Something has been activated inside of you. Maybe it was the way they complimented your favorite song or the way they kissed you that night, but something happened and now you know, and now you can’t un-know, and the words are begging to come out.
“I love you.”
This feeling of knowing might be unfamiliar. You’ve dated so many people in the past, but nobody’s ever made you think about the words so much before. Nobody has ever sent this many shockwaves throughout your nervous system or caused the electric currents weaving throughout your body to begin pulsating this intensely. Nobody has ever made you feel this comfortable lounging without makeup on or peeing audibly. Is this what the storybooks and romantic comedies are all about? Two weeks ago, you were sane and perfectly content in your relationship, and suddenly you’ve begun thinking in poetry and fantasizing about singing on rooftops. Two weeks ago, the words weren’t even in your head. What’s happening to you? Now, they won’t leave.
When the “I love you” finally hits, it does so like a thousand bricks, and it is something you cannot rationalize. It feels like everything you say that isn’t “I love you” is a lie, and normal, everyday conversations with your beloved threaten to prompt the release of the words. “What do you want to do tonight?” I love you. “Hey, that dress looks really nice on you.” I love you. “Wanna do homework together?” I love you. “This pasta is pretty good, huh?” I love you.
The words weigh a million tons, growing by the day: the more time that passes from the moment you realize you need to say them, the heavier their weight becomes as they sit in your mind, anticipating their freedom. Yet, despite their heaviness, the execution feels so fragile, and no time seems right. When do you say them? Is there a right time? There will be those drunken 2 a.m. nights when you’re lying in bed together after a party, smiling to yourself because you have a secret and that secret is “I love you.” There will be those lazy Tuesday afternoons watching television, and you’ll spoon yourself into their body so forcefully you’ll want to envelop yourself in their skin, doodling “I love you” on every one of their organs. There will be those moments in the library or in class where you’ll look up at them and see them scratch their nose and wonder where the nearest mountaintop is to scream, “I love you!” But are any of those moments right?
When you’re ready, “I love you” will not be a thought, but a feeling. A thought is fleeting; “I love you” is a state of being, You’ll know when you’re ready because your body physically won’t be able to handle trapping the words any longer. They might come out as a blurt. They might come out awkwardly, or slowly, or romantically, or in a planned setting, or uncomfortably, or on a couch, or in a classroom doing homework at midnight, or when guacamole from your Chipotle burrito is sitting in the corner of your mouth, or when you’re sweaty after the gym, or when you’re grocery shopping. But soon, they’ll come out, mainly because you’ll realize that, in that moment, there will be nothing else to say. Your mind will block off access to other words, and other thoughts will be placed on the backburner. You’ll realize that if you don’t say them soon, now, this instant – you will explode.
That is how you’ll know when you’re ready. So, are you ready?