Three years ago today, Tyler gave me the best Valentine's Day present EVER. He told me those three magic words--- I. Love. You.
For those of you who know us well, you may be thinking 'They have been together for WAY longer than three years, why did Tyler wait so long?'
Well friends, you are correct, we have been together SIX years. And you are also correct in the fact that Tyler did wait a long, long time.
In fact, when my friends realized Tyler and I had been dating for so long without saying the Big, Three, Scary words, they would ask me questions like-- 'Hannah, are you nervous he hasn't said it yet?' or 'Do you think he'll EVER say it?' or my personal favorite 'Oh my gosh, Hannah, he MUST have some serious commitment issues.' :)
Ok, so people never actually said those things to me... but I know they thought them! ha!
But Tyler and I had talked about it many-a-times, so I was very content with waiting. You see, Tyler had made up his mind before we started dating that in whatever relationship he was in, he was not going throw around the I Love You's and use them loosely. He didn't want it to mean something special. Tyler wanted his I Love You to mean everything.
With this in mind, I knew that if I waited patiently (me? patient? hard to believe I know) and if we allowed God to show us whether He wanted our relationship to be the real-deal, going-to-the-chapel type thing, Tyler would eventually tell me "I Love You." And I knew that when he told me that, it meant everything to him. And me.
So leading up to that Valentine's Day, Tyler had mentioned how much he had been thinking about what he wanted to do for me and how difficult it was for him to make a decision. But no where in my mind was I prepared for what was coming.
That night he gave me a heart-shaped book, cut out of red construction paper and filled with cut-out pictures and drawings. To be perfectly honest, Tyler doesn't have the best artistic ability, so it did have a 4th-grade-art-class-ish look to it... but I think that's what makes me love it even more! ;)
The front cover said "I love..." and the inside was filled with all the things he loved about me. Some sweet things and other just funny things that I do. But the whole thing was WELL thought out and written. As I'm flipping through the pages (and loving every minute of it) I still had no clue... really Hannah? Really? Yes, really.
Anyway, I turn to the last page and it said, with great big letter "YOU!"
I looked at Tyler and he took my hand and looked at me with tears in his eyes and said "Hannah, I LOVE you."
::Tears:: ::Gasp:: ::Uncontrollable shaking::
This is what I felt! ha! And for the first time, I said to Tyler I loved him too. I had seriously been waiting to say those three words for a LONG time... I may or may not have even practiced to myself a few times??? :)
I know you may be thinking 'I mean come on, after three years we already knew we loved each other, right' Well, yes. But we didn't want to commit in that way while we were still so young and starting off college. I think without actually saying I Love You, we ACTED on those words, instead of relying on just SAYING them. Does that make sense?
We didn't want the fact that we could SAY those words to be a reason that we stayed together, if we realized that it wasn't God's will for us to be together. I think it just allowed us to truly fall in love, without the pressure of saying those words before we were really ready. Ok, I think I'm even confusing myself a little. ha!
The thing that I think is so special is the fact that to this day, when Tyler and I say "I Love You" we truly think about the words we say and how much we mean them. We don't throw that phrase around loosely.
So, to my sweet Valentine, I LOVE You!!!!!