Saying I love you
So many couples hover around the words ‘I love you’, the gateway to a committed emotional relationship. To love and to be loved means everything fits into place.
What role does this declaration of love play in the sexual dynamic? Why is it so important and the cause of so many doubts? Clinical psychologist Rose-Marie Charest explains the turmoil behind these three little words – I LOVE YOU.
This is the real thing! He or she is THE ONE. So when will they decide to say ‘I love you’? Behind this universal declaration of love, however expected or doubted its arrival, there are high stakes and expectations as well as some reticence. The first ‘I love you’ is a milestone for any couple and is far from being trivial.
‘In uttering these words, the door to a serious relationship is opened wide’ explains clinical psychologist, Rose-Marie Charest. As soon as this magic phrase is said, you can consciously start hoping to build the relationship. Aside from its romantic nature, ‘I love you’ also draws a line under exploration, replacing it with commitment.
I love you: the surrounding issues
Saying I love you. The first ‘I love you’ doesn’t have to occur at random. Far from it. Whether it is murmured or declared. Whether it escapes from your lips in a wave of emotion, or if it has been developing over some time… Above all, these three beautiful words imply commitment, and long-term at that. In addition to this, in most cases, there is also a promise of exclusivity. That’s just how it goes! No one says ‘I love you’ thinking ‘but I also love the girl next door, or that stranger on the train…’
Here the importance of not saying it too lightly is obvious. It is better to wait until you actually feel it. For Rose-Marie Charest, ‘It requires the ability to fully come together, your love for the other person must go together with accepting them in their totality.’ Saying I love you represents the a relationship milestone, and happens when you would do just about anything for each other.
A stalled I love you… unconscious fears?
He really likes her mum, she tolerates his socks rolled up in a heap in the middle of the bedroom… So if saying I love you is so simple, why the wait? For some people it is quite simply a test, which can sometimes be even insurmountable. It is as though conflicting hopes and fears come into play without either party being even aware of it.
These conflicting emotions can take different forms. Saying I love you can initially awaken the fear of commitment. Rose-Marie Charest develops this further for us, ‘In declaring love, one commits to choosing someone and also to rejecting all others’. At the end looms the possibility of losing your freedom, a value that is ever increasing in our era.
Other recurring themes, which are more common than you’d think, include the difficulties of asserting yourself. These issues lead to some feeling as though they are losing their sense of identity in the relationship. There is also the further anxiety at not measuring up to the other person’s expectations. The expectations you know might pour out once the words ‘I love you’ have been uttered. After all, a whole lot more than just these words has really been said.
Copyright © 2011 Doctissimo
- Escaping the vicious circle of relationship failure
- Battle of the sexes: how equal is equal?
- The cougar: When women fall for younger men
- Do your genes determine who you date?
- White knight syndrome: The dangers of emotional dependency
- Say no to rudeness!
- Stop mothering him!
- How to recognise a narcissistic manipulator
- Discover your philosophy on love
Get more on this subject…