Why I don’t tell my boyfriend “I love you, too.”

It’s a funny thing, that. How easily, once initially declared, the statement of “I love you” becomes no longer a breathless, excited, vulnerable statement, an affirmation of affection and admiration, but rather- an afterthought, an agreement.

“I love you, too.”

I.E.: “I love you, also.” “Also, because you have declared you love me, I agree that I, too, love you.”

I want him to know- I am not agreeing amiably, as one would for another beer at a BBQ “yeah, me too, sure!”- but truly know that each time I say The Three Words, I say them for him, alone and specifically, and with one intent.

(And perhaps he does, perhaps he does not.)

They are my declaration.

I. love. you.

Not as a result of your loving me, not because we have agreed to regularly (what would be the current standard schedule?) say those words at each other, not because we have reached a predetermined threshold in a relationship where this etiquette and exchange is expected.

But because my heart almost hurts with love for you. Because it is full and (sometimes) frightening and (undeniably) compelling. Because it makes me “crazy” and committed and wholly content.

I love you. Not because you love me, but because you are you.

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