<insert scratching disk here>
Whoa there! Where did that come from? It beats me, but what do you say in reply if you don’t feel the same? That is a great question. Next question please.
No one will really be happy that you don’t love them back or they said it first only to get shut down, but I would be happy if someone told me if they are close to loving me, don’t see it happening, we are on two different paths, or whatever. This way I will know where we stand and how you feel about me. If you have deep feelings for this person, but it just isn’t love yet, say something like “I do care for you and like you, but I don’t want to say I love you just because you said it to me. I’d rather say it when I feel it in my own time.” It would be nice to include if you feel you are close to that loving them or want to take things slower. If you are just not on the same path then be gentle, they are already feeling some kind of way because you didn’t say it back. Something like, “I appreciate your feelings toward me, but it’s just not what I’m going for right now.” They may ask you to elaborate as far as what you want at this time, but I think that can be said harmlessly since you have the “I don’t love you” out of the way.
This can come up during any time of the year, but you know holidays can have an emotional affect on some people. You might want to avoid any mistletoes and try to dance into the new year just to dodge the kiss and the unexpected sentence that may follow.
All the best,