A friend of mine has been with her boyfriend for two years now. They have done everything together. They jumped out of the sky together, seen snow on Christmas Eve together, and with locked arms, sharing one oxygen tank they have plummeted beneath the ocean together. Okay so the latter really just proves they completed the buddy safety procedures required to get a scuba licence, but regardless, they are by all means, a committed couple. However there still remains one important thing they have not yet done as a team, (and no it is not doing a duet on karaoke night or going horse-back riding on a mare called Magic; tick and tick), it is the simplest, plainest, and most efficient form of affection. They have not said “I love you”. Well he hasn’t.
Ah yes, dilemma ladies and gentlemen, el problemo kids, introducing the tragedy of the tip-lipped lad and his tiring lass. After hearing this story and seeing my friend’s apparent distress, I couldn’t help but ask, why? Had she asked him, had they talked about it? The answer only stimulated further questions. He had claimed, now listen close… he was only EVER going to say it to ONE person in his ENTIRE life. That’s right. After my initial ‘how ridiculous’ reaction, I decided to dig a little deeper into the male psyche (so I called some girls and asked about their men). I was both surprised and disheartened when I discovered that my friend’s boyfriend is not flying solo with his ideas about dropping the ‘L’ bomb. So what is this love communication strike? And will the union ever relent?
In a world where wearing white at the alter of your second or third marriage is acceptable, where teenagers are experimenting with ‘love making’ before they pass their grade 10 exams, where pre-nup’s prove the death of ‘til death do us part’, are words all we are left with? Has ‘I love you’ replaced ‘I do’?
It is certainly an interesting idea. Perhaps my friend’s boyfriend thinks he being chivalrous, a gentleman. Maybe ‘I love you’ is the brand spanking new virginity. Does this mean now we can sleep with everyone from our doe-eyed formal dates to tattooed bartenders, and retain our good family values, as long as we bite our tongue? Although this would be an ever so convenient replacement of ‘no sex before marriage’ for a new breed of Gen Y traditionalists, it is certainly not my cup of tea.
Thinking you can only love one person is a sad and wasteful limitation to the capacity of the heart. Love is simple. The manifestation of it in our lives is the complicated part. Showing somebody love is the complicated part. But holding someone you care about and saying the eight-lettered sentence, that is not the complicated part. So instead of saving away your L’s and your O’s and V’s and your E’s, in a account with zero interest, look at the person that wakes up next to you, day in, and day out. And if you still can’t say it, I suggest you get a-runnin’, because I know where you live buddy.