If you’re in a serious relationship and are in love, you’re probably looking forward to the first time you utter those three little words to each other. Unfortunately, when my partner finally said it to me, it was definitely not everything I hoped it would be.
We didn’t immediately fall in love. It wasn’t love at first sight for us—not even close. Our relationship was rocky at the start because I’d just come out of a serious relationship and wasn’t quite ready for another one. We dated for a couple of months and then amicably broke it off. I thought that was it, but we ended up hanging out again about a month later with mutual friends and got back together. I’d had some time to heal and our relationship was great this time around.
When I fell in love with him, I didn’t want to say it first. I realized I loved him when I wanted more than anything to make him happy and trusted him more than I’ve trusted anyone before. I was too insecure to say it first and it hadn’t been that long since we’d started dating so I wasn’t in any rush anyway. I was enjoying just being with him and I was looking forward to him hopefully falling in love with me too.
On a night away together, it seemed like it could be the moment. It was wintertime, so we went to a ski resort and it ended up being really romantic. We had a nice dinner, walked around town, and did some shopping and sightseeing. We had a great time together as usual. When we eventually went back to our room to have dessert and relax, I was on cloud nine. Could this be it?
He gave me a promise ring. He made the day even better when he surprised me with a promise ring. I was genuinely surprised and touched that he would do that even though I couldn’t wear it because it was silver and I’m allergic. I loved it so much nonetheless because of the thought behind it. I was hoping it meant he was falling for me too. I was excited about our future.
He finally said it, but he sort of ruined it. After giving me the ring, he followed it up by saying “love ya.” Yup, you read that right. It was “love ya,” not “I love you.” He said it so quickly and quietly that I wasn’t even sure I heard him correctly. Plus, it didn’t sound like he meant what he said because there was no conviction behind it. This was not what I was dreaming of, but I said “I love you” back and acted like nothing was weird. I was really confused, to say the least.
To make matters worse, he didn’t say it again after that. Because of this, I was starting to doubt if he meant what he said. When people are in love, they usually want to shout it from the rooftops, so maybe he was regretting it. Did he say it only because he thought that’s what I wanted to hear? Things were awkward between us and I was worried that our relationship was in trouble.
I eventually confronted him. A few days later, I couldn’t take it anymore and asked him what his deal was. My fantasy of what it’d be like when he confessed his love for me was kind of shattered and I needed to know if we could recover. It turned into a heated argument because we let the tension build up so much. However, I did at least get an answer.
Apparently, he was just nervous. He claimed that the reason he said “love ya” was because he was nervous about saying it first just like I was. He also explained that he didn’t say it again after that because I hadn’t said it either. I asked him if he was sure he meant it because if not then I was fine with taking our time, but I wanted honesty. He said he did mean it and I felt like we were on the same page again. After that, we started saying “I love you” on a regular basis.
I was disappointed with how it went down but our relationship survived. I got over it because there were no signs afterward that he was regretting anything. It ended up really being no big deal. We’re still together today and we find this memory funny now. Our story is unique, as most love stories are. Relationships don’t have to be smooth sailing to be the real deal.
I learned that relationships aren’t always a fairytale. Falling in love doesn’t always happen as it does in movies. Even though our “I love you” moment was lackluster, our story is beautifully imperfect and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s taught me that you shouldn’t give up on someone because of a small bump in the road. You might be giving up on your happily ever after.
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