I am wary of men who tell me they love me. The phrase consistently creeps up before I'm ready for it. My instinct is to refute it immediately. Hearing it has always meant there’s a timer out of sight somewhere, ticking down the final moments of the relationship. I've broken clocks before, but I still don't know how to stop time.
There are things I need you to know before you say you love me. I want you to have all of the facts before you say something you don’t mean, and I'm left with one more person to miss.
You will get sick of me. You will get tired of my need for space while I desire to be touched constantly. When I'm having a bad day, the last thing I want is someone in my face telling me everything is going to be all right. I am more apt to punch you than I am to concede. I need to cry sometimes but most times I will not do it in front of you. When I'm sad, it’s unlikely that I'll initiate telling you about it, I am not going to need you at these moment, I need to be alone. Some people need to be needed all the time by their significant other, and looking at my track record, I may in fact be one of those people, but I am not going to need you. I had a life of my own without you. I will put you in my life because I want you there, not because I need someone to complete it. You will have much of my attention, you will be one of my top priorities, but not the only one, and not all of the time. I don't ever do anything I don't absolutely want to do. I’m infuriatingly stubborn about some things. It takes a lot to make me angry but when I do get angry, good luck escaping. I am bad at talking about my feelings in a way that will spare yours. I don't forgive easily, and I don't forget disappointments.
The thing is, I like me. This is not about a lack of self worth because I know that I have a lot of good things happening here. There are things you will probably like about me. Despite how cynical I am I really do have this ridiculous, big, empathetic heart. I'm smart, I've got a quick wit, I can dish it out as well as I can take it. I'll rarely turn you down for sex. I'm a good listener and an amazing friend and if you're in my life there is absolutely nothing I won't do for you. You can trust me with your secrets. You can trust me to take care of your plants when you go out of town. I'm apparently really funny to argue with. I don't take shit from anyone. I will be your biggest cheerleader and I will always comfort you when you fall. I will tell you when I think you're being a jerk, but I'll do it with a smile. I will be kind to your family and love your pet and try to get along with your friends. I will listen to your band and read your book and go to your play or your gallery open or your party (even though I hate them). I will support you always and I will want you to be happy. I will love you!!!
But you? Any time someone says "I love you", I want to know their bottom line. I can't help thinking, “Of course you do. You only see what I show you and I'm very good at showing off my good traits.” It takes time to truly learn someone. You may think you love me in the beginning, but I will always be eyeing the clock and wondering how long it will be until you decide that you don't any more.