Recently, a friend told me about a psychology class he took years ago in college. All he remembers from the whole semester is something his professor once mentioned while discussing love and relationships. He remembers him saying that the first time someone says "I love you" in a new relationship, it is not a statement, but rather a question.
Essentially, this professor was asserting that the first time someone says "I love you" to a new SO it is actually the question "Do you love me?"
Is this professor right? Or is the first "I love you" a genuine feeling that one desires to express and then does?
This got me thinking. Of course, I hope
that when someone says "I love you" for the first time it is because they truly mean it. But in the back of my mind, I do feel it is hard to quantify exactly what love is, or to know if it exists at the start of a relationship. So, what if the first use of this expression is, more often than not, an attempt to find out what's really there? Could the first declaration of love in a given relationship just be a test (likely subconscious) to see if the other person responds mutually?
Perhaps it is a combination of both possibilities. Maybe love is felt to an extent, but when one offers these words for the first time, they are also, at some subliminal level, hoping to hear it in return and therefore feel reassured. What do you think? Is the first "I love you" in a relationship more often genuine, or is it more often a subconscious question of the other person's feelings?