Alas, the latest flaw I’ve noticed in our arguably misogynistic society is who should say ‘I Love You’ first.
If you haven’t already clocked, in my relationship – it was me. Technically, I initially said it on the first date. But that was a mistake, and a direct result of hysterical laughter and, therefore, a severe lack of oxygen to the brain. I suspect he was as mortified as I was, but hid it very well. Around eight weeks later, I told him again – and this time, I meant it. Or, I thought I did anyway. In hind sight - I had never been completely head over heels in love before, and I jumped the gun a little. Make no mistake, I was definitely falling for him, but I didn’t come to a realisation of just how strong my feelings were until we were together around six months, and he left the country for a week.
As sweet as this anecdote is, it’s not the point. I put myself out there first.
I get it – a proclamation of love is a pretty big deal. To even BE in love is nothing short of spectacular. I, personally, believe that ‘Love’ as a whole, earns itself a substandard reputation and is portrayed as an emotion for the weak. Love IS everything it’s cracked up to be, and that’s why people are so cynical about it. It’s worth fighting for, being brave for and risking everything for. If we are honest with ourselves, I think both men AND women hold off on dropping the L bomb, even when they know it’s the truth. Are we afraid of rejection? Undoubtedly. Think of the stories you’ve read and the tales you’ve heard. Of lovers denying their other halves sex, and even strangers declining the offer of a date. Their fate inevitably coming to a harrowing end. Murder, physical violence, sexual assault, kidnap – all because some self-righteous bastard couldn’t handle being rejected. Unsurprisingly, in their true stereotypical self-entitled style - most of the perpetrators in such situations are men.
The argument that women can’t be the first to say those three little words almost mirrors the idea that most have ingrained, of men having to always make the first move. Whilst there is no excuse for patriarchal behaviour, this is generally generational and an idea handed down from parents and grandparents alike. Millennials – wake up and smell the avocado toast! We should not be contributing to any ideals or aspects of a sexist society. If you fancy someone, ask them out – regardless of their (or your) sex. This should be no different to saying I Love You for the first time.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Go forth, and conquer! Live on the edge! Pee into the wind! But, seriously, why the fear? If they reject you’re proclamation it will simply be because A. they are not quite there yet, which is totally forgivable, everyone is different. Or, B. Because they are an asshole and need to be sacked off imminently.
As an independent woman, I rely on men for almost nothing bar sexual pleasure. I look after myself and love myself and, as a result, am in charge and control of my own feelings. Therefore, it should be my decision as and when I share them. When I tell people that I said ‘I Love You’ first, the majority answer ‘because you’re a feminist’? To which my answer is always the same – no, not because I am a feminist, but because I am a woman who (like all other women should) does what she damn well pleases.
My advice to any and all people (and whether they ask for it or not) is that there is no greater tool than honesty.