Bad timing, bad taste in my mouth
So I met someone I've been pretty excited about, another young adult with a decent job who seemed relatively well put-together. We've dated about four months after meeting online, slept together after a reasonable amount of time, include each other in our weekend plans, etc. We went exclusive pretty quickly, and started using the bf/gf terms not long afterwards. We're both a bit awkward, I've suffered some insecurity and anxiety in the past and she has, too. We're both a bit stand-offish, too, in that it's hard admitting emotionally vulnerability to each other.
I found myself biting back "I love you" for the past eight weeks or so. It seemed too soon, and I wanted it to mean something when I said it. Instead, it got precipitated in the most awkward way possible.
She had a wedding for a sorority sister, another of her sisters was her date. I agreed to drop her off and pick her up, and when I did she had had a good time, maybe a bit tipsy. She happened to mention she'd danced with a guy from a frat she'd almost dated at one point, and did I mind that? No, I said, even though it was dart in my chest. 'Be cool,' I told myself.
She went on to say it was cool because she totally wasn't attracted to him, but mentioned he'd asked what she was up to that weekend and said he'd be in town. She told him she had plans all weekend, sorry.
"You didn't think to just tell him you had a boyfriend?" The anger was probably pretty palpable in my voice. She said no, she didn't know how to handle it because she hadn't expected to be in that position. And I told her I was pretty upset, because anytime a woman approached me like that I made sure "something something my girlfriend" was in the second sentence out of my mouth. And she just reiterated the same thing, she didn't think to because it never really happened that much.
It was a tense ride back to her place, though I was trying to show I was okay and not noticeably upset by the whole thing. When we got out of the car, she challenged me to a game we usually play, "Confession", where you confess something to the other person as honestly as possible. I told her I didn't have one in mind, so she could go first if she'd like.
She began starting the "I love you" speech, she'd been feeling this way for a few weeks now, she didn't know how to tell me...I stopped her and asked if she'd been drinking. She got visibly upset, turned, and walked inside, and things got very, very quiet going into her place.
I know my way around her place pretty well, I started brushing my teeth and undressing, and when I finished I found her out on the couch. After some awkward silence, she asked what she was supposed to say, it was out in the open now. I told her it wasn't the right time, we just had a disagreement and I was upset about it, and that wasn't the time to say stuff like that. She said she didn't like me being dismissive of her like she was drunk out of her mind or something.
I told her listen, I'd been feeling this way for some time now, too, and the truth was, I loved her. I think maybe I didn't want to leave her out on a limb with her 'I love you' half-spoken, so I dumped out mine. We talked a bit more, and when we went to bed she hadn't said it back. I started getting very agitated. "If you don't say it back, I can't sleep here," I told her, fully prepared to walk out of the place there and then. She did, and I calmed down, we got intimate, etc.
Now, I don't know, it's just awkward. I almost forgot to say it when I left that weekend. I wrote her a long note explaining how much she meant to me and that I loved her, but also that I hate using 'I love you' to end phone calls and letting it become a habit rather than a real feeling. We're on a 1-to-1 texting exchange, meaning no one volunteers an extra text until the last one gets answered. She wants me to call her in the mornings, but I'm scared I'm making myself too available, kow-towing to her and losing her respect. And the whole time I'm trying to figure out if not mentioning me was an honest mistake or some insidious slip of the tongue that shows I'm a placeholder boyfriend until some chotchy frat-boy comes to take my place.
I desperately need some perspective. Am I crazy? Are we just super-awkward? Am I about to get punked if someone new catches her eye? Thanks for reading, prompt responses would be great for the weekend.
Sounds to me like you're both on the same page, just both a little emotionally awkward. Don't let it spoil things, the feelings are there you're just having trouble getting the communication right. I too would have expected her to say she had a bf but hey, we're all different and she sounds genuine. She may have needed a little 'dutch courage' to tell you but she wanted to tell you she loves you. Hope it works out for you.