To Speak Up or Not To Speak Up
True or False
- This is your first date with the guy.
- You are fairly certain what you feel is more than lust.
- You would own your love for him in front of your parents, boss, BFF.
- You feel the love fuzzies for him even if he interrupts Scandal or some other equally important moment.
If you answered TRUE to at least the last three of these, read on!
I have a confession to make. (And once you read this blog, you must burn it because I’ll deny I ever wrote it.) But here goes … I told Al I loved him before he told me. Yes. Yes! I know. I knooow. I got all caught up in the moment, and it just spilled out. And afterwards … crickets. He said NOTHING! I was mortified. Later as I recanted my faux pas to Joyce, my best friend and former college roommate, she screamed, “Oh. My. GOD. Have I taught you NOTHING?”
But you know what? Although it took Al a full fourteen days before he told me he loved me (Yes, girl, I counted the number of days. You know I did!), being the first to say “I love you” didn’t kill me. Or my relationship with Al. We did end up married after all.
So, here’s my life lesson for you, Chica ─ if you get caught up in the moment, don’t come down all hard on yourself if you’re the first to blurt out the three tiny words that can change ev.er.ree.thang. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, for some reason, society taught us that if we’re women, we should even be a little embarrassed by an unprompted confession. But saying “I love you” can also be super empowering. At least it’s out there. The guy now knows, and either he loves you back or he doesn’t. Better to find that minor detail out sooner rather than later, don’t ‘cha think?
Saying it first also takes you out of that brain fog that new love keeps you all wrapped up in. Think about it. You’re sittin’ there, eating your Ben & Jerry’s on your sofa on Shonda Rhimes’ Thursday, and all you keep thinking during Grey’s Anatomy is “Is he my McDreamy? Does he love me, ‘cause I sure love me some him.” Aargh. Forget that noise. Listen. When you were a kid in school and you had a question, what’d you do? You raised your hand and asked it. Better yet, if you knew the answer to the question, what’d you do? You didn’t even wait to be called on. You just shouted it out loud and proud. So, if you know that you love THIS guy (and this isn’t like, you know, a one night stand or a rotational booty call), there is no shame in shouting out loud, “Hey man, I love you!” Because love is powerful, sister. It is not a crutch. It is a not a scarlet L. It is a badge of courage, and you are a BADASS.
Now, to be sure it is love and not lust, I do advise that you skip the confession in the middle of a hot passionate moment, like I did with Al. It is kind of a mood killer after all if your guy just stares at you blankly, mid-motion, like Al did with me. Those tears of joy that were streaming down my face mid-blurt—like we were in an old Meg Ryan movie—dried up real fast when I realized what I’d said. He still teases me about that. Guys don’t know what to do with that information right then and there. Okay? So I’m all aboard Team Creative Sharing Outside the Boudoir. You do you! Want to write it in the sky? Do it. Want to send a love letter? Do it. Want to write it out in pasta noodles the next time you make spaghetti together? Fallo! (“Just do it” in Italian.) The new normal for saying “I love you” first is there is no normal.
Now, if he hasn’t repeated the little ditty back to you after fourteen days … well, then you might have to have “the talk” with him. [Sigh] Check back here. I’m sure enough of you will be asking me to blog about that, too. But for now, go for it. And good luck!