I find this blog https://sexlinestories.com/ absolutely fascinating! It’s an anonymous blog of a lady who works at a sex phoneline. She wrote a recent post about a caller who kept asking her to say “I love you” while he was getting himself off. I thought it was really sad.
It got me thinking about the whole “I love you” thing. Every time I’ve said “I love you” to a boyfriend for a the first time, it’s always a disaster! (No one got themselves off).
The alcoholic twin
The first person I said it to, was my first boyfriend. We only went out for two months, when we were 16. We had known each other since we were 5, when we were at Primary School together.
We walked home from school together sometimes, in our teens. He also had a twin brother. I was friends with both of them.
The twins’ Dad was an alcoholic, and even when we were just 16, the Alcoholic Twin already had concerns about his own drinking.
When I was about 15, we started spending more time together. A group of six of us came together, and we started hanging out every Friday night. My friend Faith was in this group, too. His twin brother fancied Faith, and chemistry was developing between me and the Alcoholic Twin.
For a few weeks there was a spanner in the works, before we got together – there was a party where I left early, and Faith and the Alcoholic Twin got together. Me and the non-Alcoholic Twin were pretty pissed off the next day.
Then they broke up after less than a week, and eventually Faith and I got together with the correct twins.
The week I said “I love you”, the 6 of us were on holiday.
My family inherited a house in the Lake District and we used it as a holiday home. My friends and I went there for a week, after our GCSEs. I had promised my parents that me and the Alcoholic Twin definitely wouldn’t share a bedroom, but we definitely did (sorry mum).
One night, I was writing in my diary as the Alcoholic Twin got ready for bed. When he came into the bedroom, he asked what I was writing. There was some banter and play-fighting, then I finally said “well, if you must know, I was writing that I think I’m falling in love with you.”
I can’t remember what his exact reaction was, but it definitely wasn’t “oh my god, me too!” It was more a look of horror and some mumbling.
There was an argument and he went to sleep in one of the lads’ rooms. Through the wall I heard him say “I think I’ve really fucked things up.”
Eventually he came back and said he actually did love me. Looking back, I’m pretty sure he just said it because he felt he had to.
We broke up a few weeks later.
I met Rob when I was 17. A few months in, we were hanging out at mine one afternoon. While I was in the bathroom, he read my diary (yet again, my diary played a pivotal role in the drama! I guess this blog is the closest thing I have now. I do fear that one day it’ll be going OK with a boyfriend and then they’ll borrow my laptop, and say “What’s Dater Analysis?”).
Anyway, Rob read my diary. Throughout our relationship he was a terrible snooper. When I came back, he was really upset, because he had read that Faith and I had kissed on a night out.
The first time Faith and I kissed, we were 16. There had been an episode of Ally MacBeal the night before, where she kissed Georgia.
We were really drunk and lying on our friend’s the kitchen floor. I said I wondered what it was like to kiss a girl, and she said she wondered that too, and we both said “shall we try it?” and we kissed.
After that, we thought we were both straight but sometimes on nights out we would kiss to get attention from boys.
In some ways, that made us closer. Before that, our friendship had felt a bit complicated. We were the only two girls in a group of 6 friends, and we were rivals as much as allies, especially when we both went for the same twin. That night weirdly made us feel like proper friends. Now, we’re the only two from that group still in touch.
Anyway, that was before I met Rob.
I can’t remember why on earth we were kissing each other once I had boyfriend, but we did. I think that night, I had felt insecure in my relationship with Rob, like maybe he was going to break up with me. So, of course, the obvious solution was to do something that would make things a million times worse.
He was understandably upset, and asked if I’d kissed anyone else while we were together. I said yes, one of my male friends (in my defence, that male friend is now super-gay and married to a guy, but back then he was officially straight).
Why on earth I kissed him, I can’t remember. I was being a teenage dickhead. It’s silly that both people I kissed were not even people I was attracted to – just friends I was being overfriendly with, because we were drunk and teenage. We were even more easily influenced by alcohol and hormones than we are now.
Rob went off to think. When he came back, we went for a walk, and he broke up with me. I felt like I had nothing to lose, so I said “I’m not trying to change your mind, but I love you.”
A few days later we got back together, but he didn’t say the L-word back.
He treated me horribly for a few months. It was partly understandable, but not to that extent, so I broke up with him. Then we got back together for second time and he said he loved me back.
When I was 22, not long after Rob and I broke up, I met The Mathematician on a night out. I was just finishing University. I told him I wasn’t looking for anything serious as I’d just come out of a 5-year relationship, and then I promptly fell for him.
After he left Uni for the summer, and I left Uni forever (he was a year below me) it turned into a long distance relationship. I went to stay with him at his parents’ house. At at one point, during a post-sex cuddle, he sleepily said something very quietly that sounded like “I love you.” I said “pardon?” at least twice – I still wasn’t 100% confident what he’d said, but thought I can’t say pardon again.
I thought about it and concluded he must’ve been saying he loved me. It definitely sounded like it, and I couldn’t think of anything else that would rhyme with or sound like “I love you”.
I went away and thought about it.
I love him too, actually! I realised, when I was back home.
A few weeks later, I went to stay with him again, and said “I love you” during a post-sex cuddle. He reacted by looking surprised, hugging me very tightly and saying something like “and I think you’re great too” or the classic “and I love spending time with you.”
He was pretty airy-fairy and I actually think he did say “I love you” the first time, and then forgot he said it and forgot he had felt it.
My best L-word declaration was with Balthazar. I was 23. We had been together for a couple of months.
He had just arrived at my house after not seeing him for a while – it might’ve been down to our shift patterns or me being away visiting family, something like that.
We were having sex and it was the first time without a condom, as I’d just gone on the pill. I felt really close to him. Everything just felt really perfect. I had decided to let him say it first, after my previous disasters, but I couldn’t keep it in.
I was on top and I looked down at him and said “I love you!”
He said “what did you say?” and I repeated it much more quietly the second time, to hedge my bets.
A massive smile spread across his face and he said “I’ve loved you for a while now.”
We had the most lovely evening together. I can’t remember what we did – just hanging around in my bedroom, being loved up, I think.
The next morning, we had to get up really early for work. He seemed a bit quiet and distant. I think it was just because it was about 6am and we’d had little sleep. Or, maybe it was the thing from ‘Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars’, where men can feel a bit uncomfortable or scared after getting very close to a woman, and feel the need to pull away and regain their composure, before pulling back once they’re ready.
I accidentally left my keys, purse and phone in my house, so after work, he helped me break into my house.
In 2013, after Balthazar died, I felt like I shouldn’t have another boyfriend.
I didn’t think I deserved it, because I felt so guilty about his death, and I felt like I shouldn’t move on. I also felt like I was going to die. There is a symptom of PTSD “sense of foreshortened future” and I definitely had that. I guess I had just experienced how someone can be here one minute and dead the next, and I just had a feeling I was going to die soon too. I thought other people were going to die too – if a friend was late for meeting me, I’d panic and think they’d died.
I felt like all the things I’d always wanted – getting married, having a family, growing old with someone – those things just weren’t options anymore.
So what I had with Alex James was perfect.
We met at a New Years Eve party, at the end of 2012. I’m calling him Alex James because he looked so incredibly like Alex James from Blur (90s era, pre-cheese farm).
He had never had a girlfriend or even slept with anyone, which blew my mind as he was 26 and probably the most attractive person I’ve been with. It was much more reflective of his social anxiety and awkwardness than his attractiveness.
At that New Year’s Eve party, I ended up giving him a blowjob in a cupboard, crouched down amongst a Henry Hoover. I forget why.
Even though I lived in London and he lived in the Isle of Wight, we started having something like a relationship, but we always said we were just friends who had sex. We visited each other every other weekend for about 6 months. All we did was have sex and watch Box-sets of TV series in bed. Occasionally we’d put clothes on to make the odd sausage sandwich in the kitchen. It was great.
He had Aspergers and depression. When I was giving him that first cupboard blowjob, he told me he might not be able to come because of his medication. “Oh really, what are you taking? What dosage?” I piped up from amongst the mop and broom, absentmindedly going into work mode.
I think, really, while he was absolutely my type and I really fancied him, I was not his type at all, and he didn’t really fancy me. I know this because he told me. I think he just had sex with me because no one else seemed to want to. He pretty much told me this too.
However, it was great while it lasted, and just what I needed. He gave me friendship and comfort and a distraction, without the guilt of having a new boyfriend.
One day I was really devastated because I got a very upsetting letter from the coroner about Balthazar’s death. He went through the letter with me and helped me understand it, and I’ll always appreciate that.
I can’t remember if it was that weekend or a different one, but I realised I loved him. Kind of in a friend way, but a friend who has been inside me a heck of a lot. I decided to tell him, even though I was pretty sure he wouldn’t say it back. He had very low self esteem and I thought it would be a nice thing to hear.
We were lying in bed on a Sunday morning, and I said “I love you. It’s fine if you don’t say it back.” He didn’t.
Just then, my phone rang. It was my parents. They were coming to visit me, but I expected them to arrive much later. I thought Alex James would be long gone before they arrived.
“Shit, my parents are going to be here in a minute. Sorry, err…. do you want to meet them? Hey! Where have you gone?!”
I have never seen anyone get dressed so fast in my entire life.
He did not want to meet my parents, it turned out. About 20 seconds later he had his jacket on, and I was saying “but don’t you want something to eat on the train?” and trying to post a piece of Kingsmill bread into his top pocket, while he writhed away and wriggled out the front door.
We’re still in touch now, but haven’t seen each other since we broke up, probably about two months later. He has really struggled with depression and even been in a mental health hospital. A few times he’s asked for advice about treatment, which I’ve been happy to give.
I got together with Matthew when I was 29. One weekend, a few months in, my parents visited, and he met them. After they’d left, we had sex, and a bit later he said something like “one of the things I love about you…”. I jumped on this, and gleefully said “…you ‘love about me’??”
He backtracked and said “you know what I mean.”
That night, I met his friends for the first time. We went to a pub quiz together.
On the way home, we were walking through an underpass and stopped to kiss. He said “Actually, to hark back to an earlier point, I do love you.” We kissed again.
I said “I love you too!”. I was really happy.
One of the best things was that, a few metres away, a black cat and fox walked across the path together.
It’s not at all unusual to see a fox in London, when you’re walking home late at night, but it was very strange that it was walking along with a cat. They really seemed liked they were on their way somewhere together, like they were friends.
It seemed like it could be Professor McGonagall and someone else in Animagus.
Balthazar really loved animals, including foxes. Once I told him he was a fox, and he said “what do you mean – I’m ginger and I go through bins?” One morning, after a night shift, he spent ages looking out the window at a family of foxes living in some wasteland near our house.
When I see a fox late at night, they often stare at me and freeze. I like to think Balthazar has sent them to check I’m OK, or maybe he is the fox. It sounds crazy and I don’t really believe it, but I know some of his friends have had the same feeling.
I felt like, that night, when Matthew told me he loved me, it felt right for a fox and black cat to cross our paths. Maybe Balthazar was glad someone else loved me, and wanted to see it.
It would’ve been perfect, but when we reached his flat, we had a terrible row- our first one. I always wrote it off as ‘not counting’, because I couldn’t remember what happened, because we were both very drunk.
I think at an earlier point, I had told him I like things like being dramatically thrown onto the bed, that kind of thing. He tried to do something like that, but it caught me off guard and made me feel uncomfortable.
He then felt embarrassed, and shouted at me and made me feel even more scared. I can’t remember the details properly, but it was the first of many times I felt scared of him. It was such a shame it happened that same night.
The most recent person to say he loved me, was WS.
This was the most frustrating, heart-wrenching, head-fucking declaration of love.
Now I know he is a liar, but I still believe he loved me. The longer we were together, the more he said ‘starting to fall in love, testing the water’ sort of comments, like “I’ve fallen for you” and “I love the way that you…”. I just feel like I know he loved me.
I remember on our 5th date, after sex, he fell asleep and I lay in bed, stroking his hair and staring at his face, while he occasionally twitched in his sleep. I realised I was full of love for him.
We never exchanged the L-word when we were together. The first time he said it, was a week after he ended things. He texted me at 3am saying “I know this may sound wrong, but I do believe when we were dating, I actually loved you.”
Weirdly, I had just woken up, a minute before he sent that text. I replied saying I felt the same, but asked why he was telling me now. He answered with some drunk, emotional scribble talk about how fucked up he is.
This happened several times over the next few months – late night drunk texts where he said he loved me, but immediately re-confirmed he can’t be with me.
I always replied saying I love him too, because it was true. It was so confusing! It gave me hope that we could be together. I wish we’d said it in person.
Even though the first Love Announcement tends to go badly, in relationships, I’ve generally been lucky with talking about love. I like to say it a lot – whenever I feel full of love for them, and my boyfriends have tended to do the same.
Let’s hope the next declaration goes a bit more smoothly.