Back when my fiancé and I were dating, I told him I loved him. He said, "Thank you," and that he cared about me more than anyone else, but he couldn't say it back right then. He said, "That phrase should be used for the people who mean the most to you. I say it to my family, and I'll say it to a woman when I am down on one knee asking for her hand."
I had a lot of friends whose boy/girlfriends said "I love you" often, and it was considered a big deal when someone said it for the first time, but I understood. Both you and my mother drilled into me you don't say it to anyone you don't adore, respect, or admire. Some of my friends noticed we didn't say the phrase and thought it was weird. One even advised me to convince him to say it -- to bribe him in some way. But ultimately, I was right not to do that.
I continued dating the man who shared my dreams for the future, for a family, who took care of me when I was sick, and who continues to show his caring in all ways. After dating for two years to determine marriageability I finally heard the phrase I'd been waiting to hear: "I love you. Will you marry me?" My heart jumped. It meant the world to me to finally hear those words from the man I have dreamed of, and it was worth the wait to hear them on that day when he proposed, rather than having heard it a hundred times before.
Now neither one of us can get enough of hearing or saying it, and it is the best compliment to know that I am the only woman outside his family he has ever, and will ever, say those words to. Thank you for sharing with your listeners the importance of love being more than just “huggy-kissy” feelings, and how important it is to date to discern marriageability. In 18 months, I get to marry an amazing man, and it is thanks to you and my parents (who had you on in the car from when I was six-years-old).
The Power of the Phrase “I Love You”