Lucy and I, having been together nearly a decade, use the L-word conversationally a LOT. And I don’t mean “I love you, my smoochy!!!1!” every ten minutes. It’s more like “Why didn’t you bring me coffee, too?” “Because obviously I don’t love you anymore.”
I don’t think either of us consciously realized it until this weekend, and we definitely didn’t think to include that on our list of things to work out before everybody got nekkid. The above silly example is common for us, but suddenly seemed a bit awkward in the presence of our new unicorn.
I tried searching the forum to see how others have handled this trivial yet potentially awkward situation. But it turns out that “love” and “I love you” are not helpful search strings ’round these parts. Who knew? So, any conventional wisdom or past experiences to share with a well-intentioned newbie?