I’ve been on an NCIS binge as of late, I think I’ve watched all episodes from the first 11 seasons in a two-week period. Please, don’t state the obvious, I know I need a life. Believe it or not, I have learned some important life lessons from watching the show as well as had the opportunity to analyze the dynamics of the relationships between the characters. There are three scenes that stood out the most to me which all involved the complexity that plagues saying “I love you”.
In the first scene, DiNozzo’s girlfriend had already made her feelings very clear; she had told him she loved him on several occasions, but he had yet to utter those three magical words. She got fed up of waiting, but then he finally reciprocated. He was in love, but had been unable to be open with her.
Gibbs, a three-time divorcé, was confronted by one of his ex-wives who had come to understand that she had been the only person in love during their marriage. Rather than refuting this statement, he simply told her that he had “really, really liked her.” My heart just about tore out of my chest when I heard those words – I felt for her (and yes, I am very well aware that this is not real life, but honestly after my binge, I seriously felt as though I was a part of the cast. Note to self: this is sad, get a life!)
Ziva and DiNozzo had an undeniable attraction to one another and it had been an underlying theme that affected their relationship throughout each season. It was clear that Ziva loved DiNozzo and she longed to be with him. During an elevator scene she momentarily believed that he was finally ready to reveal his feelings, not only to her, but to their co-workers as well (the boss has a no dating rule within his team). As she began to say yes to the proposal, he walked out of the elevator leaving her there to realize that not only had she misunderstood the situation, but that it was very likely that he had no idea how she felt about him and that he may not feel the same for her.
Have you ever been in love? When you’re in love you want to shout it from the rooftops and you want the entire world to know how you feel about your special person. Feeling like you’re unable to do so or that you must hold back for the sake of self-preservation (aka refraining from setting into motion the mental breakdown that could ensue if they happen not to say it back), is crushing to the spirit.
The words “I love you” serve to reinforce the standing of one’s relationship whether that means that it leads to its demise or to long-lasting love. Some follow a rule before allowing themselves to tell someone they love them. I have girlfriends who don’t dare say “I love you” lest they hear it first, while others will gladly say it first hoping that it will be reciprocated. But if the person you are dating professes their love to you and all you can earnestly say at that moment is “Oh that’s nice!” is it cause for concern? Can you comfortably continue to pursue this relationship and pray that it will continue to be a “no-awkwardness” zone? Personally, I don’t believe so. I think after that point, the relationship is kind of tainted.
I attempted to say “I love you” once and I mean I really, really loved this guy, but he knew what was about to happen and he stopped me: “I know what you’re about to say, but please don’t say it.” He explained that he cared for me, but that he had not reached the point where he could tell me that he loved me. Then, he went on to explain that he had dated a girl who would constantly tell him that she loved him and his best response was to smile. Smile?! He might have as easily pet her head and said “That’s my girl!” He never did come around to saying “I love you” but just like Gibbs, he “really, really liked me.” I did respect him for not saying it if he did not feel it because some do blurt it out just to keep the peace.
Would I be the first to say “I love you” again? Honestly, I don’t know that I’ve mustered up enough courage to put myself in that sort of situation again. I do; however, wear my heart on my sleeve and there is never any guess work involved as to how I feel about my partner. For some, those words are the beginning of the end while for others, it’s the start of new beginnings.
Are you willing to say “I love you” first? If he/she does not respond would it be reason enough to end the relationship? How long are you willing to wait in limbo hoping to hear them say “I love you” before calling it quits?
Sound off below!