Monday, March 31, 2014

I'm not in love...& the BLOW OFF

How important is the L word to all of you when it comes to relationships?  And how long would you be willing to date someone who hadn't pronounced their undying love for you? Three months.  Six months.  A year.  Two years?

We know in the case of Nikki and Juan Pablo (Yes, this is a Bachelor reference.  Yes, I realize the show ended weeks ago)-- she told him she loved him (to be fair, she probably just wanted a Neil Lane engagement ring) but months later, he still wasn't willing to drop the L bomb.  He was only willing to say "I like you...a  lot."
Nikki said it didn't matter to her if he didn't say it.  She knew he loved her by his actions, not his words.  I say: BULL SHIT.  Look, there's no rules on how long it should take a person to fall in love or say they love you.  It probably shouldn't happen at the end of a cheesy reality TV show.  BUT if they are in love with you based on their actions, then what's actually preventing them from saying it?  Fear of intimacy?  Commitment issues?  One of our loyal readers said it's a way for some men to control their significant others.  Telling them you love them gives them too much power in the relationship.

That's seriously cray.

The truth is, saying the L word is a big step in a relationship and you have to be careful about when it happens.  If it happens too soon, then it might not feel genuine.  If it happens while intoxicated, then it  might be true, but one of you may still regret it in the morning (or not even remember it).  If it happens during sex, well, then it totally doesn't count.  If it happens too late, then it might feel like a last ditch effort to keep the relationship going.

I've only had a handful of personal experiences with the L word.  I know the first guy who told me he loved me was my high school boyfriend, but I actually can't remember when or how he said it.

In my twenties, I straight out told a boyfriend that I would never fall in love with him.  Looking back, it was a cruel thing to say, but I wanted to be honest and manage his expectations.  Plus, historically, this is a male thing to do.  It's okay to sleep with a girl as long as you don't lie and tell them you love them to get her into bed.  (These days, I don't think most women actually need to hear the L word before sex, right?)

And then, again in my twenties, during a tense and drunken "are we friends or are we dating conversation" in the middle of a bar-- I told a guy I loved him.  His feelings for me were always vague and I carried the fact that I'd never confessed my love as a badge of honor, but that night I just couldn't take it anymore and blurted it.  He literally responded by saying how there are different kinds of love, like the love people have for their pets.  (At the time I was insulted, but I LOVE my dog, so maybe it was actually his way of saying I was the best thing that ever happened to him.)

My only other experience with the L word was with my husband.  We were long distance, but our relationship moved fairly quickly in the beginning.  If you're flying across the country to see each other, then you're pretty invested.  He said "I'm falling in love with you" about six weeks into dating each other.  This, in my opinion is a great in between.  And then about six weeks later, he told me he loved me at a bar in Brooklyn while my bestie was in the bathroom.  It wasn't some big pronouncement, but it was perfect.  Eight years later, hearing it still doesn't get old.

Do you guys have any good (or bad) "I love you" stories to share?  Have you ever broken up with someone because they couldn't say it?  Comment below. 
             

2 comments:

  1. The first time my ex-bf told me he loved me it was only a few weeks into dating and I was giving him a hand job. I started crying bc I told him I didn't feel the same way...yet. I thought he'd break up with me bc he said he meant it but then I had to wait like 6 more months for him to say it again in a non-sexual situation. By that time I was bursting for him to say it and I probably coulda said it but I was young and thought I had to wait for him to say it again.

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  2. I was in a long distance relationship and was visiting him for New Year's Eve before we were "official". I had written on a foggy window "I heart (insert ex's name)" and he said, do you really? And I did, but I definitely wasn't ready to declare it. So I thought this was an invitation because it was mutual, so I said yes. And he said, I'm not there yet. Really?! So I decided I respected his honesty. Cut to two months later, Valentine's day. Still hasn't said it, knows I do but I haven't said it again. I'm starting to feel like it's never going to happen so I decide I'm going to break up with him. Yes, on Valentine's day. As I'm trying to break up with him, I get a shipment of MASSIVE flowers, he's sitting on the phone, crying, telling me he's so in love with me, he just wanted to wait to tell me in person. Talk about an emotional roller coaster.

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