When February rolls around, the topic of romance inevitably becomes all the buzz. Everyone just wants to be “L-word”ed right? But what happens when the L word is actually dropped for the first time in a relationship?
For Maggie Sadiq, junior, her “heart nearly jumped out of [her] chest.” She explained that her and her boyfriend were best friends before they started dating and “would say I love you all the time,” platonically of course, but for Sadiq, “to hear it in that context for the first time was insane.”
Similarly, when Lauren Richardson, junior, decided to tell her boyfriend that she loved him, they were also just friends and have yet to enter into a relationship. However, she was thrilled when he “looked at her through the screen that night and told [her] that he felt the same.”
Andi Fetter, sophomore, had a unique experience in terms of hearing the L word for the first time. She explained that her and her boyfriend “had a bet actually, see who could go without saying first for the longest.” She won the bet, but as soon as she heard her mister muster the three magic words, she said them back “at least twenty times.”
Taking a step like this can bring about change in a relationship, however for Sadiq it didn’t seem to alter their connection with one another at all. According to her, she “wouldn’t say in any drastic sense that it [her relationship] changed.”
She continued to explain, “obviously we’ve gotten closer, but that comes with time.” Sadiq also noted that after the first time, the word love wasn’t intimidating anymore and “it’s just said in normal conversation now.”
For Richardson on the other hand, telling each other how they felt changed the way they think. Richardson described “I can look at him and he will say exactly what I was thinking, like he read my mind.” She also disclosed that “he makes me feel like the best person I could ever be.” They were ultimately brought even closer after labeling their feelings for one another.
Fetter stated that this experience was “not particularly a big deal” and they “resorted to take it as a casual thing.” She pointed out that she’s not shading anyone who makes a big deal out of it, but they “personally just don’t feel that saying I love you, or using love, or having sex, is a big deal.”
That being said, Fetter did admit that “it was definitely a step in [their] relationship, it made [them] closer” and she “can’t wait for [them] to be closer.” Though they keep pressure off the word, it still means a lot to them.
To Sadiq, “love is honestly just an all-encapsulating thing… it’s loving them at their worst and not giving up.” She confessed that though she thought she knew what love was before her current boyfriend, she was “incredibly wrong.”
Sadiq explained that despite it being “hard to put into words because it’s such a strong feeling,” her “boyfriend completely taught [her] what being in love with another human is, in every aspect of the word.”
Richardson agreed that the word is “very strong” to her and though she “took it for granted” in past relationships, now it’s the strongest feeling that she has. She stated that “every day I grow more and more grateful to be dating my best friend.”
Fetter disclosed that in her relationship, love means that she “never wants to stop admiring him” and “that he’s beautiful and wonderful to [her].” Not only does she want “to be here for him now” but she also wants to support the “person he’s going to be.”
She added that “the meaning always changes” and she stated, “I want to hold him and look at the sky because in that moment love is the only thing I feel for him.”
When it comes time for others to fess up their feelings to the person they L-word, Sadiq feels that they should “listen to their heart.” She acknowledged that “as a teenager, it can be hard to understand the difference between love and infatuation” but “it’s something only you really know.”
Richardson also mentioned that it’s important to “do what your heart thinks is best.” She goes on to advise against underestimating “the power of love” because “you may only feel love once in your life.”
Fetter shared that “love is supposed to not make your life, but not break it either.” She suggests that “if you can’t feel the love from someone even when you’re far apart, I would hold off and think about it more.” But in the end, Fetter pointed out that though there’s “always a chance” that someone’s partner doesn’t love them back “there’s also always the chance that they do.”