“I love you.” They could quite possibly be the three most powerful words of the human race. Here’s the catch though: if the timing is off, the response will follow suit.
Timing is everything. I cannot tell you how many times this phrase has slapped me in the face and sent my heart into a cold, fast sink from the pitter patter float it was feeling just moments before.
Now, I am not saying I am opposed to sharing these words or being untrue to yourself and your strong connection. I am merely saying, be patient. And I am mostly referring to those who have partners who are…well, squirmy.
You know what I’m talking about-the ones who are excited about you, but hesitant; their body language says one thing, and their mouth says another slightly contradicting thing; they want you, but they worry this is all going to bite them in the ass if they really give in. Those.
One must learn the art of reading another person and respecting the cues and gestures given in this type of situation.
The difficulty is obviously in the overwhelming, mystical swarm of desire that has wrapped itself around your heart. It’s beautiful, really, it is. But it is also notorious for fogging your lenses and clouding your vision.
Rise above the clouds and dare I say, love your person even more by allowing them to catch up to your feelings in their own time.
What you aren’t seeing quite as clearly as you should, you little love-struck Romeo, is that if you say these precious words to soon, and the feeling has not been matched yet, you have just opened Pandora’s Box. You just felt the release of all of that pent up heartfelt love and in the same moment cast a very daunting shadow of expectation on your SO.
And of course, you said, “You don’t have to say it back!” But, this just simply doesn’t cut it. The lid is now opened and you have unwittingly given your (very loved) partner the weighty task of constantly and vigorously assessing their movement toward love. Is it growing? Is it diminishing? What if I never feel like he does for me? And if that’s a possibility, am I stringing him along now?
I know he loves me and I know that I don’t feel that way yet, so how long do I have before this becomes a “she’s taking advantage of him” type of situation? Everything was going so well, but now there’s a knot in my stomach every time he says it. He’s so great and I could see myself feeling that way one day, but I just need more time. When he says it, I feel so guilty that I haven’t caught up to his clearly more enlightened ways of love!
You, in all your innocent, uninhibited love, have just thrust the object of your blind devotion into the blazing furnace of self-doubt. Don’t be surprised when they get…well, squirmier. This was your doing and you should take responsibility for it.
And honestly, that probably means only one thing: stop saying it. You can feel all the feels you want about it. You can show it without limitations. But you must not say it. She didn’t forget. The moment and the words are branded in her memory and she adores you for your honesty and courage, but if you want to keep her, just shhhhhhhh. No more.
Of course there are those who get an immediate reciprocation. Good for you! None of this applies to you. You either waited long enough for her to reach mutual affection or you both never deviated rhythm and time on the “growing feelings path”. How nice for you! You should definitely treasure it, as this is the ideal situation for falling in love.
But, for those who feel all of my words deep in their gut, yeah…you just swallow your “I love you’s” for a little while until she comes around. And next time you get the chance to fall in love with an amazing, lock-it-down, squirmy type…wait.