IT was like a cold stare from a lover. Only that it was spoken; a question. â€œDo you really love me, Jacobs?â€
â€œWhy?â€ I asked. â€œWhy would I travel from Kampala to Masindi to be with you?â€
â€œBut you have never said it . . .â€ she went on and on. There had to be no more beating about the bush there; those three golden, albeit dreaded words, had to be saidâ€”and soothingly so.
And yet the damage was already done to the conscience and with this damage, the nagging question: why donâ€™t men want to say â€˜I love youâ€™ to those they have romantic feelings for?
A woman not only wants to hear those words but also how they are said. And talking of men fearing to say it, donâ€™t you guys go around bragging that you say it often, because like Moses, a journalist, says, â€œdecent men rightly fear to. They understand the sheer gravity of the three words. Fickle men dish the word out like the air they breathe out, because they think it is as obvious as the sexual feelings they have towards a woman.â€
It is obvious here that a woman will prefer a man who uses other ways than the golden words to express his true feelings for her.
Is it easier for Casanovas to say it?
â€œA man who is truly in love will find it hard to tell a girl that he has fallen in love, but a Casanova will not waste time in doing so,â€ says Florence (not real name), a local TV presenter. Ironic as it may sound, the statement holds some water. Most women do not feel happy unless they hear â€˜I love youâ€™. But blurting it out only a few days into courtship may signal abuse of its relevance.
You will be dragging this golden phrase into the drains of sarcasm that Bonny Apunyu, an MA scholar in Oslo, says would be aptly translated to â€˜I want to sleep with youâ€™.
Who has not heard relationship experts counsel that romantic feelings should be allowed to grow with courtship? You would not want to look foolish saying you love her just after exchanging business cards. That is why real men would suggest a later date.
After all, â€˜I love youâ€™ is a phrase women hear too often for them to be carried away. And men are aware of this too.
But if we are to go by the wise counsel that romantic feelings should be allowed to blossom with time, then we are also falling into the trap of never saying it unless we are forced to or during an orgasm. (Isnâ€™t orgasm the easiest way to say I love you)?
After asking many facebookers why men fear to say I love you, Hope Arinaitwe, a customer care executive at MTN, whom I had gone to watch a movie with a couple of weeks ago, shot the questions back at me. â€œYou are asking me that but I should be the one asking you why you didnâ€™t say it that evening.â€
should you say it only when sure?
Well, I would say it when I am fantasising and I want to see how she feels about it.
Love is a commitment game. You have to really trust her and know she will not throw your love away in order to actually say the words to her. Most men fear rejection and with this fear comes our lack of confidence. Rejection is enormously painful and disappointing for most men; saying the golden words can be an invitation to hurt.
Leonnard Ojwang, a relationships writer for an online magazine, East Africa In Focus, says many men must feel very secure in the relationship and in the womanâ€™s feelings for him, before they can dare to say those words.
â€œThe problem is that our propensity to say it changes from easy-to-say at the beginning of courtship to difficult-to-utter when couples are dating,â€ he says. â€œWe fear commitment; we want to freelance, to wallow in some space where we can jump out when the first whimper of problems surfaces and catch the next plane to the next soul.â€
Like Florence said, it is fine to date a man, go to bed with him before he even says those words. Such a man would have expressed â€˜I love youâ€™ in many other ways that appealed to the woman before he actually says it at that rare moment when it really matters.
Saying â€˜I love youâ€™
without saying it
For those who feel uncomfortable with the words, say it through gifts. But let it not it be so crude and extravagant that she begins to feel you are trying to buy her affection. You could go for the traditional candy, gift setspackages and flowers.
When you spend more time with her than with anyone else, it becomes like a gift. Just make sure the time is always well spent and the message will sink.
There are those hard times when she needs someone to lean on. Be there for her. Do not make it appear like a favour, but rather affection. She will reciprocate it with love.
Keep her in your diary
Whatever you do, let her in. She should be part of your life. Communicate. Call to say nothing; just find out how her day went.
Most ladies say they hate it. But some are liars. A university student proudly announced she had dumped her boyfriend because the guy is over protective. â€œJealousy is ridiculous but it has its upside, which, in my opinion, outweighs the negatives as long as the jealousy is not of the aggressive type,â€ I offered.
It is a sign that he cares a great deal. Many women feel loved and cared for when the man is controlling, as long as she is given some â€˜breathing spaceâ€™. So, go show her that you do not want to lose her.
Magic in â€˜I love youâ€˜ but few men say it