There are three words in the English language that when strung together can make everything better; when someone that you love says, “I love you.” It’s like seeing fireworks for the first time everything is suddenly awash in brilliant colours, explosions and magic. But there are different kinds of, “I love you.”
Sometimes I look at Boyfriend needing to hear the words like a verbal hug, so I say I love you, not because I need to say it in the moment but because I need to hear it. Sometimes after a long day all you want to do is fall into your partner’s arms and hear the words that make a bad day or a bad week OK. It’s a little selfish but it doesn’t make your love any less real. Sometimes when I get home I just fall into Boyfriend’s arms asking for a hug; this isn’t any different, really.
Then there are the times when Boyfriend does or says something that reminds me exactly how much I love him and I have to say the words; they spill out of my mouth and I don’t even need to hear him say it in reply. Sometimes it’s because he’s dancing like an idiot, sometimes it’s because he does something sweet, most often it’s because he says something ridiculous. It’s a powerful thing to be reminded how much you love someone but it’s even better to say it without needing to hear it in return because you know how your person feels about you and it’s no longer a game of parroting the other person to avoid hurt feelings.
My personal favourite version happens to come with an edge of sarcasm, “I love you TOO, dear.” Is something I hear on a regular basis and while it doesn’t carry the weight or the support of the, I love yous, that came before it’s a more honest depiction of our relationship and it makes me smile. There will be plenty of time for heartfelt, tearful or weighty proclamations of love in the future; but the thing that makes us work has always been our similar sense of humour. If I tease him and he winks and gives me a slightly sarcastic, “Well, I love you TOO. Dear.” It makes me laugh and it epitomizes what has always made us great, we don’t take our relationship too seriously.
Love is an easy thing to take too seriously; it’s the emotion that has inspired the world’s greatest poems, sonnets and pieces of music its pretty intense stuff. Spike Jonze called it, “a form of socially acceptable insanity,” in his latest film and I don’t disagree. People in love do the dumbest things; you can’t be smart and in love you just have to pick one and hope for the best. But love, like sex, is so much better when you aren’t afraid to make a fool of yourself; when dancing around the kitchen in your underwear seems like a good way to spend a Sunday morning, when dinner turns into a food fight or when tickling each other until you scream and maybe pee yourself a little is a perfectly acceptable alternative to being on time.
Say I love you often, say it in when you need to hear it back or when you’re reminded just how much you love the person you’re with but never forget to add a little levity to the already heady sentiment.