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Too soon for the ‘L’ word?

Q: For the last month I have been seeing someone who really does it for me. You know the type: She walks into the room and your heart starts pumpin’ and all that other good stuff. We have known each other for a year and just recently started to date. We seem to be getting along famously and can talk for hours on a very deep level emotionally. (Yes, this is a guy writing this.) So my question is this: What is the appropriate time to use the “L” word? I know it’s early in this relationship, but I have found myself stopping those words from leaving my mouth. I’m hoping if I do mumble this without thinking, it won’t be taken as insincere.

A Steve: The “L” word? As in, “I lust for you”? I hope you’re not talking about the big “L” word. Because you’ve just recently started to date, what you’re feeling is lust, not love. Love, like fine wine, needs time. Relationships always begin with raging hormones and all the heart-pumping excitement you feel right now. Enjoy it to the fullest, but don’t confuse enthusiasm with love.

Since you knew each other awhile before dating, you’re probably farther along than the average couple. But I see no downside in keeping mum on this issue until after the hormonal surge has passed (at least six months from now). If your feelings are even stronger by then, drop the “L” word on her. But if you find yourself less sure than you are today, chances are you’re in lust.

Mia: The thing with the big “L” word is that once you say it, you can’t take it back. And several things could happen. The other person could say something awkward back, like, “I really LOVE spending time with you.” Or she could say, “Oh my God, I love you too, let’s get married!” Which might be a little too much, even for you. I’d hold off awhile.

Q: I’ve been reading this column for a few years now. Is Steve still a 50-something married man? Is Mia still a 20-something single immersed in the Center City dating scene? Do you guys never age (kind of like the Simpsons, aye)?

A Steve: Does “Dear Abby” age? You can’t tell from her photo. Hey, Mia, do you think we’ll still be doing the column after we’re dead?

Mia: I sure hope not. Our advice is bad enough now.

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