For the last two weeks, I have been biting back the L-word with the boyfriend. I have been keeping my mouth shut, hoping that he would say something first. Because all I could think of was that damn episode of Sex & the City where Carrie tells Big she loves him, and he doesn’t say it back.
And then Miranda and Samantha tell Carrie that, if he doesn’t say he loves her soon, the relationship only has the shelf life of a dairy product, “about two weeks.” This is not the sort of thing that a girl wants to have echoing in her head when she’s debating revealing her true feelings. The threat of mistiming, of saying “I love you,” too soon and thereby stamping my relationship with an expiration date, was too much to handle.
And then, finally, I brought it up. Because I was going crazier. And immediately, his response was to inform me that he’d just been hesitatant to say it. “Of course I’m madly in love with you,” he told me. “I was just waiting until our six-month anniversary weekend to say it.”
So I could have resolved all that without nearly as much worry if I hadn’t been using SaTC as a model for real life. I’m learning, slowly, that I cannot fit everything into roles and images condensed from a collective cultural consciousness. I can’t compare my relationship, or how it behaves, to a TV show, no matter how “true to life” the script is supposed to be. My relationship isn’t on a TV show, but is between Paul and I. Paralleling my life to that of fictional characters, even those culled from real humans’ experiences, is not going to help me navigate this.
And sometimes, I wish there was something to help me navigate my relationship, because it’s really fucking terrifying putting this much emotion and attachment and trust into another person. Actually saying “I love you” is getting scarier as I get older. But I have to stop trying to pull guidelines, from TV, from books, from my own past. And so I wonder if all those years of Sex & the City have done me more harm than good sometimes. Especially since I could have been this happy two weeks sooner if I hadn’t considered that episode as a deterrent.
Anyways. I’m deleriously happy tonight. Paul said that he knew he and I were batty about each other since the third – no second – date. That we do adore each other. That he does love me, that he has for months, that he’s known that the whole time I’ve been interally debating what love really means to me, and what it means to me when it comes to him. Whatever it is and whatever it means, this makes me happy beyond belief to hear it.