a wall of tears to protect your tender heart, the “I love yous” would come pouring out on a waterfall, like the song of angels unleashed in one symphonic expression. Maybe not at first. You might not feel a rush of love, but when you act from love instead of fear you will start to notice small openings, and when you string together the small openings you will live more and more from a place of expression that feels authentic and true.

Every time you say I love you even when you don’t feel it, you’re being truthful to the part of you that does love your partner. This is how we grow love and shrink fear: by action. We take action against fear and send it the message, “I hear you but I’m not listening to you.” It’s the action itself that sends fear the appropriate message that will put it in its place. We rarely shrink fear by talking about it or arguing with it. We shrink it by walking directly into the thing that terrifies us – heights, airplanes, social situations, intimate relationships – and realizing that on the other side is love.

This mindset flies in the face of every single thing we learn about love. We’re so inundated with the belief that love is only a feeling, that when the feeling is absent we assume that we don’t really love or love enough. What we fail to learn – and this is the key sentence to brand into your mind – is that when fear enters the heart it creates a barrier that traps the feeling of love inside. The love is still there, but it’s trapped beneath the barricade of fear. Fear is the protector. Fear’s job is to prevent you from getting hurt by love. And when you learn to to shrink fear by taking loving actions that diminish its power, you unlock the prison bars and unleash love’s offerings.

We can take loving actions every single day that shrink fear and grow the part of your heart that longs to give and receive love. Would it help to know what those loving actions are? Would it help to have the roadmap that would offer you the exact Love Laws and Loving Actions you need to shrink fear and grow love? I would love to share this roadmap with you and guide you on an exciting journey to this end. Once you have this information, the work then is to practice it for the rest of your life. We don’t miraculously heal in thirty days, but we can certainly break ground and create a new foundation on which healthy habits can take hold. We plant the seeds together over thirty days, and then you commit to watering them, day by day, for the rest of your life. This is how we grow a love garden.

This is the last week to sign up for my fifth round of Open Your Heart: A 30-day program to feel more love and attraction for your partner. The program begins on Saturday, and I look forward to seeing you there.

29 comments to I Feel Like I’m Lying When I Say I Love You

  • katie

    sheryl, i’m almost convinced i have relationship anxiety.
    i used to get worried when i didn’t have “loving feelings” but lately because i haven’t been getting worried over not loving him i worry that it’s not relationship anxiety and i actually DON’T love him. this all started after the honeymoon phase ended. i noticed one night that i didn’t feel anything when we kissed, which lead to me checking my feelings constantly since then. we work together so we’re very comfortable with eachother. i’ve known him for 3 years and have been dating 7 months. i know deep down it’s just because the infatuation is over but i still can’t shake this 🙁 i want to love him so much because he is so right for me. so why do i feel like this?

  • Stella

    Beautifully written Sheryl, thank you. Saturday cannot come soon enough!

  • dana

    Awesome reminder that love is not a feeling mostly, its an action and choice.. thank you a lot!!

  • Angela

    Hi Sheryl, love it and I understand it. Patience is the key to abolish fear. Love will kick fear out the door. I’ve done it courageously. Love is scary it’s being vulnerable to another person for the rest of your life. I am now ready to be vulnerable and love the man who I deserve my husband. And he deserves me as I am. Xx

  • Barb

    Great article. It seems so simple but nice to have it confirmed. When I don’t feel “in love” I think of the hundreds of great qualities my husband has and the things he does to show me he loves me and I can’t help but know for sure that I love him too.

  • Bettina

    ……If you could peel away all of the layers of fear that have hardened there like a wall of tears to protect your tender heart, the “I love yous” would come pouring out on a waterfall, like the song of angels unleashed in one symphonic expression…

    what a wonderful sentence, as the whole article is just touching! Thank you again, Sheryl!

  • Nikki

    A brilliant post as usual, Sheryl, thank you. Another way to think about this that may be helpful is that when we say “I love you,” we are reminding our egos and fear-based parts of ourselves of the truth, rather than lying to them. For me this helps greatly because it is actually my fear that lies when it tries to keep me separate from the love that I know I truly feel. It may be buried sometimes under my inner critic and that part of me that’s scared to stay in this thing and keep taking risks, but the saying of “I love you” reminds my whole self that it’s in there. At the root. In the center. In that part of myself (and i’d be willing to bet- all of us here) where when I get quiet and still my mind, there is a deep well of pure love for my partner. Keep saying “I love you” as a way to stay connected to your real truth.

  • Myjanne

    Wow, it never fails to astound me that the topic in each of your articles/emails always seem to come just at the right time for me. It was only last night my partner asked me if I thought I wanted to get married to him and inside I was screaming I DON’T KNOW?!, but I managed to say yes, because I know deep down it is what I really want, I’m just so scared by the whole idea. Thank you Sheryl, your work and words mean more than you know to so many people.

  • Nat

    Hi Sheryl! I found your website back in October and it has truly been such a blessing to know I’m not alone in this situation with relationship anxiety. I have dealt with different anxieties since I was young but only my family really knew about it (the people I was closest too) and I was wondering and hoping that you could possibly talk or lead me to an older post about how relationship anxiety affects not only our relationships but our partners too. My partner has always been aware and very supportive that I’m a more worrisome person but once my anxiety spiraled out of control in a way I haven’t felt before I was completely terrified and I have some guilt over the projections and some of the ways I have handled my anxiety in regards to the people I love and am closest too. I am definitely the kind of person who feels an extreme sense of urgency when I get anxious and I like to talk about things. It’s hard for me to hold things in for very long when I’m anxious and I create a lot of negative assumptions and emotions in my head that I wish I didn’t but it just comes over me making me feel like I have no control. I know I have projected a lot of my negative emotions onto my partner and that of course was hard for him. I also struggle with anger and irritation coming out of my anxiety (it was that way too when I was young) and it’s hard not to show those feelings, but of course when you say things out of anger it doesn’t always end well. I just would really like to maybe get some advice and insight on what this is like from my partners view. I care very deeply about him and really want to overcome my anxiety not only for myself but also for him and for us.

  • Ashley

    Like many of you, I too am struggling with anxiety about my relationship, mainly since my engagement started. Even after all that I’ve read on this site, I still have a voice in my head saying, “What if you really shouldn’t be with your loving partner? What if you too aren’t compatible enough? You are too young to make this decision. What if we grow apart?”

  • Mae

    I used to think there was something wrong with me because my last partner didn’t tell me he loved me. Later on I realised there was something right with me for being willing to keep opening to the love I felt. When I let go of the story that ‘he didnt love me’, I realised that the only thing for sure that I knew was that I loved him, and that our relationship was not healthy for me. I left and I didn’t have to stop loving him. I just had to drop the story that he should love me, and then I could see things as they really were. I can’t believe now that I really thought if I could be different, look different, behave differently, then he would ‘love’ me. I guess a lot of people feel this way. But his ability to love me, his definition of love, his internal barriers to love, are all his own and nothing at all to do with me.

    The only thing I have any control over is my own connection to love. When I was with him I thought there was something wrong with me for thinking love was more than a feeling you get with one person. He was so in love with that story, and I was so in love with him. But I am proud now that I know love in myself. I have a great relationship with love and I look forward to meeting a man that also does.

  • Amaryllis

    I agree with some of the others; your article always arrive at the perfect time Sheryl. For that, I am and will always be thankful.

    I have not been able to say, “I love you” to my current boyfriend since I ended my previous relationship. I have not been able to figure out why but now your article sheds so much light on the issue. Thank you, thank you Sheryl for the much needed reminder!

  • Regina


    Notice the first letter of each line. FEAR. I saw this and thought of everything you talk about Sheryl. The insight you provide through your posts and e-course (which is amazing!) explains this idea to a T! From someone who has struggled with relationship anxiety, I can’t recommend enough your words of wisdom. And to anyone reading this, Sheryl always seems to post about the exact struggles you’re experiencing, at the exact time! In a relationship, everyday isn’t perfect.
    But if you practice accepting the fear you are experiencing, you will realize that no relationship is perfect everyday and that is 100% okay! I’m getting married in 3 months, and after experiencing a strong wave of anxiety and depression following my engagement, I decided to enroll in Sheryl’s e-course. It has changed the way I give and receive love and I feel so happy, ready, and secure going into my marriage.

  • Candee

    Sheryl,I am interested in taking your 30-day Open Your Heart program. I am leaving for a vacation however on 2/26. Will this make me miss the last few days of the session? I read your January 25 blog and began crying immediately. It was ME to a tee and it’s been happening over and over throughout the years since I was divorced at 30 from an abusive relationship. I look forward to hearing from you. Blessings, Candee Lovell

  • Lea

    Sheryl, I’ll sign up for the e-course any day soon, but meanwhile I think my situation is getting worse. I’m so scared that I’ve even convinced myself that it’s better to leave. I have no courage to see my friends because all they talk about is my upcoming wedding and I have an ugly premonition that we won’t get to that point. This weekend he and his parents are coming to officially ask my parents for permission to marry me. I just want to run away somewhere because I don’t want to do it. It is scary. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready. Anyone , please write me and please share your experiences because I’m starting to believe that maybe I’m just convincing myself that I love him.

    • Jessica

      Lea, I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. Please know that you’re not alone. I broke up with my boyfriend a little over a month ago and I’m not sure if Relationship Anxiety is the cause or not but we met up on Monday for the first time and everything was amazing. Basically I’ve opened the door to try again and now have his hopes up but after spending the night with him last night all of my intrusive thoughts and anxiety are back. It’s such a miserable feeling. I hope you get the answers that you need.

  • Lea

    Thanks Jessica, I really appreciate your response and YES, it is miserable to feel this fear and terror every day. I just can’t see anything clear, should I stay or should I go? People say all the time: well if you are 100% sure that you love him than there’s no reason to feel fear. So it is up to me to decide. I just can’t …… 🙁

  • Louise

    I have those moments where love pours out, but so much other time is filled with anxiety. It’s a horrible cycle. I get anxious, I try control my external surroundings, I frustrate my partner, I feel guilty, I feel hurt and in the end I feel exhausted. I find it comforting having those moments of love then BAM anxiety and it jus all seems like such hard work and it seems like there is no way out. But I hold on. I keep working. I just want to see some light. It’s just all so hard

  • Angela

    Hi Louise,
    I’ve been where you are now. It’s taken me 2 years to get to where I am now. I do still have anxiety but not everyday, believe me the days will become less and you will get better with time, providing you sit with the hard feelings and not fall prey to the ego mind which is telling you to run and question your feelings about your relationship. Keep going as you will never regret moving forward. I’m proof Sheryl is proof as so many other people on this blog. You can do it!!

  • Louise

    Thanks so much Angela, support and hope in the midst of it all is so welcomed. It’s tough to handle when people don’t understand. It’s just nice to know I’m not alone. Sheryl’s blog and everyone who comments helps me feel less alone. Thank u again for taking the time to reply xx

  • Hope

    Your blogs always comfort me so much. I still have bad days and question things when everything doesn’t seem perfect- but life can’t be perfect everyday and I always remind myself of this. I also have times where I feel so content and happy that it all seems worth it. I’m still on my journey but I am so so glad I didn’t run when these feelings initially kicked in hard. I feel proud that I saw the initial panic out and have made it to here. Thank you Sheryl!

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