(1.9 minute read)
My boyfriend said it first. Two weeks after we became “official,” standing on the top of a hill in a cemetery, right after our first kiss. I don’t remember what I said in return, but it wasn’t the same phrase. I wouldn’t say it for a while after that, and even when I did, it didn’t mean what I wanted it to mean. It meant what I thought he was trying to say.
I recently asked him how he was okay with saying that so soon, and he said, “Because that’s what you do. You say it, and then eventually you figure out what it means, and then you mean it more and more.” I still disagree with him. I don’t want to be told something that isn’t true, or pretend that a relationship is something that it isn’t (yet), or trick myself into thinking that’s what love feels like… because as nice as it was, it was still so pale in comparison.
“I love you” is not the same as “I want to love you.” “I love you” presupposes “I know you,” and “I want to love you” only presupposes “I want to know you.” And, I’m sorry, but it takes far more than a few weeks to know anyone. True, I can know bits of who someone is, and facts about their past, and some of the tiny wrinkles around their eyes when they laugh, but I can’t really know them yet.