It has been five months and three days since the Housemate first kissed me (well, first reached his hand under my shirt--the kiss came a bit later). Not three weeks after that, he whispered "I love you", but it was way too early for that and such words were buried and forgotten for months after that incident. Recently, though, I have been revisiting those words, playing with them in my mind. Do they really apply? Should I tell him? How should I tell him? When?
I used to think that saying "I love you" was simple. I mean, I'd seen tons of movies and TV shows where characters would torture themselves over whether or not they could say those words to the ones they loved. But it always seemed so ridiculous--they were obviously in love, obviously made for each other, perfect for each other...Why couldn't they just say the words?! Besides, if the girlfriend/boyfriend (usually the girlfriend, though) wanted them to say "I love you" so much, why not just say it? "Love" is just a word! It's not that strong.
In a twisted sort of a way, though, now that I am at this point in a relationship, my experiences watching these characters struggle with the three little words have made me cautious in saying the words myself. Without those outside influences, I probably would have thought nothing of saying "I love you." But now I have this sense that saying "I love you" is supposed to be hard. It's a passionate, momentous, climactic occasion, spoken in the rain, or after barely escaping disaster. When you say it, you have to really, truly mean it, with all your heart, and there's no taking it back. It's like selling your soul.
So maybe I'm exaggerating a bit there. I don't want to lie, so I do think I should say "I love you" only if I mean it. But how do I know if I mean it if I don't know what it means? The chick flicks have all confused me. There's love and then there's love, right? I love my family and my pets and my close friends. In that sense, I have loved the Housemate for a while. I care deeply about him, I value his presence in my life, I would be torn if we never saw each other again. He's great, he's fun--I love him.
But then there's love. What is that? He makes me happy when he's around, unless he's feeling glum in which case I'm glum. I like cuddling with him. I crave his touch. I can spend all day with him for days in a row and not get sick of him. It's worth giving up computer game time to spend time with him. But what about the other things movies have taught me are important parts of love? I may have felt butterflies that first night when he reached his hand down my shirt, but none since then. I've never felt "head-over-heels" for him. Where's the heat wave burning in my heart? Where is the deep passion? Where is the unbearable elation? The insanity? Where are these things that the movies all promised me?
What are the necessary symptoms? What is love supposed to feel like? How do I know when I really, truly love him? If it's one of those things I'm just supposed to know, what if I tend towards caution, always doubting. I think I may love him, except for these doubts. But if it isn't true love, if after five months I still don't love him, what would that mean? I know I'm probably overthinking this--I always overthink things. But if it's love, it's important. Right?