Like is the New Love
I remember the first time I told a real live living boy that I loved him. It had been a long time coming, we had been together for almost six months and due to the fact he was the first guy who ever wanted to be with me sober, it was only natural that I fell in love. He had gone back to England for christmas break and every time we ended our phone conversation I could feel it wanting to come out, but I held back, not wanting to make things awkward all the way across the pond. The first night he returned, as we lay in bed, he told me about how he broke his sternum playing rugby when he was younger and that he was self conscious about how the bone stuck out. I kissed it and told him that I love it, that I loved everything about him and I love him. He wrapped his arms around me told me the same. Years later everything would come crashing down and cause me the worst pain of my life, but in that one instant I was the happiest I had ever been, and to be truthful that is still the happiest moment I can recall in life thus far.
There have been two other men in my life that I have said those three, not so little words to, and the response was not nearly as heart warming…actually it was more devastating than most things I’ve experienced in life. The first took place, naked in bed with a man ten years older than my 23 year old self, half drunk and very depressed. For three years, on and off, we had been sleeping together, even though he tried to hide it from everyone. He had done a real number on me and at the tail end of my existence in Vermont I bared my soul, hoping he would finally come to his senses and profess his love. Instead I said, “I think I am in love with you…” his response, and I remember it oh so clearly was, “you can’t tell me that now, I’m naked and we just had sex.” Then he turned over and fell asleep, two days later I was on a plane to California for what I thought was only going to be a two month stint. A week later I got a call from my friends telling me that he had been drunk driving home, went off the road and killed a girl we all knew well, he spent a year in jail for involuntary manslaughter. The night I had confessed my love, he had driven me home from the bar.
The last time I dared to utter the words it was slightly less up front. It came out in a an email, it was slipped in with a bunch of other soul searching questions and accusations. I had been in love with this man for almost six years, again without any commitment on his part. When my time was coming to an end in Tahoe I felt the need to put it all out there. Once again I was hoping for some sort of grand jester from him, for him to tell me that he felt the same way and that he was sad he had wasted so much time, but instead he got defensive and two weeks later had began a serious relationship with a woman who seemed to enjoy all the same things I do. He didn’t even feel the need to apologize for unintentionally leading me on for all those years, not only from all the sex, car sharing, plan making and holidays spent together, but for having let me put him on my phone family plan. At least now once a month I remember why I should never give so much to someone who doesn’t give a shit about me.
Today I told a guy I liked him. I thought I was gonna puke, the whole drive over to his house I had convinced myself that he wasn’t interested in me anymore and that I should end things before he had the opportunity to destroy me so easily. I had it all planned out, I was going to admit to him that I suffer not only from depression but a sever case of female craziness. And that I just don’t have the mental strenght to date anyone because I spend more time thinking about the relationship’s demise than actually working on having someone like me. So I was all ready to give my spiel but then I got to his house, sat on the couch, he held my hand and kissed me and I lost all sense of my mission. When he walked me to my car I stood there awkwardly, I looked down at our hands holding and made a very choppy and painful speech. I stumbled and stuttered and after what felt like an eternity I got it out…”I like you”. His blue eyes flashed amusement and he laughed, “oh you like me?” His teasing nature put me at ease but I realized that it had taken all of my energy, nerves and stomach bile to tell a guy, I’ve been sleeping with for three weeks, that I like him. I think if I ever get to the point of being in love again I will near pass out just thinking about it. I’m not sure if it’s my age or just my terrible past experiences of so many noncommittal men, but I’m pretty sure telling someone you like them should not be that hard, especially if you’ve already had their dick in you, but who knows now a days.