Me: “You make me really happy.”
Me: “Does it freak you out, when I say stuff like that?”
Jake: “What? No.”
Me: “Would it freak you out, if I told you I loved you?”
Jake: ::laughing:: “No.”
Me: “I love you.”
Jake: “I love you, too.”
Y’all, I said it first. I later informed Gaily that I didn’t feel insecure about it, because Jake’s a very strong-willed guy and there’s not a soul on Earth that can manipulate that man into doing anything he doesn’t want to do. Also, though, as I was leaving…
Me: “Did I push you into saying anything you didn’t want to say, before?”
Jake: “What? No. You didn’t.”
Despite this, I had horrible moments of insecurity over the next week and a half, rationalizing that “I love you” is practically an ultimatum. The other person either says it back or the two of you break up. So, by that logic, Jake wasn’t saying he loved me. He was just saying he didn’t want to break up with me.
Well. I made that significantly less romantic.
Suddenly, I was worried about every text I sent. Was I annoying him? Was he not texting back, not because he’s always been more of a phone guy, but because he’s over me? Did he really want to spend his birthday with me? Would the effort I put into his birthday celebration freak him out? Should I send everything back and act like I hadn’t planned anything? Would buying him beer that he’d undoubtedly keep at my place be too long term? What about starting such an epic series as The Lord of the Rings? Zetus lapetus, I may as well have just proposed!
I kept this all to myself, of course. I’d already essentially asked Jake if he was sure he loved me. I’ve also heard him say numerous times that women need to just take the things men say at face value instead of over-analyzing them. I know he’s a forthright guy. So, at this point, my vulnerability is not Jake’s problem. It’s Gail’s.
Me: “He told me he loved me. He told me he was sure he loved me. He cooked me dinner that he killed personally. He doesn’t care that I left a toothbrush, some shampoo and conditioner, a comforter, and a stand-up fan at his place. He was willing to go with me to have my dog put down if he had puppy cancer. He’s a bearded oil man who gives Eskimo kisses and coos at my beagle like he’s a baby. He’s not getting laid until Valentine’s Day! Still, I’m over here with Girl Brain, tearing it all to pieces.”
Gail: “When he said ‘What? No.’ when you asked if you’d pressured him, what he meant was ‘What? No… and I hope that’s the end of that drama.’ You’re being totally and completely irrational and you’re right. You don’t get to talk to him about it, because that’s not his problem. I can tell you this, because I know it’s exactly what you need to hear. You talk to me about this stuff, not him.”
Despite Gail’s reassurance, I vowed that I was just going to stop saying it. Clearly, this goes on the very short list of things at which Belle does not excel: modesty, sports, and vulnerability. So, the next time I saw Jake, I was going to just pretend the whole thing never happened. On Wednesday, when I drove to Wellston after work, I was determined not to say it.
Me: “What if February comes and I’m really bad at sex?”
Jake: ::laughing:: “Meh. You’ll learn.”
Me: ::laughing:: “I love you.”
Jake: “I love you, too.”
- filtering thoughts to speech
It’s definitely best that we haven’t had sex, yet.