The first time saying “I love you” to someone is a pretty big deal. I’d go as far to say that it’s a bigger deal than the first time you bump uglies with them.
Quite often the moment you find yourself wanting to say “I love you” for the first time isn’t the moment you end up saying it, nor is it the most romantic way nor the most “The Notebook”. I first realised that I wanted to say “I love you” as he was stood in my kitchen cooking us tea in his pants and singing along to Spotify when he thought I couldn’t see him. I felt myself physically having to hold the sentiment in my mouth like one of those cheeky parps which you just can’t hold onto no matter how hard you clench your butt cheeks (you know the ones).
Saying I love you is a sentiment that should come with a health warning. In an ideal world you’d utter those three words, three words which seem so small yet signify so much feeling and the recipent would say it back immediately. Rose petals would swirl around you, fireworks would go bang,and you’d live happily ever after and feeling the need to hold “I love you” parps would become obsolete.
The ideal doesn’t always happen however and those three words can also backfire in your pretty little face, or if we’re continuing to use the parp anology, follow through in your face (nice mental imagery there, right?). There’s the question of “how long do you wait until you say ILY?” “how soon is too soon?” “what if they don’t say it back?”
Remember in The OC when Marissa told Ryan she loved him and he replied with “…thank you”? Or in Sex & the City when Robert told Miranda he loved her on a giant cookie and she ate the whole thing to avoid dealing with it? Exactly.
An “ILY” followed by silence is the worst. You overcome all the overwhelming fear that comes with uttering those 3 words and the other person simply processes them (and probably swallows the vomit which has formed in their throat) & then they avoid the sentiment completely, breaking the silence only to ask what you fancy for tea or to clear their throat and make a beeline for the bathroom.
There’s not really any coming back from an un reciprocated “I love you”. When Carrie Bradshaw tells Mr Big she loves him and he fails to respond in Sex and the City she puts a shelf life of “a pint of milk” on the sentiment… a week before it begins to curdle. After a week are you supposed to hope that the person grows into the sentiment like an oversized cardigan your nan buys you for Christmas, deny that it ever happened and avoid that person like the plague or simply elope to another country to hang your head in shame?
Thankfully he said it back.