wings and things

Love story 88 – Saying ‘I love you’

on August 23, 2012

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.

And now?

Every night, when I ring him at the nursing lodge to say goodnight, it is the last thing we both say to each other.


64 responses to “Love story 88 – Saying ‘I love you’

  1. bulldogsturf says:

    It should be said by any loving couple when they kiss good night as well… that’s what we do…

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks – tonight I am feeling a bit sad but also relieved that finally Anthony has accepted things as they are. Thank you for understanding.

      • bulldogsturf says:

        I think about how things are going with you often… and pray that you have the strength to handle it… don’t know how I would be…

      • jmgoyder says:

        Okay now you are being too beautiful and making me cry (in a good way!) What you and your wife have been through is a hell of a lot worse than what we are doing. Thanks bulldog!

  2. Charged with such meaning and meaning different things at different times in your life.

  3. Louise G. says:

    What a beautiful story Julie — and the fact you continue to say it is a statement of how powerful that love is. Blessings.

  4. Can you imagine that there are people out there that hardly ever share that? I dated someone once who said he never said it because his parents never said I love you. (Notice the past tense of date) I wondered recently why we don’t say it to everyone that we feel that way about, so I started to do that. You should see some of the looks I get. Don’t care! Life is too short and it makes me happy not holding it in. Take care of yourself. Love you ; )

  5. Tammy says:

    gut wrenching. Such a beautifully prosed blog, Julie. Thank you.

  6. […] morning I was reading a post by jmgoyder (  She is quickly becoming one of the people I look for in the morning when I’m going through […]

  7. ceciliag says:

    I love Ming. But don’t tell him. (just laughed at you telling him and him nearly vomiting). This is one thing my children and I say more than we ever did before. Because now we live so far apart it is an important thing to say. Lovely page.. c

  8. terry1954 says:

    that is so sweet. a true romance story for years to build upon and to have wonderful memories

  9. It never hurts to say it one more time.

  10. viveka says:

    You had me into tears and smile at the same time here – wonderful post … love your bittersweet love story that goes on from the past, in present and … hopefully for the future, even if it getting the future is going to became tougher.

  11. Judith Post says:

    I loved your “I love you.” Made me all mushy.

  12. Robyn Lee says:

    What a fantastic read – and so heartwarming to know …. I love u julie !!!

  13. cuhome says:

    Oh, this is sweet!

  14. I’ve nominated you for The Booker Award. Part of the award requires you listing your 5 favorite books and I’m really interested in seeing what they are. Thanks for writing.

  15. janechese says:

    Those are beautifully expressed words and thoughts, Julie.After reading your blog, I just sighed a satisfied kind of sigh. Oh, how romantic! In my books, it is important to say these three words and hear them, too. Like Magnolia Beginnings I do tell my friends that I love them and hear it back from them, too. Such a risk when dating and some have not only gone to the loo, they totally disappeared. In hindsight I think “Lucky me”. LOL

  16. powerful words – the first time my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) said those words to me–they were dropped into an abyss of silence – from me – he still will not let me forget it–those words now trip off my tongue but they did not then
    at our house the words “l Love you” are said often and never are they taken for granted–they are easy words for my sons and I am glad–anyway- thanks for this post – heartwarming and poignant

  17. dcwisdom says:

    It’s cool that you remember that moment. I don’t. I guess it was a non-event. ~ Rick and I talk every night and say “I love you” the last thing. A few times I have said, “Well, I hate your guts right now, but I love you.” Sounds oxymoronic, doesn’t it? 🙂

  18. One of my favorite songs says, “those three words are said too much and not enough”. So true!

  19. dogdaz says:

    Such powerful words and you capture the importance of the moment they are uttered so well. Even when the words fail, I am sure that Anthony’s eyes will still say ‘I love you.;

  20. Rhonda says:

    You’ve been selected. For what? Hmmm, you’ll just have to come see
    Any time is good…just so long as you do.

  21. I love your timing, the calf and all…once again you write so beautifully. I’m glad your “I love you’ worked out in the end, and that even now that he is living somewhere else you find the time to say it every day.

  22. Rhonda says:

    Jules…this is so darn true. And there are others that make me sad…like the ones who say ‘me too’ because they can’t get the words out; or the dittos. I’m like the guy Maureen dated…never heard the words myself until I married. Was so uncomfortable hearing them, they always made me blush and never QUITE believe them. It was not until I had my own children that I truly realized the POWER of those three words. A day does not go by now, where I don’t tell those I love…that I love them.
    I love you [all]

  23. Trisha says:

    Another beautiful story.

  24. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    That is so beautiful, it truly is. I have not had one relationship, but with my son, where I have been able to say ‘I love you’. I’m talking all family, and even my ex husband. I married him because he begged & begged & begged me to, and at 19 & wanting to leave Melbourne, and he seemed a good man, well, I finally said OK then. I did tell him I didn’t love him, but he believed I did only wouldn’t admit it to myself.

    So this post, it’s meaningful to me, Julie. It is beautiful last words.

  25. I was raised in a family were the words “I love you” come naturally and have tried to raise my girls the same way but Kathy-Lee is more distant and often finds it hard to say I love you,.

  26. Wonderful story. You always come up with some delightful turn of phrase like — “as if I had attacked him with some sort of foreign weapon.”

  27. bluebee says:

    What a great movie moment that “I love you calf delivering moment” would make – very comical 🙂

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