Ladies and gents, the buzzer signifies that we are in at the end of the first quarter of Winter Boo Season. Quick huddle – let’s talk strategy. Everyone’s moving well on the field, we’ve got the swing of the game, had some good times and then >BAM!<. You hear the words that kick it up a notch…or end the game entirely in some cases…“they’re out of beer at the concession stand” “I love you”. ::hush falls over the locker room::
Those X’s and O’s on the board? You meant them as tactical moves…someone else took them as “XOXOXO!” Ooops. C’mooooon Cleatus…whatchu gon’ do now?! Wasn’t this a scrimmage? Wait! Wait! “I was just playin?” None of that is going to get you off the fast-track-to-the-championships that you seem to be on. Oh, the championships? THAT, my friend, is Valentine’s Day. ::GASP!:: If you just wanted an Oct – March f*ck buddy don’t feel the same loving feeling, you better fix this mess. And quick.
Tempting as it might be to parrot it back just for the sake of avoiding an awkward moment, those aren’t words to play with. So what do you say? Well, shit, I don’t know, but I can tell you a few ways NOT to respond!
Them: “I love you.”
- You: “Thank you.”
As funny as this is may seem in the moment, it’ll probably get you labeled as an egotistical moron. They didn’t hand you the last donut…they handed you their heart. Bet you’d rather the extra 300 calories right about now, huh?
- You: “I know.”
Perhaps the most boastful answer you could give. It says “of COURSE you love me – I’m irresistible!” *cough*
- You: “I love me too.”
Are you kidding? This one just says you’re a narcissist. Everyone should love themselves, but um…not to the point of expressing it like this.
- You: “Yep!”
This is NOT what “acknowledging someone’s feelings” means. Where do you go from this reply? There’s no smooth transition to sex a convo about the weather after this one. Just a fight.
- You: ::crickets::
And finally…the WORST thing you could do…say nothing. This is sure to make them think perhaps you didn’t hear it the first time…which ensures a repeat, looking more intently for a reply. “I sayyyyyyd, ‘I love you’.” ::expectant look:: See how that feels? You should’ve just played dead. O_o
In all honesty, the best reply you CAN offer here…is honesty. It’s going to be an uncomfortable moment no matter how you handle it. Don’t complicate it with stories and lies. Why mess with their potential to be crazy emotions and your karma?
Instead, try explaining gently that while you enjoy their ability to be free at 11pm on select Tuesday nights company, you’re not ready for a serious relationship. You were hoping to date casually in this stage of life as you (insert some form of “focus on my work/education/life/growth/bid for the Senate” here). Even this might not be completely true, but extricating yourself with honor and sensitivity is the goal, not laying out a plan for life. Hopefully, you can still get them drawers remain friends. Understand though that this might NOT be an option… because it’s their choice. Not yours.
::blows whistle:: Now get back out there! Remember, I wanna see good sportsmanship and fair play! Clock’s ticking!