Such a dangerous thing to say when embarking (or trying to) on a romantic relationship.
“I love you.”
And there are so many ways of saying it:
“I love you [despite the fact that you are a selfish pig and a worm and the worst thing that ever happened to me and I hate your guts too].”
Clarification note: the stuff in the square bracketts is what might be thought but not actually spoken.
“I love you” mustn’t be said wistfully, plaintively, longingly or hesitantly. The hesitant “I love you” is something to avoid at all costs because it can produce a really loooooooooooooong pause from the recipient, or else they might suddenly have to go to the loo.
“I love you [and I know it is going to take you some time to digest this because you really are a bit thick].”
The first time I uttered these dangerous words to Anthony I was about 18 and he was 41 and I was helping him deliver a calf. In retrospect, this was probably rather bad timing. Also I couldn’t quite get the words beyond a whisper but he must have heard because he looked at me askance as the calf slipped out.
After that tentative attempt, I didn’t say “I love you” again for a year or so and then, in my 20s I couldn’t seem to stop saying it to him. But the first time he properly heard me, his face went pale, his knees quivered and his big muscly body tensed as if I had attacked him with some sort of foreign weapon.
Well, as many of you know, it all worked out. Anthony threw more “I love yous” at me than I could possibly digest before we finally got married.
Every night, when I ring him at the nursing lodge to say goodnight, it is the last thing we both say to each other.
I LOVE YOU