Love That Doesn’t Need You To Say It Back

[Today, I’m honored to be a guest at the home of the brave and spunky Leanne Penny. I joined up with her Love Showed Up series with a tale very close to my heart: the story of my husband and I. I love to tell this story because it sounds new and different every time. If you’re visiting, from Leanne’s, welcome. It’s great to meet you. If you like what you see, subscribe to the blog right here, and I will send you my inspirational eBook, My Birthright For Soup. It’s that easy. And without further ado, here’s our story.]

“I think we’re going to break up,” I announced to my new boyfriend after everyone else left the church that night. “I break up with all my boyfriends.”

We’d only been dating two days, yet my previous relationships told me everything I needed to know about this one. Relationships with me end badly. I figured it was only fair to let this new guy in on my secret.

Ironically, I started this relationship believing it would end. But on the other side of my inner cynic was a hopeless romantic, one who hoped someday a man and I could love each other with a true and lasting affection. I’d just never seen it done. Not in my life anyway.

I don’t remember how he responded to my anxious forecast, but I have no doubt he calmed the storm with his trademark patience I would come to expect over the years. I do remember we left in the same car that night. And the next day, we were still together.

After barely a month of dating, or in my world, after 30 days of not breaking up, we curled up beside each other on a crusty, aged couch along his living room window. It was already dark, but we wouldn’t say goodbye for hours. I never wanted to leave him, even though he terrified me. No matter how dim my pessimistic predictions, I couldn’t make him go away.

As we lay there talking, he whispered the three scariest words, words I knew meant we were over. “I love you,” he said, his voice tender and sincere. But they sounded like the end to me.

I couldn’t say it back. I didn’t know how I felt. My mind flooded with all the fearful thoughts. It was too soon for the L word. Why was he being so pushy? Doesn’t he know you’re supposed to wait on those words, like a year or something? The men who said “I love you” before wanted me to say it back. And then we broke up. The L word is a break-up precursor. Doesn’t he know the rules? Now we’re doomed.

As the anxiety whirlwind spun a dervish in my mind, I sealed the words inside my mouth. Eventually I mustered, “I can’t say it back yet.” I braced myself for the awkward guilt I knew would follow my confession.

Will he reject her and break her heart? Find out as the story continues at Leanne’s.

This photo may or may not be a spoiler alert. [Click for photo credit]
This photo may or may not be a spoiler alert. [Click for photo credit]
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3 thoughts on “Love That Doesn’t Need You To Say It Back

  1. My first words to a friend of mine, about Matthew, prior to me starting to date him, “There’s this guy…but I DON’T want to marry him…” 😀
    LOVE the name of your book. Perfect.

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    1. Love it, Alison. Isn’t that the way so many great stories start? And thanks for the love on my book title. Naming things is fun for me. I’ve had that name for years – it was fun to finally use it.

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