One of the most common questions I am asked in the letters I receive is, “When/how should I say ‘I love you?'” I’m not sure if there’s any other phrase that causes as much anxiety, except maybe, “Shit, I’m a week late.” And yet, it’s a phrase so many of us long to hear and, when we finally do, that first utterance is often etched in our memories like initials carved in a tree, reminding us that once, if not now, someone thought enough of us to take an emotional risk.
Drew and I dated almost eight months before he told me he loved me. (It was as I was boarding a bus to the airport after visiting him in New York for a week). Another boyfriend told me after only three weeks. And I had one boyfriend who said it only after I did first. There’s no right time or right way, though I once famously argued that a woman should never say it first (eh, I’m a bit more flexible on that argument now, especially when it comes to lesbian relationships…).
Anyhow, what are some of your l-word memories? How many significant others – if any – have you said it to or heard it from? Have you ever said it and not gotten a response? Or, conversely, has someone said it to you before you were ready to say it back?
* If you’ve got a suggestion for a future open thread topic, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.