Friday, July 11, 2008

The "L" Word

Okay, kids, I have a serious question I need help with today – at what point in a relationship do you say the “L” word. No, I’m not talking about “love”. (Things are way too new for that.) I’m talking about the other “L” word – like. Sure, it’s cool to “like” his car, to “like” the restaurant we went out to, to “like” (or, heck, even love) the movie we just saw. But when applied to the guy you’re out with “like” can be a scary word. Granted, he just sat through The Happening (so freaky – don’t go see it unless you have a lap to jump into during certain scenes) and hardly even flinched, but I can just imagine the terror in his eyes if I bust out with the “L” word.

On the other hand… I’m really starting to like Mr. Big. I found myself thinking about him in the middle of the day yesterday for no reason at all. And had a big goofy grin on my face. It’s to the point where, when I describe him to friends, I’m no longer focusing on his cut abs and gorgeous eyes, but on the way he gets this sort of crooked little half smile thing before it grows into a full-on teeth smile that’s so cute, or the way I melt every time he calls me sweetie. Yep, I’m definitely falling in like.

Which always bring up the big question – does he like me? Honestly? It’s hard to tell. We always have a good time together, he’s very sweet, very much the door-opening, insisting-on-paying-for-everything, holding-my-hand perfect kind of guy. But when we talk it’s more about the real estate deals he’s got going on or the conferences I have coming up or how the Giants are doing this week. Everyday stuff. Not how we may be feeling about each other stuff. No, that kind of talk is danced around very carefully. The word “like” has not entered our vocabulary yet. Ditto that just as scary “R” word – relationship.

And there’s one other thing about Mr. Big. He’s… well… Mr. Big. It took Carrie 7 seasons and one movie of Sex & the City to get her guy. While I’m hoping my Mr. Big isn’t quite that bad, I get the distinct impression he’s not been the settle-down type so far. He knows all the hottest nightclubs in town, can order wine like nobody’s business, has a network of single fun-guy friends he hangs out with. Never married, no kids, no ties. Declined an invitation to meet my family his week - which I was honestly a little bummed about. Every time we’re together, the date screams “fun”… which is great, who doesn’t like fun, right?… but, I don’t see a real inclination toward lasting relationships.

So, while like is growing stronger all the time on my part, I so don’t want to be the George Constanza sitting there professing his true feeling to the zookeeper gal while she retaliates with, “I’m hungry, let’s go eat.” (Can you tell I’ve been doing a lot of small screen research for my TV writing lately?) As Jerry so aptly put it, “What if she doesn’t say she loves you back? That’s a big matzo ball hanging out there.”

I need your collective wisdom on this one, gals. How soon is too soon to say the “L” word?

~Trigger Happy (and sorta smitten) Halliday


Lucy said...

It sounds like the actions are already there without the words being said. He is asking you out and you are saying yes - and it sounds like you're both having a good time. So if you're worried that the actual words will be too scary, just let the actions speak for themselves.

Keri Ford said...

I don't ever remember having the "I really like you a lot" conversation or lots of talk about where we were going in our life, except twice:
After a month or so of dating my now husband every friday and saturday and spending lots of time on the phone (I was 17, him 18), he asked me to go out with him. I'll never forget, he was so nervous, he mumbled and I couldn't understand and the poor thing had to say it a second time. :O)

At three months, he promised me we would get married and we did. (married 5years this September! Been with the man for 8!)

Uh, the rest of the time we just talked about stuff. Things like you've describe. Life and what our day had been like.

I would say if he's ditching the single-guy friends in the evenings to hang with you, that's a really, REALLY great sign. Those are his boys and he's likely getting ragged for bailing on them on poker night to be with you for movie and popcorn.

I would give him more time before putting the 'R' word in his face. Let a relationship develop good before mentioning it. As far as 'like', didn't mention why he declined on the meet the parent offer. Are we talking a little dinner with just the four of you? That's a bit scary, that means 'serious'. But now a 7year olds neice's birthday party at the skating rink would be a good atmosphere. It's open, he has exits, and he's not confined to a table where your daddy will be giving him the, 'that's my little girl your sitting next to' stare.

Christie Craig said...

Ahhh, Gemma,

Hang in there. You know it can take weeks for our stomachs to digest red meat, well, I think it takes just as long for some guys to digest their feelings.

Give it and him a little more time. Then maybe hint at the question to . . ."Is this going anywhere?" And see his reaction.

Love these blogs girl.

Crime Scene Christie

Jana DeLeon said...

I agree with Keri - meeting a girl's family has this whole "permanence" feel for guys. And if he's not necessarily rushing toward commitment (and sounds like he doesn't), then he might not be ready for that.

As for the "like," I don't see any reason to say it at all. If you're saying things like "I really had a great time" or "that was really fun" then I think he gets it.

Good luck with Mr. Big! He sounds great!

Terri Osburn said...

I'll start out by saying I have no answers. Nada. None. Zilch. So I'll agree with the ladies above. Enjoy spending time with him, take one day at a time, and see what happens.

Though I can see where you'd be afraid your feelings are getting tangled more than his. But I've never figured out how to prevent that. I'm afraid you either have to take the leap and even if the final landing is a little rough, it was probably worth the risk.

After all, the alternative (never leaping!) doesn't sound like much fun at all.

Anonymous said...

I have no wise advice to give, but I think everyone else here has done a bang-up job on that. :)

Gemma Halliday said...

You ladies are brilliant! Why does the answer always seem so simple when it’s coming from my gals? K, I will refrain form the using the “L” word or the “R” word a little longer and see how things develop. I’ve never been a big talk-about-the-relationship kind of person either, but I’m wondering… do I won’t cancel my dating subscriptions yet, or do I hold onto them a while longer. Lol! I think I’ll hold on a bit.

The family thing was an outdoor concert in the park, a really fun Beatles tribute band (they got all dressed up like the fab four, too!) He said he liked the Beatles, so I invited him along. Then I realized I better warn him that my mom and brother would be there, too. (Not fair to spring family on him surprise-like.) And that’s when he changed his mind about going. Bummer, but maybe just too soon for that.


Gemma Halliday said...

Keri - too cute about your husband. I can just picture the stammering. :)


Keri Ford said...

Hm. Well, you never know Gemma, he could have met the parents of his last girlfriend and all of sudden he was marked down as a future son-in-law. :O)

I would pimp your mom when you could. Just the little I know about her is enough for me to know that I could sit at a table with drinks and listen to her talk for a long while. Plus, she's a lot like you and it can let him feel like he knows her before meeting him.

As far as renewing your memberships...have you asked him how many dating sites HE belongs to? Give it a bit of time and pop this question on him and the answer might take care of a lot of lingering questions keeping you up at night.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Guys like this need to be reeled in nice and slow.... I'd just enjoy things for now and see how things develop.

And because I like a back up plan, I'd keep those dating subscriptions. You never know when they might come in handy. Besides, has he given you any reason to think you're exclusive?

Beth said...

I like what everyone has said so far, especially Jenyfer. Reel him in nice and slow, don't rush it. I haven't dated in nearly 20 years but... if I was you I would just enjoy what I've got and not try to read anything more into it or push it to a new level too soon. And wait a bit before you ask him to another family outing, some guys just can't hang with the fam. BTW is he close with his family? That might have influenced his decision to decline your offer to see the fake Fab 4.

Angie Fox said...

I'm not against saying, "I like you" to a guy (or at least I wasn't before meeting the hubby.) And I'm pretty sure I was straightforward to him about that - in a cute way. Saying I like you and that's it - no strings, no pressure.

I kept dating other guys until he asked me to date only him. Guys need to chase a bit. I'd keep your options open and let Mr. Big make some moves.

Gemma Halliday said...

Nope, nothing exclusive yet. There was a hint on his part he wouldn't be too keen on me dating other guys... but that was all, just a hint. I have no idea how many dating sites he's one. Though, the one we met on has this nifty little feature where you can tell how long it's been since a person has logged in. He doesn't log in very often. Not reading anything into, just sayin'. ;)


Gemma Halliday said...

Beth - no idea how close he is to his family. He hasn't mentioned them much... or maybe at all now that I think about it. Yeah, there's really not a lot about him that screams "family" to be honest. I'm gonna wait to extend another invite. He knows I'm cool with it, so when/if he's ready, he can let me know.


Word Actress said...

Oh lordy, I feel for you sweetie. I'm so not a good dater. If I like a guy, I like him. It's that simple and it's very hard for me with my exuberant personality not to show it. Your guy sounds a bit like George Clooney. He's probably adoring being with you.You sound cool and lots of fun. I would just always be wondering where he and the two of you were headed. If you can really keep it all in fun with no strings attached (when I like a guy, it's so hard for me to do this) then just enjoy it for what it is. It's hard to meet people you really click with and like being with. For me, it's always chemistry mixed with liking the way he smells and the quirky things you mentioned, like the cute way he smiles. Keep your heart open. Noone ever regrets that. Keep us posted, ok? XO Mary Kennedy Eastham, Author, 'The Shadow of a Dog I Can't Forget' and the soon to be released novel, 'Night Surfing'