I love you . . . for real this time.

June 02, 2010

A major part of any relationship is when the "I love you" comes out. It's always awkward with who says it first and do you reciprocate and what if you don't feel the same and so on.

Our moment kind of went like that.

About six weeks into our speed-dating, since by then we had already brought up the idea of marriage pretty seriously, we had gone out for my birthday. After dinner and a night out with friends, I came back to what was then just Chris' house and we were hanging out trying to squeeze in every last moment of the night.

At some point in the night, Chris leaned over to me and said the infamous three word phrase. "I love you."

I paused and wasn't sure what to say. So I said what every guy wants to hear after they muster up the courage to tell the girl they love that they really do love them.

I said, "That's good." Really. I said that.

Then to make matters worse I said, "It's just that I don't want to say it until I know it's right and I don't know yet."

He understood, because he is way too understanding of me sometimes, and we went on with the evening like nothing happened. About twenty minutes later I spoke up, "I love you, too."

Except, well, I didn't really mean it. I mean, I did really care about him at that point but I soon realized that I had just said it to say it and to break the deafening silence in the air.

The next couple weeks were rough because he figured me out. He would tell me I love you when he was saying goodbye or goodnight and I would sometimes say it back. Like one out of three times. Then it would turn into a "why aren't you saying it back" conversation and well, it just got more fun from there. I had to tell him that when I said it initially, I didn't really mean it.

That was awesome.

Two weeks after the initial love you's< came out, we went to church together. We had been going together for a couple of weeks and they were coincidentally doing a relationship series.When I walked into the church, there was a slideshow on the stage flashing through slides as they got ready to start the service. The opening slide for that series sermon said, "Have you told the person you love that you love them?"Well, if that wasn't a big knock in the head, I don't know what would be. I also don't know what I was waiting for when I knew in the deep bottom of my heart that Chris was the one for me and that I did love him and that he did truly love me.That hour long service felt like a lifetime as I sat in the church pew with Chris itching to tell him how I felt. For real this time.We walked out to the car after church ended and he opened my door for me. I stopped him before he walked to the driver's side and looked at him straight in the eyes. "I love you," I said. "For real this time."And I knew when I said it this time, that it was real.
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