The L Word
I don't mean lesbian, I mean love.
I've been dating a boy for a bit. Well. Ok, here's the history (will keep it brief).
I've had a crush on him for years. I thought he wasn't into me, so okay, but I still have loved him as a friend.
We kissed in March.
By April, we were starting to see each other occasionally, but for a strictly casual sexual affair. He has a primary relationship, and he loves her, and he didn't really identify as poly so much as "open." She knows me and approves, and is poly herself (he's one of her two primary partners).
In early July, he said he wanted to actually "date" me. He's secure enough in his primary relationship, that he's open to actually dating.
He has told me, though, of prior dating experiences, where he's been scared off by people who say "I love you" too soon. One month = way, way too soon in his book.
I've loved him since before we even started playing around, and add to that, I'm crushing on him so hard right now. I also know, that sometime between one month and one year, he will move out of state and in with his primary partner. We'll hopefully still see each other, but maybe not as often? Maybe it's too soon to worry over that?
I know I should chill, and ride the experience, and not try to make a big deal about my feelings. I'm in other relationships, too, and I'm not certain I can even understand *why* I feel so driven to talk to him about my feelings. And I know that this terrible crush is clouding my thoughts, and once it passes, it will be much easier to sort out exactly how I feel.
How do you hold back from jumping in with the L word too soon?
There was a popular song when I was in school about what you would do if you COULDN'T use that word.
My opinion is that people use the word too easily.
If you really want to impress someone with your love-show them.
Think of LOVE as a verb-instead of a noun.
A verb, a verb and action word......
Instead of worrying about SAYING how you feel;
figure out the actions that would express it.
Knowing that it makes him uncomfortable is what I would focus on, if I needed to hold back.
I'm with LR, to me love is a verb, it's something I consciously choose to do. Feelings are gravy (extra). So, a very loving thing to do is to make a partner feel comfortable and loved, whatever that means to them.
My dad once gave me a lovely lecture about love, and how he had learned to make a cup of tea exactly the way my step-mom liked it. Not the way he had learned to make tea, but the way she liked.
That's never been so obvious to me as now that I have two boyfriends. They each like to be loved in fairly different ways.
Talk to all your friends who will listen about your crush and use your l-word with them. Pound it out on your keyboard. And then find other ways to express to him. One of mine hasn't said it, but I recognize that he's uncomfortable with me saying it. I say things like 'I love the way you do _____' (whatever). Or 'I love it when you __________' (do nice things for me)(whatever).
In my monogamy-trained mind, if I say "I love you" to someone, something's supposed to change. It's supposed to be that moment in a relationship when everyone sucks in their breath, the sun breaks through the clouds, an orchestra plays romantic music, you look each other in the eyes, and all of a sudden, the relationship is more important or serious or... more something... than it was before.
What cockamamie bullshit I was handed, way back when I played with my Barbies, I suppose.
I would only tell someone I loved him after I let go of my expectations about what telling him would mean, and also of the need to hear it back. I have to reach a point where it is simply communicating how I feel, the delivery of a message, and nothing more, with no baggage or expectations attached to the telling. Because -- really -- loving someone is simple and expressing it should be no big deal. If someone has hangups about it, it may or may not be appropriate to confront them on it. But loving them and looking inward at ourselves we can do. If someone shows how fond of me he is and how much he cares about me in so many ways, I don't need to hear it. Truly, I don't.
So, I would say, the best thing to do is examine your motives. Why do you ache to tell him when you know he'd be uncomfortable with it? Ask yourself why you want to say it - visualize in your mind how you would like it to go if and when you do tell him and then take a good look at your fantasies around that moment. Would it be a test to see how he really feels? Our minds have such devious ways to try and find out if we are really as liked and loved as we hope. Keep drilling down to see what's underneath the urge, but don't give in to it. Not yet. Not until you're very clear about what saying it means to you. Believe me, the lessons you gain from NOT telling him yet can be profound.
Becca, you may like this discussion thread:
What does "I love you" mean to you?
I'm always scared of saying "I love you" too soon because I'm used to saying it so often. With Seamus, I say it all the time. Some times it goes "I love you" "I love you too" "I love you" "I love you too". And we're not doing it on purpose, either. We've been in a honeymoon phase ever since the beginning.
I remember the first time I told him, we couldn't have been together for more than a month. I didn't even tell him, really, I typed it. When I realised what I was done, I was terrified. I thought "it's over". You always hear about people who get scared by declarations of love.
I was so relieved when he said he loved me too. I told him I was worried that would have scared him off, and he said he had no reason to be scared off since he felt the same way.
My main "problem" I guess, is that I wouldn't really consider dating someone I don't already love. So obviously, I want to say it right away. I'll need to remember that people generally aren't like me, they don't date someone because they want to spend their life with them, they date them, and others, and then see how they feel about everyone.
Anyways, I don't know how you can deal with it. It's not the kind of thing I'm really good at not saying. I'm already having trouble not telling it to Seamus's coworker when we talk, every time I say "bye", I have to stop myself before I add "love you!" and someday I probably won't stop myself. Oh well, I'll deal with it if it happens.
Sometimes I wonder why a lot of people seem to think that the less you say it, the less it's true. I don't think that's the case. Mind you, I don't think it's the case the other way around, either, you don't have to say it all the time, my parents certainly never told me they loved me and I still know they do, for instance. And I'd be fine with a partner who doesn't say it, provided they don't mind my saying it, and they don't feel like I'm pressuring them (I don't see why people assume I expect an answer. It's just that the feelings have to come out because they're overflowing, so I have urges to hug and kiss and say things like that).
Anyways. Good luck. Do your best not to tell him if he's scared of it, and learn to channel it in other ways.
I'm the slow burn person. And I enjoyed the NRE thing. But I am leery of saying "love" too soon.
Because I LOVE the NRE feel. That doesn't mean I LOVE the actual real person yet, in depth. I'm viewing them through rose colored pink fluffy lala clouds of NRE. (You can look up the neuroscience of falling in love to get all the hormone names and what they do. ) I am drunk on that high, so I'm not in my right mind and I know it. :)
So in the transition time, I gush all I want by showing them affection/caring in different ways. If they tell ME they are in love I smile and tell them "I know. Thanks. I'm just a slow burner so don't get upset if I'm not ready to say that word out loud yet. But I've really fallen HARD in LIKE with you!"
And then I just sub out the word "Like" -- when the impulse is to use the word "love" later on. Sometimes quietly. Sometimes really gushy.
They usually don't mind me gushy going "I really, really LIKE you! Wheee!"
For me the "L" word carries significant meaning and responsibility and I don't say (or hear) it easily.
I wrote about this when I first told Dude that I loved him in this thread: OMG! I just said the "L" word.
Personally I really hate NRE - I don't trust my responses, I don't recognize myself, so I am convinced that the other person has not yet met ME (so how could they "love" me if they only know the NRE me?). For me "love" is something I can only truly acknowledge once the NRE is (finally) over. (Perhaps I shouldn't be so apprehensive - all both of my NRE experiences led to "love"...)
GG uses "like" as her substitute, mine was "care for" - when Dude would say it to me, before I was ready to reply in kind, I would just smile kindly and say "Thank you."
In SATC, Samantha Jones couldn't say the L-word to her bf Smith, so she said, "You are more important to me than any man I've ever known." Aww, gets the message across (and it's Samantha, so he's more important than lots and lots of men!).
I have love feelings for many people. I tell them I love them, and it's a different love than I have for Storm. For me, I'm in Love with Storm, and have love feelings for others. Once I know, after enough time out of NRE, that I am in Love with someone, then I will say, I'm In Love With You. Of course I let them know that before hand, what my words mean, so I'm not saying too much too soon. But then I've always been that way, I have love feelings easily, and it takes time to fall In Love.
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