The First Time You Say “I Love You”

Is there anything more torturous than the first “I love you” in the context of a relationship? I mean, I’ve never done anal, so I can’t be entirely sure. Nevertheless, when you realize you’re in love with the person you’ve been dating, not only do you have a Jekyll and Hyde style fight to not flip the crazy switch, your life also begins to resemble a violent and strategic war game (at this point COD aficionados may rejoice), usually against no one but yourself.

Here are some questions you will find yourself asking:

  • Does he / she love me too?
  • Should I say “I love you” first?
  • If I do, will he / she say it back?
  • If I wait for him / her to say it first, will it ever happen?
  • Does he / she know that I love them?
  • Does he / she know that I suspect that they love me too?
  • Does he / she have all the same questions as me?
  • If so, will I be able to win at this stand off?
  • When did this stop being about love and start being about winning?
  • Am I going crazy?

You’ll find yourself analyzing every tiny nuance of their behavior. You’ll be on your guard all the time, waiting for them to drop the L bomb, and trying as you might to diffuse your own. You’ll lie awake in bed at night concocting fantasy scenarios in which you look like Anne Hathaway and you’re eating ice cream which you get on your nose, and once he (who now looks like Ryan Gosling), cleans it off he holds your face, looks deeply into your eyes and says “I love you,” at which point it starts pouring unexpectedly torrential rain like in Lost and you kiss while a rainbow forms in the distance.

You want it to be romantic—the first time one of you says it. You don’t want to broach it over dinner, or come back to it after, in fits of laughter, he / she casually throws out “OMG you’re so funny babe I love you!” in that really flippant, nothing way that will trigger all sorts of hyper-tension in you and leave your mind completely boggled. You want it to be a moment you’re going to remember and recall fondly forever, because you’re going to get married a have a billion kids or at least a puppy, and everything needs to be exactly perfect.

But here’s what I’ve come to realize from counseling many a friend through this exact situation (because obviously I’m shit and single and never going to be loved): you should just say what you feel. Loving someone isn’t about what they say back. In fact, if you really love someone, it shouldn’t matter in the slightest whether or not they love you too—you love them not as a means of asking them for something, but because you just, very simply, do.

To that end, you shouldn’t be afraid to say it. Not many people have the opportunity to love or be loved, and if you’ve allocated your affection wisely, even if your love doesn’t love you the same way, they will respect and be humbled by your proclamation. And it will probably make them feel great about themselves, which is something you should definitely want the person you love to feel.

It can be terrifying to think that someone you love doesn’t love you back, but if that fear baulks you from being demonstrative with your emotions, I think you really need to reassess those emotions to check if they’re actually real. If you think they are and you’re still mortified by the thought of saying those three little words out loud, I’ve got three little words for you: get really drunk. At least that way you can pass it off as inebriated blather or flat out pretend to not remember saying it in the morning. TC mark

image – Junior Vaka

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  • Marcia

    I got a “thank you” followed by “I love you too” about 6 seconds later. Everything went downhill after that.

  • Huy

    I’m not a betting man, but I would put 10 grand on the whole “never doing anal” thing being a lie.

    • Guest666

       hahahah THIS nigga…

  • Larita

    “you love them not as a means of asking them for something, but because you just, very simply, do.”
    So lovely and true.

  • guest

    TC needs a proofreader :/

  • http://www.wilfordlauren.tumblr.com Lauren Wilford

    To me, “I love you” has always been a gift. If you want to give it, you do. 

  • http://twitter.com/mung_beans 371747

    Anal is great.  Much less torturous than love.  

  • Anonymous

    Wow, this makes me feel really lucky. I only worried about when to say it for about a day before my ex said said it first. Of course, she WAS drunk when she said it so maybe she had to go through pain comparable to anal beforehand. I dunno. I also don’t know how anal feels, but some people think it’s great. Hmm.

    Hmm. Now I can’t seem to stop thinking about Anne Hathaway eating ice cream while receiving anal.

    • Katgeorge

      I like you

  • http://twitter.com/Flarfer Dave P

    God damnit the FUCK with these articles on love and relationships and kissing by the twentysomethings already.

    • Dontmind

      Fuck you. Read the new yorker.

      • http://twitter.com/Flarfer Dave P

        It’s called *Thought* Catalog. Not Emo Catalog.

        Jesus Fucking Christ.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508371039 Rayan Khayat

        Love & Sex 454,
         third most popular tag

      • guestface killah

        fuckin like

    • Kaytee

      If you don’t like the love, relationship etc.. blog entries, then may I suggest simply not reading them.

  • http://twitter.com/iamthepuddles irreverent puddles

    i think SAYING “i love you” isn’t what people should worry about at all – it should be how you show it. we shouldn’t profess our love to others, we should treat them like we love them. then, when you’ve been with someone for enough to time to see that the way you interact and the way that they treat you is loving, you can be like, “YOU LOVE ME,” and then they’ll be like, “Yes, I love you, and you love me, too.” …instead of being like “Yeah, I love you” and then trying to figure out how to make him/her jealous by flirting with other people in front of them.

    • http://twitter.com/iamthepuddles irreverent puddles

      also my last boyfriend got totes shwasted and slurred “i love you” for the first time to me on the bus back to his. repeat the following night. then when departing his for mine on sunday, he said it again (sober) but thinking he was all cute and saying it for the first time. like, “Yeah, you love me and you showed it by getting so drunk i had to literally punch you in the face to wake you up so you could crawl off the bus.” like, cool! i have to get you home in a strange city and make sure you’re not dying while i’m stone cold sober! that’s love

  • Anonymous

    Obviously this article has pushed quite a few emotional buttons in its readers who are bashing your style for no reason.

  • Tory

    I said it for the first time in an e-mail. Yup. After we’d had a fight. He e-mailed me to apologize even though I was in the wrong, so I replied and apologized too and said I loved him. He came into my room all excited and said it back as soon as he got the e-mail.

    It’s actually one of my happier memories of our (still existent a year later, thankyouverymuch) relationship. So yeah–sometimes the message is more important than the medium.

    • http://profiles.google.com/salier.diana.a Diana Salier

      ha — totally did the “i like you” thing too.

  • Amnesiacsiblings

    I remember saying “This is stupid, we know what we both mean,” after me and my boyfriend had been saying “I like you,” back and forth to each other for awhile. I’ve never struggled with the “I love you” moment before– I’ve had more trouble with the difference between “I love you” and “I’m in love with you”

  • Kaitlyn

    love this. exactly how i feel right now

  • Nini

    My 1st bf was the one who said the “magic words” first.  I knew that I like him well enough to go on exclusive with him, but didnt know if i love him enough to be able to say those words.  Everytime he says “i love you”, i will flash him my sweetest smile and graciously say “thank you”. 

    Then that ‘feeling’ came.  I wrote him a love letter (yes, pen and paper, old school – we usually write love letters anyway) and wrote right about 100 ‘i miss you’s” in the PS part.  Right between the 52nd & 53rd i miss you were the words “I love you”.  He was halfway in his 2hours bus travel when he read the letter and the “i love you”.  He turned around, went back to my house, just as so he can hear me actually say it. After 3 months of being exclusive. :D

    (Btw, he was the one who told me abt the 52nd & 53rd i miss you’s.)

  • Nini

    My 1st bf was the one who said the “magic words” first.  I knew that I like him well enough to go on exclusive with him, but didnt know if i love him enough to be able to say those words.  Everytime he says “i love you”, i will flash him my sweetest smile and graciously say “thank you”. 

    Then that ‘feeling’ came.  I wrote him a love letter (yes, pen and paper, old school – we usually write love letters anyway) and wrote right about 100 ‘i miss you’s” in the PS part.  Right between the 52nd & 53rd i miss you were the words “I love you”.  He was halfway in his 2hours bus travel when he read the letter and the “i love you”.  He turned around, went back to my house, just as so he can hear me actually say it. After 3 months of being exclusive. :D

    (Btw, he was the one who told me abt the 52nd & 53rd i miss you’s.)

  • Erin

    I loved the first two sentences of this article so much.

  • Girl

    “Despite all appearances, I do love you. In fact, despite your appearance…” Such a good job I adore him.

  • Rudy

    I’m alittle differnt in useing love. I don’t really have to hear it I love him showing me it means more when he does. Some people just want to hear it Becuase there scared that he/she will leave them. I use to say it and wanted him to tell me so then it would mean that he would not leave. Yes I’m only 18 an maybe don’t know what I’m talking about. Love is amazing. When he or she loves you they will be ready to tell u. love is such a stroung word to use maybe there scared to use it right away beCaue some people have left when they said I love u and the next day she or he says ur going to fast and leaves it happens. Sometimes the love word is used in 3 months it takes awhile you people. As long as they show you the love then ur so far doing great. Don’t worry he or she will use it when the time comes. I hve faith is love and when people say it. I don’t want anyone just saying it and not meaning what it means. Again 18 maybe don’t I don’t know hat I’m talking about. Good luck and have faith <3

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