Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The first time I said "I love you"

A friend recently told me that she and her boyfriend exchanged the four-letter "L" word. Love, that's the "L" word I'm referring to. Mind out of the gutter.

And while sharing in her good news, I reminisced back to the first time I said "I love you" to a guy. Oh misty water-colored memories.

For me, saying "I love you" is a big deal. Big. As a perpetual late bloomer, who had her first kiss at 18 and first real boyfriend at 19, being in love was romanticized for a long time by Disney and the movies, so I always wondered what it would feel like to love someone and how I would "know" when I did.

As he was for many other things, Peter was the first and only guy I ever said those words to. And he was the one to say "I love you" first in our relationship.

I don't remember the exact moment I knew that I was in love with him, but I do remember one day looking at him and feeling like I couldn't breathe. And when he asked if I was okay, I blurted out, "I love you."

Yes, I'm sure it's better than saying, "no, I'm choking" or "no, I'm just passing gas" but at that moment, I could finally say that I loved him. And he knew that when I did, it was sincere.

And once I said it, I was a love-saying machine, I couldn't get enough of it. Yes, I'm sure this made me look a little desperate and clingy, but being in love for the first time made me want to scream it out loud!

And even though things didn't work out with Peter, I found that it took a long time for that love to fade away. Falling in love takes time but falling out of love takes longer. I can't say that a part of me doesn't love Peter anymore, but considering he was the first guy I said it to, I can live with the fact that he'll always be a little more special to me than the rest of them.

So when I say that I love my parents and my friends, I really do. And it's much easier to say that to them than to a guy I like or am romantically involved with. But at least when I say it to a guy, I know it's for real.

Question time! How man guys/girls have you said "I love you" to? And how did you know when you were in love with them? I'm very anxious to hear the responses on this as I'm sure everyone's experiences are different.

Reader note: Everyone's comments on the beauty queen title cracked me up! I am so glad I'm not the only ungraceful person out there. And again, while I poke fun at pageants, I'm not poking for at people who participate in them. I'm sure they do require a lot of training and skill, I'm just not that talented :)

47 comments:

Heidi Renée said...

I have said "I love you" to three men. I only meant it with two of them, my first boyfriend and the man to whom I'm now married. With the other guy, I said it mostly to appease him--he was so persistent... and kind of creepy. I'm so glad I figured out what love really is!

Rachel said...

I have told two Dan's that I loved them.
The first one I THOUGHT I was in love with him, but it was more of a lust/we have been together for so long kind of feeling.
The second one is the one that let me see just how unhealthy my first love was and how great love could ACTUALLY be....

Sunflowers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arielle said...

I've said the "L" word to one person. I'm not sure how I knew that I felt it. I think I just kept having the urge to say it to him but waited until he said it first.

Sunflowers said...

I've said "I love you" to two men.

The first time was when I was around 17 - my first "real" relationship. I don't remember exactly when I said it, or the circumstances, but I do remember that he said it first and there was an awkward silence when I didn't say anything back. (I might've even said "thank you" - lol!) But I did say it to him eventually, and we were together for 2 years... I'm not sure how I knew I was in love with him. I might not have even actually been in love with him... First relationship and all, and I was fairly young. And he was kind of a jackass. :p

The second time was with my current bf (of nearly 5 years)... I can't remember when I first said I love you (what is wrong with my memory!!), but everything just felt RIGHT with him... we were friends for a couple months first; he made me feel warm and happy and I felt totally unselfconscious with him. I looked forward to every moment I spent with him. His eyes were always filled with such tenderness... (Ok, I'll stop gushing now... ;)) I'm pretty sure he said it first... and I'm also pretty sure I was withholding intentionally. I was scared to put myself out there. But I know when he said it, I said it back immediately! :)

erin - heart in ireland said...

I've only said it to one guy, my bf when I was 20. I was nervous, but I had never felt like that before. It was after about 3 months and it just felt right. But later on he turned out to be completely wrong.. but he will always be the first guy I loved, and we had some great times.

Kyla Roma said...

I've said I love you to two guys - my now husband and my first boyfriend, and both times is was terrifying the first time lol

I'm very much like you - late bloomer, and I had my first boyfriend just before I turned 18.

It's one of those things you just can't take back, and it can go either way. My first boyfriend who turned into a really bad guy in the end, told me by accident - he was just talking about how much he loved me and it just came out. It was adorable, and then a year later all those feelings were completely gone in both of us.

When I told my the first time husband he laughed, and went "I KNEW IT!" instead of saying I love you back - and when I pressed him, he said he didn't love me yet, but he was falling for me. He's lucky that I appreciate that kind of honesty - and it's that kind of honesty and humor that have been the heart of our relationship...even if I kind of wanted to it him in that moment lol

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

i've never told a boy/man i loved him - i'm SO robyn from HIMYM. no where's my ted?!?

Mandy said...

One and I will always love him.

I think this line is absolutely beautiful. "Falling in love takes time but falling out of love takes longer."

Jenn said...

i love you is a big one. i've said it to 2 people - one boyfriend from college, and my current husband. :) gotta use that one sparingly or it loses its magic! :)

K said...

I've only said the "L" word to one guy. It was SUCH a big deal for me to say it too, because I had been feeling it for awhile. We had been dating about four months. I had one day just been thinking about our relationship right before he was about to move long distance, and then all of a sudden it hit me in a wave of emotion that I LOVED this guy. Then I may have spontaneously started crying at that moment. So there was an intense moment that I realized I was in love for the first time. Maybe because it WAS for the first time.
And you never forget your first love!

Angela said...

I've only said it to one man, my first boyfriend, when I was 18. We met in September, we dating in October, and I was ready to say it by December, but I held out. I don't think I said it until February or March, and I was so nervous because I didn't know if he'd say it back. I whispered it one night as we were cuddling, and he whispered it back, and I think I cried/teared up a little, I was so happy.

And you're right--it DOES take a longer time to fall out of love. While I still "love" him, I'm not "in love" with him anymore, and that took nearly a year after we'd broken up to happen.

Miss Grace said...

I've said it to three boyfriends. I've never actually been "in love" though.

LBluca77 said...

I love Alexa's comment, that is so me also. I have said those 3 scary words before but I think I felt more pressure to say it than really wanting to say it.

sara said...

I've only said it to two guys. One my first "real" boyfriend in high school. We dated for 3 years. He said it first and I did really think I loved him but we were really young. The second one was my husband. He said it first and I totally meant it when I said it back to him. I was head over heels, still am after 12 years!

Andhari said...

I believe i say i love you more often to friends and family than to guys. I'm more like you, when I say it, it's for real :)

RebeccaC said...

So, I've GOT to ask....what is the "dirty" four-letter L word we're supposed to get our mind out of the gutter from. All I could come up with was "lube"...

phampants said...

I've said it to 2 but I only meant it to one. The first girl I said the L-word to, it wasn't so much that I didn't mean it, it was more that I didn't truly understand. Therefore, I didn't mean it as it was meant to be.

The other girl, I meant it every single time I said it to her

miss button said...

I've said it to one person (my now fiance).
It was 1-3 months into the relationship, and I said it, but probably didn't really realise what it meant. He didn't say it back. I cried.
But eventually, he did say it back. And now we say it all the time.

(And I'm with RebeccaC - can't think of the dirty one...)

Hope said...

I've said it two men; but only really meant it the second time. The first was that first love that you think is love but isn't really, you know?

Great post!

wontletlifedefineme said...

I've only say I love you to one guy: my boyfriend. It was love at first sight when we met, a year and a half before we finally got together. So by the time we did hook up I was very sure I was very in love with him.

I think it's important to let people - not just significant others - know that you love them.

liferehab said...

I say I love you to everyone. Boyfriends, best friends, family, random people at the bar. I am an I love you monster.

L.C.T. said...

The first two times, I wasn't in love. I waited a year after they told me, then broke up with them soon after I'd said it. This time, I knew I actually did because I wanted to tell him before he told me. When he told me, I said it right back. And this one is it :)

Hal said...

I've loved two guys but only said it to one.

The first was my old (and 1st real one) boyfriend of almost 4 years. I can't remember the first time we actually said it (memory blows!) but I meant it everytime. And I love hearing that it takes forever to fall "out" of love becuase I'm still working on that.

the second guy was an extremely long story, but our timing never worked out (which just suggests it prob never would have worked) and I only realized that I actually loved him when I started dating and could see what it was like to not truly care about the person you're "with."

great post!

Working Girl Two said...

like you, i've only said i love you once. unfortunately, ours was more of a forbidden love so his confession probably only made my attachment to him worse. getting over him was a very long and hard process.

and you are so right, falling out of love is much, much harder to do.

Lauren said...

I've only said it to one guy, and he's my current boyfriend. I'm not sure HOW I knew, I just did. It felt normal, natural I guess.

Lauren said...

You are very right...falling out of love is so much harder. Cute post. Made me smile and think of some happy memories :)

laurwilk said...

I've said 'I love you' to two people. Porter and my ex, Kyle. Kyle was the first and just as you described, I was so head over heels in love and constantly wanted to YELL about how much I loved him. Do you remember that one jewelry commercial when the guys yells, 'I love this woman!'? We used to do that...often.

I'm not sure how I knew. I remember the first I love you - I was getting into my car at Subway to go back to Iowa (he was playing summer ball in Wisconsin). It was definitely the happiest realization I have ever come to!

And like you, he'll always be a bit extra special. It took me a LONG time to fall out of love with him. Some days there is still a little something..

MonkeyBusiness said...

I've said the L word to three guys. Two were named Mike!

I just knew. I just had to say it. But I've NEVER been brave enough to say it first.

Hubs told me he loved me and was going to marry me on like our third date. He's crazy that way. :)

Cheryl said...

Oh the age-old question of how do you know you're in love. I guess you just do. Before I said it to my boyfriend i realized my heart would race and my breath would catch and I was just so happy. I just knew...

High-heel gal said...

I've only said this to 2 guys, but now that I've met my new boy, I realize that what I had with the previous 2 men maybe wasn't love, but lust. I'm so scared to tell my new man though...I think I'll let him do the honors first ;)

The Dumbest Smart Girl You Know said...

I've only been in love once, with the ex. I was 21 the first time I said it...and I think a part of me will always love him, if for no other reason than being the father of my children. A part of me has really, really disliked him for a long time, too...

Love isn't something I take lightly. Since he stomped on my heart, I'm super reluctant to hand it over to anyone else. I'm just not ready to be that vulnerable again.

stealthnerd said...

I've said it to 3 guys. The first, well, I definitely didn't love him but I was so excited to hear it and to think that I was *there* that I eventually said it anyway. I'll always remember him too b/c he ended up cheating--bummer.

The second guy I really did love. It didn't work out and we should have stayed friends but I would never say I didn't love him.

The third guy, well, I'm marrying that one :) I knew I loved him almost immediately after we started dating and I *just knew* deep down that we were going to be together forever.

I know, that was SO CHEESY right? Sorry about that....

Namine said...

You wrote this very well, I felt as if I was reading my own story just put in better words than I could do.
I've only said it to one guy and I plan on keeping him forever! :)

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I've said (and meant!) those words to three guys, one of whom I'm now married to. When Sweets and I first started dating, he was very quick to tell me he loved me. And while I was very accepting of his love, I wasn't ready to say those words to him. It was a good 2 months or so before I said them to him. Thankfully, he waited around to hear those precious words!

lucklys said...

only twice (obviously not counting my guy friends and family members) have those words been shared. both times, the guy was the first to say them. the first time, he said it at 2 months, i didn't say it until 5 months, but wasn't sure, we broke up at a year and a half because he was seeing a freshman girl (we were seniors).

the second guy said it to me after two weeks of talking through email and on the phone. he flew out to meet me 2 weeks later and he said it to me in person. 3 days after meeting him, i said it and i meant it. i moved in with him a month later and today we are still together, it's been a little over a year. we say i love you to each other as often as we can, sometimes 30 or 40 times in a row while peppering each other with kisses and hugs and we are always smiling. this one is definitely my future husband, lover, best friend, and everything i could ever ask for.

it's amazing how you really know when you're in love and how deep it is after only a few days of being with the person.

Pam said...

Great post! I've said "I love you" to two guys. The first one was my high school boyfriend. I really thought I loved him and it took me forever to get over him. It was total puppy love.

The second one is my current boyfriend. I actually said it first. All of a sudden the words got stuck in my head one night and I knew if I didn't say it right then and there, I'd explode. So I said it really quickly...and he replied with a "thanks". I burst into tears, completely mortified. But he told me a few weeks later, in a very similar "word vomit" fashion. He'd never said it before to anyone so he was super nervous...and I found it quite charming.

Blue Eyes said...

I have only said the 'L' word to one guy and he was my first proper boyfriend. He was lovely and we were together for a year and a half. I don't remember how soon into the relationship I said it but I remember exactly where we were standing. I remember exactly how we were holding hands in the funny sort of way that we did. And I remember exactly where the sun was in the sky. We were only young and things didn't work out, but for that time we were together I did love him. And I haven't felt like that about anyone in the past four years. How sad is that?! I guess what we had was so special that most guys don't/can't live up to that, I'm just waiting for one who can surpass even him!

Loved your post,
Blue Eyes xx

ashley.star said...

This is adorable. :)

Too cute!

I've said it to...one guy, I think. My husband.

I've only had two boyfriends and right now I can't remember if I said it to my first boyfriend...I'm pretty sure I didn't...Crap, I DON'T REMEMBER.

Ah, well.

Eternal Optimist said...

I have said it to one person ever, incl family and friends, I think it's a word that's being abused and a lot of people have said it without meaning it, pretty much numbing the affect it should have, which is a bit sad really.

Maki said...

The word "Love" can totally change everything in relationship, whether to get closer with the one you love or push her/him away... This post is so romantic, I thought: The way you said "I love you" to your ex, Peter is something that I would see in a movie...

I've said "I love you" to many men in my life, but I believe I was in love with only three men... I think you can love someone, but that doesn't mean you're in love with that person... I don't know if that make sense?

I remember I used to be so scared to say "I love you" to my husband because I didn't want him to get scared and run away - good lord he said it first!!!!

whattakes said...

The only time I have ever said it, I was 13 years old, and I'm pretty sure I did love him. We were friends since we were six, he was my first everything (minus first kiss, I was five for that)... and I mean everything. Until a week after we both said we loved each other, his dad died, and he had to move across the country to live with his mother.

I haven't been able to say it again, and I'm sure thats why after someone else said it, I was single again.

I still think of him a lot. And I know that he is married now and has a little girl.

bodelou said...

ive only said it to two guys. the first was my first real love. and the second, well to be honest, i did a faux pas and said it accidentally during sex. ha. it was the first time with someone else after that first love. woops! put myself in such a great predicament.

Katelin said...

matt's the only guy i've said i love you too. i had two other guys before him tell me they loved me but like you, i take it seriously and knew i couldn't say it back. oh love, you are so silly.

Blaez said...

i say i love you to alot of people because truly i do love them.

but in a romantic sense, only the major loves of my life.

virginity taker, 2nd bf, 3rd bf, ex husband, and my current man.

Easily Manipulated said...

I'm not sure if I remember exactly how many guys I told that I loved them. Probably every one of the ones that I was seriously involved with. But when I think about it now, I can remember three men that I did actually love. The one to whom I gave my virginity, my high school sweetheart and my husband. I am very much an 'I love you' machine. I probably tell my husband every chance I get that I love him. And why not? I'd hate for him to ever have a doubt in his mind. Everyone likes to hear that they're loved. :-)

Barry said...

Unless you have a lot of money sitting around silver seems like the best deal. Marine charged with recovery efforts has written a book on the matter, Thieves of Baghdad. The venue was a small schoolhouse located on the plaza which also doubled as a jail.