so you’ve been dating for a while and you’re really into her, can’t imagine life without her, don’t even want to think about what a schmuck you were before you had her and you’re thinking it’s time to tell her you love her. yes, i used “her” 5 times in one sentence. sue me.
but is it time?
guys tend to move into “i love you” territory much slower than girls. which is where i think guys get it right. yes, i just gave guys credit for getting something right. go ahead and read it again or frame it if you need to.
saying “i love you” is a big freaking deal. it should be approached with the same amount of caution you’d use to get a rope around the neck of a unicorn. do it correctly and you’ve got yourself a prize. go too slow and it will slip away. go too fast and it will impale you on it’s shiny golden horn.*
once you say it, it’s really hard to take back. if you do take it back, you’ll find yourself single again in the space of about 12 seconds. and possibly concussed.
when i was in high school, there was a movement in the church to not say “i love you” until you were engaged. a guy was suppose to wait to use those words until he proposed. one youth pastor i knew would even leave notes on his girlfriend’s car telling her he was “in like” with her.
i know. weird.
the idea was, if you loved someone, you should be willing to get married. otherwise it was a wasted and hurtful emotion. the big flaw in this reasoning is that we all know you can truly love someone, but sometimes that’s not enough. and let’s face it, not saying the words won’t make that feeling of loss any less painful.
it’s not a philosophy i ascribe to. obviously. but i’m also not saying it shouldn’t be approached with much consideration.
there’s some questions that need answering before you drop the “love” bomb…
1. do i want her or do i need her? – in other words, does she make my life better and i want that or does it send me into a panic attack to think she might leave me because i don’t want to be alone?
2. has there been enough time for me to know? – this is a hard one to answer. obviously, 9 days, too short. 7 years, too long. both are examples i’ve run into. i guess an easier way to ask this would be to evaluate how deep you’ve gone. maybe turn this from a time question into an information question. do i know enough about her to know that i could love her for life?
3. am i ready for commitment? – seriously. are you? because the moment you tell her you love her, she’s going to be all in.
4. how sure am i she feels the same way? – self-explanatory. but i will say this, if you’ve been in the relationship a while and feel like the time is right, she’s probably been waiting for you to say it for at least a month.
telling someone you love them can range from a blissfully romantic moment that ends in much making out to just about the most humiliating moment ever. just make it honest. that’s the best you can do.
i was the first one to say “i love you” to craig and it came out something like “fine. i’m in love with you. are you happy now? i’m moving to seattle.” i’m pretty sure i was yelling.
it still worked. go figure.
okay folks, what did i miss? how do you know when it’s time?
*terrible unicorn is analogy is free of charge. you’re welcome.