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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Column: Those three words

You know the three I’m talking about. We’ve all heard them. Some of us have no problem letting our inner emotions flower upon declaration of these words. Others fear them, terrified of their implications, connotations and meanings.

I love you.

There they are, honeybees – the three words that will make or break a budding relationship. Read ’em and try not to weep.

Sure, they’re just words and totally not scary on their own, but when used together – well, that’s a different story.

Last Tuesday, I went to get a haircut. Besides the new ‘do I sport afterward, I love cutting my hair because I always make a new friend. (I’ll have you know that gabbing with your hairdressers about Sex and the City and boyfriends always makes for a life-long friendship.)

Anyway, we got to talking about school and I told her about my column. Excited, she asked what I was planning to write about next.

“I think I might write about the first time you say ‘I love you’ in a relationship,” I said.

Right then, she left the room – my hair looking like a mess of color dye goop and foil paper – and brought in the receptionist who needed some advice after a love life dilemma.

The dilemma was as follows: The receptionist (let’s call her April), who is very affectionate and sweet, was about to say goodbye to her recently acquired man candy. Before he left, she uttered, “Alright, bye hun. I love you.” The guy reacted with the standard double-take and “Uh … what did you say?”

“What do I do after something like that?” asked April. “I didn’t mean like I love him love him. I just say ‘I love you’ all the time to my friends and stuff – it’s natural to me. I definitely was not in love with him.”

After I left the salon, grateful for both the cute cut and the column material, I got to thinking about those three little words. Why do they mean so much in certain instances, but are desensitized in others? Why is it easy for us to admit loving things like pizza, sunny weather, our friends or Glee, but so difficult for us to admit feeling the same way about a boyfriend or girlfriend? When it comes to love, why are the words “I love you” so damn sticky?

To answer these questions, I examined my own relationship for a bit and tried to remember the first time I said “I love you” to Arthur. (I’m warning you now, honeybees – this little tale is so disgustingly adorable, even I winced a bit.)

It was last Fourth of July and I was celebrating the holiday in San Francisco with Arthur and his family. All the amazing food and all the fun I was having with his little siblings was enough to make me the happiest gal in the world. But Arthur had a little more planned.

Come nightfall, he surprised me by taking me to the pier to watch the fireworks. Putting any gentleman to shame, Arthur came prepared with a blanket, an extra sweater for me and some Fig Newtons for us to share. Once the fireworks started, he kissed me ever so sweetly.

That’s when I felt it. Even though we had only been together for about a month, I just felt so strongly about him. I had to say it.

I’ve heard it all: I’m too young to know what love is. I’m too excited about the relationship. It’s only been a month, how the hell could I love him?

The answer is quite simple: I felt it.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Love is relative. The reason why the idea of love is so heavy and carries so many implications is because people fail to realize just that. It’s all you – no one else is allowed to tell you how love feels. Love comes in every shape, size, color and age. If you think you feel it, say it. Express yourself. Tell your boos you love them. If you can easily say you love your favorite TV show, movie or food, you can just as easily express love to your partners.

My only words of caution would be these: Make sure you won’t regret saying it. It might seem like you’re making a fuss over these three little words, but really take the time to evaluate your feelings toward this person. If you’ve prepped yourself to maturely handle any outcome (either an “I love you, too” or an “Uhm … thanks?”), then you’re golden. You should always be wary of the other person – they have a say in the relationship, too, you know.

If you find yourself on the opposite end of this – if someone proclaims his or her love to you – what happens if you don’t feel the same way? Don’t fret; you’re probably just not there yet. If you truly do not feel like you love your partner right then, but you still want to continue in the relationship, say so. Tell your partner that you like them very much, but you’re just not ready to make such a huge commitment. Love does mean a lot.

If your partner loves you and all you want is sex and have no intention of pursuing anything serious, get out now. It’s not nice to mess with peoples’ emotions.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide the perfect time to say those three little words. After all, it’s your love life and no one else’s. Love each other freely, my little honeybees – the world needs more of that.

If you’re looking for a great place in Davis to get a haircut, MARIO LUGO very highly recommends Pomegranate Salon on D Street. They’ll have you looking fine, fresh and fierce – just like Mario! He can be reached at mlugo@ucdavis.edu.

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