The phrase "I love you" is a problem. It is our deepest expression of affection, but it is also a trap. Once it's out there, the clock starts ticking for the "I love you too," or the relationship will choke on the words like a toddler eating a steak.

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You could just say it back without meaning it, but that's a hard one to keep up unless you're a complete sociopath. Giving an alternate response could buy you some time before being shot straight to the center of commitment town. It's a risky play, but here are seven alt responses to "I love you," ranked from best to worst.

1. "Ditto."

Swayze was kind of a douche for saying this, but it is the closest thing to what they want to hear, and worked well enough to hold on to a dime like Demi Moore.

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2. "Thank you."

When Emily said it to Ross it sucked, but that's cause she was always kind of a bitch. You're not a bitch, right? Saying thank you at least acknowledges and accepts the love. Look them in the eyes when you say it and follow immediately with sex.

3. "You're not too bad, yourself."

This MIGHT work if you treat the whole situation casual as hell, as though they said, "You bought the tickets ahead of time? I love you!"

4. "Why?"

Distract distract distract. You could turn the convo by the time they're done answering questions, and maybe your insecurity will make them rethink the whole thing.

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5. "I know."

If you're confident enough to say this with a smile, that's probably why they love you to begin with. Even though you're an asshole.

6. "I'm sorry (ha ha ha)!"

Hey, you're self deprecating! And for that reason it is both a joke and a sincere apology. It's the wink of responses.

7. "Shit."

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For Rihanna's use only.