I have been thinking about this a lot in recent weeks, about how three words have the potential to change your life as you know it. In these three words you expose your inner self and your hopes and your dreams and you throw them all on the table. I wish that I could tell you that life was like the movies and when you said it, there would be fireworks and confetti and doves flitting off into the distance but sadly from my experience that's not generally the case. The words I am talking about are "I Love You", and in my opinion they are the most terrifying threes words that ever did exist. I don't mean the I love yous between family's and friends but the I love you, Like I really love you. Here are some tales of I love yous gone a bit astray.
The first time I remember saying it and meaning it with all my heart was to Ikea Flat Pack when I was about 19 or 20. We had been dating for 6 months and things were going well, one night sitting in the car at Carousel Shopping Centre (how romantic) I just had to tell him. I HAD TO!!! so I did, he looked at me, didn't really say much and then changed the subject and drove off. The next day he broke up with me because his mates had told him that it was too soon for me to say it.... and he didn't need that in his life. Needless to say I was pretty guttered, I spent the next 6 months doing what any normal 19 year old does, and he spent them banging some chic and her sister (at the same time so I am told) and then when it was out of our system and he calmed down we gave it another crack.
I remember being on the phone to him while I was away on holiday after we had gotten back together and I missed him so much that I just had to tell him I loved him, I didn't want to die at sea without him knowing. Apparently me saying it was the hardest thing he had heard because he wanted to say it back but wanted it to be special. When he finally did say it, it was special. We were in my shower and he looked deep into my eyes and said it. I probably cried, being young and melodramatic as you are that age. We then went on to another 4 years of I Love Yous... that's a pretty good record (and one I haven't broken since).
The second Significant I love you came from a star of this blog (I seem to write about him a lot) the Army Brat. We hadn't been dating very long but we had fallen in love very quickly and things were hard and fast and we were powerless to stop them. One early morning he was getting up to go to the gym and before he left he lent down and kissed me goodbye and said those three words. I don't know why but I panicked, like I mean I went into full on freak out mode. I pretended to be asleep until he left and then quickly pulled out my phone and called my friend. HE SAID I LOVE YOU!!!!! HOW DO I DEAL WITH THIS!!!!!!!! she laughed at me and simply asked "Do you love him?" like it was the simplest question in the world. It turns out that I did love him I was just worried about it I guess, that evening I said it back to him so it was all fine.
I caught up with him recently and we had a laugh about it, I told him that I hadn't been asleep that day and it wasn't a coincidence that I had said it back to him that night. Our love story didn't pan out the way that the great romances do, but we have an understanding and we are both where we are now because of the love that we had for each other then. I don't think great loves ever die, they just evolve and change over time. And that's OK as well.
Fast forward a few years to modern day times, I was seeing a guy recently who swept me off my feet without intentionally meaning to do so. I have known him for a few years and remember very clearly the first time I met him thinking how special he was. Years passed and friendships grew and then a bit of fun led to a bit of feelings. Since the Army Brat I had not dropped the L Bomb with conviction so it scared me. The whole idea of Loving someone was an alien thought to me. I remember laying there one night early on in our relationship, being the big spoon with my forehead against his back and my lips against his spine and my head started screaming at me I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU. It was at that moment that I knew I was fucked... when your head starts telling you that, there is really no turning back.
It was peculiar to me that the idea of loving someone was so scary, maybe with age and bad experiences I have been tainted so I didn't tell him. I tried to put my feelings into everything I did and the way I treated him and just hoped that it would be enough. As the majority of relationships go, this one ended and it was only then that I had the courage to tell him how I really felt. I knew that it wouldn't change things but it was still important. Everyone deserves to know that they mean something. I looked him straight in his eyes and told him Loud and Proud "I Love You". And his response? he knew. So all my hard work of showing him wasn't in vain.
In my 15 odd years in the dating world this sentence has been thrown out a lot more than it maybe should have but its only been in the last few years that I have realised the significance of it. I think when we are young we think that we are in love and throw it around without abandon, or when someone says it to us we think its our duty to say it back (which by the way it isn't, those words are heavy and you cant take them back).With age comes wisdom and hopefully we are better able to navigate this mine field. Of course though there is no reasoning behind the way the heart feels. Its kind of a bastard like that, it goes off on its merry way and you are powerless to stop it. As tough as those times are when you don't hear it back, please always be thankful that you had the opportunity to say it in the first place. your heart has felt something amazing and if the person does choose to leave you, at least they are leaving with all the information. I can also share that it might take you a while to get over it but keep that love feeling in the back of your mind, being in love is amazing, its what we all strive for and its what we all deserve, Hopefully next time we wont be so scared....
Love and Terror
As a little side story - I was talking to my cousin the other day and she was telling me how one night she got drunk and told the guy she had been "seeing" for a year that she loved him then woke up in the morning and they were in a facebook official relationship. So sometimes it shows that fairy tales do happen... and when they do, Facebook might know about it before you do.