News And Views
My Catholic Marriage
“I Love You”
My friend Caroline and her boyfriend recently said “I love you” to each other for the first time, and I am so happy that she is happy. Hearing her story got me thinking (and her wondering) about the first time Daniel and I said “I love you,” and when we started talking about the possibility of marrying each other.
The first thing Daniel said about marriage happened after we had been dating only a couple of weeks. It was a silly “if” statement he made as he was getting up to turn on the tiny television I had in my dorm room. It was something along the lines of, “If we get married, we are getting a big flat-screen TV.” I think I responded with, “Oh really?” and that was the end of that.
I am the one who said “I love you” first, which I really didn’t plan on doing. We were relaxing in my dorm room and my roommate at the time, Maria, left to go down the hall. I was laying my head on Daniel’s shoulder and we were holding hands. We were quiet, and I don’t remember what we had been talking about before, but apparently it had gotten me thinking. After a couple of minutes, I took a deep breath and said, “I have something I want to tell you, but I’m scared to.”
“What is it?” Daniel asked. I deliberately kept my gaze fixed across the room. My heart was pounding. Another minute went by.
“Well…” I said, in barely more than a whisper. “I just wanted to tell you… that I love you.” I still didn’t look at him, and what felt like forever passed by in silence before Daniel said quietly, “I love you, too.” Letting out the breath I had been holding, I sat up quickly to look at him.
“Really,” he smiled. “How long have you been wanting to say that?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know,” I said. “A while. But I didn’t want to say it so soon.”
“Me either,” Daniel replied. “That was brave of you. I was planning on saying it at Christmas.”
It was the middle of October. We had only been dating about a month and a half. Shocking, believe me I know! I didn’t tell anyone for a while, and I don’t think my parents knew that I loved him until a long time after that. All I know is that I didn’t want anyone to tell me I said it too soon. I knew it was probably too soon, and today I would probably tell any eighteen-year-old who “fell in love” within two months of meeting someone that they were crazy. But I knew that I loved him. I just knew. As far as I was concerned, there was no point in waiting. Luckily for me, Daniel felt the same way. And luckily for both of us, we didn’t get it wrong.The subject of marriage wouldn’t be seriously brought up at all for a couple more months…