how soon do you drop the “love” bomb?

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.

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23 comments on “how soon do you drop the “love” bomb?

  1. David Robbins says:

    Crash through a window riding a Ninja. Then scream it at the top of your lungs as if they’re miles away but make sure you’re only two feet from them.

    Total eclipse of the heart.

  2. Tony says:

    Great post as usual Sharideth. You’ve hit a key component in the “i love you” factor. This has more to do with the speaker of the words than the receiver, whether they are ready to say it. Your perceptive points infer an emotional maturity meter rather than a chronological factor.
    1. wanting as opposed to needing; 2. enough time to know [the person]. (Love has much to do with knowing and being known.); 3. personal relational maturity/security for long term commitment; 4. again, knowing whom it is you’re committing the statement to.

    As always, great insights. I especially love the unicorn analogy. I gotta get me one of those!

  3. Tyler says:

    i do it when i need a favor

  4. Good idea: saying “I love you”

    Bad idea: saying “I love you almost as much as…”

    Very bad idea: saying “I’ll love you more if…”

    Better idea: saying from day one, “I don’t love you yet because we don’t know each other well enough, but if we get to the point where we can honestly say ‘i love you’ then we’re good.”

    Possibly good, possibly bad idea: discussing the implications of whether you phileo, storgae, eros, or agape love them.

  5. Jen says:

    You have no idea how funny the timing is of this post. After 5 months (or so) my BF and I just moved into the saying the ‘L’ word part of the relationship. He was afraid that it was too soon while I have been waiting for forever for it! However, I have never had a bf wait long to say it (usually it’s within the first month… blech! To which I usually say ‘Thanks’ until I am ready also) so I really appreciate him taking his time. I know I can trust him to not do or say something out of impulse but instead because he really means it.

    Oh but guys, saying it when a movie is going is sweet, but a little uncomfortable when people are being killed in the background lol. I guess it’s the thought that counts 😉

  6. Mandie Marie says:

    My favourite are the accidental “oh crap it’s too soon and I wasn’t thinking” slips. “Can you grab me some cutlery, my love? Uh…like. My like.”

    He’s up 3-1 for accidental bomb droppings.

  7. I remember it like it was yesterday…

    …Jana and I were working at a toy store together (I was her boss!), and had been dating for a few months.

    I left her in charge of the store while I took the trash upstairs to the compactor.

    She called my cell. She said, “I just wanted to tell you something. I love you.”

    I handled it wonderfully.

    “Um, cool…thanks. I’m gonna let you go because I’m gonna start the compactor and it’s really loud. Could you get started cleaning the bathrooms? See you in a minute. Bye.”

    And the rest is history!

  8. JBen says:

    I think you are pretty right on here. It IS a big deal. Before I said it to my now fiance, I wanted her to experience it. The words mean something but they can easily lose their meaning if they aren’t hand-in-hand with the action.

    So I did some things that I wasn’t excited about doing (but they were good things) that were important to her. I disciplined myself in different areas of my life to do things that were loving to her.

    I felt like I had to earn the right to say it.

    Oh, and she had been waiting for a while. But she was fine that I took my time.

    Great post.

  9. Krista says:

    I’m SO glad I found you at Blog Rocket today. 🙂 This post is splendid. My guy told me he loved me when I was too scared to love anyone, then said, “I know you love me back but you can’t say it yet. And that’s OK. I’ll be here when you can.” He’s a keeper. 🙂

  10. JamiesRabbits says:

    I always want the guy to be the first to say it. One more source of power I can have. Similar to his family liking me and being curvy.

  11. […] has some thoughts on “dropping the love bomb.” I also had some thoughts on this about a year […]

  12. Randomlychad says:

    Excellent post! Love is big and should be approached with humble awe. That said, when I told my now wife I was:

    19

    Just a few months old in the Lord

    Had no idea what love really entailed

    So I said, palms sweating, heart racing, “I’m only going to tell you this once: I love you.”

    She still married me anyway, and together we have learned what love is (over the course of 20+ years).

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