I started to feel like I was living two different lives: One as the committed mom and one as the jet-setting photographer, all the while seriously doubting I was doing either well.
Two years ago, I was seeing a new guy when, within a few days of each other, two of my friends asked me how long we’d been dating.
“Three months,” I responded.
“Oh wow,” the girl said. “Have you guys said ‘I love you’ yet?”
“Huh,” the dude said. “Can you poop when he’s over at your house yet?”
My response? "It's complicated," and "I am a lady! (Also, not really.)"
The “I love you” part actually shouldn’t have been complicated, in that I did love the guy. I’d known I loved him for at least a couple of weeks, but there was no way in hell I was going to say it first. (Thank you ridiculous heterosexual couple gender roles!) Even worse, I wasn’t sure I wanted him to say it because, well -- gross?
But when he picked me up after work on our three-month anniversary (not something we were celebrating, or so I thought) with a dozen white roses, I began to suspect the relationship wasn’t going to last much longer without those three loaded words being uttered.
(I should mention that “I love you” is usually my safe word and I wasn’t sure I was ready to come up with a new one. I mean, why should I when it worked so incredibly well?)
Lest you fool yourself that I’m not the most awkward person in all of the land, I got in his car, said hello, stared at the vase of roses at my feet, and said, “Who are those for?” As though he’d brought the roses for his mistress along on the car ride and was just going to drop them off while I waited in the driveway.
We went to dinner at my favorite French restaurant (ooh la la) and drank wine. Like, a lot of wine. I vaguely remember also going to the bar next door afterward, so needless to say I was not behaving very responsibly for a school night. Eventually we called it and headed back to my apartment where I’m sure I barely managed to wash my face and brush my teeth before climbing into bed.
Did we have sex? Probably, although I can’t remember. What I do remember is lying there in the dark, our faces very close to each other, and him saying, “I love you.”
Honestly? It was pretty perfect. He was an amazing, kind, caring, funny, and generous dude. In fact, I was pretty sure he was “The One.” So I did what any girl in my position would do:
I said, “I love you, too.” Then pretended in the morning like I’d blacked out and didn’t remember any of it.
Don’t worry: I’m now in therapy.
The thing that’s funny is, I knew he was going to say “it” that night. After all, I’ve always been told that you have to wait exactly three months before proclaiming your love. I told him that later on in the relationship that I suspected he was going to say it that night and he swore he didn’t plan it that way, but he wasn’t the first boy I dated to subscribe to that timeline and, well, he probably won’t be the last -- assuming I can find a dude who gets off on dating an emotionally damaged girl. (Call me!)
Apparently however, I made up the three-month rule because according to an article in the Daily Mail about seekingarrangment.com’s survey* of 100,000 British members, the average time for telling a partner “I love you” is after 14 dates. The average number of dates with a new partner was two a week, which means that a large amount of people are saying “I love you” during week seven of their relationship.
Is it just me or does seven weeks seem incredibly fast to tell someone you love him/her? By the 14th date, I probably haven't even revealed how obsessed I am with “High School Musical” (One, Two and Three). Should someone really be proclaiming his love for me if he hasn’t heard me sing “Start of Something New” at the top of my lungs while driving around SF with all of the windows down? After all, a guy may *think* he loves me after Week 7, but no one should make that kind of statement until after he’s experienced a 49ers’ loss with me. Or seen me dressed like up like The Easter Bunny. Or, you know: MET MY FAMILY.
But I guess for some people, they just know. Maybe not love at first sight, but rather love at sight fourteen. Which I’m totally not judging. Hey, if you were lucky enough to have the type of childhood that didn’t destroy you from feeling “feelings,” then more power to you. Tell that guy you love him. Say it first even! (Except, ohmygod, do not.)
Other things the study found:
- First kisses tend to occur after two dates.
- Couples have sex for the first time after four dates (or two weeks).
- Couples move in together after 30 weeks or 60 dates.
I think we’re all in agreement that these polls are fairly meaningless when it comes to our personal preferences. We’re going to do things on our own time, regardless of what the “average” person is doing. But it can be interesting to have a measuring stick against which to at least compare ourselves, even if it is mostly silly. I mean, I’ve had third dates where the first kiss was also the first time we’ve had sex. And then I’ve dated guys for months and never slept with them. I think it’s safe to say, it depends on where I am in my life, the other person and, well, how much I’ve had to drink.
So what about you? How many weeks until you tell a new partner you love him/her? And, if you’re feeling like sharing, throw in there when you usually have sex. Or if you can easily poop when a new lover** is in the house. I'm nosy.
*It should probably be mentioned that Seeking Arrangement is “The Elite Sugar Daddy Dating Site for Those Seeking Mutually Beneficial Relationships®” a name which, yes, they actually felt they needed to register. So perhaps those who are using the site (and therefore were polled) aren’t like you and me. But then again, maybe they are. After all, we’re all human, right?
**I hate that word and have no idea why I just used it. My apologies.
Follow @daisy on Twitter to hear all about how she’s single and stays at home on Saturday nights to watch “The Hunger Games.”