There are many "firsts" to experience together in a new relationship. The first date, the first kiss, the first time you... well, you know. One of the most highly anticipated firsts involves three little words.
I have been seeing my guy for just over a month. I am pretty sure I knew that I was falling in love with him some time after the first week. I have always believed that the man should be the first to say I love you. I am not sure where I got this idea. But I am pretty sure I am not the only woman who feels this way. We all want to experience that perfect moment.
After only a few weeks of dating, our fledgling relationship was put to its first test. My guy had to leave for a business trip in Arizona for ten days. A major interruption to our courtship. We managed to get through it by sending texts during the day and talking on the phone for an hour every night before bed. We had some of the most amazing conversations. I felt us growing closer each day.
On the last night of his trip, we were on the phone until after midnight. Just as we were hanging up, there was a long pause. I wondered if this could be our first "I love you." But then he said that he missed me and there were things he wanted to tell me in person when he got home.
Finally, the time came to pick him up at the airport. The entire night, I kept waiting for our perfect moment. In the car while we were holding hands on the way home, sitting on the couch drinking our evening tea, lying in bed together. So many times he would stop and gaze longingly into my eyes. I could literally feel the "I love you" floating in the space between us. But still nothing.
The next day I had to get up early and drive out to the executive conference center for a meeting with my boss and her boss. As soon as it was over, I called my guy from the car to give him all of the details. I decided to make a quick stop at the mall to return a dress before heading back to work. I was sitting in my car in the parking lot wrapping up our conversation.
Just as we were hanging up, I was saying "Goodbye" and I was almost certain I heard a quick "Love you" on his end. But before I even realized what he said, I hung up the phone.
Part of me was tempted to call him right back and ask "What did you just say?!" But I didn't want to put him on the spot. Maybe he didn't even realize that he had said it. So I waited until he came over that night to see if maybe that conversation broke the seal on the "I love you" that I was waiting to hear.
The entire evening went by and again, nothing. Lots of lingering pauses and deep meaningful glances into each others eyes. I started to wonder why it was so hard for people to say those three little words. I couldn't really put the blame entirely on him, since I was also hesitating at every opportunity.
The next morning on my way to work I decided to just let the whole "I love you" thing rest for awhile. After all, I know that I love him and it is pretty clear that he loves me too. Why put all of this pressure on ourselves to say it?
We had another wonderful date on Friday night. As we were lying in bed in the after glow, I suddenly heard myself blurt out "I love you babe. I have been wanting to tell you since you got back from your trip and I just couldn't wait any longer!"
At first he just looked at me and smiled. I started to worry that I had jumped the gun and said it too soon. Then he leaned in and whispered in my ear "I love you too, babe. I knew when I was on my trip but I just couldn't tell you. Why is it so hard to say?"
We both laughed and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. It certainly wasn't the perfect "I love you" moment that I had envisioned, but it was our "I love you" moment. And it is a moment that I will never forget.
In the end I guess it doesn't really matter who says it first. Although technically, he said it.