THEY are three words that tumble out of the mouths of some yet get stuck in the throats of others.
Eight little letters, cherished yet sometimes feared. I love you.
Thirty-something commitment-phobe Jim, in Peter Helliar’s romantic comedy I Love You Too, struggled with admitting the notion to his darling Alice, until he got a little help.
When is the right time to say it?
When do you lay your feelings bare, in the hope that they are returned, but at the risk of having them trampled.
We asked people about when was the right time, only to find, as is often the case with love, that there are no rules.
Gary Doran, 47, of Mountain Creek, reckoned it was impossible to go wrong when it came to declaring one’s love for another.
“There’s no wrong time whatsoever,” said Gary, who does not hear those three words enough these days, except from his kids.
Lauren Graham, 30, and her husband, Scott, declared their love for each other early on in their romance. But Lauren said love had been easy to admit because they had been friends since they were kids.
“I don’t think you can say it too early,” she said. “We started saying it right from the start and I’m still so in love with him. We tell each other every day.”
Lauren’s mother, Linda Stokes, 54, felt similar. She and her husband of 34 years, Kim, told each other early on in their romance that they loved each other, but again, that had been easy to do.
They had first met as children and rekindled the friendship years later.
Lauren’s friend, Lisa Wessling, 30, said the question of when to say, “I love you” was simple: “When you mean it.”
“I think it should be special,” Lauren said.
“So do I, which is why I haven’t said it to anyone,” Lisa responded.
Twice-married Trev Probert, 53, of Currimundi, tells his wife, Kate, that he loves her when it is important – “When she’s got my keycard,” he said.
She also tells him when it’s important – “When it’s pay day,” Trev added.
For cheeky Aaron Cooper, 33, of Beerwah, there is only one right time to tell his love, Jennifer, how he feels.
“When she cooks me dinner,” Aaron said.
How often is that? “Not often,” he replied.
Conversely, Steve Thane, 21, of Buderim, tells his girlfriend, Flic, that he loves her every day.
That usually happens in a phone call during the day that starts with, “Hi, how are you doing?” and finishes with a “love you” and “love you, too”.
But getting there was not easy. They had been together about three or four months before they admitted it, and both of them had a few drinks before the words spilled out.
“We tried not to say it too much at first in case it became boring but now we know,” Steve said.
Greg Beattie, 46, of Marcoola, is another who takes time out to tell his girlfriend, Kim, that he loves her every day.
“It makes for a lasting relationship,” he said simply.
However, Noosa couple Robert and Birgit, who were shy about their surnames being used in the article, were also more conservative in their use of “I love you”.
“If you keep saying it all the time, it gets a little bit over-used,” agreed the former high school sweethearts, who resurrected their romance about 10 years ago.
Gianni Maffina, 78, of Maroochydore, decided the right time depended upon the person and the situation.
Although married for 44 years, Gianni is not one to throw around “I love you” a lot.
He did suggest that it might be a good time to say “I love you” if one were drowning or in some other life or death situation. At least one would have nothing to lose.
THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE
Having trouble getting “I love you” out? Try:
- Ek het jou lief (Afrikaans)
- Wo ie ni (Chinese)
- Ik hou van jou (Dutch)
- Je t’aime (French)
- Ich liebe dich (German)
- taim i’ ngra leat (Irish)
- Ti amo (Italian)
- Wo ai ni (Mandarin)
- Volim te (Servian)
- Na kirinla gaguidou (Tibetan)
- Phom Rak Khun (Thai)
- Toi yeu em (Vietnamese)
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