Dropping the L-bomb
One of my most trusted male advisers assured me that I, as a woman, should never say "I love you" first, and surely not within the first few months of a relationship.
I've been with my man for just a couple of months but find myself falling quickly into what feels a heck of a lot like love — trust him like no other, never felt this way before, yadda, yadda, yadda. The past few women he's been with have done him very wrong, and there was a moment at the beginning of our relationship when he got squirrelly about getting involved with someone again. The squirrelly phase has since passed, but I completely understand his anxiety about women and wonder if he'll be slow to drop the proverbial "L-bomb" before he's confident that I feel the same. Thus, should I say it first?
The beginning of a relationship is equal parts thrilling and terrifying — and the "I love you" dance is all part of the ride. It would be much easier if we never had to be the one to say "I love you" first, but then we'd never know what it's like to take a chance, put our hearts on the line and declare our true feelings.
That said, getting an "I love you"' too soon is akin to having the proverbial cigarette before fucking instead of afterward -- it's unearned and far less satisfying. Besides, it's only been a couple months — you still have much to discover about one another, including about a million of his annoying habits that might make the idea of saying "I love you" lose its luster.
As for women in hetero relationships not saying "I love you" first — that's crap. All feminist posturing aside, this archaic way of thinking is also offensive to men. If we say that men must have control over the word "love," we're also saying that they are unable to accept love that is offered to them. Men deserve a little more credit than that, don't you think?
Saying "I love you" should feel effortless. If you're having anxiety about the potential outcomes, why not let yourself off the hook for a while. Take a deep breath, let it out and relax. Enjoy your new boyfriend and the love you're feeling. I guarantee, you'll know when the moment's right to drop the "L-bomb" — if he doesn't drop it first.
Preparing the bomb shelter,