Will You BeThe First One To Say "I Love You"?
I suppose we all fear the vulnerability that comes with telling someone new that we love them. But hey, love is good, isn’t it? Scary maybe, but good at the end of the day. Is it true that we either choose love or fear? Why do they seem to come together in the same package? It’s because love has been at the root of some pain for all of us, no doubt.
I remember being certain that Charlie was crazy about me, and when I told him this, he vehemently denied it at first. Over time, he admitted that he loved me. We basically came to a mutual agreement that we loved each other. He forcefully refused to love me at first because he had been so badly burned in the past. He was always saying, “I don’t want to love you”. Too bad, dude, you’re in. He eventually admitted to recognizing when he first realized he loved me. It was when he was still in bed and I got up to make coffee for us.
I began dating Rex right before Labor Day. We fell in “like” very quickly. He told me that one of his rules in a new relationship was he always waited for a woman to fart in front of him first. This was funny and made sense at the same time.
Rex knew he was taking a chance being involved with me because I am still married. I am physically and legally separated, but married in point of fact. He was brave and proceeded to get involved with me. Any new relationship is akin to a crap shoot. It seemed that he was trying to avoid stating his opinion on my husband, but it was obvious he definitely had one. He had been divorced twice so he was no stranger to the anguish related to the end of a long term relationship. I could sort of tell that he felt it would be wise for my husband and I to reconcile, but selfishly wanted me for himself.
I knew we were falling in love, but was afraid to admit it openly. I decided to institute something like a rule about not saying I love you first, kind of like his rule about waiting for the first fart. Rex is unusually open with his feelings for a man and has not been afraid to cry in front of me. I love that. I knew we were falling in love, but was avoiding the conversation.
We were relaxing at Rex’s house last weekend and got on the topic of my husband since I had just attended memorial services with him for my in laws. We talked about how nice it is that I get along with my husband even though he doesn’t want to be with me. During this conversation, Rex said “I’m going to tell you something and I don’t know if you’re ready to hear it”. Wow. Scary.
I had been through an emotionally hellish week with the death of an ex boyfriend whom I still loved, and very difficult health issues with my mother. I wasn’t sure if I was ready, either. He said, “I love you, and I think if you and your husband find your way back to each other, that would be a beautiful thing.” I tried to not give the knee jerk reaction about how I would never reconcile with my husband. Part of me feels this way, but we also talked about how we should never say “never”. Rex cried hard. I was stunned and took my time to absorb this. He went into the bathroom to blow his nose while I sat there processing this. I wanted to tell him I loved him, too, but it seemed like that moment was on the less sincere side. As in, “I love you, too”. I already knew the thing he wasn’t sure I was ready to hear, but I didn’t say anything right away. I decided to sleep on it and formulate an appropriate response rather than a reactive one.
My emotions had been wreaking havoc with me all week, but still, I was able to tell Rex the next morning through tears that “I already knew all that stuff you said about my husband, and I love you, too”. He said “I know you love me”.
Happy ending. :)