Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

The top three questions I receive in my in-box are as follows:

1. Should I move for love?

2. How can I get over my broken heart?

3. Why hasn’t he proposed yet?

The fourth most popular question, and the inspiration for today’s open thread discussion, isn’t really a question at all, but is more often posed as a statement, and it’s this:

It’s been [fill in the blank] weeks/months/years and he still hasn’t said the “L” word yet. (This is usually followed by a series of questions along the lines of “Why?” “Should I MOA?” and “Should I just say it first?” and “Do you think he’s gay?”).

So, since it seems to be a perpetually relevant topic, I thought this weekend we could talk about our own experiences dropping the L-bomb. When was the first time you said it? How many relationships have you said it in? What’s the longest you’ve waited to say or hear it? Have you ever said it first?

Discuss.

[photo via Flickr]

112 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Amy May 20, 2011, 5:05 pm

    YES!!! A friend and I have been stewing about this very question lately!!!

    I’ve said it twice – the first time I married the guy (dumb dumb move – as Elizabeth Edwards said to her daughters – Honey, don’t marry the first boy you think you love). Then in a rebound emotional fueled relationship. True both times – but not really what I’m looking for with “The One”. Mostly I want to feel it from them and for them – and I’m sure the words will come when the time is right.

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    melikeycheesecake May 20, 2011, 5:13 pm

    I first said it when I was a very silly 15 year old girl. It was not really love but it would take me over 6 years to FINALLY realize that.

    I have said it in 6 relationships. Ok that seems like a lot now that I type it out.

    I waited about 6 months to hear it.. but that’s OK. I don’t want to hear it till it’s the truth.. why pressure someone to say it if they don’t mean it???!!!!

    I have never said it first… and that was on purpose.

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    TECH May 20, 2011, 5:22 pm

    When was the first time you said it? 21 years old
    How many relationships have you said it in? 3
    What’s the longest you’ve waited to say or hear it? 2 months
    Have you ever said it first? No
    Honestly, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve said “I love you” in a relationship, and I don’t think it reflects badly on you if you’ve said it a lot. All that means is you’ve been blessed to experience love multiple times, and even though it ended, it doesn’t make it any less meaningful.
    @Amy, I’ve heard that Elizabeth Edwards told her daughter not to marry the first boy she thinks she loves. If I had married the man I loved at 21, I would have sincerely regretted it. We change so much as people, and oftentimes first love makes us blind.

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    mcminnem May 20, 2011, 5:27 pm

    I’ve had two relationships where it’s been said; the first time, he said it first, and I said it back when I really shouldn’t have. It was my first relationship, and I did a lot of things because I was under the impression that that’s what girlfriends *did* – like saying I love you – when I didn’t really feel ready to.

    The second time was in my current relationship. I said it first, and man am I ever glad I did! I agonized over it a bit until I decided that hell, this is how I feel and I’m not going to hide it. When I did say it, I set it up a little – told my boyfriend over IM that I had something important to say to him, but wanted to wait until I could tell him in person. Later that evening he came to see me and said “wasn’t there something you wanted to tell me?” and I said it then. He said “I love you too” right away, and seemed incredibly happy and relieved. Later he confessed to me that he had been hoping that was what I was going to say, and that he had been dying to tell me he loved me but was afraid to because the last (and only) girl he had said it to had confessed immediately afterward that she was using him to make her ex jealous. (ouch!) For about a month afterward, every time I said “I love you” he would look at me and ask “do you really mean that?”. He said to me eventually that it took him a while to get used to hearing it, because he’d felt for the longest time that he “wasn’t loveable”. He is!

    So for all the girls out there hesitating, DO IT! You never know! And there’s not necessarily anything wrong with a guy who doesn’t say it first.

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  • avatar

    HmC May 20, 2011, 5:31 pm

    I’ve said it in two relationships, both times fairly early on, both times we were already committed to each other and hadn’t slept together yet, one time I said it first and one time he did. I could see the argument for waiting longer, but in my experience I felt so strongly that I had to say it, and it worked out and was mutual. I think you can put as much or as little meaning and significance (as far as what you might expect in return, if anything) on the L word. But I think you know it when you feel it. There were maybe a couple other times in there that I felt it beginning to bloom, the possibility of it if you will.

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      HmC May 20, 2011, 5:34 pm

      Oh! And I completely forgot, but I told my four-year high school boyfriend that I loved him. It slipped my mind because it was such an innocent, different kind of love than the other two (we never slept together or anything like that). Actually, I remember *paging* him the I loved him. You know, in pager speak… 143. 1 10173 4011. Wow I am dating myself!

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    ReginaRey May 20, 2011, 5:35 pm

    Oh God. The following story is the reason I always caution women against dropping the L-Bomb first (ESPECIALLY if it’s your/your boyfriend’s first serious relationship), because you just NEVER know for sure…

    I was SURE (2 years ago in college) that my current boyfriend was in love with me. I knew because I was sure I loved him, and because of so many little signs: The way I would catch him looking at me and when I asked what he was thinking about, he’d say “Nothing….” and sheepishly and very quickly change the subject. The way he treated me, the way he touched me, every little word and action was SCREAMING it.

    So, I decided in a fit of boldness that I would say it first. We were laying in my bed late one night and I just blurt it out. There was silence. For too long. Then, he said “I don’t know what to say. I’m not sure if I love you yet. I mean, I know that’s definitely where this is heading! But I’ve never been in love before and I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be feeling.” I broke down crying right then and there…and couldn’t stop for hours. We’re not talking delicate, beautiful lady-like tears. We’re talking UGLY sobs and moans and chest heaving for HOURS. He stuck around though, rubbing my back and feeling AWFUL…but I’m glad he told me the truth and didn’t say it when he wasn’t there yet.

    2 weeks later, he went home for a weekend. When he came home, we were lying in my bed again and he said, “When I went home this weekend, I was over at my friend’s apartment party and these girls were talking to me and I just had ZERO interest. The whole time I wished you were there. And it just hit me…holy shit, I love her.” …It ALMOST made up for me saying it too early…but not quite.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray May 20, 2011, 6:13 pm

      Hey, who gave this a thumbs down??? Loved your story, RR. I mean, I’m sorry you went through that painful period – ok, maybe that was what the thumb down was for? – but it sounds like you had a happy ending. And you survived to caution others. Well done.

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        ReginaRey May 20, 2011, 6:23 pm

        Haha I don’t know, maybe because I caution girls against saying it first? Oh well! I’m of that you never know WHEN they would have said it if you say it first…which was a lesson well learned for me after that cringeworthy experience!

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        ReginaRey May 20, 2011, 6:24 pm

        *whoops…of the mind that

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        Britannia May 21, 2011, 12:01 am

        I suppose it’s a cringe worthy experience, for sure, when you aren’t emotionally ready for possibly hearing that your feelings aren’t fully reciprocated. Maybe they weren’t considering that factor of your cautionary warning when they thumbed you down?

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        ReginaRey May 21, 2011, 8:56 am

        Yeah, you describe it well. Sure, if you’re READY to say it and know it won’t bother you if he isn’t ready to say it yet, then go ahead. But if you’re saying it because you’re taking a gamble that he WILL say it back, it’s a risk I personally know will not always pay off. It can really crush you if you don’t hear it back when you thought you would, and it can also put undue pressure on your SO to say it back before I really would have.

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        ReginaRey May 21, 2011, 8:57 am

        *he

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        spot May 20, 2011, 7:02 pm

        i bet the person who gave it a thumbs down is one of those “don’t play games” aka throw-yourself-at-him-if-that’s-how-you-feel types. i too loved the story regina!

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey May 20, 2011, 7:34 pm

        Thanks! I really like this comment, too. I agree that there’s a fine line between playing games and just protecting yourself a bit! I wasn’t play any sort of game and I STILL lost haha.

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      Fairhaired Child May 20, 2011, 11:00 pm

      This is similar to what happened to me with my current SO – but I already posted my story on a previous letter (a repeat) so I wont go on and on about it again. I had the same aweful crying experience but I dropped teh L word as he was getting in his car to head home (at that time 2 1/2 hours away) and he had a similar reaction then I ran to a female friend and cried about how “stupid and rediculous I was” then he finally said it later after a few weeks in a similar fashion of the whole “I realized while we were apart with no contact that I do love you and cant imagine my life without you” etc.

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    Quakergirl May 20, 2011, 5:37 pm

    I’ve been in love twice, and I’ve said I love you twice in a relationship, but there’s only one overlap. The first time I fell in love was when I was about 13, with a friend I met as a kid. It wasn’t the sort of matched-for-life love, but I loved him unconditionally–like you love any friend–although my romantic interest in him didn’t last very long. I never told him though. We’re still friendly when we bump into each other or pop up in a mutual friend’s facebook post, but I moved really far away before high school and we drifted apart.

    Then I dated a guy in high school for about 6 months who said I love you waaaay too fast (or at least I thought so then), like a month after we started dating. I was totally taken aback and didn’t say it for like a month afterwards, and I didn’t really mean it, but it was just so awkward because he kept saying it. I have no idea why I kept dating him– we were so unbelievably wrong for each other. Inexplicable.

    The next guy I started dating was Quakerboy. We were already really close friends when we got together. He kissed me in a deserted hallway senior year of high school, then said I love you about 24 hours later. We were so obviously madly in love with each other, though, that it wasn’t really surprising that he said it and I didn’t feel like it was too soon. It just felt like he was verbalizing something that was already evident to both of us. I said it back, of course, and five and a half years later I still feel like it isn’t enough to convey how I feel about him.

    Now I wonder if he hadn’t said it first, would I have? I don’t know, but probably, yes. It just wasn’t that big of a deal. I mean it was wonderful and exciting and emotional, but it wasn’t some sort of holdout for him to say it first or anything and it didn’t feel like “I love you” was ever a power chip in the relationship. I think maybe because we were so young at the time, we didn’t have any real emotional baggage or self-consciousness about it. We didn’t know any better– that’s how we felt, so we told each other. I think, for the most part, we’ve held on to that “innocence” (for lack of a better word)– we just do what feels right for us, because we don’t have anything else as a basis to judge what’s “normal.” Maybe that’s weird, I don’t know. But it works for us.

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    • avatar

      HmC May 20, 2011, 5:52 pm

      I think that in a relationship, it usually doesn’t matter how weird something might seem to others. If it works for you guys, it works.

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      • avatar

        Britannia May 21, 2011, 12:02 am

        I agree 100%. Different strokes for different folks… whatever floats your boat… you know? lol!

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      Kristen May 23, 2011, 9:49 am

      Your story is a lot like mine. We started dating the summer before our junior year of high school, and neither of us had ever been in a relationship that was serious enough to say, “I love you.” So like you said, it wasn’t this big deal where one person was waiting for the other to say it. And there wasn’t this waiting period where we were still trying to figure it out… I actually can’t even remember the first time we said it to each other; I’m pretty sure it was before we were even technically together. It was just there from the beginning, and we knew it. One of my favorite things about our relationship is that we’ve been each other’s first everything, so our adolescence was kind of entwined. All our “coming of age” experiences have been together. And that innocence that you described does become sort of a thread throughout your relationship. Because it started when we were both 16-year-old kids, those memories of what it feels like to fall in love for the first time and feel like that person is your world are always there. It gives our relationship a lightness and youthfulness that I wouldn’t trade. And I’m actually glad that saying “I love you” was never a huge, heavy thing for us. Even now, 8 years later, we say it so often that it gets ridiculous. One of us will be sitting in another room, call out the other person’s name, and then when they say, “What?” we’ll just yell, “I love you!” It’s become an affirmation type thing that we say multiple, multiple times a day. And I like that.

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  • avatar

    LennyBee May 20, 2011, 5:39 pm

    I’ve only said it once, in my current relationship. It took us about nine months to say it. I honestly can’t remember who said it first, but it came after a lot of beating around the bush with “I like yous” and “I’m pretty crazy about yous”, and then spending 2 weeks apart over Christmas. Shortly after that, we confessed. I had wanted to say it for a long time, but I was too nervous. I was pretty sure (based on actions) that he felt the same, but it’s a big step. And I didn’t want to pressure him – my guy’s not a big talker, he’d rather show he loves me than say it.

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  • avatar

    Painted_lady May 20, 2011, 5:41 pm

    I actually first said it – and meant it – when I was 14 and with the sweetest boy I’d ever met. He would do ridiculously sweet things like make me silly paper jewelry in history class and bring me flowers he picked outside the school. Just because love means something different to me now doesn’t mean I felt it any less then. We stayed friends – he was even my senior prom date.

    I’ve said it to five guys and meant it – though I meant something different – everytime. I never had to wait long to hear it (apparently I’m very lovable???), but I very firmly believe in not saying it before I mean it, so that’s gotten awkward. I’ve said it once and completely regretted it, so it took me seven years to say it again. Once before that, though, I should have said it and didn’t. That was a bigger regret for me. Quite honestly. I’d rather have said it too much (does that make me a love slut?) than not enough.

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    • avatar

      Quakergirl May 20, 2011, 5:48 pm

      Aww I really like this comment, especially this: “Just because love means something different to me now doesn’t mean I felt it any less then.” I really loved the middle school friend I fell in love with at 13, even though it felt totally different than how I felt about Quakerboy when I told him I loved him 4 years later, and totally different than how I feel about Quakerboy now when I say I love you.

      Love doesn’t have to feel one way forever. But it shouldn’t feel wishy-washy. You know when you feel it. And I totally agree that when you feel it, you should say it. Life’s too short not to tell someone you love them.

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    • avatar

      Fairhaired Child May 20, 2011, 11:08 pm

      THIS. I’ve said it in almost every relationship – but was honest upfront in relationships where I didn’t feel it. For each one of them I did love them in a different way each time, and for some of them I still do hold a love for them, but now its more as a love for their personality and for the person they are now rather than the love of “I don’t want to say it to anyone else again”.

      I dont like saying I love you frequently in relationships, or saying it until I FEEL it. Even in my current relationship, if my boyfriend says I love you, sometimes I dont say it back and just smile and say something along the lines of “I’m glad you do” (Hello purple thumbs) because I want him to know when I REALLY mean it, and not that I’m just saying it because it “should be said” (ie as he’s leaving for work, when we end phone calls etc), so when I’m really happy/loving I’m very in his face lovey dovey huggy kissy “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH” but when i’m in a normal content/comfortable whatever mood and he says it sometimes I just don’t say it back or I say something else along the lines of “Thank you/I care for you too”. Because honestly no one is always going to feel about a person the same way (in any relationship dynamic) all the time, and how they feel about a person could be affected by how their day went/moods etc.

      I want my SO to KNOW always that I’m truthful when I say it. And for some people that’s hard for them to handle/realize why I am that way.

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  • avatar

    Joanna May 20, 2011, 5:42 pm

    I’ve said it and meant it with one boyfriend in high school. He was my first bf and we were together for a year and a half but we never had sex. I’ve said it and not meant it with a couple short-term relationships where the guy said it first.

    My current boyfriend hasn’t said it to me but I’ve told him it’s how I feel. I think he eventually will in time. I’m not scared of him not saying it and I’m happier than I have ever been in my life with him so it doesn’t strike me as a concern. We’re both on the same page about marriage and children (neither one of us want either of those things) and our relationship is fairly new (8 months) so I’m not concerned about things happening on a timetable.

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  • avatar

    lk May 20, 2011, 5:43 pm

    When was the first time you said it? Sixteen years old…two weeks into the relationship! I didn’t mean it at the time that I said it, but we dated for three years and I knew I loved him three months after the first time I said it.

    How many relationships have you said it in? Three

    What’s the longest you’ve waited to say or hear it? ELEVEN MONTHS…haha…SO WORTH IT. And FYI, I haven’t heard it since… But he is the best ever.

    Have you ever said it first? No

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  • avatar

    Sarah May 20, 2011, 5:50 pm

    I’ve never said it first in a relationship, although one time a guy asked me if I loved him. I didn’t want to say no so I just stayed silent and looked awkward as hell. He takes my hand and goes “You don’t have to say anything, I can’t tell by the way you look, you’re in love with me.” then he says, “Look, I’m not ready for this, I could love you, but right now your feelings are too intense for what I need.”

    I had to stop myself from laughing out loud! Even so I still had this incredulous “b*tch, what?” look on my face. Unfortunately I was too nice back then to tell him how wrong he got it. That guy was a puddle of dramz.

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    • avatar

      HmC May 20, 2011, 5:56 pm

      eeewwe

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      Jshizzle May 20, 2011, 6:02 pm

      I lol’d at this, that’s classic.

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    • MissRemy

      Ally May 22, 2011, 1:28 pm

      My friend’s latest break up story went along the same lines – he told her that he just didn’t love her the same way she loved him. She did laugh in his face though…

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  • avatar

    Meg May 20, 2011, 6:00 pm

    I said it first with my current boyfriend, and I don’t regret it at all. He said it back right away (we’d been dating 5 months) but even if he hadn’t, it would have been ok w/ me. I was at least confident he wouldn’t freak out, and I couldn’t hold back any more from saying it so I blurted it out one night as we were falling asleep. I mumbled, so he asked me to repeat, and I said “I don’t need you to say it back, but I wanted to tell you that I love you.” And then he said it back.

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    Lydia May 20, 2011, 6:00 pm

    I’ve said it in all my relationships, but I’ve only been in three.

    The first time I was seventeen and I’m sure I meant it at times, but not in the beginning. He said it very early on in the relationship and it freaked me out. In hindsight, the entire relationship was a bad idea and it didn’t end well, but eh, you learn.

    In my second relationship I said it first, after about two months, and he said it back. That was relatively dramafree (well, at least THAT part of the relationship was…).

    I don’t even remember when it was first said in my current relationship, because it has just sort of always been there. We say it a lot now. My boyfriend later told me that he knew he loved me from our second date onwards. He’s very Ted Mosby like that. 😉

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    Jshizzle May 20, 2011, 6:01 pm

    When was the first time you said it?

    To a boy, when I was 21, soon into the relationship.

    How many relationships have you said it in?

    I’ve only had one relationship, so one.

    What’s the longest you’ve waited to say or hear it?

    I had an awkward stretch of a few years where male friends of mine would awkwardly blurt out, “I love you,” when I certainly wasn’t waiting to hear it. In those cases, I would be like “Umm…great.” Even in my relationship, since it was my first, I had not anticipated the declaration. In that case I was like “…I don’t know what this means” and waited what seemed like weeks to me, and probably like months to him, but maybe it was a few days later to say it back? I have no idea.

    Have you ever said it first?

    No.

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  • avatar

    Marie May 20, 2011, 6:11 pm

    As a side note to the Je t’aime image, this phrase en français always confused the heck out of me, because it means I like and I love both, DON’T THEY GET CONFUSED!? My current boyfriend said “I heart you” for the first 6 mo. of our relationship until apparently I sighed really loudly on the phone one of the last times he said and he got the hint that wasn’t really cutting it for me. A few weeks later he told me super nonchalantly that he loved me after I made him angel food cake. A classic example of a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach :). A year later things are wonderful and we are so much in love. Here’s hoping it works out!

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      Quakergirl May 20, 2011, 6:22 pm

      J’aime means “I [really] like,” but je t’aime means “I love you.” The t’ (shortened from te) indicates the object as a person with whom you’re very familiar and changes the meaning. You could say “J’aime cette robe” and mean “I really like that dress.” A slightly less emphatic phrase would be “cette robe me plaît,” literally meaning “that dress pleases me” or “I like that dress.”

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      LennyBee May 20, 2011, 6:33 pm

      I used to wonder this when I was a little kid, and Je t’aime was something you said to everybody, but as an adult, it seems there’s no confusion because you only use je t’aime as “I love you”, never as “I like you”. When speaking OF something (or someone), aime can be like or love, but when speaking TO someone, it’s solely used for love.

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        LennyBee May 20, 2011, 6:38 pm

        For languages, I like the Italian way – you only use ti amo (I love you) for romantic love. For anyone else (for example, your parents), it’s ti voglio bene (essentially I wish you well). No possible confusion!

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        Britannia May 21, 2011, 12:05 am

        It’s the same principle in Spanish, too… ‘Te quiero’ for a generalized, familial kind of love, and ‘Te amo’ for romantic, deep love.

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      SpyGlassez May 21, 2011, 7:15 am

      My bf uses “je t’adore” instead of “je t’aime,” and frequently calls me “mon chere.” He likes using the French. I tend to either reply “ti amo” or “ti addorato.”

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    spanishdoll May 20, 2011, 6:45 pm

    I waited and waited…and waited…for over a year in my current relationship for my bf to say “I love you.” I was so determined to take Wendy’s advice, and to protect my own heart, by letting that boy do all the talking. But then it got ridiculous. 11 months had passed…11 months of making googly eyes at each other, to the point where it didn’t even need to be said, but neither one of us had bothered to say it aloud.

    I waited so long that saying it out loud was no longer revealing a precious secret, but was just a statement of fact about our relationship. We love each other.

    So one night I just said it, without any fanfare at all. He chuckled and said it right back. And that was that. 🙂

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    MissDre May 20, 2011, 6:45 pm

    First relationship: I said it after 6 months. He never did. He also treated me like crap so I’m not quite sure why I was so heartbroken when he dumped me. I guess cuz he was my first boyfriend.

    Second relationship: He said it after 2.5 months. After that we both said it a million times a day for the year and a half we were together.

    Current relationship: I said it after 6 months. He said “me too”. Been together for one year now, and neither of us have said it since. I’ve chosen to keep my mouth shut, I guess he’s chosen to show me that he loves me in many wonderful ways. So, as much as I’d like it if we were more vocal, I am quite happy being treated like a princess by a man who makes me feel cherished everyday!

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      MissDre May 20, 2011, 6:51 pm

      Oh and I was 20 years old the first time I said it.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster May 20, 2011, 6:09 pm

    I’ve said it to two people: my high school boyfriend and my current boyfriend. I’ve never said it first. High school boy said it to me three months into our relationship while we were dancing at prom, and I swear little love bubbles were bursting around me, I felt so happy. It was puppy love. I hadn’t thought about using the L word, but when he said it it just felt right so I said it back.

    When my current boyfriend said it, we were not “official” yet, but exclusive, for two months. We became official the next day. When he said it to me, I was so surprised I said, “Do you mean that?!” and then I thought, “Holy shit. I love him. Holy shit.” He was my best friend, so I knew him really well, and I didn’t want to let myself fall in love with him for a variety of reasons, but I was in love with him whether I wanted to be or not. And here we are six years later. 🙂

    Some guy I was hooking up with said it to me once. I don’t think he meant it, and I didn’t say it back. And YES, it was awkward. My other non-L word relationships were so obviously not serious enough (at least to me), that I never really thought about saying it or not saying it, or wondering if he would say it. I always figured it’s something you just know.

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    MissDre May 20, 2011, 7:14 pm

    Sorry for hi-jacking the open thread but has anyone here had breast reduction surgery? I am starting to consider it, especially after coming back from physio and being told that my shoulders are turning in. Always having back pain 🙁 but, I am afraid of the scars and how I will look after. Anybody have any experiences to share?

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy May 20, 2011, 8:34 pm

      Yes, I have (and may have to do it again after I’m done having kids…)! It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I wrote about it some here, and I’d be happy to email with you about it privately if you want more info or have specific questions. Feel free to contact me any time.

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        Kerrycontrary May 21, 2011, 4:13 pm

        Wendy, I remember reading that article on The Frisky but I totally forgot. I’m a thin girl in the DD-DDD region so I’m thinking its going to be necessary after kids. I’m glad you were so candid about your experience.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy May 21, 2011, 6:14 pm

        The Hairpin, my favorite lady blog these days, posted this essay this week, which may also be helpful for those considering breast reduction surgery.

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        MissDre May 21, 2011, 8:28 pm

        Me too. I’m only a size 8-10 but I’m an E cup 🙁

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    • MissRemy

      Ally May 22, 2011, 1:48 pm

      Ah if only the smaller chested ladies who wish for bigger breasts knew the trouble they can cause! I’ve always said that’s the one kind of surgery I would consider, after any future children. I’m naturally in the E camp and get back pain and headaches because of it. Suffering just now, they are massive this week, so much so that none of my bras fit properly and I can’t sleep on my front because it hurts too much, dang hormones. I really enjoyed reading Wendy’s piece, finding well fitting clothes and pretty underwear can be a huge problem. I’ve also found that people can have a really bad attitude towards the idea of reduction surgery, asking why I’d even consider it. They just don’t understand the problems large boobs can cause.

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        SpaceySteph May 22, 2011, 8:30 pm

        Although, I don’t think those of us with A cups are wishing for F cups. I always wished for C cups, because they seem the perfect size. (that seems an oddly particular wish, huh?)
        My best friend who is skinny has huge boobs and though envious of the attention they garnered her I also know of her struggle and am glad that if I couldn’t have C cups, I got smaller ones, not bigger ones.

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    Reality Bites May 20, 2011, 7:40 pm

    When I was dating my now husband he kept testing the waters. He would say things like “would you love me any less if…”. After about the third time I called him on it and pointed out that I hadn’t said I loved him and neither had he and told him if he wanted to say it he could instead of dancing around it. A few days later he finally did. I always had this thing about saying it back immediately because it felt like it didn’t mean anything and I was only saying it because he did. So I made him wait a few days. But I guess our situation was a little unique since he was technically my supervisor. Although he flirted, I had to ask him out first and tell him I was asking to be sexually harassed before he’d finally make a move.

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  • Kristina

    Kristina May 20, 2011, 8:16 pm

    The first time I said it, I said it first when I was 15 and I said it to the guy I just broke up with. I meant it, and I felt it at that time, he really needed to hear it. I broke up with him because he was addicted to drugs and he needed to get clean, and so I don’t regret telling him I loved him. He said it back to me as well.

    The second time, I meant it even more, and he said it first. I was with that guy for nearly 4 years.

    And I naively said it last year to a guy I had been dating a month, when he had told me he loved me, and I kinda just said it a little while later.

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    Bekah May 20, 2011, 8:23 pm

    I have only said it once and I said it first and it was perfect. I moved half way around the world to be with my boyfriend and we were sitting in his apartment in the middle of a typhoon. I couldn’t help but feeling so safe with him. I just looked at him and said, “Don’t tell me anything you don’t want to say until you are ready. I just have to tell you, I love you.” He didn’t respond for two more months, but I knew he loved everyone of those days he just needed more time to feel comfortable saying it. I don’t regret it and I think that saying I love you first is no big deal if you own it and know that it is right for you. If it isn’t than wait, but there is nothing wrong with saying it first.

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    Amber May 20, 2011, 8:48 pm

    I’ve only said it once, in my current relationship. We said it fairly early at about 3 months in. I think the funny thing is we’ve now been together about 3 years and the I love you’s I say to him now while less ‘lusty’ I guess in nature than the ones I was saying at 3 months, mean so much more. I think you don’t know how much you really love someone until you go through the hard things with them; illness, family issues, etc. Probably cliche but it’s been so true lately as we’ve been dealing with a lot of craziness and thinking back to where we were when we first said I love you it’s just funny. You don’t think you’ll ever feel more in love with someone than at the moment that you first realize you’re in love and want to say and hear the words over and over. But, it does. Ok, enough with the mushiness.

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    • Kristina

      Kristina May 20, 2011, 8:50 pm

      Oh I totally agree with you about the “I love you’s” meaning more when going through hardships. About a year into a relationship with an ex, his mother died, and that made both of us realize how much we loved each other.

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        Britannia May 21, 2011, 12:11 am

        I agree about the hardships being able to lead to deeper love thing. My current boyfriend and I were in a really, really bad car accident together when we had only been together for 3 months (but we’d known each other for 8 years), and he has said that seeing me on the brink of dying made him realize that he loved me deeply and couldn’t live without me. When his family showed up to see him in the hospital (I was unconscious, but they visited me anyways – the easiest first time meeting the parents, lol!), he told them all that he wanted to marry me eventually.

        Recovering from the accident together bonded us deeply, and I don’t think I’ll ever feel anything quite like this with another person because it’s such a profound and unique experience to experience with someone. Without the accident happening, I think that our relationship would have taken much, MUCH more time to develop to the point that it has already.

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  • Lyra

    L May 20, 2011, 8:55 pm

    Seriously I don’t see why it is so important to let the guy say it first. Women shouldn’t have to wait to say it if they truly feel it! Heck, we’re in the 21st century.

    I said it first in my relationship (my only relationship…well, the only one of consequence, high school prom dates don’t really count, even though I thought it to be significant at the time…). From the first date, he had said “I think I’m going to fall completely in love with you”, but he was careful not to say it too fast. I had realized that whenever he was around I just felt like I was floating on air and that I was just utterly happy with him. Even though I told him about a month and a half into our relationship, he didn’t reciprocate immediately, claiming that he wasn’t quite ready. I told him that I just really wanted him to know. Sure enough, a few weeks after that he told me he loved me. I must not have chased him off; still together 2 years later! 🙂

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    brendapie May 20, 2011, 10:07 pm

    When I was 17 my high school boyfriend told me he loved me so I responded that I loved him too but didn’t really mean it. I felt that pressure to say it but when I got home that day I thought it over and realized I wasn’t ready to truly say that to anybody. So the next day I told him I had to take my “I love you” back because I realized I only said it to make him feel good but that I had to be honest with my emotions. He took it well at first but later that day our class was called into the church for mass and when we sat together he started crying!

    From that moment forward I made the decision to be honest with my emotions and not sugar coat anything to make my partner feel better. Unfortunately this had led to many awkward moments where guys say they are in love with me and I’m like “oh, thanks! I like you too!” The current guy I’m talking to (2+ years now) sneaks in declarations of love when we say our farewells but I can’t help but just smile and say thank you. I’m really slow in developing my emotions for someone but with this guy I really feel a deep connection that I’ve never felt for anyone before. I’m thankful that he is so patient with me because I’m not sure any other guy would be.

    I wouldn’t mind saying it first although with this guy, he has already beaten me to the punch. But I will declare my love when I’m ready and feel it’s appropriate for our relationship to do so. I guess I can’t really understand the rush to say I love you and the agony some women put themselves through waiting for their partner to say those three words to them. For me it’s a major committment to say those words to someone and I wouldn’t want to rush myself or anyone to say them for the sake of saying it. Having a partner you feel comfortable with, you trust completely and is loving towards you (and vice versa of course) is more important to me than hearing those three little words. But to each their own I suppose.

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    Britannia May 20, 2011, 9:40 pm

    When was the first time you said it? 12 years old, after about 8 months of “dating”… it was my first “serious” relationship. I actually consider it legitimate though, because at the time they were very intense feelings and the relationship was stable for a full year, I’m still friends with the guy, and the whole thing taught me a lot of positive lessons that have been beneficial in my subsequent relationships.

    How many relationships have you said it in? 11. Each time has been very different, and legitimate in relation to the time.

    What’s the longest you’ve waited to say or hear it? Several months, I don’t really know.

    Have you ever said it first? Yes. I say it once I feel like it’s very real, and am no longer scared of maybe not hearing it back.

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    Krissy May 20, 2011, 11:38 pm

    The first time someone said it to me was after a particularly bad hookup, after which the guy claimed that I might be the one for him (I had known him for 2 weeks!) and that we should get married if we’re both still single at 30 (lame…)
    Thankfully, the second time was from my now boyfriend. I’ve never been the one to say it first, and this was my first relationship. We had been seeing each other for nearly 3 months, but it was long distance and we weren’t really official. During a late night phone call after a little argument about something stupid he declared that he loved me. It was actually really sweet, he described everything that he loved about me and stated that he even loved getting in stupid little fights with me because it still meant that he got to hear my voice. I couldn’t say it back at the time because I was just so confused about the distance and the time apart. When he finally came to visit me a month later I realized just how much I loved him and missed him and was able to finally spit it out. I literally had to rehearse saying it in the mirror though. I come from a family where no one ever says I love you, so the words were just really foreign to me! I’m was so glad when I finally said it though! It was like a weight had been lifted! Now, not a day goes by that one of us doesn’t say it. Some might call that overkill, but I enjoy hearing it just as much as the first time that he said it.

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    Laurel May 21, 2011, 12:05 am

    My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and five months. He told me he loved me after about 6 or 7 months, which I had been bursting to say to him but waited. We had some conversations around that time about how we felt (in the hypothetical) about living together before engagement/marriage and both thought there were good reasons to wait to move in until a couple was engaged (or married). He lived with roommates for a few months, and I was over almost every night, and then he got a promotion so he moved out on his own and invited me to move in with him. So we’ve been living together for five months. Our relationship is in really good shape and we like living together.

    So…..why hasn’t he proposed? 😉

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    David Jay May 21, 2011, 4:20 am

    Umm… I said it when I knew I was in love… not a minute before, but MANY TIMES after… and only to the girl I eventually married!
    Gotta admit… I love the gaul of the people who ask the question, “Why won’t he see he loves me?” when they are already sexually involved. Really? You don’t know why? (Hint: He doesn’t have to!) There’s an old phrase called “Free-milking the cow”. Learn it, Love it, Live it! 🙂

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      Lydia May 21, 2011, 2:54 pm

      Your ideas about love and sex are, eh, interesting.

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        David Jay May 21, 2011, 3:05 pm

        Not only interesting, but 100% effective. Choose your words carefully, and your actions moreso. I can see that a few skinny cows have hit the opinion button… LOL 🙂

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        trillian May 21, 2011, 3:20 pm

        Sure, if all you care about is getting married and don’t much care to whom or how.

        Now, if you want a companionable relationship based on respect, love, and mutual compatibility… withhold sex, don’t withhold sex, open relationship or closed, same or different in age, race, gender… it’s only going to work if you’re on the same page. In which case it really doesn’t matter a whit who says it first, or what your sexual relationship is at that time – if it works for you and your partner, great! But that does not translate that it would necessarily work for anybody else on the planet.

        Welcome to the 21st century, where sex is not a commodity to be traded in the village square, and women are real human beings. Some of us actually enjoy sex on its own merit! We’re not farm animals to be bought and sold by the men in our lives anymore. Surprise!

        PS it’s “gall.” “Gaul” is a European tribe, like the Celts.

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      _jsw_ May 21, 2011, 6:31 pm

      Awesome – so you’re saying that a man will only tell a woman he loves her so she’ll have sex with him, since your point seems to be that he won’t tell her if she’s already sexual with him.

      Way to make us men look good! “I love you” means nothing more to us than “damn, baby, I need you to start putting out.”

      This causes me to wonder why I’ve told women I loved them (the first time) after the relationship turned sexual. I must be an idiot. I was already, as you put it, free-milking.

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        David Jay May 22, 2011, 1:50 am

        Hell no! Just saying that as long as people attach ultimate signficance to those 3 little words, it will continue to work to get them what they want. As so many others have stated here, you should always let the actions speak louder than the words. That automatically buys you the time buffer you need before you indiscriminately jump in the sack with the next Mr/Ms. Wrong.

        And yes, you WERE free-milking… it is hard to resist, but obviously you were looking for a more substantive relationship as well. That is what we are all SUPPOSED to be doing. Unfortunately there are too many rat-bastards out there (and yes, most of them are male), who see sex as a conquest and then move on to the next.

        I pledge no loyalty to male-kind… I just rat out bad behavior wherever I see it. My advice is typically of the form, “If this is what you want, then this is what you have to do” and it always involves personal responsibility… and that seems to be the REAL commitment that no one wants to make anymore.

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    SpyGlassez May 21, 2011, 7:24 am

    When was the first time you said it? I first said it to my current bf when I was 28. We had been dating for about 4 months. I came from a family where we said ‘I love you’ a lot, and the motto I had learned in my life experiences was to say it if you felt it, because you might not get another chance. I had never been in love before him (I had been “in like” before, but never love), and so I said it when the time was right. I told him he did not have to say it back at that time, and he said he was completely serious about me and that he was sure he would say it, but that right then he was still unsure because of having said it too soon in the past. It was about another month or so later when we were lying down together, talking, and he looked deep into my eyes and said “I love you.” So I said it first, but he says it hundreds of times a day, either by words or using our hand-gesture.

    How many relationships have you said it in? This is the only one, though my high school boyfriend said it to me after about 4 weeks of dating. He had been my friend for the year before that, but I wasn’t feeling what he was feeling, and when he told me there was just a long awkward silence.

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    Addie Pray May 21, 2011, 8:24 am

    Oh my, I read Dear Wendy wayyyy too much. Last night Wendy (and Drew!) were in my dream. I ran into Wendy at some sort of amusement park and we were walking around, talking. She pointed out a guy ducking into a photo booth and said that’s Drew. Drew stuck his head out to say hi, but he looked just like Dustin Hoffman. I said the resemblance was uncanny… and it turned out to be Dustin Hoffman. I wanted to get a picture with him but he wouldn’t stand still, which was really annoying me. … Ok, WTF does that dream mean? I know, it means I log onto this site too much.

    Happy Judgment Day, everybody! …If it’s true, I’ll be sad not to receive a new post on Monday… Yes, I read this site too much.

    🙂

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy May 21, 2011, 1:15 pm

      But did my hair look good?

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        Addie Pray May 21, 2011, 5:53 pm

        You were perfectly coiffed.

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    Michele May 21, 2011, 8:13 am

    I’ve said it twice. The first time, I was told, “It’s hard for me to hear that.”

    I decided I would never say it again first. So, I waited 9 months for my bf to say it. It was difficult, but I’m glad I did wait. (This is not to say that I wasn’t seriously thinking of breaking up with him because he hadn’t said it. A relationship between two people accustomed to protecting their feelings is, shall we say, interesting. Working on it!)

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    caffeinatrix May 21, 2011, 11:23 am

    I’ve said it twice, but to this day I question whether I really meant it. Both times the guy said it first, and both times it was after about a month. In both cases we broke up after just a few months. I know I was devastated when we broke up in each case. But if I’m being honest, I think having had such a long time to stew about my dating history has made me realize that I wasn’t really in love, much as I wanted to be. I’m too reserved in relationships because I’m always terrified the guy is going to get a glimpse of who I am and decide he doesn’t like me. The effect of that, unfortunately, is that it looks like I’m really boring and have no personality when I’m with someone.
    I probably need therapy.

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      Elle May 22, 2011, 7:16 pm

      Oh, girl, you sound like me, 10 years ago… Here’s what I learned since then: love yourself the way you are, and you will find someone to love you just the way you are. There’s no reason to hide who you are. You probably can be who you think the other person wants you to be, but you can’t keep that mask on forever. It will come off at some point. So why not make the reveal from the get-go? You’d save yourself a lot of time and self-doubt. And if they don’t like you for who you are, screw them, because they are are the ones losing out on a wonderful person.

      10 years ago, I was 20 pounds lighter and I hated my body. Now, I accept my body the way it is. I realized that I can’t spend the rest of my life in that mindset, and if you really think about it, it’s not worth it. I tried losing some of the weight, but I have a very slow metabolism, and can survive on very little food, without losing any weight. So if I’m not happy with the way I look right now, when will I be? When I’m 70 and none of this really matters? No, I’d better start now (I started a few years ago).

      And if you want to be more interesting – take on some hobbies. Think about what makes other people interesting – what are they doing? You don’t have to do the same things they do, but find something you really like, and go with it. For me, it’s tennis, ski and salsa. I haven’t found a guy that likes all three, but usually, it’s one of the three – mostly tennis or ski :).

      You might have a perception problem too. I think you do interesting things, but because you do them, you think everybody else does as well. That’s not true! Talk about the things that YOU DO, and you’ll be surprised to see that other people will find those things interesting, even though they may seem mundane to you.

      Stop spending time thinking about what other people think of you. Reverse psychology here – what do you think of other people? You like some of the stuff they do, disagree with other things, but on the whole, you accept them the way you are. That’s exactly how they think of you too!!! And no matter how hard you try, you can’t please everybody! So stop doing it, and please the only person that matters: yourself!

      This is getting a little bit long, but I have one more piece of advice – be bold! Take chances! (Don’t take stupid risks, but more than you have until now). The other day, I was wearing a t-shirt that says “Talk nerdy to me”. A guy asked me if I wanted to see his frog collection. If he weren’t 65, I would have given him my number :). Get out of your shell. The world is wonderful, explore it. You don’t want to go through life missing on so many opportunities. And if you find someone to share it with, consider that a bonus, not a requirement.

      *hugs*

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    RoyalEagle0408 May 21, 2011, 12:48 pm

    Ignoring the prompt questions since I’ve always said it thinking I meant it only to realize I didn’t, I need to get on my soapbox for a minute. I don’t understand why the guy should say it first. If you feel it, say it. Yes, they might not say it back, but that’s the risk you have to take. And it’s not like saying “I love you” is a guarantee that you’ll be together forever, so it doesn’t mean you’ll never be hurt anyway. Assuming that the guy should say it first implies that they’re somehow immune to the fear of rejection that comes with being the first to say it. While I agree that telling someone you love them/are in love with them is a huge thing, I’m a firm believer that they’re just empty words without the actions to back them up. To be honest, I’d rather a guy never say the words and just show me through his actions than say them and not.

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      Lydia May 21, 2011, 2:53 pm

      I completely agree. My ex-boyfriend never hesitated to say it back, but he also never showed me anything to back up those statements. My current boyfriend says it all the time too, but then he also does things that really make me feel it, which is infinitely better.

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      PFG-SCR May 21, 2011, 6:10 pm

      “While I agree that telling someone you love them/are in love with them is a huge thing, I’m a firm believer that they’re just empty words without the actions to back them up. To be honest, I’d rather a guy never say the words and just show me through his actions than say them and not.”

      I agree with the first part – to me, it is a big deal, and I’m not one to say it casually with guys or friends (even jokingly). But because I do place such importance on it, I like to hear it frequently from my husband (and I say it frequently). Does it need to be said every day? Of course not. But, it’s three simple words that make a huge impact so I don’t understand why they wouldn’t be said (nearly) every day once a couple mutually recognizes those feelings.

      I agree that actions speak louder than words, and if a guy told me he loved me, but he didn’t act in a way that indicated he did, then I wouldn’t believe him. Some people use those words to manipulate others, unfortunately. And, those words are never a “get out of jail free” card for anyone acting inappropriately in a relationship.

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    Steelbird May 21, 2011, 1:06 pm

    Can I ask a question that has nothing to do with this subject? Although it does involve love I suppose. The story is a little long so I apologize. My fiancé and I are getting married next year. June 2 was the date we had picked out (a Saturday). We booked the hall, started running around telling people, picked out invitations and all that other fun stuff. It’s an interfaith marriage so we have a pastor and a rabbi who have agreed to co-officiate. The problem is that suddenly his parents completely out of the blue have decided they aren’t comfortable with a Saturday wedding. In fact they’ve said they’re embarrassed to even tell people about it. Saturday is the Jewish sabbath day for those of you who aren’t aware but the rabbi said he was ok as long as we did it near sundown. When we first started the whole planning process we considered the Sunday before Memorial Day but that is a Jewish holiday and the rabbi said he absolutely would not perform a wedding on that day. We can’t do the Sunday before Labor Day because my cousin is getting married that weekend. (Although his parents had the balls to tell me to make my cousin move her wedding.) I wouldn’t be so upset about this whole mess if they had said from the beginning they weren’t comfortable with Saturday. My fiancé is very close with his family and they talk on the phone at least once a week, they were not unaware of all this happening. The fact remains they went several months letting me run around in my happy wedding daze making all kinds of plans then dropped this huge bomb on us. If I do move the wedding I will resent them the rest of my life, if I don’t move the wedding they’re going to be upset because it’s a Saturday and I’ll be upset that they’re upset. I should point out even though I’m bitter about this mess that his parents and I have gotten along great until this happened. They were all supportive of the wedding, helped him pick out my engagement ring, ooo’d and aww’d over my wedding dress so it’s not the entire marriage they’re opposed to. So basically my question is, how in the world do I not let this ruin my wedding day and resent my in-laws forever?

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      Christina May 21, 2011, 2:11 pm

      I would say to keep the date you picked and have an early evening wedding. I’ve been to one and it was beautiful. There was a reception and dinner afterward and it was a relaxed and elegant evening. I’m considering an evening wedding beacause of it. If your rabbi has said that a wedding near sundown is okay then hopefully this is a good option for you and the inlaws.

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      Laurel May 21, 2011, 2:47 pm

      I agree with Christina—since the rabbi says an early evening wedding is okay, stick with the date you have. I’d suggest you get your fiance to talk to them about it (explaining the mitigating factors of why you can’t move the date, that the rabbi approves of your plan and that you fully intend to be completely respectful about the sabbath). If they’re still touchy about it, you might try to word your invitation carefully as a nod to them (ie, Interfaith Wedding to occur at/after sunset on Saturday June 2). Good luck!

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      Jshizzle May 21, 2011, 4:13 pm

      Your fiance needs to be the one to deal with this, since he had to know this might happen, though maybe only in the very back of his mind. As I was told when I stupidly asked why my boyfriend’s sister and her husband were getting married on a Sunday night when people had work the next day, “Jewish people nevvvver get married on Saturday,” like even suggesting it was the worst taboo of all time.

      Hang in there, and don’t let this stop you from having the happiest day ever.

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      PFG-SCR May 21, 2011, 5:34 pm

      “…how in the world do I not let this ruin my wedding day and resent my in-laws forever?”

      Without trying to be harsh, you need to stop thinking like this. This isn’t something that should ruin either your wedding day or cause you to resent your in-laws forever. The most important aspect of a wedding is the person you’re marrying, and he’s not going to be different if the wedding is a Saturday or Sunday (or any other day).

      My advice is to have your fiancé talk to his parents and explain what the rabbi said. But, I would also reflect on why _that_ date is so important to you – is it that you _can’t_ change it or you don’t _want_ to change it out of principle? It’s ultimately your fiancé and your decision, but changing to June 3rd (a Sunday) doesn’t change anything about the wedding besides the day is occurs on.

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        PFG-SCR May 21, 2011, 5:35 pm

        “…it occurs on.”

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      Steelbird May 22, 2011, 11:11 am

      It’s a little too easy to write an angry comment in the heat of the moment and post it on the internet. I was incredibly upset and just writing out of anger when I posted this and I’m coming off a little bridezilla-y. At this point we are still going to get married on our chosen date, the whole drama turned out to be far worse than it should have been because of an email. I was upset, not because there were issues, but because these issues hadn’t been brought to us months ago when we first started planning. Miscommunication and misunderstandings all around, there are still things that need to be worked out but the important thing is that in the end I will be marrying the man I love. I appreciate those of you who commented. I think we will be putting something in the invitation as Laurel suggested. I know this won’t get read by a lot of people but I just want to throw this out there. If you write an angry email that is filled with disappointment of someone, sit on it for a day, reread it, and then decide if you want to send it. If my fiancé had received a much less harsh email describing these issues it wouldn’t have turned into the mess that it now is.

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      SpaceySteph May 22, 2011, 8:44 pm

      Ah something that ENDLESSLY drives me up a wall.
      Non-observant Jews who suddenly give a crap about X Jewish thing when it suits them. Like my grandparents who dislike that all 5 of their grandchildren are currently dating non jews but they still routinely eat pork.

      What I bet happened, Steelbird, is that your future inlaws told someone of the wedding on Saturday who reacted with shock and made them feel like bad Jews. I doubt they have ever (ok maybe once or twice) actually observed a Shabbat and it probably didn’t cross their mind until So and So “Better Jew” made them feel bad about it and now they are embarassed and trying to fix it.
      I have already debated with my own family many times about this, and my opinion basically boils down to: this is exactly whats wrong with Conservative Judaism in America. If I were in this situation I probably couldn’t have been very nice about it. But let me just sum up by saying, this is a very common issue with Jews in that generation and I wouldn’t be surprised if that same kind of issue rears its ugly head a few more times throughout your life. Best of luck.

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        Steelbird May 22, 2011, 10:24 pm

        That is actually EXACTLY what happend. His mother had dinner with a friend from out of town and she suddenly felt she hadn’t raised a good Jew and flipped out.

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        SpaceySteph May 23, 2011, 12:26 pm

        What I would do, were I your fiancee, is tell my mother that she didn’t raise a good Jew. And she didn’t raise a good Jew on purpose because other things were more important to her (living in a nice neighborhood rather than walking distance from temple, eating dinner out at restaurants rather than keeping kosher, participating in the secular community rather than fencing ourselves off). If she had raised a good Jew he would neither be marrying you nor getting married on a Sunday. She raised a good human who happens to be Jewish, which I think is better.
        Then I would tell her that Mrs. Cohen’s opinion is noted, but our rabbi is performing the ceremony at the time he decided was acceptable and respectful of Shabbat and that if she feels embarssed to tell someone the wedding is on a Saturday she should not tell them and we could arrange to have that person’s invitation “lost” in the mail. Problem solved.
        But then again, this is a hot button issue for me and I don’t want to be nice about it. Hopefully your fiance is more tactful.

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        SpaceySteph May 23, 2011, 12:30 pm

        Sorry meant wedding on a Saturday. Thats what I get for typing while teleconferencing.

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    Christina May 21, 2011, 2:27 pm

    I dated my fiance for a summer 2 years before we got together this time. That summer was fun but his behavior was a little erratic and we fizzled out. He had said,”You know I’m crazy about you, don’t you?” Not quite an I love you.
    This time when we got together he had told me that he’d thought about me the whole time we were apart and he had planned to get his life together and win me back. I’d always thought he was the one who got away so things moved pretty fast when we got back together. I was scared of going out on a limb emotionally so I was being a chicken about the “I love you” thing. We were back together just a few weeks when we were in an embrace and he said it. I couldn’t look him in the eye. I didn’t want to believe it if he might just leave again. I said, “That’s…um…good.” We still joke about it sometimes. I’ll say, “I love you” and he’ll say, “That’s good!”

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    _jsw_ May 21, 2011, 6:40 pm

    Hmmm. How many people have I said “I love you” to (in a romantic sense)? As a guess, probably about eight. The first time I said it, I was 23 (and said it first… I think… it was somewhat simultaneous). I’ve said it first about 3/4 of the time. The longest I’ve waited was, I dunno, maybe two months.

    Did I mean it with the same intensity with each? No. The truest, deepest loves I’ve had were women I felt an immediate spark with. And by immediate, I mean immediate. Not necessarily first sight but first sentence. I’ve since learned that if I don’t feel it in that short time, I won’t ever feel it as deeply, even if it does eventually qualify.

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  • katieosaurus

    katieosaurus May 21, 2011, 8:50 pm

    The first time I said it was to my high-school boyfriend. I thought I loved him, but I had my doubts sometimes; we were very tumultuous. Other than to him, I’ve only said it to my current boyfriend. The longest I waited was about seven or eight months with the first; I shouldn’t even have dated him that long, much less another year! We were a total disaster! I’ve never said it first; I’m very shy, and with my current relationship, I was a little silly and made “rules” and timelines about when we could reach certain points (after my failed first relationship, I didn’t want to ruin another one by rushing into everything too quickly, especially since I’d been crushing on my current for a long time). We would be hanging out at my boyfriend’s apartment, I’d be making dinner and we’d have the stereo on. He’d be standing there pulling me over to him, making me dance, singing along to the music and putting my name in place of some of the lyrics (sounds silly, but one of the cutest things this man does!) and that’s when I realized I didn’t want to stick to my own timelines: I lovehim, his spontaneity, just everything about him. Later that week, I had decided I was going to tell him, and we were sitting on the couch, and when I leaned over to kiss him and tell him, he bursts out with “Damn it, Kate, I can’t wait any longer – I love you”. I’m glad it worked out so perfectly with the timing like that!

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark May 21, 2011, 9:18 pm

    More and more it seems to me that far too many women foolishly blurt this out far too early and then hopelessly obsess over why Mr. Right Now hasn’t returned the favor. Could it be that Mr. Right Now is actually being truthful and honest in his hesitation? Could it be Mr. Right Now thinks you are going too far too fast? I think so… It has been my observation that women sometimes jump the gun to quickly because they let their emotions run away with them… Several of you in the posts above talk of saying “I love you” too quickly and then realizing years it wasn’t really true. Ladies, slow down. Get to know your partner better. Stop trying to rush the LOVE thing because as many a poster above could tell you — that never exactly works out for the best.

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      _jsw_ May 21, 2011, 9:28 pm

      Well, to be fair, love is not always enduring, and we can be in love with someone at a point in our lives but then, after time and – especially – a painful breakup, we can look back and decide that, because we no longer feel it, surely we never did.

      So, sure, often people will say they love someone when they don’t really feel that way, but often we say it, mean it, and then stop feeling it and forget that we ever did.

      I mean, that’s true for women. As DJ pointed out above, men only say it to get laid.

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      PFG-SCR May 21, 2011, 10:07 pm

      @bittergaymark: There are some women like that, but there are also some men like that, too. I think part of it is that everyone has their own interpretation of what love means. I probably have a very romanticized view of love, but to me, if you _truly_ love someone, you’ll love them “forever” on some level, regardless of what happens to the relationship. But, that’s my view of love, whereas others might view it to be much less permanent.

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      • bittergaymark

        bitter gay mark May 22, 2011, 12:54 am

        Typically, I’ve found that when people say love too fast it usually later proves to be anything but.

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        _jsw_ May 22, 2011, 12:55 am

        That’s why I always drawl when I sat it.

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        _jsw_ May 22, 2011, 12:56 am

        “say”

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  • eelavocado

    eel avocado May 21, 2011, 10:54 pm

    I started to feel that I loved my boyfriend pretty early on in the relationship, but I figured I should wait a little longer to tell him. (Wendy actually published her article on why a woman shouldn’t say “I love you” first the day I met my boyfriend.) The thing is, I’m a sleep talker and my boyfriend would sleep over my apartment all the time. So, while watching TV, I would oftentimes fall asleep on him…and whenever he would try and wake me up to go to bed, I would murmur nonsensical things. For weeks, every morning, he would slyly ask me in the mornings if I remembered what I said the night before. And, every morning, I would rack my brain to remember if I told him I loved him or not! Of course, it ends up I never told him that in my sleep; he told me he loved me a few weeks later…But he definitely kept my adrenaline up those few weeks.

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    CharlieGunn May 22, 2011, 8:22 am

    I don’t see why it matters who it is. If you think they love you, and you love them, say it. My general rule, though, is three months, especially if you weren’t good friends beforehand. If they seem awkward about it, don’t say it again for awhile. If they run away, either wait it out until they come back (maybe they got a little case of the cold feet), or just forget them.

    My fiance told me he loved me long before we dated, though, so I guess I don’t understand this sort of issue.

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    Caroline May 22, 2011, 12:38 pm

    I’ve loved two guys, but only told one of them (my current bf) because I was never technically official with the first guy.

    But I have only told my bf once that I loved him, and it took me a really, really long time to say it. Not just because of him, but because I had never told a guy that I was dating that I love him, and that kind of love is so different from the kind of love I have for my friends and family (who are very easy for me to tell that to). But my bf is also not the kind of guy who talks about his feelings or says how he feels about me, which I understand and I’m totally fine with that. I’m not the kind of person to gush all over him to his face.

    But my friend was telling me about the five love languages, which is really fascinating. A lot of people break up because they think the other person isn’t loving them they way they should, but really it’s because they are loving each other in different ways. The five love languages are: 1)words of affirmation, 2) gift-giving, 3) acts of service, 4) physical affection, and 5) quality time. The love languages are for everyone though, not just your significant other.

    My top two love languages are definitely physical affection and probably acts of service. My boyfriend’s is acts of service and probably quality time. But my boyfriend is very physically affectionate to me. He hasn’t said that he loves me, but I THINK he does, but he may just never tell me, and I know that, so I’m not waiting for it. Plus, he never told any of his other girlfriends that he loved her.

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    LuluBelle May 23, 2011, 10:15 am

    When was the first time you said it? 20 years old
    How many relationships have you said it in? 3
    What’s the longest you’ve waited to say or hear it? 1 month
    Have you ever said it first? No
    The first time was with my first boyfriend and I said back, but didn’t really mean it. The second time, my bf of around a month also said it first after a party. I said it back and meant it. We dated 3+ years and even though I don’t feel the same now, I know I felt it then. The third and current bf told me he loved me about twice when he was drunk, starting about 6 weeks into our relationship. Since he was drunk, I didn’t say it back (even though I would’ve meant it) and told him it didn’t count until he was sober. I think it was about 4.5 months into the relationship when he finally said it sober and I said it back.

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    sarolabelle May 23, 2011, 11:31 am

    When was the first time you said it? 23 years old
    How many relationships have you said it in? 2
    What’s the longest you’ve waited to say or hear it? right now a little over 10 months
    Have you ever said it first? Yes

    My first bf he said it to me and then the next month we broke up. Second bf I told him the night he was breaking up with me. Obviously he didn’t say it back. This current boyfriend I’m just waiting patiently for him. He has told me before that if he says it he will be pretty close to engagement so…I think I have a while to wait.

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      _jsw_ May 23, 2011, 11:40 am

      I hope he changes his mind… the realization you’re in love and the decision to marry someone probably shouldn’t come at once. Likewise, I’m not sure you should marry someone who can’t tell you how he really feels – assuming he does love you but just is waiting to say it – until just before he decides to ask you to marry him. And if he truly takes a long time to decide he’s in love with you… my experience would suggest that it’s probably not the sort of love you want for the long term.

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        sarolabelle May 23, 2011, 11:53 am

        he’s never told a girl he loves her and he is almost 30. Perhaps he is afraid or just doesn’t know what love feels like at all.

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        _jsw_ May 23, 2011, 12:04 pm

        I really do hope things work out well, and maybe he is just afraid. But if you’ve ever truly been in love, then you know that it’s not the sort of thing you wonder about being real. It infuses your entire soul, and it actually takes effort to not say it. If he’s afraid, I truly do hope he overcomes that fear and tells you what’s in his heart.

        But if instead, after over 10 months, he doesn’t feel it? Please please take a good long look at the situation before deciding to marry (if he asks) a man to whom you are not special enough that he can’t fall in love with you after that long – or a man so uncomfortable with emotions that he cannot recognize that he’s in love when he is. Either way, I hope you end up with someone who deserves you, which might or might not be him. And if it is him, I hope he works through his issues.

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        sarolabelle May 23, 2011, 12:07 pm

        awww…thanks!

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        _jsw_ May 23, 2011, 12:14 pm

        You’re welcome – and I really hope that didn’t come across as patronizing or condescending or anything like that – I don’t mean to insult your boyfriend in any way. I just want you to end up happy, so I hope the person you end up with is able to express just how happy being with you makes him. 🙂

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        sarolabelle May 23, 2011, 12:23 pm

        no, you’re good. I hope I find a guy that can express to me how happy he is too. And I hope that evenutally he will get there. I think he doesn’t know the first thing about love and I think he thinks love means you want to marry that person. We talk about our future all the time and he once said he plans on dating me until we get engaged. He also said “loooov” on the phone when we were hanging up but dragged out the word and then stopped because he realized what word he was saying. So he may be close.

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    BoomChakaLaka May 23, 2011, 12:31 pm

    I definitely need to find a nice chunk of time to go back through all the comments and read other people’s stories. This is a pretty interesting open thread. That said:

    1) When was the first time you said it? Over 4 years ago in my very first serious relationship.

    2) How many relationships have you said it in? 2. My last one, and the one I’m in now.

    3) What’s the longest you’ve waited to say or hear it? Weirdly, I loved the guy I’m with maybe a month or so after I met him, but didn’t say it. So, I must have waited 5 months to hear it, and 5 months to say it.

    4) Have you ever said it first? I said it first in my last relationship. I guess I got a little superstitious and didn’t say it this time around. Not sure if it really matters who says it first, but just make sure you mean it.

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    goofy May 23, 2011, 4:45 pm

    This is a great thread – I wish I had caught the action over the weekend.

    This time last year I realized that I was in love with my boyfriend, at the time we had been together about 7 months. I didn’t say anything though because I was taking the GRE very soon and I was worried about how additionally stressed I would be if I told him and he didn’t say anything back.

    Two days after I took the GRE, I was getting ready to leave his apartment as he was getting in the shower. He was naked and I walked over to give him a kiss and hug goodbye, before I even realized the words were coming out of my mouth I said, “I love you.” I was so shocked, the words came out like a natural reflex and I was as flustered as him! I told him that I hadn’t been planning to say anything, but that I did love him. He gave me a hug and told me how sweet and wonderful I am, and how happy he was to hear that. No I love you from him, but I didn’t freak out about it and just went on my way.

    A month later, I had just gotten out of the hospital after emergency abdominal surgery and he came over to my apartment to watch UP. At the end of the movie he looked over at me and told me, “I love you.”

    We are still very much in love!!

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  • Lana

    Lanchik May 25, 2011, 7:10 pm

    My boyfriend told me he loved me after a month and a half of dating. Actually, he started cuddling me in the middle of the night, which only half-woke me up and then he said it. I know I said “I love you” back to him, then promptly fell back asleep. So, I had to ask him about it the next morning, because I wasn’t sure if I’d been dreaming or not! 😉

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