A couple of weeks ago I was considering the bits and pieces of my life and had a pretty serious realization.
I love my boyfriend.
This means that, at 26, after years of ridiculous crushes and romantic dry spells, I am in love for the very first time.
Now this fella I’ve got, we’ll call him Boyfriend,* is a fantastic human being and knows not only how to laugh with me, he’s knows how to deal with me through all of my weirdness and anxieties.
We’ve had a long and sorted history and have been romantically involved, off and on for nearly five years. We, however, have only been dating officially since December. So saying “I love you” was not as simple a task as I would have liked.
But the deciding factor for me, the thing that told me I needed to say it and say it soon was that when I considered the possibility of him not saying it back, I kind of just shrugged and thought “well it’s ok if he doesn’t love me yet”
So I told myself I would tell him this weekend. But how? I struggled with bluntness or cuteness, should it be serious or part of a bit? Should it be in a specific place? After many conversations with my closest pals and hours of puzzling over it, these were the possibilities:
Force him to watch the episode of Friends where Chandler finally tells Monica he loves her. Right after this scene, tell him to put a chicken on his head and dance around. When he asks why say “because I love you.”
The problem: I like Friends way more than he does
As I often do when confronted with a serious life event, my instinct is to be moderately unkind. Just jokingly, like tell him I love him but also call him names.
The problem: the timing on this has to be impeccable or it’s either too mean or not clear enough.
The Direct Approach
Find a quiet moment and simply say “Hey. I love you.”
The problem: I have a really hard time sounding serious. I get a lot “well you don’t have to be a dick about it” to compliments I’ve given.
So, what really went down?
In the end, I abandoned sounding cool or romantic. I waited until the last moment (actually it was totally Monday morning). I waited until I was opening a graduate school admissions letter that could change my future entirely, turned to him and said “before I open this…I love you.”
He said it back.
*That’s his real name, his life has been very confusing.