Yesterday, Ami wrote about how the phrase “I love you” — despite endless debates about who should say it first and how often it should be said — doesn’t hold as much significance as its been assigned, because, in the end, it doesn’t bind two people together. Sure, say those three words when you mean them and not when the goal is to hear it back, but loving actions are even more important. But because so much importance has been placed on such a little phrase, many of us have likely said “I love you” for the wrong reasons. We’re not callous people here at The Frisky, but some of us have said that phrase when it shouldn’t have been said and when we haven’t really meant it. Here’s when “I love you” doesn’t necessarily count.
IT DOESN’T COUNT IF…
1. …you were young and naive. You told your high school boyfriend you loved him, didn’t you? And then the two of you broke up a few months later? At the time, you probably thought it was love when someone sent you roses on your 16th birthday and mailed you letters while you were at summer camp. But it’s not. Especially when he gets weird, won’t let you dump him, and starts showing up at your house uninvited. Definitely not love.
2. …you were lonely. This isn’t nice to do to someone, but sometimes you don’t realize until after the relationship is over that you were only in it because you were bored. You just kept staying together and going through the steps that you go through when you’re in a relationship, including saying “I love you.” And then, after you realized this, you broke his little heart. Oops. If you’ve done this accidentally, try not to do it again. If you’ve done this on purpose, shame on you.
3. …your blood alcohol content was five times the legal limit. We don’t advise binge drinking, but things can get out of control from time to time. We know. When they do, you might say something because you’re feeling so in the moment. Really, you’re just feeling those seven glasses of Pinot Grigio, you lush.
4. …you only have a vague idea that you might have said it. Just like you can totally blank on remembering to pick up milk at the grocery, you can forget about the feelings you had for someone after you’ve moved on. It’s possible that you and the guy you dated freshman year of college said those three words, but the relationship you had after him was so much better and deeper that it eclipses any love the two of you might have had.
5. …you slipped up and said it. A new relationship can sometimes feel like an old one, and you might accidentally say things you’ve said to other guys, i.e., called him someone else’s nickname or said “I love you” to him as you were hanging up the phone. It sucks when this happens because it might scare the new guy off, but it’s not your fault you’re having relationship deja-vu. If you pretend it never happened, he probably will too.
6. …you didn’t so much say it, as spell it. In candy. A Frisky staffer who shall remain nameless may have given a guy she thought she loved a carton of ice cream and wrote “I love you” in M&Ms on top. If you can’t actually vocalize it, girl, it ain’t real.
7. …you said it during sex. Goddamn oxytocin is a tricky bitch. Eyes rollin’ into the back of your head, hot dude thrusting away,hitting just that right spot and oh! Oh! Oh! “I love you!” Wait, what? No, you don’t. I mean, maybe you do, but if the first time you said it out loud is mid-orgasm, fingers crossed he was so caught up in his own big O to notice.
Now, go forth and choose your words wisely!