Saying those three small words can take a world of courage, so when the feelings aren't mutual it can hurt. But it always hurts worse when the other person responds with something like one of these truly awful responses to "I love you."
● "Take it back." Not hearing the words in return is bad enough, but hearing flat out refusal to even accept that you feel that way is even worse.
● "Wait, why?" Whether said from a place of cluelessness or low self esteem you never want to be put in a place of trying to justify your feelings, especially feelings of love.
● "And I love spending time with you!" Not even remotely the same thing and you both know it.
● "Thank you." Please and thank you may be the golden rule, but when it comes to matters of the heart "thank you" is never the polite response.
● "Thank you?" Even worse than an attempted polite "thank you" is the questioning "thank you?" where the other person isn't sure how they're supposed to be reacting. As though you liking them is somehow a bad thing.
● "I love me, too!" Even said as a joke it won't help to lighten the mood.
● "I'm sorry." Along the same vein as "wait, why?" trying to justify your feelings or prove something is never what you want to be doing after saying "I love you."
● "Oh... no." This is not some kind of disaster, it's a statement of affection. Even if you don't feel the same, it's not cause for disappointment.
● "Yeah, you're not too bad yourself!" Again, it may be meant as a joke to lighten the mood but it's crushing to the other person.
● "Awesome!" No, apparently not if that's all you have to say about it.