The first time I told him I love him was three weeks after our first date, legs up, orgasm raking its way throughout my body, and I said it, repeated it like a mantra or a prayer.
I was embarrassed, but the guy I was dating never said anything. He made me feel like it was okay to express the pleasure from my orgasm in that way. He was the first person who I've ever been able to achieve a climax with and I think largely it's how in sync our energies seem to be, how much I allow myself to take down my guard, and the fact that it wasn't a goal for him – if it happened, it happened. I don't know if I loved him then or if I loved the feeling he gave me, but I do know that I love him now.
I think the more time has passed, the more I expected to hear him say, “I love you". I rested my value on those three words, our potential for a future, my willingness to wait on those three words. We had a conversation four months into things where I told him that I felt we were too different. I put my faith wholeheartedly into my emotions and allow them to lead me, meanwhile, he feels his emotions but will not allow them to take precedence over his mind or his logic. That alone makes us feel worlds apart at times. He feels as though his presence is enough to show me that he's here, that he wants us, that he's serious about me and committing while I value words just as much as I value action. He considers such things to be redundant because he feels like he knows, I should know. I used to say “I love you" and hear “I know" and it felt like a kick in my gut. My heart would sink because I felt like, if he didn't know how to say it by now, then it would never be love.
I used to look at us and feel like Damn, am I one of those dumb chicks that I speak against waiting for a man to change himself for me? But then I put our relationship into perspective, I remember how his honesty is one of the things that I love and respect most about him. He'd tell me the truth always before I'd ever hear a lie. I remember my father talking to me and posing a question of,
“Would you rather someone tell you they love you and mean it or say I love you just to get something they want from you?"
I've never waited on this man. All of the changes that I've seen him make to be a better man to me and for me have been alterations he's made on his own to be worthy of a place in my world. I didn't have to beg him to build or call me his woman or make time and create space in his life for me. He was a man. He led himself, even if I was the light that sparked his desire to be better.
I found strength somewhere in that perspective.
"I started to realize that love is something that should be without expectations."
I say “I love you" because I do, not because I expect something in return, a reward of some sort for revealing my truth. I reminded myself that I have nothing to do with how someone else feels. When I adjusted my worldview to come from a place of abundance versus a place of lacking, I could see the expectation wash away, I could feel the hurt and resentment and inadequacy leave me. When you're both in the same book but in different chapters, it is possible for things to work, especially when patience is there and the focus is not placed on negative emotions.
These days, my “I love yous" are met with “I love you too" and my favorite way to hear it said back to me is when he is in the middle of laughter or he's close to reaching his peak and can't help but tell me just how much because I feel that damn good to him. I don't think it's quite as high or euphoric as my kind of in love, but his love for me is deep. Isn't it interesting how in romantic love, we crave to feel the fleeting type of love versus that immovable, constant one that our friendships and family relationships are bound with?
Some days are easier than others, but I'm definitely no longer obsessing over it as I did in the past when I used to Google “how to make him fall in love" and try to take heed like a recipe.
"Love isn't that formulaic. Love just is."
And in the same way it found me open and I took a leap, he has too as well. It's nothing I can do. I asked him recently, “How can we be an item when I'm in love and you're not?" “I'll get there baby, just be patient with me." Patience, there's that word again so I'll be that for him. His honesty, his loyalty, his persistence, his dedication, and his own patience make me feel his love for me every day. He'll get there.
The key is not to wait while you're patient, but to continue to live. Everything will come in its own time as it always does.
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