Saying “I love you” can be one of the most frightening things you ever do. Actually, I think having someone say it to you before you’re ready is a little more frightening. That’s the sticky situation that my best friend is in right now. The guy she’s been dating for the last 6 months recently told her he loved her. I received a random text, “Steve said the “love” word…” After the obligatory “Well, how did that make you feel?” and “Do you think he loves you, or is he in love with you?” Q & A that conversation ended in her saying, ” I just won’t bring it up” which means IGNORE, IGNORE, IGNORE. I’m not one of those people that can just ignore a problem or sweep things under the rug. I’m a self-proclaimed “communicator” and when something’s on my mind I have to discuss it.
I told my bestie about a fling/thing I had right before I moved to Atlanta. I started hanging out with a guy I’ve known from middle school and high school about a month before the big move. Since we literally grew up together the chemistry and comfort levels were at a record high. And pretty quickly, he said those three words to me. He prefaced it with the “I have to tell you something and you don’t have to say it back.” And then he just said it. I was kinda frozen because I knew I had the feels for him but hadn’t thought of the words.
Being the communicator that I am, I told him that since I was newly single, I didn’t know if I was ready for love just yet. To that, he said that he wasn’t in love with me. But that he loved me and felt a deep connection with me. I told him I felt the same and that was the first time we said the words. It felt really good to be open and honest, and it was so easy to continue to say them afterward.
I’m not sure that my story helped my friend at all. I’m sure it just made her a little more anxious. But she’ll get there in her own time, or maybe she won’t and that will be fine too.