You've seen this, right?
In yesterday's post, I shared about how Mr Fix It didn't say the words "I love you" to me until a trip to Cabo almost five years into our relationship! So this poses the question, how long is too long to wait to say "I love you" to someone? Or even better, how soon is too soon? Or if you really want to go there, is it even *necessary* to say I love you to someone?
For me, it wasn't. And here's why:
After the first couple months of dating, Mr Fix It and I talked about his ex-wife and divorce and previous relationships. I remember one very specific conversation where he casually mentioned, "I will never again tell a woman that I love her until I know for 100% certainty that I am going to put a ring on her finger." He probably never thought much of it again. But I stored it in the file cabinet in my brain.
It struck a chord with me. I appreciated it. I respected it.
I think in today's world, we use those words way too lightly. I remember in high school a pastor saying that "Guys use love to get sex, and girls use sex to get love." I didn't want to be one of those girls giving it up just to hear my guy say "I love you." And I respected that Mr Fix It wasn't going to use those words casually. As a Christian, many biblical passages speak truth to me about humanity, relationships and what it means to 'love' others. There is a verse in 1 John 3:18 that reads: "Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." You see, to me, Mr Fix It had a hundred other ways that he let me know how much he cared about me in actions. The words he spoke were amazing and nice and were something I desired for sure. But you know what truly showed me how much he loved me? The first time we went on a camping trip with his family.
We were camping at Trinity Lake in No Cal and would go wakeboarding every day. To get onto the boat, you had to walk down the bank of the lake and through this super muddy, orange, murky water. It was gross. Well, as we headed down there one day with Mr Fix It's brother, sister-in-law and some friends, Mr Fix It stopped at the bank and picked me up over his shoulder. At first I screamed thinking he was going to throw me into the lake. But then I realized, he was carrying me over the water and gently set me on the boat so I wouldn't have to get all dirty. The other wives and girlfriends made a few jealous comments about their guys doing the same for them :) That little chivalrous act meant more to me than simply saying "I love you." He proved it.
I could go on for days about all the little things that I appreciate so much more because I recognize them as his 'loving gestures' instead of taking them for granted. As I mentioned yesterday, we split up for a while in the middle of our time together. And once we got back together, I immediately started telling Mr Fix It how much I loved him. And one of the very first times I said it to him, I told him "Don't say it back to me." He asked me why and I told him about when we were first dating and how I remembered his comment about how he won't say those words again until he's ready to put a ring on a woman's finger. He just smiled.
It may seem awkward to say I love you to someone and get responses like "You're so sweet," or "Thank you so much," or "I know you do." But for me, it didn't matter. I knew how he felt about me. And so on that day in October, 2008 when we were strolling along the white sands of a quiet beach in Los Cabos and he looked at me and said "I know you've been waiting so long to hear me say this, but I do love you." Oh man, I just melted. I knew it was forever.
It took 5 years for him to get there. And for some, that may be way too long to wait. But I knew he had been hurt. I knew he had been taken to the cleaners, had his heart ripped out and stomped on. I knew he was jaded and unsure of whether he could trust a woman again. And I knew that we loved each other. So I was willing to let him get there in his own time.
In all honesty, I had actually given him an unspoken deadline. I had told myself a little earlier on that if we hit our five year anniversary and he hadn't at least started talking about marriage, then it was probably gonna be time for me to move on...I mean I was 36 at the time (37 now)...I wasn't a spring chicken anymore! :) So I found it funny that 4 months before that 5 year deadline, he finally brought it up...and it was all on his own. I never once said anything like "So when are we gonna talk about marriage?" And just two months before our five year anniversary, he put the ring on my finger :)
So, tell me about it, ladies. How long would you wait to hear (or say) the words I love you? Is there any way you can possibly put a 'deadline' on it or a timeline?
2 days ago